It’s breast cancer awareness month. Let’s move through it together.

Cancer. It turns lives upside down and inside out, and even takes them away. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. We look around the studio and see strong, powerful women who will likely have to deal with a positive diagnosis — some who already have.

Despite all the pink that is wonderfully fashionable every October, breast cancer isn’t really a gendered problem. It balloons medical expenses, puts life on hold, and challenges the fabric that holds families together — no matter your sex; men and women alike deal with the ramifications of breast cancer. In fact, mortality rates are higher for men because awareness tends to be lower, so detection happens later.

And while daunting, a diagnosis now includes access to more tools and options. Science and medicine are doing remarkable things, and ever-increasing awareness has led to more women and men performing self-exams, catching things early, and giving their bodies plenty of time to respond, react, and recover.  At Tone, we’re available to help clients with the recovery part, offering specialized training to help survivors deal with their very specific circumstances and needs.

If you are working with a breast cancer diagnosis, exercise might not be your top priority… but the truth is, exercise can help jumpstart your recovery and help you avoid certain setbacks. Our clients come to us for a wide range of movement practices, from yoga to pilates, boxing to dance, but it’s tough to do anything when you’re physically and emotionally exhausted.

Exercise to Recover.

With its focus on alignment and core strength, pilates is a great discipline for improving posture and reshaping body mass. And honestly, sitting up straight, taking mindful breaths, feeling strong, can go a long way toward boosting self-esteem and confidence. Pilates can also help survivors regain range of motion throughout the chest and arms. Lymphedema is a real threat for survivors, but movement like you’ll find in pilates can help to keep lymph fluid moving through the body.

If you’re just starting out and need to take it easy, we recommend private pilates sessions. It’s an opportunity to slow down and get the attention you need. Our teachers are well-versed in modifications for Lymphedema and will work with you to assess your fitness level and build a program that’s aimed at developing strength, improving dynamic movement, and getting you back to feeling healthy. This isn’t a race. It’ll take time, but know that Tone is here to help you get there.

Some other thoughts as you (or a loved one) approach recovery after successful cancer treatment:

  • Dress comfortably, especially if you’ve had a lumpectomy or mastectomy.  Clothes that you can easily move in.
  • You set the pace. Don’t worry about a breakneck training regimen.  Work with your teacher to develop a program that suits your needs and gets you stronger.
  • We move to feel, and you might feel a lot. Don’t be afraid of letting that emotion out… we’re right here with you.

If you’re a breast cancer survivor, stop by Tone. We’d be honored to help you get back to where you need to be, and we really like hugs. Let’s move through it together.

**This month, schedule a private pilates session and receive a complementary kinesiotaping for lymphedema within your session.

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