I’ve somewhat recently adopted a new ritual- massaging my breasts with Living Libations oil (of course), although coconut/almond oil would be just as fine. Breast health is obviously very important, and self exams can be crucial in detecting abnormalities.

Beyond the health implications though, breast massage is such a powerful way to connect with yourself. I especially love doing it in front of a mirror and making eye contact with myself to intensify the experience. It might sound weird, even if you’re used to touching your own breasts, but something about the ritual + eye contact makes this potentially clinical act feel, well, not so clinical at all.

Here’s what I do: take a few drops of the oil (enough to glide smoothly but not so much as to create an oil slick), warm up my palms, and massage inward and upward in a circular motion, slowly covering the entire chest. I sometimes follow with a quick dry brush of the chest and armpits, to get a bit of lymphatic drainage going. Then, I let the oil absorb as long as I can, and then shower or get dressed. Most important though, I stay focused and attuned to how my breasts feel on a given day, and how they change throughout my cycle.

This is truly an easy, yet mighty way to take care of yourself. Breast massage feels great, helps relieve menstrual breast pain, and above all is an excellent way to develop more awareness and ownership over this much-sexualized and sometimes-shamed part of womxn’s bodies. I hope this inspires others to try it, report back in the comments!

ps- Male readers/non breast owners can touch themselves too! There’s maybe less of a medical impetus, but a chest and armpits massage can’t hurt, just don’t forget the intense eye contact.

Photo credit: Jacques Linard’s Still life of Peaches, Plums and Melon, thebowesmuseum.org.uk