FIVE STEPS TO BEING BREAST AWARE
1. Know how your breasts normally look and feel.
2. Know what changes to look for.
3. Look and feel for changes.
4. Report any changes to a doctor.
5. Go for a free mammogram if you are of the appropriate age, or if recommended by a doctor. By finding breast abnormalities in the early stages, mammograms can save lives. Women at the appropriate age can get a free mammogram through their regional breast screening program.
photo courtesy of Billy Bolton
The healing properties of yoga are myriad and wide-ranging, all founded in the way that yoga elevates breathing patterns, strengthening the body’s natural immune response and releasing negative stresses.
In regard to cancer, which is a broad complex of illnesses due to a weakened immune system that cannot cope with the proliferation of damaged cells, the practice of yoga can help strengthen the immune system and encourage our inner healing forces. It works in several ways:
BREATHING EXERCISES improves respiration, releases tension and restores calm and balance
RELAXATION calming the nervous system while alleviating stress and anxiety which our immune response
POSTURE increases energy levels, clears toxins, and enhances the functioning of our internal organ systems
MEDITATION develops the detachment and clarity enabling us to accept the realities of our situation and to cope with fear
The simplest of yoga breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques can also help us to deal with the overwhelming emotions that come with this life-changing diagnosis: shock, fear, and guilt to name a few. And they can be of help in managing stress, anxiety and pain post-surgically and following chemotherapy and radiation.
Yoga is a calming force in the midst of chaos which can often times be just what is needed to make clear, thoughtful decisions in regard to moving through a serious illness like cancer. (www.UrbanZen.org 2008 Well-being Conference)