Wide Angle – Arms Extended: Breast Cancer Yoga Pose

It is supported and endorsed in many research communities that yoga has a tremendous positive impact on our physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual well-being. Fearful thoughts associated with breast cancer often prompts us to research every possible alternative or integrated self care option. Yoga is an option that can become a vital aid for us to handle the stressors from treatments, fatigue and depression and from the unknown. Practicing yoga can have better fitness outcomes, less stress and improved biological indicators of future risk of secondary cancers.

Benefits

  • Stretches arm pit chest, biceps, inner forearm
  • Pectoral muscle is widened
  • Opens shoulder joint and improves flexibility
  • Increases circulation and blood flow in chest
  • Strong hip opener and deep twist in inner core
  • Lengthen and strengthen side body and increases vitality
  • Massages lower abdominal organs and glands
  • Develops core steadiness
  • Enhances circulation to chest and shoulders
  • Expands ribs for deeper breathing

Instructions

  1. Begin in a wide stance, legs 3 feet apart with feet parallel.
  2. EXHALE, bend forward onto bolster or yoga blocks (make sure the leg remains anchored).
  3. Begin to roll out bolster so the arms can straighten (make surehips stay over knees and ankles.
  4. INHALE, draw tailbone and spine back so the spine lengthens and the chest comes toward the ground and allow the back bodyto broaden.
  5. EXHALE, lengthen sides of torso
  6. Let your legs and arms support the extension of the spine.
  7. Relax your neck and shoulders
  8. Stay for 5 full breaths, then return back to center.

Remember as you begin to practice yoga poses with awareness, you not only begin to feel better but you will also be able to feel; that is, you become sensitive to everything and everyone around you. As inner awareness expands and deepens both within and outside the body, we  consciously begin to overcome obstacles of fear, pain, anxiety. You can practice yoga in such a way that the practice becomes a much “larger yoga.” Our true nature is revealed through this new sensitivity and awareness. We intuitively begin to discover how to overcome certain obstacles on this journey with breast cancer.

To experience the benefits of yoga for breast cancer, it is essential that you begin with simple, gentle yoga movements. You should also consult a doctor before you begin practicing yoga. It is also necessary that you follow a yogic diet that consists of a mainly vegetarian diet to enhance the benefits of yoga.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Yoga For Lymph Circulation: Arm Under Chest

Breast Cancer Yoga Arm Under Chest Yoga Pose

By:  Breast Cancer Yoga.

A really great way to relieve your shoulder tension and increase Range Of Motion for shoulder joints (frozen shoulder) associated with breast cancer recovery is with a chest extension inflection or better known in the yoga world as a heart opening flowing restorative yoga pose. With this wonderful yoga pose you will open up the heart, fill the lungs from the bottom up, and relieve shoulder tension.

Benefits:

  • Promote lymph circulation around axilla nodes
  • Helps heal scarring muscles and lessens tightness
  • Increases internal rotation and shoulder mobility
  • Strengthens scapula stabilizing muscle
  • Opens and lift chest
  • Increases ROM of shoulder joints – frozen shoulder
  • Increases internal rotation and shoulder mobility.
  • Releases shoulder tension that rounds your shoulders and binds your upper arm

Arms Under Chest Yoga Pose For Breast Cancer

Instructions:

  1. Begin on your back with knees bent in PARTIAL RECLINE. A neck roll or pillow can be used for added comfort.
  2. Lift hips up, slide right arm, palm down underneath lower back so you can see finger tips on left side. STOP IF YOU FEEL PAIN. Lower hips down and extend legs.
  3. Relax – breathe into the right side of upper chest until you feel a release in shoulder muscles.  Once the shoulder relaxes experiment sliding hand up your back towards shoulder blades.
  4. INHALE, left arm up and overhead for bigger additional stretch to breast region.
  5. Flow arm back up and down. When ready hold pose for 3/5 breaths.
  6. EXHALE lower arm back down, lift hips up and release arm from underneath.
  7. Repeat on other arm.

