While vacationing at her son’s Florida home in February 2014, Vita O’Kane found it impossible to enjoy her midwinter getaway because of her nonstop cough.
In my health coaching practice, I consult with women who want to exercise but have health issues that make them uncertain as to how much they should do. Recently I had a client who said, “I am recovering from breast cancer. I finished my chemotherapy a few weeks ago and though I still feel weak, I was wondering if I should start exercising again?”
Fuel to the fire, alcohol to estrogen..… Alcohol is a cause of breast cancer. There is no such thing as a little poison, poison in moderation. Poison is poison. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Let’s please be aware of the realities of alcohol – the studies on alcohol and breast cancer make it clear, alcohol is NOT our friend. One in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer.
In 2016, there are expected to be 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 61,000 new cases of ductal breast carcinoma in situ (DCIS). More than 2.8 million individuals have survived breast cancer. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women other than skin cancer.
One of the most important, if not THE most important part of recovery from the debilitating side-effects of breast cancer surgery and treatment is correcting postural deviations that are the result of muscle imbalances. We must re-educate the body to restore its’ normal balance.
It took 25 years but the number of research studies has accelerated and a body of evidence has accumulated that supports the concept that exercise and fitness is integral to health. The research shows that there is a connection between fitness and longevity and that regular exercise can help prevent and/or manage virtually every health issue.
With the recent push for getting everybody moving, for some, Health Screening, Exercise Testing, Exercise Prescription as well as Fitness Programming are all areas where professional guidance may be necessary. The knowledge and experience of multiple Healthcare and Fitness Professionals combined provides a holistic approach for a lifetime of optimal health and well-being.
As an Occupational Therapist, many patients come to me who are in pain and are suffering from a variety of issues including breast cancer, repetitive stress injuries, musculoskeletal problems, and back pain. I use both Yoga and Pilates in my practice Integrated Mind and Body in Boston for relaxation, and to help prepare patients physically and psychologically for the treatments that I offer.
Pilates training can be an excellent way to achieve the postural re-education and muscle-balancing necessary to recover from the side effects of breast cancer treatment. Pilates can help alleviate pain from breast cancer operative procedures, restore joint mobility and tissue integrity, and help regain lost strength. Most importantly, Pilates can be a gateway for a true “Return to Life” for many women, as the title of Joseph Pilates’ popular book states. However, Pilates instructors should be on the lookout for some often coincident injuries that will require additional special knowledge about the shoulder complex in order to work safely and effectively with the growing population of breast cancer survivors.