Cancer Exercise Therapy with Erin Heath
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Erin visited the clinic for treatment of lymphoedema and I was impressed by her gentle nature and determination to make a difference in the life of people with cancer when asked about what she does. Erin accepted to do an interview with me to be published as a blog on my website. Please find the answers to my questions below:
1. What is it that you do Erin?
As a Cancer Exercise Specialist, I work with clients diagnosed with, or recovering from Cancer. Whilst I am qualified to work with all types of cancer, my preference is working with women diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
I work with women at all stages of their journey from initial diagnosis, post-surgical recovery, active treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation) and after the completion of Oncology treatment.
Appropriately prescribed Cancer Exercise Therapy has been associated with a reduction in the severity of acute side effects during treatment, the safe return to pre-operative range of motion, mitigation of chronic side effects, reduction in the chance of recurrence, increased life expectancy and enhanced quality of life.
2. What is your background?
My background was in management in large organizations however after my own cancer diagnosis I made a career change. I undertook studies in Personal Training, Rehab Training and Pilates in order to qualify to complete an advanced qualification in Cancer Exercise Therapy. I completed my training in 2013 and started my business later the same year.
I have subsequently studied meditation as a complimentary therapy to support my cancer clients.
3. What inspired you to become a Cancer Exercise Therapist?
Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2011 changed the way I thought about personal health and wellbeing. I had not fully understood the importance of nurturing my mind, body, and spirit. When I was diagnosed, I considered myself to be fit and based on traditional thinking, I was making good eating choices. The effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation left my body ravaged. I had no body fat, no muscle mass, no energy – even the simplest of tasks were now difficult!
Determined to not only survive, but to thrive, I researched extensively to understand the important role exercise and nutrition play in cancer recovery and prevention. Finding the Cancer Exercise training Institute in the United States gave me the opportunity to qualify to work in this space. It is my goal to make it known that breast cancer survivors no longer have to accept the many physically debilitating side effects that have traditionally been endured following treatment.
We do not have to accept chronic fatigue, limited range of motion, poor posture, back pain, unmanaged lymphoedema, poor muscle endurance and weight gain – I want to “Empower Cancer Survivors” to be fitter, stronger and find the vitality to live life in the way that they choose!
4. How long have you been practicing?
Since 2013, initially in a home-based studio however I now offer a mobile service. I find that my clients prefer to have me come to their homes particularly when they are undergoing treatment.
5. Where do you practice?
I service all Brisbane suburbs.
6. Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
I find my clients appreciate working with someone who has been on a similar journey and can relate to their circumstances, often they use the first part of our sessions to download feelings and fears they may be reluctant to share with family or friends.
The pre-exercise debrief I conduct allows me to identify any areas of concern that may require the support of allied health services including Management of Lymphodema, treatment of Cording, Oncology Counseling, and other areas of allied health. I am constantly looking to increase my referral network.
Thank you so much for your time answering my questions Erin. You can contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0419 523 485