Pilates for Breast Cancer Recovery

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    After breast cancer surgery, the first step of Pilates is the Protective Phase, during which breast cancer survivors begin healing through gentle exercises. The exercises should feel easier and there should be no discomfort after about two weeks. At this point, you are ready to move on to Phase 2: Return to Function exercises. Once you are comfortable with the Phase 1 exercises and medically cleared, add the exercises in Phase 2 to your routine for at least 2 weeks. These exercises include both arm...Read More
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    For breast cancer survivors using Pilates, it is extremely important to pay attention to the Pilates principles. Getting physical exercise is essential to recovery, but overdoing it can cause more harm than good. Make sure you review the principles below before beginning Pilates for breast cancer recovery, and ask for help from a certified Pilates instructor if you need it.   The 9 Pilates Principles These principles guide each Pilates exercise to ensure that they are done correctly and safely....Read More
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    There are three phases of Pilates for breast cancer survivors. The goal of Phase 1, the Protective Phase, is to ensure tissue healing without sacrificing range of motion and flexibility of the chest and arm. In these exercises, only move your arms to shoulder height or 90° and during this phase try to use your affected arm normally to perform daily living tasks such as brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant on, or wiping up your kitchen table. Below are two examples of Pilates exercises for breast...Read More

Meet the Expert!

Naomi Aaronson

Naomi Aaronson, MA, OTR/L, CHT, CPI, is a certified occupational therapist and Pilates instructor, and the developer of the Recovercises program for breast cancer survivors. As an author and presenter at national seminars for health care providers, Aaronson seeks to educate both survivors and professionals about the importance of rehabilitation in recovery. She is the co-creator of the learning CDs Return to Life: Breast Cancer Recovery Using Pilates, Breast Cancer Recovery: On Land and In Water,...

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