According to the
last National Cancer Registry report of 2004, made available to the Cancer
Association of South Africa, breast cancer is the leading female cancer. Experts think that the rising incidence of
breast cancer is possibly due to increased public awareness or improved
detection of it. However contributing
factors include our diet which now contains more hormones, pesticides and
preservatives than before. Our increased
sedentary lifestyle, resulting in an overweight and obese society and exposure
to radiation from electronic devices such as microwaves, cell phones and
computer equipment are suspected of the increased risk of breast cancer.
Not all breast lumps are malignant and there are a number of benign or non-cancerous breast conditions and diseases that if correctly diagnosed are relatively easy to treat. Men can also suffer from problems associated with the breasts such as enlargement due to excesses of oestrogen in relation to testosterone for example after mumps, following liver damage, from certain drugs or from breast cancer.
So why is a healthy lifestyle so import in the prevention of breast problems? By referring to the Eastern meridian system we realize that a healthy lifestyle will not only prevent disorders from occurring in the breast, but also in the whole body. There are 12 meridians or energy (acupuncture) pathways that traverse the body and link one another. Four of these meridians pass through the breast area and control breast health. They are the kidney meridian which runs along the medial (inner) side of the breasts, the stomach meridian that runs through the nipples, the spleen / pancreas meridian along the lateral or outside of the breasts and lastly the gallbladder meridian along the extreme lateral sides of the breasts, almost in the armpits.
Toxins from an incorrect diet, stress and too little exercise build up along these meridians. If toxins are not removed, they lead to congestion and low vital energy or chi causing ill health. For example a diet high in acid forming foods may cause acid reflux which is associated with the stomach meridian. Since the stomach meridian runs through all the major organs, and the centre of the breasts, a prolonged acidic diet may later lead to disorders associated with the breast or any of the other organs through which the stomach meridian passes. Similarly the gall bladder meridian runs along the sides of the body and zig zags over the hip area, congestions along this meridian may be causing frequent hip pain but if the diet remains unchanged, can later lead to lateral breast tumors or lateral breast pain. Early warning signs should be heeded to avoid the eventual manifestation of masses or tumors in the breasts or other parts of the body.
Research done by Dr Thomas Rau at the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland, showed that 98% of breast cancer patients had root canals or other infections on the same acupuncture meridian as the original breast cancer tumor.
In conclusion the risk for developing breast cancer increases with age and prolonged exposure to oestrogen. Early detection is the most important factor in surviving breast cancer. This is normally done by monthly self-examinations, regular breast examinations by a doctor and yearly mammograms in women over the age of 40. There are lifestyle choices which can help reduce the risk of breast cancer and other health conditions, these include limiting the intake of alcohol, avoiding carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, BPA in plastic & tinned food, smoked meat and char grilled food. Exercising and eating organically grown foods as far as possible also help to reduce the risk of disease. Improved circulation assists in breaking down toxins and encouraging their elimination. This can be achieved with complimentary therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology.
Natalie Holme, Therapeutic Reflexologist