New Brunswick
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Prince Edward Island

Breast Cancer: Active Body, Calm Mind

No woman is prepared for a breast cancer diagnosis. Some learn that they are at risk without necessarily developing it. Others have survived it and are in remission, hoping to never face a recurrence. No matter the situation, regaining your composure is essential. This will help you take a step back to better assess, understand, and deal with the situation.

The Active Health kinesiology and oncology program includes a relaxation and meditation portion, on top of focusing on physical activity.

“Most of the time, women who are diagnosed feel stressed, and aren’t sure how to deal with the situation—their lives are turned upside down,” notes Myriam Filion, accredited kinesiologist, M.Sc. Her goal with this program: to give them back some control over things that are within their power like their physical and mental wellness, by reducing stress and anxiety.

“Relaxation has many benefits,” explains Filion. She invites women—whether they are at risk, have just been diagnosed, are undergoing treatment, or are in remission from breast cancer—to center themselves, and to focus by doing accessible exercises like breathing and contemplation. Meditation and yoga are useful, but it can be as simple as closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing, and lowering your heart rate. This promotes introspection, and helps you focus on the positive things in your life, as well as draw strength from them to fight the disease. It also leads to a better acceptance of the situation, and doubles your ability to deal with it. Relaxation can also be done through stretching. What’s important is to produce a feeling of wellness through the release of endorphins—the happy hormones.

For the past 10 years, Myriam Filion has worked with women battling breast cancer in the hopes of improving their quality of life through physical activity, and helping them regain a calm state after being active. She holds a bachelor of kinesiology and a master of clinical epidemiology, which has helped her better understand the patient’s path, from diagnosis to remission, as well as through any suggested treatments. Through her implication with the Active Health program, she helps women understand the benefits of physical activity and relaxation. She also strives for a standardization of the practice by kinesiologists. 

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