women's health

We learned incredible things about women’s health while listening to natural beauty and health pro Nadine Artemis’ recent podcast with former TCM Guest Editor, David Wolfe. Knowing we had to bring Nadine’s message to the site, we asked her to talk to us about these critical issues for women of every age.

Nadine possesses an amazing wealth of knowledge on wellness and natural living. As an author, speaker and product developer for her business, Living Libations, she’s constantly impressing us with the well-developed insights she has to share, and the innovative health products she offers at Living Libations.

As with all our stories, this piece is for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related program. Here is Nadine with a perspective on women’s health we believe more people need to hear about…

Our breasts: mythologized, scandalized and politicized; kept under wraps and veiled from view. These cherished, tender tissues that embody both sensuality and sustenance have, for many, become a burden. Our A, B, C and double-D cups are lifted, separated, inflated, examined and enshrined. Breasts ebb and flow with the moon and the tides of birth. They are strapped down and pushed up – all while being discouraged from their biological calling.

For many who live in fear of breast density, fibroids and tumors, breasts have become a liability. There is an estrogenic-epidemic in our erogenous zone, and our breasts are reacting; worldwide, every 23 seconds a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.

As girls, we are taught that respectable young ladies make their bodies “polite” by applying antiperspirant, primping with perfume and popping contraceptive pills. These preening, paraben-laden products create artificial estrogens that accumulate in the soft, lymphatic, fat-filled tissue of our glandular orbs. This altar of our apocrine glands pulls in pollutants like a pair of sponges, recording the history of our diet, drug use, dentistry, drinking water, deodorant, dry-cleaning, home décor, and decades of DDT residue. They accrue with bromide, benzene, chloride, radiation, and parts per million of pesticide and fluoride.

In the last century, our mothers’ bodies have experienced disastrous experimental medicine. In attempts to control the wily hormones of the feminine mystique, our mothers’ bodies trialed new drugs including thalidomide for nausea. To prevent miscarriages, doctors prescribed off-label use of DES, diethylstilbestrol, to 5 million pregnant women, 46% of these women developed breast cancer and a decade later, their daughters developed vaginal cancer. For years after, DES continued to be supplemented in livestock feed. Our mothers were over-prescribed and anesthetized; their generation swallowed the first birth control pills, valium and crude hormone-replacement therapy. They received increased cesareans, episiotomies, lumpectomies, hysterectomies and mastectomies.

Encouraged to feed their babies with formula, some mothers were injected with estrogen to dry up their breast milk. We now know breastfeeding helps prevent breast cancer. It contributes to the full development of breasts and builds a child’s immune system. In a perfect harmony of giving and receiving, breastfeeding gives beneficial strains of bacteria to our babies and to our breasts because we receive the benefit of good bacteria passing through our breast ductal passages as well.

Our breasts receive misguided Las Vegas adulation while their biological purpose gets shrouded. Breasts, along with their undervalued role of sustaining life, are also canaries in a coal-mine. They detect our environmental invasions and store the toxins of our trespasses for decades. Our breasts are barometers for the changing atmosphere of our planet, and for women’s health overall.

Women’s health professionals report increased infertility, miscarriages, record-breaking breast sizes, earlier menopause and earlier puberty. Gold, glittery maxi-pads are now marketed to 8 year olds. Moisturizers, pasteurized milk and sunscreens all prompt earlier puberty. There is a delicate time in prepubescent girls to which chemical exposure from pesticides, processed-food, and estrogen-mimics greatly influences breast health and gene expression later on. All of this is linked to the residual results of marinating in the industrial flotsam of manmade chemicals.

Breast health is a deeply personal issue for me. My mother died of breast cancer in 2014. I co-created a free online summit called Rethink Pink. Here’s what you might not know about women’s health exams and, based on the most recent insights, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind for your health…

screenings are changing:
Ignore fear-based “public service” campaigns and outdated medical opinions about breast cancer screening. Take an active role in your health care, and think carefully about mammograms and screening. Proactively talk over your concerns with a trusted health care provider.

