By Carla Vercoe

October is breast health awareness month. Preventative methods are becoming more available, and all women should be aware of what they can do to honor their bodies and keep as healthy as possible.

When it comes to breast health, I have been called a pioneer, a survivor, and a breast health advocate. I shared my story, my fears, my hopes, and my dreams. Now I would like to share the top five things I do to keep my breast health in check!

  1. Breast health care and diagnostics. Annual Thermography and monthly breast exams. I actually do a breast check every day as I have an essential oil routine (see below) that I use on my breasts daily, so I am very familiar with every inch of them. Besides my annual checkups with all doctors – ob/gyn, oncologist, PCP, breast surgeon and plastic surgeon – I do a half-body thermography scan. This is a great diagnostic and good to have as a reference point to track what is happening. At Studio BE Pilates we offer screenings quarterly by (October 14th still has some openings.)
  2. Essential oils. As a doTERRA oils wellness advocate, I have my daily routine of oils that I put on my breasts: DDR prime and tangerine. I also take Frankincense oil daily (2 drops under the tongue once or twice per day) Be careful to only ingest oils that you know are of pure therapeutic grade. Not all oils/brands are safe to ingest. In addition to topically applying these oils to my breast, I take gel tabs of DDR Prime and On Guard (to boost my immune system). I also make my own moisturizer with essential oils to ensure that I’m not absorbing any of the many chemicals that pollute most commercial creams and lotions.
  3. Mushroom extracts and supplements. I have always been a proponent of supplements. Recently I have been introduced to the healing powers of mushrooms. It’s said that mushrooms can reduce your chances of getting breast cancer by 64% I take mushroom extract and also drink mushroom teas and coffees.
  4. Proper nutrition, eat only organic, plant-based diet with healthy fats. This should probably be number 1. Always start with nutrition and a healthy gut. I eat lots of leafy green vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds. I am careful not to consume any sugar, and rarely grains. I am also careful with the fruits I choose: apples, berries, watermelon, and citrus. When I drink a green juice, it never has fruit in it. I recently discovered the Instant Pot and have fixed some delicious recipes that the entire family can enjoy.
  5. Exercise and proper sleep. Again…another at the top of the list. I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. I have an oura ring that tracks my sleep habits. It’s an awesome bio-hack (one of my favorite subjects), as it lets you know exactly how you sleep – how much deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, and heart rate variability. To be honest I purchased it thinking I would need to improve my sleep habits, but they have been mostly in the good to great category! And last but not least: EXERCISE!! I try to get some type of exercise 5 days per week. I take two Pilates lessons per week (yes, Pilates teachers take lessons too) and work out with a personal trainer 2-3 days per week. Walking my dogs may not really count as exercise, but it does get me outside doing something in fresh air, which is paramount.

As you can see, I could go on and on about my wellness routine. It is my passion to share health and wellness with whoever will listen. This is merely a small peek into my routine. I have many other items in my arsenal which I am happy to share. Feel free to email [email protected] with any questions.