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"YOGA for breast cancer survivors" Join this Group

Do we have breast cancer survivors here doing Yoga?

By HERWriter Guide February 5, 2011 - 12:11pm

If so, can you tell us if you think it's helping in your recovery or if you think it was an actual natural treatment for it?

Did you do Yoga before, during or after your breast cancer - share your stories!

By October 19, 2011 - 2:30pm

I started yoga about two years after I finished treatment and it has helped me immensely. After a double mastectomy, I was uncertain about my body and myself, really, and yoga has opened me up, physically and spiritually. I denied a lot of my grief, but the physical yoga poses and helped me unleash it. I've also regained faith in the strength of my own body.

October 19, 2011 - 2:30pm
By July 22, 2011 - 3:15pm

Susan, thank you so much for your kind response. I hope that my post will encourage other women to seek out yoga therapy for recovery, and ongoing health. I'd be more than happy to respond individually to anyone who has questions.
Many communities have LiveStrong Cancer Survivorship programs at their local YMCA's. 6-weeks of my 1-on-1 individualized instruction was provided at no cost to me as a survivor, and our Y waives the annual membership fee when I join. There are also some very good beginning and breast cancer yoga videos on YouTube.
Cancer cells cannot survive in an oxygenated environment, and yoga is outstanding for drawing oxygen through the entire body. I understand there are several clinical trials across the country studying the efficacy of yoga as a primary therapy.

July 22, 2011 - 3:15pm
By July 2, 2011 - 4:47pm

I had been practicing yoga for 7 years prior to my lumpectomy and removal of two lymph nodes 2/17/2011. On 3/15/2011, I required a right mastectomy because lumpectomy margins weren't clean. My surgeon shaved a portion of my pectoral muscle and removed scar tissue up from the inside of my armpit in the area of the previous lymph node incision. I experienced a lot of pain, and recovery has been a challenge. Yoga breathing and relaxation techniques were invaluable during both surgeries and recoveries. Even though instinctively I felt that yoga would be the best possible treatment therapy, I was pretty skeptical that I would ever be able to really get back on a mat and do very much. 4 wks after the MX I began a Gentle Yoga class through the Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) here in Boise, ID. With gentle, loving help from an amazing instructor I started to regain some range of motion, but most of all, a feeling of wholeness and empowerment again. In late May, I started working 1-on-1 with a yoga trainer through the LiveStrong Cancer Survivorship Program at the YMCA. I also do water aerobics and water yoga (yes, yoga in the pool - minus a few poses) with another trainer. The water yoga is incredible for balance. Both trainers specialize in care for cancer survivors, so help me work within my limitations, but help me push myself without injury. Every week my range of motion and my strength improves as the facial adhesions are gently broken down. It is so exciting, and encouraging to do many poses now. I'm hoping to regain full strength and mobility soon so that I'm able to return to a normal yoga routine and WHOLENESS. I also participate in a Qigong class for cancer survivors through MSTI.
The relaxation and breathing exercises alone are incredible healing tools and can be done anywhere. I highly encourage yoga therapy for any breast cancer survivor.

July 2, 2011 - 4:47pm

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For over a decade, scientists physicians, and yoga instructors have been studying the therapeutic effects of yoga on cancer survivors. Research studies have focused on quality of life issues, improving symptoms of treatment and palliative care, with very promising results. I am a certified yoga instructor and have been teaching for two years. I knew I wanted to put my focus on helping others with the powerful healing properties yoga has to offer. This past summer I attended an intensive training to learn how to teach yoga to cancer survivors. Since then this has become my passion! I want to help those struck by breast cancer. I'm still searching here in my home town to find a hospital who will allow me to come and teach yoga to these survivors. My hope and wish is that YOGA will someday be a presription, and that our health care system sees the value in yoga.


Milwaukee, WI


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