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Breast Self-Exam - by Susun Weed

One self-help technique available to any woman concerned about breast cancer is monthly breast self-exam (BSE). You can add this exam to your established breast self-massage routine. Or you can learn it first and then add breast self-massage. The two techniques work wonderfully together, as well as alone, because both encourage us to focus our attention on our breasts.


Breast cancer causes distinct changes in the breast tissue. When we observe our breasts as closely as we do our faces, and touch them as often, these changes are more obvious. Combined with journeys to the Wise Healer Within (who can alert you to microscopic cellular changes before they can be seen or felt), breast self-exam can provide extremely early detection of cancer, giving you time to take appropriate action to reverse those changes with non-invasive natural remedies.


Women doing breast self-exam with attention and consistency can find cancers as small as one-eighth of an inch and locate masses that may be undetectable otherwise. As many as one-third of all breast cancers found by women couldn’t be imaged by a mammogram. This is especially true of younger women whose denser breast tissues obscure small lumps to the x-ray “eyes” - but not to the touch. Whether you choose to have regular screening mammograms or not, an important aspect of breast health is touching your breasts regularly. Mammograms can’t take the place of knowing your own breasts, whether through breast self-massage, breast self-exam, or a combination of the two.


Before we can notice changes, we have to know what our breasts look and feel like; and that’s what BSE is about. It gives us a format for knowing our breasts intimately; it helps us gauge what’s personally normal and what needs attention. It’s more accurate, and much more affirming, to think of breast self-exam as being about getting to know your breasts, not about trying to find cancer.


Positions for Breast Self Exam

Affirmations by Clove


In positions 1–6 you are looking at your breasts in a mirror, first standing still, then turning slowly from side to side. The best light is from the side rather than overhead.


Position 1: Look


Stand in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides.

I see myself, a beautiful goddess.


Position 2: Look


Stretch both arms over your head.

I welcome the healing rays of the heavens.


Position 3: Look


Clasp your hands and bring them down behind your head; push your elbows back hard.

I open my heart and my lungs.


Position 4: Look


Push your palms together hard in front of your forehead.

My body is strong and healthy.


Position 5: Look


Bend from the hips until your nipples point down. You can rest your hands on your knees or a wall.

My breasts receive the healing rays of the Great Mother, the Earth.


Position 6: Look


Put your hands on your hips (fingers pointing down) and push down hard.

I am woman, the source of life, creating my own life.


Position 7: Touch


Sit in a bath or on a bed and lean back, or stand in the shower. Raise your right arm and put your hand behind your head. Use a spiral, clock, or row pattern and three levels of touch to explore your right breast thoroughly with your left hand. Change sides; touch your left breast with your right fingerpads.


Position 8a: Touch


Lie down and relax. Place a pillow under your right shoulder. Bring your right arm up and tuck it under your head. Bend your knees and roll slightly to the left until your right nipple points up. Using an orange segment or row pattern, touch the outer half of your right breast. Continue with 8b before switching sides.


Position 8b: Touch


Keeping your hand firmly in place, roll onto your back and examine the inner half of your breast, using the same pattern. Repeat 8a and 8b on your left breast.


Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health.


Visit her site  for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more or contact her at:

Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax:  1-845-246-8081

For permission to reprint this article, contact us at:


Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.




Browse the publishing site - Ash Tree Publishing - to learn more about her alternative health books.


Venture into the NEW Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

Or Join the Forum! Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Forum - an open space for discussion. Make yourself at home, post a message or start a discussion. This place is for you to share your questions, concerns, and comments with other wise women like you. Take a moment to register and become part of the community. Enjoy!


Susun Weed’s books include:


Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $11.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

Healing Wise 

Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $17.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing


New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $16.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on menopause, visit the site.

Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $14.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on Breast Health, visit Susun's Breast Health site.

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