by Amy Butler
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a great time for us to talk about how important movement is for our bodies in both times of health and sickness. According to breastcancer.org one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes, which means the disease will affect all of us in some way, either with a diagnosis of our own or of someone we love. Early diagnosis is key to survival, but while treatments are more effective today, there still is no actual cure. So, how can we use movement, a natural and beautifully designed aspect of the human body, to support ourselves in the face of a breast cancer diagnosis?
It’s widely known that exercise is key in regaining strength and mobility after surgery and treatment, and it’s no surprise that Pilates is a great way to do this! With a focus on breath work and balanced movement, Pilates is one of the best ways to assist in recovery and help survivors rebuild their self-confidence as they return to normal activity. Check out this article that further explains the benefits of Pilates for survivors.
But why wait until after treatment to begin this commitment to healthy movement?
15 years after her diagnosis and treatment, Laura, one of our lovely clients, continues to advocate for movement before and after breast cancer treatment. After receiving her diagnosis, she asked about the movements and exercises that would be given to her to aid in recovery post surgery. She decided to start those exercises before surgery, hoping to build muscle memory and speed her recovery. Laura knew that only she had the power to move her body and prepare it for upcoming treatment. “It was the only thing I could do. It was empowering,” she noted when thinking back. Although it was a week after surgery before she could walk, she was able (and determined) to start her mobility exercises in bed immediately following surgery. To this day, she will tell anyone who asks her that preparing her body with the proper exercises before treatment, along with immediately continuing that good movement after treatment, made such a huge impact on her recovery. And now, all these years after diagnosis and treatment, if you happen to see Laura at the Pilates studio, you’ll see that empowering combination of strength, flexibility and balance in her movement - it’s unmistakable.
At Nashville Pilates Company, as we engage both survivors and supporters of the fight to find a cure, we hope to spread the word about the importance of early detection and the healing power of movement and Pilates. Want to get involved and join us in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness through some fun movement?? Join our race team for the Race for the Cure on October 28th. Check out our team page where you can sign up to walk or run with us and fundraise! If you’ve never participated in the Race for the Cure, you’re in for a treat! The easy 5k course winds through beautiful Maryland Farms and begins and ends at the Race Village where there are special events, food, and fun for the entire family. You can participate with your kids and even with your dog! Co-founder Barbara Dab will be bringing her sweet Labradoodle Bentley, and he’d love to meet you!