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THE power OF pilates benefits for those in various stages of breast cancer

his physical fitness system which he referred to as Contrology. It puts emphasis on alignment, coordination, and balance as well as breathing, developing a strong core, and strengthening the abdominal area. He also developed exercises that worked to enhance shoulder mobility and strength by working the muscles in the back, focusing particularly on the spine because he thought that was the true indicator of an individual’s health—mind, body, and soul! I N T H E 1 9 2 0 S , J O S E P H P I L AT E S I N T R O D U C E D

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Because breast cancer and treatment may be disruptive to anatomy around the upper chest and shoulders, simply moving one’s arms can cause great pain. Interestingly, in comparison with other exercise methods, Pilates seems to be especially effective for improving upper-limb pain and functionality. Research has also shown that breast cancer survivors are able to stick with proposed programs, suggesting that this is a successful method of exercise for women in various stages of breast cancer. Here are a few other note-worthy bits of information:

Susan Simko is the general manager and a comprehensivelytrained Pilates instructor at Club Pilates located at 146 Mooresville Commons Way, Unit 25, in Mooresville. They can be reached at 980.260.0000 or via mooresville@clubpilates.com.

Pilates improves range of motion, fitness, functional status, and lymphedema as well as emotional aspects such as quality of life, mood, and pain.

Two of the most common symptoms addressed by physical therapists during patient rehabilitation are shoulder and upper body pain … Pilates specialties!

(Information obtained from www.drsusanloveresearch.org. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.)

Cancer treatment often causes overwhelming fatigue, especially while undergoing chemotherapy. Pilates can offer a low-impact introduction (or re-introduction) to exercise that can help women regain their strength.

Pilates can also help achieve a more erect posture … many of the exercises work the postural muscles in the trunk and back and it requires you to focus on how your body feels when properly aligned.

One study on patients with breast cancer showed the levels of adherence to the proposed Pilates programs were generally high (mean adherence of 92.3%). These results indicate that Pilates is a feasible exercise modality that can be performed by patients with breast cancer; and it is something they commit to over the long-term.

Women who are at risk for lymphedema can exercise but they have to be careful. Since many Pilates exercises are abdominal, they are a natural fit for those concerned about lymphedema. w

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WRITER SUSAN SIMKO

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