Pink with a Difference by Pia Hughes

YWCA Encore

Encore is a FREE 8 week exercise and information program designed specifically for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their life. It is a YWCA registered Australia-wide program, delivered by women for women who have experienced breast cancer and has been operating for over 31 years.

In line with latest research, the program targets side effects of surgery and treatment through mobility, stretching, aerobic and resistance exercises. The program also offers information through guest speakers, links into local services and an opportunity to connect with women who share a similar experience in a safe, fun and supportive environment.

Utilising both land and water exercises, YWCA Encore improves overall fitness as well as managing side effects associated with breast cancer treatment such as pain, fatigue, loss of mobility and strength. The program can be tailored to each individual, accommodating for all fitness levels. Participation is free, by enrolment only and medical approval is required.

Additionally, the program builds self esteem, assists in relieving stress, restoring a sense of control, reducing the risk of lymphoedema and assisting in the management of lymphoedema.

Weekly structured 2 hour sessions are delivered over 8 consecutive weeks incorporating land and water based exercises, information sharing, take home exercises and peer support. Our speakers cover topics such as nutrition, tai chi, laughter therapy, mind therapy, lymphatic drainage, relaxation techniques, yoga and more.

During 2014 the YWCA Encore program has been successfully delivered and well received by local participants on the Sunshine Coast for the very first time. A growing demand for this unique program will see it being offered again in Noosa and Kawana in 2015.

While there are several other cancer support groups in the community, Encore is the only program that offers support, education and exercise as a package that is accessible by all women who have experienced breast cancer at no charge.

Unlike other States and Territories in Australia, Queensland Health does not fund this valuable program and very limited reimbursement options are available from private health insurance or Medicare for exercise programs, classes or gym memberships. Here on the Sunshine Coast, without the generosity and financial assistance of community grants, corporate sponsorship and fundraiser raffles, delivering this program would not be possible.

If this sounds like the program you are looking for, contact Encore Facilitator Pia Hughes on 0416 926 350 or piahughes8@gmail.com for more information. Pia Hughes would love to hear from anyone interested in becoming a 2015 corporate partner, sponsor or contributor to the sustainability of this program on the Sunshine Coast.

HBliss

Vanessa Finnigan is the founder, editor, publisher of Holistic Bliss Magazine and she also offers multi-media whispering sessions. She has been a freelance writer for 15 years for magazines and a psychologist for 21 years.

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