Calm.Steady.Strong: Building Awareness

These tips and strategies are designed specifically for people who have been diagnosed with cancer or are just finishing treatment. They may also be interesting to those of you who are assisting a loved one or a friend coping with the challenges of cancer.

They are based on the same principles that have I have taught my clients to help them move through treatment, and in post treatment as they picked up the pieces to recreate their lives.

Whether you are looking to:

  1. feel more calm and less worry
  2. reduce chemo fog, reduce or avoid lymphodema or urinary leakage
  3. get back into meaningful activity like a regular yoga class, or back to running, cycling, skiing, swimming or other activity
  4. start a meditation practice
  5. or plain and simple, just feel better – these principles have helped hundreds of people. I believe they will help you too.

Each tip or strategy will involve a practice that will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

Don’t worry if you can’t practice right away. Do make time though. If you take the time and practice consistently you will see changes.

I am looking forward to guiding you on this journey.


Tip Number 1: Building Awareness

Perhaps the most fundamental idea is that before any movement, breathing or stillness practice, take a moment and settle. Feel yourself breathing, and continuing to breathe as best as you can as you move into and out of movements. As you practice, move in the range of motion that doesn’t increase pain. This can be difficult to distinguish, so to help, try this – if you are holding your breath, clenching your jaw, scrunching your face, or holding extra tension while you are moving, then you are moving too far and/or too fast. Ease out of the position and find that sense of breath again.

The points above will support you moving in the range that is actually available today. They honour your tissue where it is at, reducing the possibility of increasing lymphodema, while improving mobility, coordination, control and strength.


Your Exploration: Awareness

As you are driving, making dinner, out for a walk, doing yoga, or other activity, notice if you are holding your breath, clenching your jaw, and/or scrunching your face. Then, only move as fast or as far as you don’t have to hold your breath, clench your jaw, or scrunch your face. What do you notice?

Have fun exploring.