Our #boobyluv interview series continues with Dr. Shaelyn Osborn. Here she shares her thoughts on breast wellness.
Dr. Shaelyn Osborn is a chiropractor, wellness doctor, speaker & author. Dr. Osborn has been the wellness expert, delivering quality chiropractic & wellness care in Brantford & surrounding area since 1999. Dr. Osborn has a passion for educating her patients and the community on ways to live healthier and happier lives. With special interest & training in pre-natal and pediatric care, she sees the impact Chiropractic has on the health and wellness of future generations. Her mission is to educate, empower, and inspire as many people as possible to experience their optimal health potential naturally through genuine care and education. Dr. Osborn has co-authored the book “Discover Wellness: How staying healthy can make your life rich”.
It seems like everyone is aware of the pink ribbon campaign and breast cancer awareness activities that take place in October. The messages that proliferate are about coping with a diagnosis, finding a cure. We share a common interest in shifting that conversation to “prevention.” What does prevention mean to you?
I always ask people “what would you do if you found out you were sick / had cancer?” and I get answers like “change my nutrition, exercise, eat clean, quit smoking, avoid sugar…” A lot of very simple lifestyle changes. So the next question I ask is, “then why don’t you do those things to prevent illness / cancer?” Prevention to me is about living a clean lifestyle that encompasses all aspects of health & wellness – physical, mental/emotional well-being and decreasing the chemical stress on our bodies as much as possible. Lifestyle changes such as eating more organic fruits and vegetables, decreasing stress, drinking clean water, detoxifying/cleansing our bodies on a seasonal basis…
We need to do everything we can lifestyle-wise to prevent cancer from having an environment to proliferate – keeping the body in an alkaline state and keeping the immune system functioning optimally. And we can do this by incorporating healthy lifestyle changes.
And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?
I am passionate about everyone living healthy and vibrant lives! But in particular women because of the breast health issue and the number of women who have been affected by breast cancer or have lost loved ones due to breast cancer. From what I’ve seen and read, cancer does not start in the breast. The breast is a dumping ground for toxins, which create an optimal acidic environment for an unchecked aberrant proliferation of cells, which we call cancer. I am passionate about women living natural, healthy, vibrant, holistic lives.
Too often we talk about breasts only in two (maybe three) contexts: female sexuality, usually as it is contained by male sexuality; and when something goes wrong with breast health – namely breast cancer (maybe we talk about breastfeeding, usually when it has been shunned publicly). Why do you think there is a silence around talking about breasts outside of these topics/angles?
I think it’s because we’ve sexualized breasts too much and have ignored their functional purpose. Why do we have breasts? To feed babies! So we can breastfeed! That is the only true purpose of our breasts. They are functional! But we’ve become breast obsessed as a marker of our sexuality as a woman. So when we talk about them, it has become “dirty” or sexual. So we avoid talking about it…
We believe that women are unsure of their breasts, and that for many women, their breasts are a source of fear. Perhaps pink ribbon campaigns are in part responsible for this fear, perhaps there is a fear of the sexuality of breasts, or of the power women can hold. Many women are not used to touching their breasts even. What is your opinion of our culture of breast fear?
I wouldn’t say it’s a breast fear. Fear of cancer, yes. Maybe fear of touching our breasts because we’re afraid we’ll find something. Denial maybe… But I think the real reason we don’t touch our breasts is because it’s perceived as sexual. And this needs to change. A breast self exam is an important part of a daily routine.
Imagine yourself talking with a young girl about body image, body health and growing into a conscientious woman. What would you impart to the conversation of breasts?
I would impart that our sexuality and self worth is not defined by our breasts, their size, their firmness, their youthful appearance. That as women, our bodies change and that includes our breasts. I would impart that one of the most important functions of our breasts is to feed babies and that is a special gift we have as women! It’s a gift! And as a matter of fact, breastfeeding has also been shown to decrease the risk of cancer. Interesting…
I would also impart to them that prevention starts at a young age. Healthy living & healthy lifestyle habits start at a young age. Poor lifestyle choices that we may get away with when we’re younger catch up to us as we age. I would inspire them to make choices that create optimal health and wellness and would educate them as to what natural health & wellness looks like. If we want breasts to be optimally healthy, then the body needs to be optimally healthy. Our breasts are not separate from the rest of our body.
How has breast health touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
We host regulation thermography screenings in our office by Toronto Thermography Centre. This is an important way to detect underlying health issues years before they manifest. We need to look at full body health, not just breast health. One thing that drives me around the bend is when people talk about mammograms & prevention. Mammograms do not prevent! It is “early” detection of a mass. But not early enough! There is already a mass! Prevention is a healthy lifestyle & early detection is being able to find ANY interference with the body’s ability to express optimal health & wellness!
Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:
I say “Self”:
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I’m learning how to release the fear and love my breasts with the #boobyluv interview series.