Frequently Asked Questions on Gentle Recovery for Breast Cancer
Each day's activities vary but you can estimate that you will need only around 20 minutes a day for the first few weeks, working up to 30-40 minutes, four to five days a week as you progress through the programme. The sessions are broken down into 5, 10 or 20 minute chunks so that you can fit them around your busy schedule.
Surgical procedures and treatments vary widely and thus so do recovery times. It is vital that you ask your oncologist when you can start exercising again. Ask them if they are happy for you to start a gentle, yoga-based exercise programme and ask them if there are any exercises / movements you should avoid or be careful with.
This online programme can help you however long you are into your survivorship. It can support you to create a home-based exercise and wellness programme that you enjoy and that takes into account your breast cancer diagnosis and treatments.
The programme can help with any lingering issues you may be experiencing such as shoulder stiffness or weakness, lymphoedema, fatigue, anxiety, osteopenia, osteoporosis, weight gain, depression and much more. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of disease recurrence by up to 50%.
This programme takes into account all of the possible surgery and treatment types including reconstruction with implants in situ. At the beginning of the programme, before the exercise sessions begin there will a specific tutorial for you to watch so that you know the adjustments that you may need to make during the exercise/yoga sessions to keep yourself comfortable and safe.
This programme is suitable for you if you have expanders in place as long as you follow the precautions that I advise you of at the beginning of the programme. Before the exercise sessions begin, there will be a tutorial for you to watch. In these tutorials you will learn adjustments that you may need to make during the exercise / yoga sessions. With expanders in place you will need to ensure minimal pressure is placed on your chest and I will advise you of exercises to avoid.
This programme takes into account the biomechanical changes that will have occurred following reconstruction using your latissimus dorsi muscle (Lats), either on one or both sides. As you are most likely aware the Lats are the largest muscles in your upper body and are responsible for drawing your arm backwards, moving your arm towards your body and moving your arm behind you back (as in the movement involved in doing up your bra strap). It is also used to stabilize your shoulder blades when you move your arms. This muscle is now on the front of your body and without gentle and slowly progressed exercise and postural awareness can cause muscle imbalance and this can in turn cause pain and dysfunction of your shoulder and other joints and muscles.
At the beginning of the programme, before the exercise sessions begin, I will provide a tutorial specific for this kind of reconstruction and I will advise you on adjustments that you may need to make during the exercise / yoga sessions to keep you safe and assist in your rehabilitation.
This programme takes into account the biomechanical changes that will have occurred after having this kind of reconstructive surgery. Having the rectus abdominus (your 6-pack) muscle relocated to your chest for your breast reconstruction means that it will no longer be able to perform its original function; flexing the trunk forwards and working as an important postural muscle.
At the beginning of the programme, before the exercise sessions begin, I will guide you through a specific tutorial to advise you of how to keep your exercise sessions safe. I will offer guidance on how to make the most of the programme and how best to support your body to adapt to these post-surgical changes.
This programme takes into account what you have most likely been through when having this form of reconstruction. You most will have a large abdominal scar as well as scars on your chest which have most likely taken a while to heal and hopefully are not painful anymore. There are not any precautions in terms of exercise for this reconstruction type, it's more a case of making sure that all exercises are pain and strain-free.
Ideally, I would prefer to support you with 1-2-1 sessions so that I can give you a more tailor-made programme and can offer feed-back and keep an eye on your form virtual sessions.
This programme takes into account all of the possible surgery and treatment types. If you have had a lumpectomy / local excision there are not any precautions or contraindications in terms of returning to exercise, you just need to be sure to keep all exercises pain and strain-free.
You don't need to be flexible at all to get the many benefits that yoga offers. All you need is to be able to move from sitting to standing with relative ease and be willing to have a go and to take time for some self-care.
You don't need any yoga experience. We will start with the basics and gently progress.
This programme has been designed for everyone who has been through treatment for breast cancer. This online programme can be a perfect way to return to your practice. We start with the fundamental, foundational work of core strengthening and postural alignment before we progress to whole body conditioning. I will also be able to advise on how to adapt your practice following a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
For example, we will progress in a measured and gentle way in terms of upper limb strengthening to reduce the risk of lymphoedema or limit its progression for those who are already suffering with this. This programme may well offer you a new perspective on your yoga practice as you reconnect with your changed or changing body.
This online programme offers a blend of physiotherapy and yoga-inspired an exercises, relaxation sessions and weekly tutorials on topics such a nutrition, sleep, fatigue management, stress management, emotional wellbeing and intimacy. Its so much more than just a "work-out". I believe you will not only 'see' results you will 'feel' them too.
