Therapies – defined

The timeframe and goals of psychotherapy are defined by clients with the help of their therapist. Most people can gain a sense of emotional groundedness and a reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety or stress-level.

Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice created with the intention to help anyone who practices it find  relief from suffering of the mind, the body and the spirit.  The object of meditation is to learn to work with our busy minds so that we can begin to live more in the present moment rather than be driven by our almost constant thoughts about the past or the future.  It is our wild minds that often contribute most to our suffering.  By learning to tame our minds we can begin to let go, relax and discover a sense of inner peace.

The techniques for mindfulness meditation are very simple and can be done by any person of any physical ability.  One may choose from a variety of techniques ranging from following the breath to guided visualization.  For a woman with cancer, meditation can be the missing piece in her healing path which can help her deal with diagnosis, treatment and finally finding meaning in the experience of cancer.  A consistent practice of meditation will result in a more stable mind, body and spirit and can help you answer the question so often asked “why did this happen to me?”

The practice of mindfulness meditation can help to:

  • Calm the mind
  • Reduce fear and anxiety
  • Manage anger
  • Relax the body
  • Decrease physical pain
  • Help with insomnia
  • Connect to the spirit
  • Assist with the death and dying process

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a unique system of exercise that uses slow, flowing movements to reduce stress and promote proper breathing, relaxation and balance. Originating in ancient China, it is taught and practiced today to help increase physical and mental well-being. Tai Chi is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, or the pursuit of balance in all things, integrating an individual’s body, mind and spirit.

It is suitable for all levels of fitness.

The focus in Tai Chi class is on breathing, alignment, weight-shifting and relaxation. The muscles are relaxed, the joints never fully extended or bent, the connective tissues not stretched. Movements are done standing, adjustments made for any knee or hip problems and many moves can be adapted to sitting in a chair.

For participants in the Women and Cancer program, Tai Chi can help:

  • Increase flow and quality of energy moving through the body, helping to decrease fatigue.
  • Strengthen the immune system, which helps the body better heal itself.
  • Promote relaxation, relieve stress and anxiety, through learning how to breath properly and focus on the present moment.
  • Improve body image through increasing ease of movement, flexibility and stamina.
  • Enhance mental clarity, calmness and patience.
  • Increase stamina and help to lower blood pressure.

Yoga

Yoga is an ancient tradition that uses physical postures, breathing practices and relaxation to help people restore themselves to balance and strength. Yoga can provide the committed student with the opportunity to reconnect with the body during or after undergoing treatment for cancer. It is an integrating practice for both body and mind, and has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems and muscle weakness.

If you come to a class, you might start with a Basics or Mellow level yoga class, or perhaps a few individual sessions if you have any significant limitations in your range of motion or in your endurance. A typical class might include:

  • A brief seated centering with breathing and intention setting. We do not speak about this practice from a religious standpoint; you are free to have any belief system.
  • 10-15 minutes of warming up the joints and muscles through dynamic movement.
  • 15-20 minutes of standing postures and breathing practice.
  • 10-15 minutes of seated stretches.
  • 5-8 minutes of guided relaxation and simple meditation practice.

In a one-on-one private session in the studio, you can work on anything you like with the instructor. You may receive instructions for a home practice that can help revitalize and support you even when you cannot come to class.

Alexander Technique

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