Our #boobyluv interview series continues with a friend and colleague in chiropractic care, Dr. Karen Beal, a woman who practices the healthy living that she shares with all her clients. Read more about Karen, her passion for women’s health and what she has to add to our conversation about breast health, breast cancer and breast fear. If you have missed any of the #boobyluv interviews so far, see the bottom of this post for links to the wonderful people we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with so far.
Dr. Beal began her pre-chiropractic education at the University of Toronto where she studied the basic sciences courses. After completing her Master of Science degree, Dr. Beal was accepted to the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, New York. After graduating in 1999, Dr. Beal returned to Ajax to establish her practice. Karen is married to John, and they have two children, Ryan and Hilary. They live in north Ajax. Ontario.
Karen visits her chiropractor on a weekly basis to ensure that her nervous system is clear and stress free. Some other foundations which Karen has incorporated into her healthy lifestyle include playing soccer, yoga, jin shin jitsu, homeopathy, spin classes and fitness training. She loves eating locally grown organic and wholesome foods and provides the same for her family. “I love to live the chiropractic lifestyle. Every year, as a family, we decided what we can do to improve our overall health and well-being.” explains Dr. Beal. “I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself, to grow, as well as to live a fun, vibrant life.” Learn more about Dr. Beal by visiting her website.
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 don’t even think about “prevention,” because it implies “preventing disease.” Disease comes when the small imbalances in our bodies and the messages that come with that are ignored. I love to talk about listening to our body’s messages and enhancing health in all areas of life: the nervous system, the mental-emotional system, the physical body, life purpose/higher meaning, nutrition, and relationships.
And why are you passionate about breast health, and women living healthy vibrant lives?
Every part of our body benefits from living a healthy vibrant life, including our breasts. Our heart energy centre is connected to our breasts and therefore our ability to give and receive love. We need this love to heal ourselves and our planet.
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?
Silence around talking about our breasts may be linked to society’s fear of female power. Why wouldn’t we want everyone to feel more loving and powerful? The world would only benefit.
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?
Currently, the main societal thoughts on breast health is reactive and full of fear. If you have breasts, the chance is great that they will one day be sick. Especially if someone in your family has had sick breasts. We check blood, take X-Rays, mammograms, CT, MRI and then we announce the disease that is present. The medical system then uses its powers to destroy the disease. People in turn feel powerless and live in fear of disease. We are inundated with breast disease fear in society.
Then there are the sexual beliefs about breasts. Breasts need to be a certain size and shape to be sexually pleasing. They must be covered in a certain way to avoid inappropriate attention or displayed in a certain way to attract sexual attention.
And beliefs about breastfeeding. You can breastfeed your baby but make sure that nobody sees you do it, because your breasts are sexually attractive. Make sure that nobody knows that you enjoy it because that is sexual perversion. If you breastfeed for too long, that is also sexual perversion. Don’t talk to someone that was unable to or chose not to breastfeed because they will feel shameful.
The societal rules are confusing; fear based and full of untruths.
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?
The true power of our breast health lies in healthy actions and listening to our body’s messages. Actions that bring about breast health are emotionally giving and receiving love, feeding the body with nurturing food and clean water, removing nerve stress with chiropractic adjustments, moving our bodies, providing adequate rest, having fun, finding your purpose in life and sharing it with the world. Your breasts are an expression of love that you give to the world. You have all of the power over their use and purpose. You decide how to cover and display them. You decide whether or not to breastfeed, and for how long. You define their sexual expression and you determine their health.
How has breast health touched your life. In what personal ways are you invested in projects that raise awareness of breast health?
As a doctor of chiropractic, I am dedicated to adjusting spinal subluxations that interfere with nervous system health. Spinal adjustments in the thoracic spine region help to relieve nerve stress and some have reported that this improves the health of breast tissue.
Leave us with a final word. When we say “breasts” you say:
Join us here in the coming weeks for more #boobyluv interviews.
I’m learning how to release the fear and love my breasts with the #boobyluv interview series.