Widespread mammography screening has not contributed to a significant decline in the incidence of metastatic, late-stage cancer. It may also lead to over-diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and over-treatment of the disease.

The over-diagnosis of breast cancer turns many women, needlessly, into breast cancer patients. Yet widespread screening has made only a small impact on the number of women dying from breast cancer. In 2014, the British Journal of Medicine published the results of a 25-year-long follow up study on breast cancer screening in Canada. The authors of the report stated that annual mammograms in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of routine manual breast examination. Also, they found a 22% rate of over-diagnosis of mammogram-detected invasive breast cancers.

A Swedish clinical trial concluded that there was no benefit for women younger than 55 years old to get mammograms. The United States Preventative Services Task Force has revised its screening recommendations and now advises women to delay getting mammograms until age 50. European guidelines advise women aged 50-69 to have a mammogram only every 2 years, and there is no mammogram screening program in place for younger women.

acquired Mutations:
The predisposing genetic link to breast cancer is now only believed to be 5% -10%. Thus, the majority of breast cancers are not inherited, but rather are from acquired cell mutations. If a person carries the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene linked to cancer, it is important to note that the person only inherits the risk, not the disease itself.

lifestyle risks:
While the etiology of breast cancer is yet unknown, there are factors that potentially contribute to its development and avoidance that we can regulate. Cancer-contributors that increase a woman’s risk include:

Estrogen, through use of postmenopausal HRT and the pill
Postmenopausal obesity
Exposure to ionizing radiation, which includes mammograms and CT scans. Breast cells are second only to fetal tissues in sensitivity to radiation, and glands absorb radiation more than other tissues.
Alcohol consumption

controlling Your risks:

Controllable factors that may lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer include:

Breast feeding
Physical activity
A colorful diet full of organic vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins and fats and pure, clear water.

the promise of essential oils:
Recent research on women’s health suggests that monoterpenes prevent both the initiation and progression of cancer. Monoterpene influence cancer and cancer cells in multiple ways by inhibiting particular cell-signaling pathways and by counteracting metabolic changes that occur in breast disease.

Monoterpenes are found abundantly in essential oils produced by a variety of plants, especially conifers, and can offer, at the very least, cancer prevention benefits to us today – and maybe a cancer treatment one day soon.

In the realm of scientific study on women’s health, monoterpene research is still nascent. Yet, the safety, efficacy, and availability of monoterpene-rich essential oils invites us to be plant-pioneers.

Massaging our way to healthy breast tissue is a simple strategy. Breast massage lubricated with essential oils regenerates our cells and supplies monoterpene-medicine to where it is needed most. Frankincense, grapefruit, cypress, and rose otto are some of my favorite monoterpene-rich oils for massage.

buy a better bra:
We must boost our busts by wearing better bras! Circulation and lymphatic flow can be obstructed by tight bras. Breasts contain an abundance of lymph vessels that support the circulatory system in maintaining proper fluid balance. Tight bras may impede our body’s natural removal of fluids that become trapped in the breasts glands. The health of our lymphatic systems is intimately connected to our breast health. Look for red marks on your skin after removing your bra and consider wearing no bra, a softer bra, or yoga tops.

Our breast health is a barometer. Breasts are pranic channels: They give and receive life-force. Take these things into consideration for your breasts, and your whole being will benefit.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

