August 11, 2006

New exercise class aimed at breast cancer survivors

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Photo by Susan Urmy

The Vanderbilt Breast Center is offering a new class for breast cancer survivors using the ancient Chinese practice of Qi gong (pronounced “chi gung”) to help promote the body's renewal and restoration.

It's called ReNew, and the first class will be held Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. 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.

Qigong is similar to yoga and also incorporates tai chi movements. The practice uses flowing, gentle movement and postures, with special attention to breathing and visualization to help participants achieve a state of relaxed alertness.

“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,” said Woods.

ReNew is open to women following a diagnosis of breast cancer, whether during or after treatment, but a medical assessment is required before participation. The class will run every Thursday. It is a collaboration of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the Vanderbilt Breast Center and the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health, which is expected to formally open this fall.

The class is free for Dayani members and $10 per class for non-members. For more information, call 322-4751 or visit