AN EMAIL THREAD ABOUT BOOBS & BREAST MASSAGE

Ladies Bathing in a Rocky Pool, India, Awadh, late 18th century.

Ladies Bathing in a Rocky Pool, India, Awadh, late 18th century.

MIGS:

Dear Lauren,

it was so nice to receive your message on Instagram. Thank you so much for getting back to me; it means so much! I value true conversations and genuine connections, especially with such a deep and empowering content like yours.

Of course I would like to chat about breast health with you! I feel like a lot of women don't have close enough relationship with them, a lot of times breasts are left in denial because they don't look the way many would want them to look, they are also ignored because they don't even know WHY breasts would need to be massaged to begin with. I get that question and surprised look a lot. And trust, I ask the question: ‘How are your breasts’ very often now. :) I’m not even bringing traumatic experiences here, weather it comes from illness or abuse. Those can build even more neglectful, hateful relationships and leave much more negative feelings.

Even as a massage therapist I did not realize until recent that breasts feel healthier and better when they are massaged regularly. It took me 3000+ hours of bodywork to realize that what we could use - massage technique on the breasts in our daily practices. First, to build connectivity, then, to create the relationship, notice changes, treat breasts like we do other parts of the body (like we don't forget to brush our teeth) and don't exclude them from the whole. In western massage sessions breasts are kept covered, untouched, but not in Ayurveda practices. Oils like sesame and castor have been applied on breasts for many thousand years to maintain and enhance their health. 

For me it started when I turned 36, and I felt my left one becoming more tight and painfully sore. It was related with menstrual cycles and brought discomfort, irritation, fear. That’s when I started to explore and do self-massages daily. First, for many months, it was a daily practice for just myself. And I loved how it felt on my skin, and how noticeably it worked removing hormonal tightness and easing soreness. How gently it opened my pectoralis and other shoulder muscles, with simple self -massage techniques, how relaxed it made me after I was able to get the stagnant lymph move after a long day of work and how connected I felt in my heart chakra by just touching and embracing my upper torso and chest. Then, we collaborated with biochemist from Lithuania (who is currently immersed in extensive study of Japanese Quince oil, trying to test its benefits for future skincare formulas); and there it was - Be Well Breasts Daily Self Massage Oil - moisturizing and nourishing with delicate, yet distinct and not overpowering aroma with top notes of energizing sweet orange and soft clary sage. Heart notes include gentle juniper and grassy blue yarrow, finishing with longer lasting vetiver, frankincense and cedarwood + 6 main seed oils, most suitable for breasts health. I knew I wanted to share it with my community and beyond. It would be my pleasure to share it with you too.

We named the oil La Copine. It means ‘girlfriend’ in French. 

Now having this oil in my hands, I’m interested in advocating how well designed, intentional skincare product could help us understand that we need to embrace but not fight the aging by bringing loads of nourishment and full attention. How we should be able to maintain homeostasis with powerful formulas, therefore being able to access grace and radiant presence, lightheartedness, longevity, wisdom and softness. Also, how skincare product could serve as mindfulness tool  -  the accoutrement (like a string of mala beads in meditation practice) - to help us notice changes in the body, constantly get to know and understand it, because it is in continuous flux, self regeneration and also nonstopable shrivel at the same time. Importantly, getting to get comfortable with traumas and discomforts, willing to live through the fear or dislike of own body and see how self-love practices can change things. That’s why the ritual becomes a perfect form to practice body awareness. Not that meaningless, buzzy, hashtagged #Ritual, but ritual that is like a time capsule, in which there is something like a code or natural understanding how things work, like Pema Chödrön describes it: ‘someone thousand years ago had a similar vision, view of magic, power, sacredness to connect with the richness of the universe’. Ritual becomes our answer. That genuine, mindful ritual can help us to reconnect with power of wisdom. And for sure plants are those powerful things too that have enormous amount of wisdom and can help us regain balance. 

Why skin and breast health is so important? Simply because skin is the largest organ in your body and what you consume through it has an affect to your overall wellness. Breast care is so under-rated in the western culture, they are rarely touched or nourished, and is so highly affected by insidious disease like cancer. La Copine is designed with the intention of combining knowledge of past healers and present research, to be an ally in boosting well-being. Our aim is to allier science and tradition, plant spirit healing and contemporary herbalism, put emphasis on importance of bodywork and touch and body’s natural ability to seek for healing and ease, bring to light wisdom from texts of ancient yoga and Ayurveda, folk knowledge and everyday human experiences, self love and ritual, fearlessness of Kali and just gentle playfulness of Lila. We want every woman to be able to find ease in their bodies and their surroundings. We want every woman to master how to ride a tiger…;)

So why have a self-massage routine for your breasts?

Self-massage is a great practice to maintain health of your breasts. Your chest and neck area has a pretty big grouping of lymph nodes. Massaging it, you activate lymphatic flow, which thereby boosts your immune system. Well moving lymph picks up the wastes from all cels, gets rid of toxins and fights the bacteria. Self-massage is an amazing tool to stimulate circulation and keep your tissues healthy. Gently massaging your breasts helps to reduce hormonal breast tenderness, minimize soreness and swelling, prevents sagging. 
With breast cancer being the most common cancer among women, it is crucial that we do not neglect this part of the body, and take good care of ourselves. Intimacy and time for yourself by no means is selfish - it is a necessary dimension of self-care. 

I’m so sorry about the length of this letter. I don't know if it was helpful or informative at all. I can sense that you have very good knowledge in many many things but for many women this could be new. I also hear from them, that our oil is inspiring... I would like to continue my journey in spreading this word, educating and possibly helping.

Let me know what you think from your perspective in search for meaningful practices.

I appreciate your time and opinion.

Let’s keep in touch.

Best,

Migs


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LAUREN:

Dear Migs, 

Thank you so much for your email. You write so beautifully. I wonder if you would be open to me publishing your letter on Self Practice? I think our readers would love it, and it stands as a shining example of just how remarkably giving, inspiring and informative the self practice community (you) is. 

Should this be ok by you - I would love some imagery to accompany the piece.. I will have a hunt to try and find some old diagrams of Ayurvedic Brest massage, but would of course love to connect out readership with your product too - so an image of that would be great if you have one?

Let me know if you have any questions, 

Warmly, 

Lauren. xo

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MIGS:

Hi Lauren,

I'm so flattered to hear that you would love to share my writings with Self Practice community. I'm grateful beyond words and excited to start this conversation. 

This one image from 18 century kind of attracted me: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/arts-islamic-world-l15220/lot.154.html - for bathing as self care and self practice.

Let me know if you have any other questions at all.

Talk to you soon,

Migs, x 

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Lauren

Dear Migs, 

What beautiful imagery! I am so glad to publish this thread for our readers. Thank you again for reaching out, and your generosity to share your knowledge. 

I so appreciate this conversation & can only hope that it sparks an even wider dialogue among our readership. 

Yours in gratitude & friendship. 

Lauren. xo

 

learn more about Migs and her practice here.