Thursday, March 10, 2016

What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga breathing?
By Naomi Aaronson and Ann Marie Turo
As an Occupational Therapist, many patients come to me who are in pain and are suffering from a variety of issues including breast cancer, repetitive stress injuries, musculoskeletal problems, and back pain. I use both Yoga and Pilates in my practice Integrated Mind and Body in Boston for relaxation, and to help prepare patients physically and psychologically for the treatments that I offer. They are often curious about the breathing and ultimately ask, " What is the difference between Pilates breathing and yoga breathing?"
Pilates breathing is "ribcage breathing" or three-dimensional breathing (breathing to the back and side of the ribcage). The breath is taken in through the nose, and exhaled through pursed lips. The benefits of this type of breathing are many. It relaxes and releases tension in tight chest and shoulder muscles  as the exhale facilitates contraction of the transverse abdominas, multifidi, and pelvic floor. This in turn, activates the lymphatic system clearing the proximal lymph nodes located in the abdominal region.
Pilates is a great modality in working with breast cancer patient especially those who have received mastectomies, lymph node removal or breast reconstruction. The breathing in Pilates helps my clients and patients to "get back in touch with their bodies" and to recruit the correct muscles. They tell me that they feel more relaxed, yet energized at the same time after Pilates.
Yoga Breathing is "belly breathing." In Yoga, the breath is taken in through the nose as the belly expands and then one exhales through the nose as the belly contracts. Yoga breathing helps to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms us when we are in " fight or flight mode." This promotes the relaxation response and allows muscles to lengthen, stretch and relax as it oxygenates the blood.
Both Yoga and Pilates breathing are forms of diaphragmatic breathing and are useful in my practice. However, they work the body in different ways. I use either Pilates or yoga breathing depending on patient needs and what my treatment goals are for that day.
For more information on Pilates breathing for breast cancer recovery please look for the book "Pilates for the Breast Cancer Survivor: A Guide to Recovery, Healing and Wellness”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chair Pilates Video

Chair Pilates is a gentle exercise series designed for people with limited mobility and energy. If you are unable to get down to the floor due to muscle weakness, pain or balance issues, this exercise program is for you. Many of these exercises will help with strengthening the upper back and arms, teach you breathing techniques to help activate the abdominal muscles, and help strengthen your abdominal core. In addition, these exercises may help with common cancer treatment symptoms such as chemo brain, constipation, fatigue, muscle & bone density loss, loss of appetite and depression.The goal of this program is to slowly build up your strength and help make your immune system stronger so the body can better tolerate the side effects of cancer treatment and other chronic conditions.
You will need a chair without arms, small ball or yoga block and a stretchy exercise band of lightweight resistance. Position your body so you are seated at the edge of the chair. As always, please consult with your doctor before starting any exercise routine, especially if you are recovering from surgery. Always go at your own pace and stop if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chair Yoga for Cancer Recovery

Chair yoga is a series of yoga poses that can be done in a chair. If getting down to the floor is difficult or you are working at your desk and need a break, these poses will help stretch your body and energize your body and mind. Cancer patients often experience days of lack of energy and not feeling like moving ones body. Chair yoga may help with increasing your energy, chemo brain, increasing appetite, help with strengthening muscle. The equipment you will need for this series: Chair without arms, yoga block (pillow or small 6” ball). Position your body so you are seated at the edge of the chair.
As always, please consult with your doctor before starting any exercise routine, especially if you are recovering from surgery. Always go at your own pace and stop if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.
Check out the link below!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Coloring Book for Knitters!

What a great idea! A coloring book for knitters! Check out this site!

Bed Top Yoga for Cancer Patients

This is a first in a series of videos we filmed for cancer patients. "Bed Top Yoga".
If you are unable to get out of bed, secondary to weakness or fatigue this is one way to get your self going for the day.
Cancer Wellness TV offers free videos for cancer patients.
Check them out!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pilates for the Breast Cancer Survivor; A Guide to Recovery, Healing and Wellness

Whether you are undergoing therapy for breast cancer or recovering from it, the treatment and disease can leave you feeling weak. Pilates is a safe and effective way to help you get your strength back while fighting chemo brain, lymphedema, fatigue, depression, weight gain, peripheral neuropathy, osteoporosis, and upper extremity impairment. Naomi Aaronson and Anne Marie Turo, occupational therapists and certified Pilates instructors, show you how to build strength, flexibility, and confidence and improve everyday life after breast cancer through Pilates.
This customizable three-phase program allows you to ease back into health at your own pace and challenge yourself as you regain mobility and power. With clear instructions and photos, you'll learn how to use correct posture, form, and alignment to get the most out of your exercise and feel better faster.
  • Simple exercises to improve core and upper body strength
  • A three-phase program to bring you from treatment to full recovery
  • A special routine for recovery from the TRAM Flap procedure
  • Adaptations for every exercise including seating and standing alternatives