There are several ways to skin a cat, or so I hear. There are also several ways to go about releasing the tension stored at the heart center. Last week we proposed that our ability to process our emotions may play a part in keeping breast tissue healthy. Whether or not you buy into my theory or not, releasing the tension around the heart center is a good thing to learn how to do. Here are several tips for releasing your heart at both the physical level and at the emotional level.
1: Try speaking your mind a little more often. Get if off your chest. Allowing our heart to speak its voice and be witnessed by others is very validating. Finding ways to let your voice be heard without anger, blame, or intensity is the goal. If speaking is too much, then journaling is still an effective option.
2: Take a deep breath in and release it fully. Every breath is a stretch. Every breath cleanses the blood. In addition, the deep breath pauses us. It pauses our mind. It pauses our forward intensity. Very often when we are stressed and ‘in the zone,’ there is a tension we hold in our chest muscles. Practice and see if you can feel how taking a deep breath helps to release this clenched area of the body. Build a habit of breathing deeply and letting it go.
Remembering to change your breath is tricky. I suggest picking three triggers that remind you to take that deep breath. Try breathing deeply at every stop sign, before opening any door, and before answering any phone call.
3: Regular massage for the heart has tremendous benefits in releasing stored emotion and increasing self esteem. In addition to moving lymph and relaxing muscle tension throughout the chest and breast, taking time out for a 10 minute massage relaxes our entire nervous system. Touching this area of your body increases your awareness of both the tissues and the emotions stored here. And last, becoming aware of your “normal” breast hardness, skin feel, and other details makes it much easier to zero in on any changes that may be taking place, aka early detection.
The techniques are pretty simple. Start with feather-light “U” shaped strokes. Lymph vessels are very delicate and deeper pressure will not help lymph flow. Gently move from the center of the chest to the armpit. Make several passes that include the entire chest, all pulling fluid gently towards the lymph nodes in the armpit. Next, go over the entire area again with more depth and pressure. Allow the massage to dig deeper into the breast without causing discomfort. Press into the muscles under the breast, into the spaces between the ribs, into the arm pit area, and all the way up to the collar bone. This deeper massage will help soften muscles and help to normalize breast tissue. The entire massage should take from 6-12 minutes.
4: Build Compassion. Read Compassion Is Learned to continue this series and learn practices to build compassion in your life.