Gentle Recovery

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Supporting your Physical and Emotional Wellbeing DURING Breast Cancer Treatment

Gentle movement as medicine during breast cancer treatment

The Gentle Recovery Method was designed by myself, India Gooderham. My background is working as a Physiotherapist in the NHS and I witnessed time and time again that women were receiving high standards of care when it came to treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but when it came to receiving expert guidance and support around emotional wellbeing and exercise during and after treatment this was very limited. My time working in the NHS and my passion for yoga, nature and movement inspired me to develop this method of holistic support to empower people living with cancer with the tools they need to safely support their recovery.

Being treated for breast cancer can often feel like a very passive and disempowering experience with a lot being done TO you, many decisions about your health and wellbeing being made by healthcare professionals.

Gentle Recovery for Breast Cancer is an online, prerecorded programme offering daily yoga sessions, lymph drainage exercises, audio relaxation sessions, educational chapters (all on breast cancer-specific topics) and an online community hub.  Initially designed for women once active treatment ended, this programme was piloted in the NHS. Results from the pilot have been excellent with women reporting that it has supported their recovery emotionally and physically. One thing I heard from many women is that they wished they had been offered the programme earlier in their treatment. This is because treatment can often last for many months to over a year and so many women had had surgery over a year before they started the Gentle Recovery programme. Not having expert guidance sooner meant that many were suffering from joint pain and stiffness and other issues that could well have been prevented.

I have now developed a whole new section to support those of you who have had surgery but are still going on to have further treatments such as chemo or radiotherapy. The current UK guidelines also support ongoing gentle exercise so the programme is in alignment with this. In the “Gentle Recovery, supporting you DURING treatment” section you will find a variety of gentle yoga-based exercise sessions, some can be followed from the comfort of your bed, some can be done sitting in a chair and others are more dynamic with sitting and standing sequences. This variety in options/ intensity of exercise sessions means you can choose what feels right for you day-to-day. Getting outside into nature and walking is the basis of exercise during treatment. I believe movement and nature are medicinal. There are also audio relaxation sessions that are so helpful to support your nervous system which is mostly likely spending much of the time in fight/fight/freeze mode as you journey through often very uncomfortable treatments and experiencing troublesome treatment side-effects. There are guided relaxation audio sessions with beautiful nurturing music that can be listened to during chemotherapy for example, and other tracks that have been donated to the programme by professional artists. Music can be of such comfort during difficult times in our lives and can help us to release stuck emotions, lift our spirits and so much more, I am so happy to be offering this new element to the programme.

I believe movement and nature are medicinal

Things to Think About When Exercising DURING Breast Cancer Treatment


Chemotherapy lowers the number of blood cells in your blood. If your white blood cells are low, you are more at risk of getting an infection. Your cancer doctor might advise you to avoid public places such as swimming pools or gyms until your white blood cells are back to a normal level.

When you have a Central Line or PICC Line

If you have a central or PICC line, avoid swimming because of the risk of infection. You should also avoid vigorous upper body exercises, which could displace your line.


Platelets are cells that help the blood to clot. If your platelets are low, you are more at risk of bruising or bleeding. Your doctor may advise that you take gentle exercise until your platelets recover.


If your red blood cells are very low (anaemia), you will feel very tired and sometimes breathless. Your doctor might ask you to only do day-to-day activities until the anaemia improves.

If you have any concerns about exercise during treatment always consult your medical team.


I know that you are going through a lot at the moment and exercise and mobility may be the last thing on your mind.

Surgery and radiotherapy often cause scaring and stiffness around the shoulder and chest, exercise can help promote tissue healing and minimise the effects on shoulder mobility.

It is often advised that during radiotherapy you continue with gentle arm and shoulder exercises. If you feel up to gentle exercise then it’s great to keep active, as always just keep it comfortable and pain-free.

If you have any concerns about exercise during treatment always consult your medical team.

If you would like more information about how Gentle Recovery could support you as you move through your treatment then please do reach out at or visit my webiste;


India Gooderham

India Gooderham’s background is as a Specialist Physiotherapist working in oncology and palliative care in the UK. She is now working as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Cancer Yoga teacher and is founder of ‘Gentle Recovery’, an online rehabilitation and wellness platform for people affected by cancer. Her mission is to serve, educate and empower people at any stage of their cancer journey through exercise, yoga and wellness online programmes and 1-2-1 online coaching.

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