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New Qigong Class Offered for Renewal, Restoration for Breast Cancer Survivors

A new class for breast cancer survivors, during or after treatment, uses the ancient Chinese practice of qigong as a way to achieve renewal and restoration for women after breast cancer.

The class will be offered on Thursdays at 4 p.m. beginning Aug. 24, 2006, at the Vanderbilt Dayani Health and Wellness Center, It is led by Kathy Woods, M.Ed., a breast cancer survivor and instructor in mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Somewhat similar to the practice of yoga, with which most Americans are more familiar, gigong is a component of Chinese medicine with a history dating back at least 3,000 years. Pronounced “chi gung,” the words mean “energy” (qi) and “working with” (gong).

Qigong uses flowing, gentle movement and postures, special attention to breathing, and visualization to help individuals achieve a state of relaxed alertness. Among the potential benefits:

  • Relaxation and stress management
  • Improved range of motion
  • Increased strength, especially of the body’s “core muscles”
  • Enhanced sense of balance
  • Improve flexibility
  • Increased energy

“The concept of ‘relaxed alertness’ may be unfamiliar,” Woods said. “In our culture, we are used to going 90 to nothing or vegging out in front of the TV, with no in between. Qigong can provide a doorway to this powerful state of relaxed alertness that has many wellness benefits. For women facing a breast cancer diagnosis, it offers an opportunity to regain a sense of control and to renew and restore their bodies, minds and spirits.”

ReNew is open to women following a diagnosis of breast cancer, whether during or after treatment; however, a medical assessment is required before participation.

The class is a collaboration of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the Vanderbilt Breast Center and the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health, expected to open formally in fall of 2006.

The class is free for Dayani members, and, for non-members, $10 per class or $64 for “Medical Class Card” good for eight visits in a one-year period. Limited “scholarships” are available from Vanderbilt-Ingram based on financial need.

To learn more, call (615) 322.4751 or visit www.dayanicenter.org