Pilates Used in Cancer RecoveryPosted by Ian Kullhem on Jul 30, 2015
Breast cancer awareness in the United States has skyrocketed in the last 10 years, and rightfully so. 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. While that statistic is discouraging, breast cancer survival rates are at an all time high, between 80-90%. These success rates have encouraged us to look beyond simply treating breast cancer patients – we’re now looking at helping them through a lengthy recovery process.
Traditional Exercise Challenges
Without question, cancer treatment is incredibly hard on the human body. Radiation and chemotherapy come with many physically exhausting side effects, but mastectomies and lumpectomies can leave lasting physical limitations. Many women who find themselves on the other side of cancer treatment often suffer from fatigue, soreness, limited range of motion, stooped posture, poor body image, and lymphedema.
These constant, lingering symptoms make it extremely difficult to move back into an exercise regimen; however, without exercise, making a full recovery will be extremely challenging if not virtually unattainable. Unfortunately, most exercise programs are too strenuous or high-impact to accommodate the slowly recovering body of a cancer survivor. Understandably, this can lead to reluctance to exercise.
Pink Ribbon Pilates Solution
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional exercise. Pilates has become such a useful method for recovering breast cancer survivors that a specific program has been designed for breast cancer survivors. Pilates in the Pines offers Pink Ribbon Pilates – an adaptive Pilates program that is designed to facilitate breast cancer recovery.
Adaptive Program for All Stages
This style of Pilates accommodates bodies that are in all stages of recovery by adapting poses to meet the specific needs of the participant. As each woman’s body responds differently to surgery and treatment, each student will come in with a different range of motion and unique needs. Adaptive Pilates is designed improve flexibility, core strength, functional strength, and range of motion in areas that have been specifically affected by cancer treatment.
Low-Risk, High Benefits
While surgery and scar tissue can leave many women reluctant to return to exercise for fear of pain or damage, Pink Ribbon Pilates is gentle and progresses slowly. Since each pose can be adapted for the physicality of the student, women can come in at any stage of their recovery. This form of Pilates actively works to counteract the build up of scar tissue, tight muscles, and restricted range of motion. It eases the atrophied muscles back into functioning body parts by slowly teaching them to reengage.
Additionally, Pink Ribbon Pilates is aware of the potential pitfalls for recovering breast cancer patients. It specifically incorporates exercises to prevent injury or lymphedema. Because of this, it can be a highly effective method to safely develop atrophied muscles, improve posture, and increase core strength without significantly increasing the risk of further injury.
The Pink Ribbon Pilates program is designed to facilitate physical and emotional recovery from breast cancer treatment and surgery. Patients who become survivors often feel that treatment and/or surgeries have made their bodies foreign and unrecognizable. That’s why Pink Ribbon Pilates is so vital – it is designed to empower survivors to reclaim their bodies, recover their strength, and embrace their full recovery.
If you have any questions about Pink Ribbon Pilates, please don’t hesitate to ask us at Pilates in the Pines. If you are interested in participating in one of our classes, please visit us ahead of time so that you can discuss your specific needs with our instructors. Contact us today for more information at 720-733-9307.