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Stretching for health

Carrie Hamilton, fighting cancer, will lead therapeutic yoga class for Lodi-area patients, survivors

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Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:00 am

When Carrie Hamilton was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45 in 2005, she went through the standard treatment and given a clean bill of health.

She wasn’t prepared for the stress she would go through when it came back in 2012. At that point, the cancer had metastasized into her bones, lungs and liver.

“You can imagine the anxiety and fear that goes with someone telling you that,” she said.

That was when Hamilton realized that her intermittent experience with yoga was not enough.

“When I had the second diagnosis, I knew I needed tools to help me relieve the anxiety,” she said.

She turned to practicing yoga daily to help cope with her diagnosis and treatments, then began training as an instructor at Now and Zen Yoga Studio in Lodi. She also researched how yoga can benefit cancer patients, and found that it can help relieve the disrupted sleep, stress, fatigue, nausea and pain that often go along with diagnosis and treatments.

On Tuesday, Hamilton will be leading the first-ever therapeutic yoga class for cancer patients and survivors at Now and Zen.

When dealing with a chronic illness, “yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and to endure what cannot be cured,” she said.

Hamilton said that when she went in for a consultation recently, there was no sign of cancer in her liver or lungs and the bone cancer is shrinking. Her doctors are encouraged by her progress.

Hamilton chalks it up to a combination of the medical treatments and the practice of yoga. She said this experience helped her decide that she wanted to inspire other cancer patients.

“Having a sense of hope and quality of life without that fear or regret is so beneficial,” she said.

Tuesday’s class is being held as a part of a week-long campaign organized by the National Foundation for Cancer Research called Stretch to the Cure, which shares the health benefits of yoga and pilates with cancer patients.

The class, taught by Hamilton and Deb Marweg, will focus on incorporating yoga into everyday living. Topics will include when to eat, how to quiet the mind, stretching and moving exercises, dealing with day-to-day challenges and how to focus.

The class will be held from 11:15 a.m. to noon at the studio, 617 Lower Sacramento Road, Suite C1. Admission is free. To register, visit www.nowandzenlodi.com.

Contact Panorama Editor Pam Bauserman at pamelab@lodinews.com.

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