To experience the benefits of yoga for breast cancer, it is essential that you begin with simple, gentle yoga movements. You should also consult a doctor before you begin practicing yoga. It is also necessary that you follow a yogic diet that consists of a mainly vegetarian diet to enhance the benefits of yoga.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Lymphedema After Mastectomy: Learn About Breathing Exercises & Restorative Yoga

It is not unusual for a woman to develop lymphedema after a mastectomy. Lymphedema is a sometimes-painful swelling in the soft tissues.  This can be due to the removal of lymph nodes, scar tissue, strictures, and other factors.

Manual lymph drainage massage is the usual recommended technique to treat this swelling.  It may be surprising to know that another therapy that benefits lymphedema is yoga, especially restorative yoga. When the lymphatic system is at its optimum, it is like a free flowing river, running without obstacles.  However, when the lymph nodes are removed or damaged, that same river meets obstacles and begins to slow down and this creates a pooling of fluids.  This build up in the tissues can cause swelling and inflammation and reduce oxygen in the lymphatic tissues. The white blood cells, or immune soldiers of the body, can be impaired in their function in this situation.  This may increase the risk of infection and create a possible permanent disability.  Edema is often found in the arms and legs, but can be found in other parts of the body.

Knowing how important it is to keep this fluid running like a free flowing river, we need to foster relaxation and gentle movements that encourage its increased flow.  This is especially important after breast surgery or removal of nodes, when it is paramount to undertake new activities to increase impaired lymphatic function.

The need to develop a deeper state of relaxation to counter the mental and physical stress of illness and its treatment is critically important to our health and well-being.

Practicing yoga, especially Restorative Yoga which targets the pectoral area, keeps the fluid moving through the body rather than slowing down and creating a back up.  This benefits the breasts by promoting drainage and healing and creating a sense of safety when expanding the chest.

Practicing Restorative Yoga daily will undo the harmful effects of too much sitting or inactivity.  Starting yoga practice with a knowledgeable Restorative Yoga teacher is as important as wearing a bandage or support garment.

An important thing to understand in your practice of Restorative Yoga is that you must to slow down enough to listen to what your body is telling you.  Any time you overwork your muscles or strain your healing tissues,  you run the risk of fluid build up.

Let this be the yoga practice of self-understanding.

More Great Articles

  1. How Breathing Exercises Can Raise Energy Levels For Breast Cancer Patients
  2. Breathing, Yoga and Cancer
  3. Breast Cancer Breathing Guidelines & Techniques During Exercise
  4. Diaphragmatic Breathing for Cancer Survivors
  5. Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment
  6. Yoga Pose for Breast Cancer – Root Lock KRIYA Breathing
  7. 4 Benefits of Breathing Exercises For Breast Cancer Treatment
  8. Why Start A Breathing Practice For Breast Cancer Recovery? Good Health!

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Get your Heart Pumping Doing the Aerobic Bounce on a Rebounder

aerobic-bounce-for-breast-canvcer-recoveryThe aerobic bounce on a rebounder is a simple yet very beneficial exercise that you can do at the comfort of your own home.  Basically, a rebounder is a smaller version of a trampoline, about three feet in diameter, which is not only fun to use, but can also bring about a lot of health benefits if used correctly.

Doing the aerobic bounce on a rebounder provides you with the chance to maximize the benefits and the fun from using a rebounder.  No time? No worries! The aerobic bounce is easy to do, and it will only take a couple of minutes, which is great if you don’t have that much free time.

How to do the Aerobic Bounce

Here are the steps to do the aerobic bounce:

  1. Warm up by walking in place or performing the health bounce.
  2. Stand on the rebounder, making sure that your feet are shoulder width apart.
  3. Keep the knees aligned with the rest of your legs. However, you should also make sure that your legs are slightly bent.
  4. As far as the actual exercises, the sky is the limit. You can try jogging, running or sprinting in place, twists, and jumping jacks to reap the benefits of the aerobic bounce.
  5. Cool down again by walking in place or doing the health bounce.
  6. Continue doing this for approximately 2 minutes. If you want to challenge yourself, try doing these aerobic movements for 15 to 20 minutes.