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  1. While some of this information is somewhat helpful, the suggestion that mammograms are not necessary until after 50 makes me boil as I am resting a day after my double mastectomy. Please, stop distributing these half truths and misinformation. While mammograms can often lead to biopsies of benign cysts, I sure would rather have a biopsy and find out that the lump is benign than find out non-invasive “in-situ” cancer turned invasive (yes, that can happen any time) too late. I beg you, do not just skim over a bunch of studies and think you know about breast cancer risks etc. the truth is, even most specialists agree that they know very little. Yes, only about 10% of breast cancers can be traced to the BRCA genetic marker, but more genetic markers are being discovered as possible links to breast cancer. And to insinuate that the cancer risk is related to postmenopausal obesity or diet etc – the studies linking increased breast cancer risk to poor diet or obesity were not showing cause and effect – only that there is a possible connection. I had my second mammogram at age 51. I eat a very healthy diet – in fact, I do not eat processed foods at all, do not smoke, do not drink, do not consume soy products, I exercise regularly, am not overweight, and do not have any family history of breast cancer. I was initially diagnosed with non-invasive cancer that showed as 1.7 cm mass on mammogram. My doctors felt that this should be an easy procedure of lumpectomy, followed by radiation and hormonal treatment. Guess what, at least 30% of women have what is called dense breast tissue – meaning: mammograms will grossly underestimate the size of the potential growth. I unfortunately was one of the unlucky 30%, after 3 lumpectomies, an MRI showed more cancer, which even my breast surgeon was unaware off and the supposedly “non-invasive” cancer actually was already turning invasive. Mammograms are not perfect, but they are the best we have at the moment. Misguiding women by saying that mammograms were overutilized is just plain wrong. If I waited another year to do my mammogram, the invasive portion of my breast cancer would dramatically lessen my chances for recovery and survival and increase my risk or recurrence.

    Anja | 06.30.2016 | Reply
  2. That is very fortunate that your cancer was caught on a routine mammogram. That happened with my mother as well. I find this article to be extremely well-researched, and I do not think that it is stating that nobody should get a mammogram, but rather that they are not guaranteed to yield a correct diagnosis, and in some cases the radiation one is exposed to can cause more harm than good. There have been several studies done on this– Joann Elmore of the University of Washington has published several really excellent papers on this topic in fact. We should all be able to make informed decisions about our healthcare.

    A comprehensive study from 1960-2014 showed that for 10,000 women in their 50s, screened yearly for over 10 years, there are only 5 women whose breast cancer deaths are prevented. But over 6100 women have false-positive tests that lead to additional imaging and stressful, unnecessary biopsy procedures.
    Plus you get RADIATED – which over time, can lead to, yes – cancer!
    Now that you know, you may be more UP TO DATE ON THE FACTS than your doctor. Take control of your health!
    Also consider doing breast THERMOGRAMS – they are noninvasive, and have no side effects.
    Topol: Time to End Routine Mammography
    Dr Eric Topol explains why he believes it’s time to end routine breast cancer screening for women, and suggests using genomic data to determine whether mammography is needed.

    Renee | 06.30.2016 | Reply
  4. Nadine Artemis’s article is one of the best articles I have ever read on the subject. Excellent, well done.

  5. If buying a good bra is an essential part of breast health, perhaps we need to discuss why good quality bras are often so expensive, considering the relatively short lifespan of a bra compared to other articles of clothing. I’m thinking specifically of the effect on lower income women.

    D.E. | 07.01.2016 | Reply
  6. Mammos give you cancer. Use thermal imaging for check ups

  7. i think bras are like pads and tampons. they’re a necessity. you don’t want me bleeding on your office chair? make tampons and pads affordable. You don’t want to see my nipples and boob movement? make affordable, good bras. And make sizes understandable. Make simple, good quality, cotton bras in different styles (underwired, triangle, padded, etc.) that fit normal women. make the back straps longer for f’s sake. most women don’t have a back of an 8-year-old with DD cups.

    szszsz | 07.08.2016 | Reply
  8. i think you are out of your mind if you wait until you are 50 years of age to get a mammogram!!!!!
    or, possibly a pap smear or a colonoscopy !!!!!!!!!!!! to me it falls in the same area of risk.
    wait until it is too late ?? is that what these thinkers and researchers are saying ? with all the good intention we are going to loose our lives to waiting and seeing.

  9. Stress much? I was told that by my doctor too, and age 39 had a mammogram which turned out badly, and nearly died from a needle biopsy that punctured a lung. Very bad experience. Realize that everyone has cancer cells in the body, and what starts any cancer on its path is a weakened immune system, and that includes stress. Stress is inflammation, unfortunately it cannot be measured and followed like blood tests.

