My wake up call from my healer within came to me through my breasts;
I think of it as my “Amazon awakening.” Fourteen years
ago, while feeding my first child exclusively with my breast milk
and working 60-100 hours a week outside my home attempting to heal
others, I developed a large breast abscess, resulting in complete
destruction of that breast’s duct structure, making it impossible
for me ever to nurse a baby on that side. I realized that I had halved
my physical nourishing ability by worshipping too long and too steadily
at the altar of outer achievement and authority figure approval. I
had ignored my own physical needs and my inner wisdom completely.
No wonder I sustained a wound in my breast that dissected right into
the muscles of my chest wall!
From this experience I learned my first lesson of breast wisdom:
We cannot nurture others fully or well unless we also nurture ourselves.
Our breasts know this. And they will not be silenced in their attempts
to bring this to our attention.
With my awakening, I joined all the women whose breasts have told
them of the need for balance in their lives, the need for heeding
inner wisdom, the need for pleasure, the need for passion. Sometimes
these needs are subtle, sometimes they are urgent. Either way, we’ve
been taught to ignore them. So we lose touch with the wisdom and power
of our breasts.
So many of the women who come to me tell me they don’t know
how to examine their breasts, they don’t know what normal feels
like, and they’re afraid of what they might find. So many women
choose implants because their breasts aren’t “big enough.”
So many have surgery because they’re too big.
How can it be that our breasts, these beautiful centers of nurturing,
fullness, and pleasure, are looked upon by so many as inadequate at
best, or breeding grounds for cancer, pain, and fear at worst? In
what kind of culture can this happen? A culture that has been out
of touch with women’s wisdom for too long. A culture in which
the women’s wisdom in each of us, what Susun calls the Wise
Healer Within, has been silenced, ignored, and ridiculed both outside
of ourselves and within each of us for the last several millennia.
And so our breasts become a cultural battleground where a war is waged
between our fear of living fully and our fear of dying before we’ve
ever lived fully.
But what if each of us were to remember her woman’s wisdom?
What if we remembered that every cell of our breasts could be nurtured
and rejuvenated and healed by the energies of touch, pleasure, love,
whole food, and green healing plants? What if we collectively discovered
that our healer within has never gone away, that she has simply waited,
biding her time until it was safe to come out and speak her truth?
I’m certain that the time for acknowledging and collectively
acting upon our inner wisdom has now arrived. This wisdom and truth
have never been more crucial for our personal and planetary health.
Women’s wisdom is the balance that modern technological medicine
needs. She is the balance that brings healing back to medical care.
She is the voice that says, “I’m going to be all right”—even
when all the lab reports and doctors say otherwise. And sometimes
she is the voice that says, “My time on Earth is now at an end”—even
when all the lab reports and doctors say otherwise. She is the voice
of the heart, the same voice whose energy heals our breasts, regardless
of their current state of health. Her voice sings on every page of
this magnificent book.
As you read these pages, let this voice sweep you along with it,
let it wrap you in its warmth, and let it challenge you when you need
that, too. Allow its whispers to help you remember your own wise voice
within. Here is the information and spirit that our hearts and breasts
have needed for a very long time.
Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Yarmouth, Maine, March 15, 1995
Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
co-founder of Women to Women Healthcare Center,
author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.
Cancer? Breast Health the Wise Woman Way
by Susun S. Weed
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