The great thing about the aerobic bounce is that you only need to allot a couple of minutes per workout, and the exercises don’t put much stress on your joints. Helpful Tip: If you have concerns with keeping your balance, you can add an exercise bar for more stability.

aerobic-running-on-the-rebounder-for-cancer-recoveryAdding Challenges to the Aerobic Bounce
If you want to add more challenge to your aerobic bounce routine, you can mix things up by adding resistance bands or hand weights.

Benefit from the Force of Gravity
If you continue to do exercises on your rebounder, the gravity acting on your body is twice the norm. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, the aerobic bounce will put a gravitational force equal to 400 pounds on your body.  Just keep in mind that you have to maintain a slight bend on your knees to prevent injuries.

Learning about rebounding is an exciting adventure that can offer you many health benefits, and it is also a lot of fun to bounce around for a couple of minutes.

If you want to learn more about rebounding, visit the Rebounder Zone library and find out how rebounding can transform your life!

Be strong, active, and healthy!

 

Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZoneIf you are ready to start a new, refreshing stage in your battle against breast cancer, start rebounding today with these high quality rebounders. Use discount code VICTORY for 10% off all products in our store.

A life of better health awaits you.

Author: Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZone 

Ready for a Challenge? Check out the Strength Bounce for Cancer Recovery

Strength Bounce Exercise For Cancer PatientsFor most people, the most difficult of all rebounder exercise routines is the strength bounce. This type of bounce is the most difficult for several reasons.

Regardless of its difficulty, the strength bounce can help in building strength and increasing your stamina.

Simple Goal of the Strength Bounce: Jump for the Heavens!

The goal of the strength bounce is to bounce as high as possible. The higher you bounce, the more gravitational pull you will feel, meaning you will be getting the very best of the health benefits from rebounding.

Why is the gravitational pull important? This increased gravitational pull helps you build your strength and stamina.

You should only try out this exercise if you are physically fit and after you have already tried and made the best of the other rebounder exercise routines such as the aerobic bounce and health bounce.

If you are trying out rebounding for the first time, you should not start with this routine. The strength bounce is best if you are an experienced rebounder and can rebound comfortably for 20 minutes or more.

If you are not ready for the Strength Bounce, what are your Alternatives?

Before you try the strength bounce technique, you should try these other routines first:
Aerobic Bounce. This one relies entirely on what your body can do. Some questions to consider are:

  • How fast you want your bounces to be?
  • How high you should go?
  • How much time you would like to devote to this activity?

The aerobic bounce helps build up stamina and strength for more difficult exercises such as the strength bounce.

Health Bounce. This exercise is essentially considered as a warm up or cool down exercise, flushing out toxins and preparing you for more difficult exercises afterwards. This what you need to do:

  • Start by setting your feet a shoulder’s width apart
  • Jump from your trampoline with only your heels leaving the ground.
  • Do this exercise for approximately two minutes in order to get the best results.

You can either wear shoes or go barefoot when training on a trampoline, so choose which one you are more comfortable with.

Why should you Rebound?

There are a plethora of health benefits of rebounding. The most obvious benefits of rebounding include:

  • More energy
  • Improved bone health and density
  • Detoxification of toxins
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased lymph flow

Strenght Bounce & Cancer RecoverySource: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/how-bounce-back
If you want to go further with your workout, you can do several things to add challenge to your rebounding routine, such as:

  • Adding hand weights to increase the gravitational pull on your body
  • Using resistance bands for strength training
  • Increasing your jump pace and overall time of your rebounding workout

Keep in mind that pushing your boundaries should be done in moderation in order to prevent overexertion or even injury.

Ready to Transform your Health?

If you want to learn more about rebounding, visit the Rebounder Zone library and find out how rebounding can transform your life!

Photo source: Featured image, leaping image

Be strong, active, and healthy!

Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZoneIf you are ready to start a new, refreshing stage in your battle against breast cancer, start rebounding today with these high quality rebounders. Use discount code VICTORY for 10% off all products in our store.

A life of better health awaits you.

Author: Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZone 

4 Best Rebounder Exercises For Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema Management

Rebounding For Breast Canvcer Recovery & LymphedemaThe Most Popular Rebounder Workouts

There are several rebounding workouts you can enjoy, depending on your fitness level. These are the four most popular rebounder workouts:

The Health Bounce

The best workout for beginners, the health bounce is a great, low impact way to get your lymph system flowing. The key thing to remember with the health bounce is to keep your feet on the jump mat while you bounce. The health bounce also works best for warms ups and cool downs for more intensive rebounding workouts.

Check out this video to see the Health Bounce in action:

The Aerobic Bounce

The aerobic bounce is exactly how it sounds: a workout that really improves your aerobic capacity. Running in place, trampoline prances, and jumping jacks are all fair game for the aerobic bounce.

Check out this video to see the Aerobic Bounce in action:

The Strength Bounce

To perform the strength bounce, simply bounce as high as you can go. Best for intermediate to advanced rebounding enthusiasts, the strength bounce helps build incredible strength. The higher you are able to bounce, the more gravitational pull, or G-Force, you will experience on your body.

The bottom line: The higher you jump with the strength bounce, the stronger you will become.

The Sitting Bounce

If you don’t have a very high level of fitness due to injury, illness, or advanced age, the sitting bounce might be best for you. You will need one other person to properly perform the sitting bounce. First, sit on the rebounder. Second, your partner should stand directly behind you and gently bounce up and down, which will help you bounce up and down as a result. To further develop your core strength with the sitting bounce, try leaning back, extending your arms, or using your arms to help you bounce.

Check out this video to see the sitting bounce in action:

What Else Should I Know about Rebounding?
Safety Precautions: As with any exercise, safety should be your first priority. Some tips to stay safe while enjoying your rebound workout:

  1. If needed, use a stability bar to aid you with balance while bouncing
  2. Make sure your rebounder supports your weight. You should be able to get this information from the manufacturer. Some rebounder trampolines can only support up to three hundred pounds, while other rebounder models can support more than three hundred pounds
  3. You should wear loose fitting clothing to allow for optimal lymph flow, but make sure your clothing is not too loose so that you are not at risk for tripping over your clothing!

Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZoneIf you are ready to start a new, refreshing stage in your battle against breast cancer, start rebounding today with these high quality rebounders. Use discount code VICTORY for 10% off all products in our store.

A life of better health awaits you.

Author: Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZone 

 

What Happens When Cancerous Cells Move Into Your Lymph System?

What Happens When Cancerous Cells Move into your Lymph System?When cancer cells break away from the main tumor, there’s a great possibility that they will become stuck to nearby lymph nodes. This is why doctors usually check the lymph nodes first when figuring out how far cancer has grown or spread.

When the cancerous cells make contact with the lymph node, they may divide and perform a tumor at the site of the lymph node. When doctors examine the lymph nodes and find evidence of metastases (especially in lymph nodes near the primary tumor), this is an indicator that metastasis exists in distant organs and often helps doctors make prognoses.

Proper lymph drainage lowers your risk of developing cancer, as it ensures proper removal of abnormal, cancerous cells and prevents metastasis.

The Key Takeaway: When cancer cells break away from the main tumor, they can travel through other parts of the body via the lymph system. When transported via the lymph system, cancerous cells may end up in your lymph nodes, where most are killed but one or two may settle and grow into new tumors, leading to metastasis.

So, before I move into how you can strengthen your lymph system and slow down the spread of cancer, time for a quick review!

You now know:

  1. The lymph system is critical for your body’s defense against harmful toxins and bacteria.
  2. Cancerous cells can move through your body via the lymph system, leading to the possibility of metastasis.
  3. Proper lymph drainage ensures cancer prevention and prevention of the spread of cancerous cells, or metastasis.

Now, from point 3 above, it should follow that a healthy, well-functioning lymph system is crucial for cancer prevention and metastasis.

