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How one-to-one Pilates can benefit women affected by breast cancer

  • · Pilates is proven to help women recover from the effects of breast cancer*
  • · Fatigue, limited range of motion, and even fear of mo
    arm-circles-exerciseving sore areas can make women shy away from exercise
  • · But the right kind of exercise, guided by trained professionals, can help women regain their movement range, improve their balance and coordination, and boost their recovery
  • · In particular, apparatus pilates, which uses specialist equipment to control movement and gradually build up effort, is both relaxing and energising
  • · At Pilates Manchester, we know we need to be guided by our clients, and allow them to set their own pace, and we know that a group class isn’t always the best environment to do this
  • · So, we work with women one-to-one, creating an individual exercise programme that helps each woman recover physically and emotionally from the effects of her treatment
  • · In addition, by building-up strength and range of motion, we help each woman regain independence and resume her normal life

*For example, a research study published in 2017 showed that women who did pilates experienced less swelling (lymphedema) and felt more positive and less anxious than women who didn’t do pilates (Sener HO et al. Journal of Breast Health, 2017; 13(1): 16-22)

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How Yoga can help women recover from breast cancer

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  • · Yoga can help you centre your thoughts and maintain flexibility, but also has benefits specifically for people living with cancer
  • · Women with breast cancer often report physical pain, fatigue, insomnia and poor emotional health, all of which can be improved with yoga*
  • · However, it is important to realise that the benefits of yoga relate to improvements in the symptoms of cancer and are not considered a “treatment” for cancer
  • · In this context, yoga is used to help an individual cope with symptoms and aid in their recovery, while traditional medical practices such as surgery and chemotherapy are used to treat the cancer itself

*For example, a research study published in 2019 reported that 8 weeks of yoga classes improved the physical and emotional health of a group of women with breast cancer (Paysar N et al. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 2019; 42: 103-109)

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What is Breast Cancer?

  • · Breast cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of breast cells
  • · To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how any cancer can develop
  • · Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy
  • · These changes accumulate in our cells as we get older, and so our risk of cancer increases as we age
  • · Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out
  • · But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell
  • · And the faulty cell then gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it and forming a tumour

If you’d like to know more about breast cancer, do look at the Macmillan Cancer Support website

It is important to note that these benefits of yoga, pilates, and rehabilitation relate to improvement in the symptoms of cancer and are not considered a “treatment” or cure for cancer.

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