People talk about feeling benefits almost instantly when they become aware of their posture and make positive changes in the way they hold their body in sitting, standing and walking. You should start to feel your core strengthening after a couple of weeks practice and with each progressing week you should feel your whole body become more toned and stronger.
Everyone is different and so this is not a promise but it is what other women before you have experienced. For real and lasting results it’s about your whole being and includes your diet, your sleep, your posture on and off the mat and your emotional wellbeing.
In an ideal world, a yoga bolster, 2 standard-sized yoga blocks (4" x 6" x 9"), eye pillow, yoga mat, dowel (broom stick handle). But it's really ok to improvise using cushions and pillows as bolsters etc. and even 2 kitchen rolls instead of 2 yoga blocks can work!!
You get everything you need to reconnect with your changed or changing body. I will support you to regain a sense of control and confidence in the way your body works, looks and feels. Perfectly created for those of you who have finished your active phase of treatment.
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From the day of purchase, you have 12 months access to your programme.
The program is made up of 12 modules, designed to be progressed at a rate of one module a week. So, with a whole years access, you have lots of time to work through things at your own pace, repeat modules or even the entire program!
This online programme is perfect for you as I will teach you daily lymph drainage exercises that assist your lymph system in draining lymph fluid and thus reduce the risk of lymphoedema.
The physio and yoga-inspired exercise programme starts very gently and progresses in a measured and progressive way which again reduces the risk of lymphoedema whilst very importantly increasing your upper limb strength and reconditioning your whole body.
This programme offers support and guidance in the management of lymphoedema. You will learn daily exercises to assist your lymphatic system with the drainage of the lymph fluid that may well be building up and causing your swelling.The physio and yoga-inspired exercises will help you strengthen your arms in a gentle and progressive way. Studies have shown that increasing your arm strength in a slow and measured way is unlikely to cause worsening of lymphoedema but improve body image, muscle tone and self-confidence and help with weight management.
'Physical Activity and Lymphedema (The PAL Trial): Assessing the safety of progressive strength training in breast cancer survivors' - Kathryn H. Schmitz et al (2009)
If you would like to check out the study follow this link to read more:
This programme is very much a mind-body course, helping to deal with not just the physical impact of a breast cancer diagnosis and its treatments but also addressing the huge mental toll. Feelings of anxiety and depression are unlikely to just disappear once you finish your treatment phase. Women often report feeling alone and unsure of how to take care of their changed and changing bodies. It's also common to feel the shock of suddenly not having the regular support and contact with your medical team and sometimes you can continue to have worries about the cancer recurring. All of these feelings are normal and understandable.
My aim is for this programme to help you to feel supported and cared for once your treatment is finished and your doctor has said its ok for you to start exercising again. Exercise itself can help with feelings of anxiety by boosting our natural 'feel-good' hormones. Getting fitter, stronger and back in to shape can help boost your self-confidence and mood. Regaining a sense of control of your health and wellbeing can also help a lot. I will also offer daily relaxation practices which can really help to reduce your stress levels and also teach breathing techniques and mindfulness practices that can help manage feelings of anxiety and depression and can help you take back a sense of control in moments of stress. This online programme aims to empower you with tools and practices to help you manage anxiety and stress in a healthy way.
The 'Community Tree' is the online hub is where you can connect with other women on the online programme and ask questions and support each other, I will also be there to support you. We are stronger together!!
Obviously, I am not a doctor and if you feel your anxiety or depression is severe and you need more support, please do contact your doctor.
but you will need to stop the programme during your treatment and then you will need to ask your doctor when you can start exercising again following this treatment. It's very much dependent on what your treatment is but always get your doctors consent to start exercising again. I would advise you reset the programme and start from the beginning after prolonged periods of time away from the programme and any major surgeries or treatments, always have your doctors consent to restart a programme of exercise.
This programme is very much about listening to your body, learning to check in on a daily basis to feel what it needs. The online programme is 12 weeks long but you can take as long as you need to move through the course, 8 weeks or 8 months its up to you.
You can take rest whenever you need, maybe just doing the relaxation practice one day or a gentle, short walk, you can re-set and start back at the beginning if you need to. Your programme, your pace.
Frequently Asked Questions for 1-2-1 Gentle Recovery Coaching with India Gooderham
At the moment there is only a pre-recorded online course for women who have completed their treatment for breast cancer but for anyone else I am very happy to offer one-to-one sessions either online or at your home (if that is possible).