Let’s go into how you can boost and invigorate your lymph system so that it is on top of its game when you need it.

How Can you Boost your Lymphatic System?

There are three ways you can boost your lymph system:
1.) Proper Nutrition Boosts your Lymph SystemProper Nutrition Boosts your Lymph System

  • Certain foods can improve lymphatic flow, including:
  • Citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit
  • Berries, specifically cranberries
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Chia, hemp, and flax
  • Herbs and spices such as black pepper, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric
  • Seaweed and algae

There are also foods that you should avoid, including:

  • Dairy foods
  • Processed foods
  • Sugary foods
  • Oily foods

2.) Development of Positive Habits for a Healthy Lymph SystemDevelopment of Positive Habits for a Healthy Lymph System

There are some habits that can produce a positive impact on your lymph system (and prevent the development and spread of cancer):

  • Wear bras less frequently (very important for breast cancer) – Clothing that constricts body parts can interfere with lymph flow and drainage
  • Get regular massages – Massages are great for stimulating lymph drainage
  • Properly hydrate your body – Drinking water helps your lymph flow along with flow in other major bodily systems. Forget the eight glasses of water everyday rule. Shoot for drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh two hundred pounds, drink one hundred ounces of water.
  • Breathe deep! – Fill your lungs completely and don’t move your shoulders
  • Swish oil in your mouth – Swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth clears your sinuses which helps with lymph flow
  • Attain proper alignment in your body with chiropractic care – Proper alignment in your body helps with better drainage of fluid
  • Take advantage of regular spa days – Time in a sauna is a great way to remove toxins from your body, which revs up your lymph system, too
  • Enjoy a clay bath – Clay baths provide a great way for you to detox and enjoy a thorough skin cleanse, both of which are helpful for your lymph system
  • Hold your liver sacred – your liver produces lymph, which is critical for the rest of your lymph system
  • Experiment with dry skin brushing – rubbing a dry brush across your body opens up skin pores and, as a result, stimulates your lymph system.

3.) The most important habit you can adopt? Get moving and exercise! Your lymph system doesn’t have a pump to stimulate lymph movement; therefore, you have to get that lymph moving manually. The best way to do this is via exercise, but not just any exercise.

Learn more below:

Get Moving to Boost your Lymph Flow

Any vertically oriented exercise is best for your lymph system. So, your go to exercises should be downward dogs, jumping jacks, or headstands. Certain physical limitations, however, can make these types of exercises uncomfortable, painful, or even impossible. For these reasons, bouncing on a trampoline, or rebounding, is the most effective workout you can give your lymph system. Check out the next section to learn why.

The Best Exercise for your Lymphatic System: Rebounding!

What is Rebounding? Rebounding increases the flow of oxygen to all cells in your body, and the exercise can help you become healthier, stronger, and help your body become more capable of effectively fighting disease.The Best Exercise for your Lymphatic System- Rebounding!

What Equipment is Needed to Rebound? All you need is a high quality rebounder trampoline, or exercise trampoline, to rebound! If you need more stability during your bounces, you can also purchase a stability bar with most rebounder models. For more info on what to look for when shopping for a rebounder, check out this detailed rebounder trampoline buyer’s guide.

How do I Use the Rebounder During my Workouts? There are several rebounding workouts you can enjoy, depending on your fitness level. These are the four most popular rebounder workouts:

The Sitting Bounce

If you don’t have a very high level of fitness due to injury, illness, or advanced age, the sitting bounce might be best for you. You will need one other person to properly perform the sitting bounce. First, sit on the rebounder. Second, your partner should stand directly behind you and gently bounce up and down, which will help you bounce up and down. To further develop your core strength with the sitting bounce, try leaning back, extending your arms, or using your arms to help you bounce.

Check out this video to see the sitting bounce in action:

Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZoneIf you are ready to start a new, refreshing stage in your battle against breast cancer, start rebounding today with these high quality rebounders. Use discount code VICTORY for 10% off all products in our store.

