Yoga instructor Judy Siek recently earned a specialty certification to work with individuals affected by cancer. She is now a cancer exercise specialist, a certification given by the Cancer Exercise Training Institute. The certification helps exercise professionals expand their skills and knowledge to better work with cancer patients.
Siek has taught yoga for nearly 20 years and has achieved the highest certifications in yoga, including a 500-hour certification. However, when she started teaching yoga to Waterford Place participants, she wanted to learn more to meet the special needs of cancer patients and survivors.
In earning the certification, Siek gained a better understanding of the affects cancer and cancer treatment have on patients — and of the best exercises for patients, based on their type of cancer. She can now work with patients individually or in small groups to tailor exercise programs to their unique needs, helping them move forward and get stronger. In developing personalized programs, she considers their entire medical history, including treatments and surgery.
At Waterford Place, Siek teaches virtual exercise classes in gentle movement and lymphedema-focused movement. Waterford Place hopes to create a new program in which Siek develops personalized plans for participants.
“My passion is in medical exercise training,” Siek says. “I want to help people feel good — in mind and body — and to include exercise in their daily lives to improve their quality of life.”