Building your Self-Care program after a mastectomy


Have you got less arm movement than before surgery?

Does your chest feel tight?

Have you had radiotherapy or nodes removed?

Are you confident in your ability to care for these changes over the next months and years?

BUILD CONFIDENCE in self-care: it’s empowering.

Research tells us that these problems might not go away with time, however, I know from my clinical practice over the last 30 years that improvements can be gained with a range of hands-on treatment methods.

You can learn the safe and effective techniques I’ve used with my patients over the last 20 years, and then be in a position to decide how you’ll build this into your own self-treatment program.

Join this online group training program for women after mastectomy, no implant, or recon, and feel empowered to care for your new body since mastectomy surgery.

This program will be a small group video meetup, where we spend 1.5 hours each week for  EIGHT weeks learning techniques for softening skin, muscles and scar tissue.

You’ll learn to use a range of safe techniques and have the opportunity to select which ones suit you right now and which ones can be built into your self-care program over the next months and year.




To build your self-care program after mastectomy, the first step is to know what choices you have and what self-care treatments suit you best.

This program will introduce you to a range of treatments that I use every day in my clinic and ones that I train my clients to use in their self-care program.

This is an educational program and will be conducted as a small online group. Therefore the training will not provide you with specific self -care treatments for your own personal health and wellness needs.

BUT you will be more informed about the body’s needs and a variety of methods that can be used on the skin and muscles after mastectomy. This will go towards helping you make decisions about your next steps in building your self-care program. An example of a decision you could make at the end of the program would be: I really liked the simplicity of  (self trigger point) and I feel confident that I could use that on an as need basis at home. Now I need to decide who I can approach/find to help develop a program that suits ME!

Online small group training has been effectively used for people managing chronic conditions – so let’s try this method for women who are experiencing chronic movement side effects after mastectomy.

I know that women experience many common skin and scar problems and movement issues after mastectomy.

That’s what makes me confident that a small-group experience can offer a unique life changing opportunity- especially if you didn’t receive this type of information or care at your cancer centre.

We’ll cover:

  1. Using Reach-out-the-Back Test and skin movement testing to guide self-treatment and measure the results of your home program
  2. Review 2-3 ways to get the skin and arm to move more freely
  3. Common trigger points and how to treat tight muscles in your shoulder
  4. Practice best breath patterning and rib positioning
  5. Trial dynamic taping and adapted cupping for chest tightness
  6. Building a Self-treatment program  for cording, seroma  and tight drain scar
  7. Using magnesium foot baths


Each session will have three parts:

  1. Review the background to why the self-care skill is used.
  2. Live demonstrations of each new skill by me and then (group) volunteers.
  3. Time for (group) volunteers to share how their home practices went.


Attending the program sessions and practicing over the 8 weeks is important:

There is much research about making changes in one’s life- and it is all in agreeance- it takes TIME and practice. Each session will offer at least one new skill to practice over the week.

This might take around 15 mins each day or every second day.

Let’s say you have to miss a session or you want to rewatch the session; I record each session and edit out the bits, that may include other group members who don’t want to be in the recording, and make this available only to the group members.


Having the right participants, doing the right thing when it’s online, is essential:

  1. Only women with flat mastectomy will be included* in this video learning program.
  2. The maximum group number will be 10  to allow maximum participation for each participant.
  3. Working at your chest skin will be required for most sessions. We’ll be using Zoom meeting, where your audio and camera access will be under your control: Disrobing during the practice session will be a personal decision, another alternative is to wear a singlet type top or choose to close your camera access during this part of the session.
  4. To ensure privacy to others in the group meeting, please ensure that your screen is not visible by others in your room – your consideration and participation on this point of privacy to other members is essential.

*To ensure the right people will be allowed into the Zoom group meeing, I will connect with each participant before the meeting to confirm each is an appropriate group member ( that means I need you to confirm that you’ve had a mastectomy).

Program Fee:

$ 240 for 8 sessions and includes a self-care kit post-pack.

The self-care kit will include:

  1. A trigger point buddy so you can reach the shoulder muscles easily
  2. An Australian Open tennis ball for your treatment buddy
  3. Your treatment reminder guides (hard copy)
  4. A manual cupping device: a hand-blown glass from Germany, with an easy to squeeze bulb. There are many manual cups available on Ebay- but they differ greatly on the size, shape and how easy the bulb is to squeeze. The German one works well for most people.
  5. Dynamic tape for trial use
  6. Magnesium for your foot bath


When will the program start?

A new program will start every 2nd month.

A day and a time will be selected for the first week of the month.

THE FIRST PROGRAM will commence March 6th ( Saturday) at 9.30 am (Australian Eastern Standard Time)


Can you organize a program for your local breast cancer network?

Yes, connect with Denise Stewart to discuss this idea more.

At least 6 people need to be interested in attending this training- to keep the price as per this program.


ABOUT the program developer and presenter: DENISE STEWART

Denise Stewart is an Occupational therapist, drawn to helping people after breast cancer 30+ years ago.

This interest has led to her developing assessments and treatments for common movement and pain issues experienced after breast cancer surgery. Over the last 2 years, Denise has been training other health professionals to provide scar assessment and treatment services.

Over the last 2 years Denise moved to online training for people wanting to treat their own body after mastectomy or lumpectomy – but were not able to attend the clinic in Brisbane, Australia.

Read more here:







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