You can start coaching sessions once you have completed treatment and you have the OK from your doctor to start exercising.
1-2-1 coaching can help you however long you are into your survivorship. It can support you to create a daily, home-based exercise and wellness self-care programme that you love and that takes into account your previous cancer diagnosis and treatments. Gentle Recovery Coaching can help with any lingering issues you may be experiencing such as joint stiffness, muscle weakness, lymphoedema, fatigue, anxiety, osteopenia, osteoporosis, weight gain, depression and much more. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of disease recurrence from between 20- 50% (depending on cancer type).
Yes. All yoga and exercises will be low impact and will be modified to keep them safe for you. Weight-bearing exercise is such an important self-care method that is really helpful in increasing your bone density and helping you to manage this condition.
Yes. You don’t need to be very mobile or flexible to start your bespoke Gentle Recovery rehabilitation programme and to start feeling the multiple benefits this gentle approach can offer you. I can create a home exercise plan to suit your needs, to start where you are at and progress gently from there. All you need is a willingness to have a go and to take time for some self-care. I will support you to move from just surviving to thriving.
Gentle Recovery coaching can benefit everyone who has been through treatment for cancer. Gentle Recovery coaching could be a perfect way to return to your practice. After an in-depth initial assessment, we will start with the fundamental, foundational work of core strengthening and postural alignment before we progress to whole body conditioning tailored to your specific needs. I will also be able to advise you on how to adapt your practice, taking into accountyour cancer diagnosis treatments and surgeries you may have had. For example, for those of you who have had lymph nodes removed we will progress in a measured and gentle way in terms of strengthening to reduce the risk of lymphoedema or limit its progression for those who are already suffering with this. This programme may well offer you a new perspective on your yoga practice as you reconnect with your changed or changing body.
Gentle Recovery coaching offers an expert-led, mind-body approach to rehabilitation, I will offer you so much more than just a work out. I will support you to create a tailor-made blend of yoga-inspired exercise sessions and relaxation sessions. Education on topics that can help you manage the side-effects of your treatments and support your recovery such as such a nutrition, sleep, fatigue management, stress management, emotional wellbeing and intimacy and much more, we can talk through these topics together as you need and then I can send you these educational materials as pdf documents that you can read and digest at your leisure. I believe you that the daily home self-care practice I help you create will nurture you mind and body and that will mean it’s more likely to become a health-enriching habit that will remain a part of your life-style in for the long-term rather than just a passing fad. Results you can feel, not just see.
In most cases I will recommend sessions once per week. People often talk about feeling benefits almost instantly when they become aware of their posture and start making positive changes in the way they hold their body in sitting, standing and walking. You should start to feel your core strengthening after a couple of weeks practice and with each progressing week you should feel your whole body become more toned and stronger. Everyone is different and so this is not a promise but it is what other people before you have experienced. For real and lasting results, it’s about learning to take real care of your whole being and this includes your diet, your sleep, your posture on and off the mat and of course your emotional wellbeing.
In an ideal world, a yoga bolster, 2 standard-sized yoga blocks (4″ x 6″ x 9″), eye pillow, yoga mat, dowel (broom stick handle). But it's really ok to improvise using cushions and pillows as bolsters etc. and even 2 kitchen rolls instead of 2 yoga blocks can work!!
Your initial assessment will last, on average 75 mins, and I will get an in-depth understanding of your medical past history, your current condition, pre-existing medical conditions, medications etc. As well as a physical assessment where I will have a look at your posture, joint movement, balanceetc. (this can be done virtually and is best done in shorts and a t-shirt; however you feel most comfortable). This assessment will help set a baseline measure for us to work from, and using this valuable information I will create a bespoke programme for you. Subsequent sessions last, on average 60 minutes. Each week I will teach you a gentle, progressive, yoga-based exercise sequence that we will practice together and then after the session I will send to you as a pdf so that you can continue with it independently at home. I will also send you a relaxation audio recording that you can enjoy daily. According to your needs I can also share with informative articles I have written to support your recovery on topics such as nutrition, lymphoedema, fatigue management, stress management and much more.
This depends on your needs and your starting point. As we create, develop and progress your home yoga-based exercise programme, checking in once a week it normally takes 6-8 sessions to get you to a point where you have a home exercise and relaxation programme that you can continue with independently. This is an average; everyone’s needs will be different so number of sessions needed vary. It might also suit you to do some sessions together, then to continue independently for a while and then to check in again after a few months and we can progress your exercise plan.