Reconnect With Yourself in 2012: Breast Massage
Thea Euryphaessa gets to grips with breasts
‘When we take ourselves seriously, we accept the responsibility of knowing and loving our body.’ ―Marion Woodman
I’ve resolved, this year, to help reacquaint women ― consciously and compassionately ― with their breasts. After all, it’s one thing to mindlessly bundle them into a bra; it’s quite another to take time out for some healing one-on-two action.
As someone who’s well endowed on the bosom front, it’d be easy to assume ― especially in our supersize boob-obsessed culture ― that I’d rejoice at having such a generous bounty; but, to tell the truth, I didn’t always appreciate them.
Pre-menstrual they get heavy, uncomfortable, and sore and finding gorgeous, well-fitting bras proved nigh-on impossible (polyester hammocks do not a siren make). Nope, for a long time I think it’d be fair to say they just got in the way.
Then along came Bravissimo ― that bodacious boudoir where ample assets are celebrated with a smörgåsbord of sexy smalls. This discovery lifted my spirits (and bust) no end. No longer was I made to feel like a freak because my cup runneth over. But it wasn’t until I was introduced to the healing joys of self-breast massage in early 2011 that I finally learnt to bond with my boobs.
Many women slather on oil or body cream after a bath or shower; but how many of us set aside time to solely massage our breasts? If you’re currently alone and in a private space (or next time you are) take a moment to cup/hold your breasts. Now look at them ― really look at them. What thoughts and/or feelings come up as they nestle in your hands? Be particularly alert to feelings of awkwardness, discomfort, or inhibition.
For those of you ready to take this a step further, either sitting up or lying down in a warm room where you won’t be disturbed, take off your top and bra (a good time to do this is after a bath or shower). You can do this exercise with or without oil; regardless, you’re going to spend a minimum of twenty minutes massaging and stroking your breasts.
Roll, tweak, and squeeze your nipples; take the time to explore the underneath and sides of your breasts; circle the areolas clockwise and anti-clockwise; experiment with different pressures from feather-light through firmer touches. Whatever you do, though, stay present. If you find your thoughts drifting off, bring them back. Want to take it even further? Build up to forty minutes while watching yourself in a giant mirror (hold that shriek ― this can get quite sexy after a while). Oh, and don’t forget a suitable soundtrack.
But isn’t it strange (or downright pervy) to be fondling your breasts in such a manner, you may ask? No, is the short answer, it isn’t. The point of this exercise is to become lovingly and consciously reacquainted with your breasts, as opposed to just nervously examining them for lumps.
Most women haven’t a clue how they’d like to be touched by another in a pleasurable manner because they’ve never practised on themselves. But if you can’t stand to touch your own body with love and affection, how will you ever consciously receive the loving touch of another? After all, there’s a vast difference between being done to (aka mauled), and revelling in your beloved’s touch while you give ‘em a fully guided tour ― trust me on this.
Our western culture has a vested interest in keeping us disconnected from our bodies: the less we know about who we are, the more others can cash in on our ever-increasing insecurities. Each time we step out the door, open a magazine, or log onto the internet we’re bombarded with messages about how we ‘should’ look or how we don’t ‘measure up’. This ceaseless onslaught can alienate us from our own matter and leaves many women unable to look at themselves naked, let alone touch themselves with compassion and tenderness.
This is why I consider this exercise to be one of the most profound in helping heal your relationship with your body ― especially once you experience the sweetness this exercise also promotes. The breasts are a source of nourishment, love, and nurturing. So to deliberately connect with, and stimulate, the energy around the breasts/heart-space and then spread it about, is to release a source of sweetness more satisfying than any sugar-fuelled fix. Strange as this sounds, it’s one of those things you just have to experience for yourself. To enhance this feeling, I particularly recommend Lavera’s delicious Organic Honey Moments Body Oil (£7.95 for 50ml ― available from pravera.co.uk).
The thing with this exercise is you have to a) practise regularly, b) have patience and, c) be gentle with yourself. When working on other women I can spend at least an hour massaging them. What I’ve found most interesting, though, is how fearful breasts can feel on first being touched ― as though they’re afraid and don’t trust (this is especially true if the recipient has lost loved ones to breast cancer ― psychic scars run deeper still).
It’s only after establishing a gentle and loving connection with them that they finally yield and soften. But think about it: if you’re unconsciously beating up on yourself all the time, your body will gradually rigidify with fear and send out messages such as ‘Don’t touch me’. And, perhaps, sadder still, ‘I don’t deserve to be touched (lovingly)’.
Believe me when I say, you do ― but it has to start with you.
One final note: shortly after writing this article, I received a surprise gift from a friend in San Francisco (thank you Nina!): Olays Pharm Ultra-Pure Breast Cream ($24 plus shipping and handling per 4 oz. jar ― available from dayspharm.com). Her enclosed note ― ‘The ripple effect of conscious conversations is beautiful’ ― further echoes my sentiment that it’s time we lovingly reconnect with our bodies without embarrassment or shame.
To buy a copy of Running into Myself, visit Amazon UK, Amazon US or, better still, order a limited edition signed copy direct from her publisher here (also ships worldwide). Also available to download on Kindle.
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