Introduction #2075

Breast Cancer Recovery

5 min - Introduction


Breast cancer is a growing problem around the world, and two of the most common questions for those recovering are, "when can you begin to exercise?" and "what type of exercise should you do?" Kathy Corey addresses these topics with structured program for recovery. She breaks down the process into three phases, so you are able to create a support team for your whole body and spirit.

Please consult with your doctor before beginning any type of program for recovery.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Feb 12, 2015
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Hi, I'm Kathy. Corrine, I'm very, very pleased to be here with you today. A few years ago I was asked to develop a program for breast cancer recovery and this was really done post-surgically and uh, I was asked by my clients and PyLadies teachers as well. This seems to be a growing problem around the world that is shared by many, many people and there is an enormous need for a structured and monitored program that produces long lasting results for full recovery. The most common questions I'm genuinely asked by post-surgical breast cancer people are, would be, when can I start exercising and what exercises should I do? Most doctors and physical therapists will say that within the first couple of days post-surgically you need to begin to do some basic exercises and simple things like brushing your hair, um, eating with the effected arm.

So we really do not have a loss of motion and begin to retain some mobility in our arm and shoulder. Now, some exercises are not going to be appropriate, um, until drains and stitches are removed. And for mastectomy with several of the lymph nodes removed, it may be up to eight weeks before surgery, after surgery, before exercise is recommended. Everyone is different. We have different bodies, we have different surgeries, and we definitely have different approaches from our doctors. The point is we really need to create a support team for our whole bodies, for physically, mentally, um, and our spirit as well in order to really rebuild and come to full recovery. So you need to find the best approach in a way that heals you in all of these different ways.

This program is designed in three different phases, and according to the American Cancer Society, what we want to do is first focus on arm and shoulder mobility and begin maybe just a few days post-surgically. So in our program, we have, in phase one, we recommend that it starts maybe three to five days post-surgically and it's going to focus on your mobility of the arm and the shoulder, breathwork and body awareness. In phase two, which is genuinely two to four weeks post-surgically. We're going to work more on stretching and resistance as well as going deeper into our body alignment and body awareness and then phase three we're going to do more strengthening exercises and it really increase a greater range of motion as well as with all of these programs. We want to make sure that you have, okay if your doctor to begin and make sure you stay with the your doctor's advice as and guidance as you progress along the way.

Now, the length of time for each program, I really want you to think about focusing on the quality of the movement, not the number of weeks that you should be doing. Each programming I find in all fields, especially in field of exercise, people want to jump ahead. They want to do the advanced work before they really have learned on how to perform the movements properly, so it's the quality of the movement that is the most important, the correct way to perform the exercise from the inside of the body, from our alignment and our body awareness. We have the opportunity at this point to recreate new awareness and to really find out how we are working through our bodies. And this is a really great opportunity to explore our full recovery and to work into health for reconstructive procedures.

You want to check with your doctor because there are many different procedures that involve many different muscles. And so you need to have the guidance and support from your doctors team in order to, um, to work through reconstructive surgeries. If there is any, um, swelling of the breast, arm, hand, trunk, um, any tightness of the chest, uh, any pain, uh, you'll want to call your doctor for that. The point with this program is we want you to increase your range of motion and to get a full recovery. So we really want you to work to the point of discomfort, but never pain and perform fewer repetitions to avoid fatigue.

Rest as you need an honor your body.

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7 people like this.
I'm an instructor, currently in treatment for breast cancer. Pilates really helped me get through chemo, mastectomy /reconstruction.
1 person likes this.
A sincere thank you to Kathy & Pilates anytime for creating this series. Enjoyed this first video. Looking forward to the rest. I'm 8 weeks post mastectomy w reconstruction & 16 weeks post op for lumpectomy & lymph node removal in the same breast. I have an amazing instructor whom I enjoy working. I do private & class sessions with her. Since the private is only once a week, having Pilates Anytime to go to is a great resource to keep my mind / spirits up & rest of my body experiencing some kind of movement even though it's limited. Thanks again!! :)
Thanks for your kind words, Holly. I wish you all the best.
Tracey C
Hi Kathy Corey do I need a special qualification for this? I would LOVE to specialise in helping people with breast cancer. Txx
I teach a 2 day course for teachers. Where are you located? We could possibly set up a course for 2019. It is really gratifying to reach people with this class.
Tracey C
Hi Kathy Corey , unfortunately Im in the UK, cold it on on line training? Tx
Lynn Wise
Hi Kathy Corey , I’m a Pilates teacher in the UK currently having treatment for breast cancer and found this video so helpful a few days post-op. I love the way you have helped me to see this time as one of reconnecting to my own body and nourishing my spirit, rather then getting frustrated about what I can’t yet do. I look forward to your other videos! Lynn x

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