I had a breast health scare last month.
(It was actually several months in the making.)
I noticed some tenderness on the lateral side of my left breast. It started to become really bothersome… It hurt to be hugged, and I even felt it when doing certain yoga poses, such as plank to chaturanga dandasana.
First I ignored the “spot,” but when it didn’t go away (and when it really started messing with my yoga practice and — more importantly — my tolerance to being touched), I got curious.
I did a breast self-exam (BSE), and sure enough, I felt a firm area in the exact spot where it was tender.
“It must have to do with my hormones,” I thought. After all, I was about to have my period.
I let some time pass, and did another self-examination. Hmmmm… The tenderness was still there. So was the firm spot.
“Is this a lump?” I thought, having NO EXPERIENCE with such things… “What does a lump even feel like? What’s normal and what’s not? What’s SCARY, and what’s not?”
I started to get VERY curious, and began doing a quick BSE every day to track my spot. Truth be told? I was a little freaked out. I made a frankincense rollerball bottle to make the experience a little bit “happier,” and to give me the peace of mind that I was also providing myself some health benefits while doing my BSE.
A happy ending:
After a full 5 weeks of tracking my tender/firm spot, I’d had enough of wondering (!!!) and so I made an appointment with my doc. She ordered a breast ultrasound, and THANK HEAVENS everything is fine! I recently received a call from the radiologist with the glorious news that there’s nothing to worry about, just an area of tissue that happens to be slightly denser than other areas, and tenderness that fluctuates with my cycle.
Despite the happy ending, my tender/firm spot was a wake-up call. First, it reminded me to do regular self-exams. It’s important to track what’s normal for YOU, so that you’ll know what’s NOT NORMAL if anything changes. Secondly, it was (yet another) reminder to take care of myself. Reflecting back, the tenderness and firm spot appear to have developed during a time when I was putting immense pressure and stress on myself. Unfortunately, I’m not superwoman, and I’m learning that I need more downtime than I tend to give myself. Self-care and relaxation keeps me healthy and happy, and that’s what my family and I need more than tasks, to-dos, and achievements.
The nutshell: I’ve made a commitment to monthly BSEs, and I’m slowing down (just a bit!) in business and in life.
What I recommend for you:
NOTE: The following images are from an expert-reviewed article on WikiHow titled “How to do a Breast Self-Exam.”
Plan to do a BSE monthly, about one week after the end of your period.
Put your arms up and look in the mirror, performing a visual exam. Anything funny? Any skin changes or discolorations? Any look of “pulling” in your tissues?
Next, lie down (or stand up with your hand behind your head as shown in the image above).
Palpate (physically touch) your breast tissue by making small circles with the pads of your fingers, until you cover the whole breast and underarm area. Start lightly, and then repeat with a little more force. Squeeze your nipples to make sure there’s no discharge or other irregularities.
Repeat on the other side, and call your doc if you’re concerned about ANYTHING! Trust your intuition. It’s better to get it checked out and have nothing wrong, than to ignore something that could be a problem.
How rollerball bottles can help:
A monthly BSE can turn into an act of pleasurable self-care when you add an element of pampering, such as a precious essential oil blend that not only smells great but also supports cellular health.
Rollerball bottles, consisting of a small amount of essential oil blended with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and/or fractionated coconut oil, are an easy way to apply your essential oils ANYWHERE YOU WANT — in this case, on the breasts to help make your BSE easier. When you apply your oils using a rollerball bottle, you’ll get a VERY FINE LAYER of all-natural oil (no toxins, no parabens). This fine layer of oil eliminates friction and helps your fingers glide more smoothly, and you’ll still be able to feel everything you’re looking for. It’s far better than using a heavy, greasy lotion which can prevent you from feeling lumps, bumps, skin changes, etc.
Frankincense essential oil (Frank EO) is made by steam distilling frankincense resin. DoTERRA frank (my personal fave) comes from Somalia, where the resin is hand harvested from Boswelia carterii, frereana, and sacra trees.
Most of us know frank as a biblical oil. It was, in fact, considered more valuable than gold in the ancient times. Babylonians and Assyrians would burn Frankincense in religious ceremonies, and the ancient Egyptians used Frankincense resin for everything from perfume to salves for soothing skin.
- Rejuvenates the skin (I love my daily moisturizer which I make with coconut oil, jojoba oil, frank EO, and myrrh EO)
- Reduces the appearance of scars and stretch marks (I personally know several people who have seen a decrease in the size of scars and skin imperfections by applying frank to them DAILY)
- Supports cellular health and immunity, and is often used as an anti-inflammatory
- Relieves discomfort (great for stiff joints)
- Induces feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness (diffuse during meditation or prayer, although it can act as a mild sedative so be careful you don’t fall asleep!)
To make my frankincense rollerball bottle for breast health (which I apply to my breasts before doing my BSE):
I use approximately 12 drops certified pure, therapeutic grade frankincense EO and then fill my 10 mL rollerball bottle the rest of the way with fractionated coconut oil. My frank EO comes from doTERRA, my fractionated coconut oil was purchased on amazon.com, and my 10 mL rollerball bottles were also purchased on amazon.com.
The following video walks you through the creation of your VERY OWN rollerball bottle blends. This video does NOT describe my frankincense rollerball for breast health; however, you can take the basic steps and run with ’em to create your frank rollerball bottle for your monthly BSE.
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