    Anna | 08.20.2016 | Reply
  10. I am a 56 yr old woman who was diagnosed with advanced endometrial cancer 11 years ago.

    I was recommended by my doctor (female with both western and eastern training) to get an immediate full hysterectomy while my husband was simultaneously told by an office staffer that all he could do “was pray” based on all the tests including an MRI.

    Following the surgery I was also to take a 700 dollar pill once a week to replace the naturally produced hormones that would be lost from having all my internal sexual organs removed.

    When I asked a long term staffer if they had ever had anyone heal naturally or she had ever heard of anyone healing without surgery from what I had , she said absolutely not. She also told me there was “no reason for me not to have the full hysterectomy because 1: I had the insurance and 2: This doctor made the cutest scar.” I promise you I am not making this up.

    My grandmother had a full hysterectomy and I remember as a child certain problems she had following hers. Just from her multiple experiences with surgery that left more issues than they prevented or cured, I would never take any surgery lightly and really did not want to lose all of my internal sexual organs w/their corresponding hormones – I told them that I needed time to think about this and immed researched and found out that hysterectomies had become the new tonsillectomies- (when I was a child almost everyone I knew had their tonsils out. My father (an MD) prevented them from doing that to me. I forget what percentage were ultimately deemed unnecessary but it was some crazy high number which I heard about because my family and family friends were mostly MDs. ) Please know that I am NOT saying that surgery is never necessary. And, I wouldn’t let them do it to me without trying to do something on my own first. I immediately got into meditation (I know, it’s hard for me still sometimes because I have a lot of natural energy but yes, it makes a huge difference in the entire central nervous system which affects everything) , juicing- holistic health, Found brilliant energy healers- specifically EFT a little reiki, a nutritional kinesiologist (full disclosure: I used to make fun of all these modalities- seriously I used to make fun of ALL of this, my husband and I both- boy did we change out tune) and most of these cost me nothing. Turned out I knew people who knew people who needed people to practice on and they were very generous with me. I know how fortunate I am.
    The one thing I did pay for was a course in Matrix Energetics where I met someone who no kidding put his hands over, not on, but over my belly and I FELT STUFF MOVING and when I opened my eyes , I could still feel something going on but the guy was long gone and my uterine tumors were now undetectable. I had a flat belly for the first time in months, it was nuts.

    When I went back to my doctor 6 weeks after that last visit and had another scan and she could find nothing her response was “well sometimes things just go away and we don’t know why” – like it was some spontaneous healing that had nothing to do with me changing everything with my diet and seeking out highly recommended energy healers and taking and applying their advice. Here I am over a decade later and no hysterectomy and no cancer.

    I really appreciate this article- I am crazy impressed with this next generation , you know so much more than we did – unfortunately you also have microwave ovens. frankenfood, MSG/additives in virtually everything that isn’t raw- just look up names for hidden MSG and it’ll blow your mind- hypnotic technical devices and electronic tethers that I would never subscribe to except with my husband and kids and even then , they know that I cherish my time meditating and in general, being present (Eckhardt Tolle- whoa) which means NO tech interruptions. I am so friggin impressed w/this article and your replies to the few comments that I have read (and my heart totally goes out to the women who are in recovery mode etc. as I wrote, I know that surgery /drugs can be very necessary to save a life. Anyway, this is the first time that I am writing on something like this in my life. All the Best and Blessings to all of you. Keep on doing the Good Work that you are. Jul (who is writing a book , staying under the radar for now, but thinking I may need to recommend this website to my students once my platform is all set up in 2017.) p.s. Olga has good bras and they are not absurdly expensive like so many out there.

  11. Good read!

    I’m a Naturopath and have found no diary , no flesh foods & ALL organic diet life changing, I also got rid of my own lump in my breast with 400mg of selenium, and a little iodine amazing nutrients for breast tissue.

    natalie | 09.03.2016 | Reply

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