By Remy Sisk
Although mammography often dominates the breast health conversation, there is a business in Louisville that is elevating thermography into the discourse as well. BRAS Louisville is a franchise of a national organization, and the Louisville location is currently in its seventh year of educating women about preventative measures they can take at home and different ways of staying on top of their health.
BRAS first came into existence when founder Linda Bamber’s mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer within six months of each other. Determined to understand the root cause of the diagnoses, Bamber dove into research and began compiling information on prevention techniques and breast health. She is now a highly regarded expert on breast health and breast cancer prevention.
“The mission of BRAS is to empower women to take control of their own basic preventive breast health care,” relates Chip Gilmour – owner, certified thermographer and naturopath of BRAS Louisville. “So much of Breast Cancer Awareness Month helps women focus on awareness of the issue, but what we want to do is help them understand preventable causes.”
Indeed, following Bamber’s path of discovery, one of the central tenets of BRAS is education. Every client who comes into BRAS receives an education booklet that details preventative measures anyone can take at home. Gilmour attests that one particular woman who followed every single step in fact saw a total reversal of her condition.
In addition to the education, there’s also the thermography aspect of BRAS. “We provide an imaging that’s completely non-invasive – with thermal imaging, there’s no radiation and no compression so it’s not painful, and there are some studies that show that it’s able to detect breast health problems several years earlier than anything else can,” Gilmour contends. “It has the potential to be an earlier warning and allow people to take some preventative measures to intervene and improve their breast health.”
Once a client undergoes the imaging process, BRAS works with a team of doctors who subsequently read and interpret the images: “We do work with medical doctors – we do the imaging and they complete the reports for us. And then we work with our clients based on what they get back,” Gilmour explains. “We go over the images with them and, again, we have a book that talks about breast health ideas and being proactive, and I think that’s made a difference in individuals’ lives for sure.”
There’s also a separate business connected to BRAS called Ancient Paths Naturopathy, which, as Gilmour describes, can take the lifestyle education a step further. “If someone wants to go a little bit deeper into underlying health issues or underlying root causes of why they’re having certain symptoms, we help them get below the surface and figure out what lifestyle changes need to be made and what supplements would be best and things like that,” he says.
Without question, BRAS is bringing education and prevention to the forefront. While its services are varied, it remains dedicated to helping its clients take the right measures to ensure a strong base of knowledge and, consequently, lasting health. VT