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Pilates is a mind/body exercise technique that stretches and lengthens the body with flowing movements. It is unique because many of the exercises are performed in a gravity- reduced position. This means the exercises are done while laying face up (supine), face down (prone), or on your side. This allows the body to be centered and the spine aligned while putting less stress on the neck and back.
Women undergoing breast cancer treatment often find themselves facing overwhelming fatigue, especially while undergoing chemotherapy. Pilates can offer a gentle, low- impact introduction or re-introduction to exercise that can help women gain or regain strength and endurance. Pilates can also help you to regain a more erect posture because the exercises not only work the postural muscles in the trunk and back but also require you to focus on how your body feels when it is correctly aligned. Doing Pilates properly requires intense concentration—but that concentration can pay off.
Women who have lymph node surgery are at higher risk of developing lymphedema. Women at risk for lymphedema can exercise, but they have to be careful and start using light weights slowly, and then gradually increase the resistance. Since many Pilates exercises are abdominal exercises, they are a natural fit for those concerned about lymphedema. In addition, abdominal exercises can enhance the pumping to the thoracic duct (the main area of lymphatic return for the left side of the neck, left arm, trunk and legs), which can help the flow of lymphatic fluid. The emphasis upon deep breathing and muscular contractions during Pilates may also help propel lymphatic fluid out of the abdominal area and clear the trunk and arm.
Pilates can be performed on special equipment, such as reformers and cadillacs, or on mats. It is wise to work with a specialist who has experience with this equipment.
Natalie is nationally trained to work with breast cancer survivors and uniquely understands the complex needs and goals. Schedule today to feel and move better!
Reseach shows Pilates improves lymphatic drainage, decreases fatigue and improves posture.