A life of better health awaits you.

Author: Leonard Parker, Owner of RebounderZone 

Breast Cancer Lymphedema Etiquette

Lymphedema Etiquette

Etiquette Schmetiquette…or “So What’s Up with Your Arm?”

Lesley Ronson Brown – Certified Yoga Teacher.

One day I was walking though our local city hall and I heard a voice behind me shouting, “Oh!  Breast Cancer, huh?!”  The shouter loped up beside me, pointed at my compression sleeve-clad arm and loudly jabbered away about breast cancer.  I was speechless and could only stare at her as I kept walking.  Faster and faster.  I felt invaded, stunned, violated and angry. While I am very open and happy to talk about my breast cancer and lymphedema experience, I prefer to do it on my own terms.  In a more select venue.  Without shouting.  Like on a blog.

People still ask about my sleeved arm, but usually in a quieter manner. It is similar to being pregnant when everyone has to make a comment or ask a question.  When are you due?  Is it your first one?  How’s that morning sickness?  While this can feel intrusive and sometimes annoying, at least it is about what is usually a joyful event.  And no one has to point and ask, “What happened to your belly?”  I think they know.

So how do we answer these questions?  I won’t even type what I often think to say!  Though I will share my favorite comeback with you:   “I bitch slapped someone.”
The poor man who asked about my arm looked so horrified that I felt badly.  But it did shut him up.  He asked me no more questions.  He backed away from me.  I felt a surge of empowerment, which was nice, because dealing with major illnesses can make us feel powerless or resigned.

Like anything that hurts, time can be a great healer.  Getting used to wearing our compression sleeves or bandages is a big help in how we present ourselves to others. I felt awkward and self-conscious when I first began wearing my sleeve which contributed to the distress I felt from the city hall shouter.  Today I might have put my hand on her arm to quell her comments and said, “I beg your pardon?” with a Maggie Smith-look that would let her know that no more comments are welcome.  Now I usually say,  “I had surgery which caused my arm to swell and this compresses it to keep the swelling down.”  I find this simple answer works best.  People don’t usually ask what type of surgery it was.  And their look of curiosity and concern lessens even more when I add, “But it doesn’t hurt!”  They actually seem relieved.

I like to wear colorful sleeves, often with patterns, that I use like fashion accessories.  When I do this, I move with more joy and lightheartedness which keeps people focused on me vs. just my arm.  People think I am very hip and have a full arm tattoo!  In fact, I get more questions about my arm when I wear the plain beige ones, since they look more bandage-like. I still wear the plain ones, too; it depends on my outfit. Like all fashion, it is the solid dark black sleeve or smaller prints that make my arm look the slimmest.  The larger prints can be quite fun, but not so slimming. If you don’t have access to try on different sleeves, try on a pair of solid dark pants in a retail store and then a pair with a large red hibiscus on your rear end.  You’ll see what I’m talking about!  But a slim looking arm is not the most important thing.  Wear what you feel best in and what will bring you good health.  That is what is important.
Lymphedema Yoga
Wearing fun sleeves helps, but it is yoga that helps me reach into myself and develop skills to handle things like this and other life situations.  How we handle dealing with cancer or lymphedema is how we handle everything in our lives.  If we look at things positively, yoga helps us maintain the equilibrium that comes with a positive outlook. If we look at things negatively, yoga can move us in a more positive direction. Yoga helps us feel connected, which helps us feel better about everything.  When we feel disconnected, we are not grounded and have nothing to hang onto. That does not feel good, so we act in ways that do not benefit us or the people around us.  Deep yoga breathing and asana can ground us and return us to a sense of calm and well being.  Do it!

About Lesley Ronson Brown is a two-time breast cancer survivor and a three-time lymph node cancer survivor.  She has had lymphedema since 2011 and has learned how to manage it through traditional and complementary therapies.  Lesley is a certified Yoga teacher, with a specialty certification in Restorative Yoga, and has taught for more than 15 years.  She also is certified in Pilates and Group Fitness Exercise.

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