Fit Friday: Breast Cancer Patients Use Pilates As Therapy
CBS Miami (con't)
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MIAMI (CBS4) – For those women and men, who have come in contact with the scary diagnosis of breast cancer, there is now a program out to help improve their post-operative lifestyle.
Dorothea Green underwent a double mastectomy eight years ago due to breast cancer. Green said the cancer has plagued her as well as her family.
“I have two sisters who have breast cancer. When I was diagnosed, I kind of felt happy because I thought okay now I’ll be the one to sacrifice for my daughters,” said Green. “And then a month later my daughter got breast cancer.”
All of them are now in remission.
“I feel amazing,” said Green. “I feel like I got through something huge and I thank God every day.”
Another way that she got through the pain and discomfort of her surgeries was with Pilates.
“We saw a need in the community. We have clients that come in; we see that women who survive breast cancer, they want to be able to exercise like anyone else but they have limitations and we wanted to be able to provide a place for them that they can rehabilitate,” said Aliza Bixon.
Bixon and Shana Kruger own the only studio in South Florida certified to help post-operative breast cancer patients in their recovery.
Pilates on the Beach is certified in the Pink Ribbon program which focuses on increasing strength, flexibility and through that self-esteem and quality of life.
“I think overall health, it makes me feel flexible. I don’t have any pains, I think the stretching is so good for me, I don’t have any issues with mobility,” said Green. “So for me, it’s been a lifesaver.”
The studios welcome clients of all levels.
Amy Lasko, who had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, is a Pilates newbie.
“I actually haven’t done Pilates before but from the day after my surgery I started with occupational therapy and I can’t stress enough to anybody how important immediately after surgery starting with exercise is,” said Lasko.
She said that the program is fulfilling for the patient as well as the instructors.
“It feels fantastic to be able to give someone confidence and strength and mobility, especially people who think that they’re never going to be able to function in a regular exercise class again,” said Bixon. “Our aim is to help them rehabilitate, yes, but eventually we get them to be part of a regular class,” said Bixon.