A Safe Online Rehabilitative Yoga & Pilates Membership Designed To Support You Through All Stages of Your Recovery and Help You Heal Your Body With Ease & Grace.
Did you know that the right exercises can improve your quality of life and possibly decrease your risk of new cancers?
It’s been 1, 2 or 3+ years since your surgery and still you are struggling to start a consistent exercise routine.
You know that exercise is good for you because all the studies out there tell you so. But you’re stuck.
As much as you’d love to feel good, the thought of going back to exercise feels scary.
I don’t blame you, it was the same for me during my recovery … and I’ve been a movement educator, Pilates and Yoga teacher for 25 years!
My mission is to help you regain mobility, flexibility, strength and hope using movement as medicine.
I’m here to help you get back on the mat and on your feet.
Doctors go on and on about how great movement is for cancer recovery and still there are no tried and true regimens they can recommend wholeheartedly.
You can’t bend like a pretzel anymore , do sit ups and have lost all your muscles and endurance. I’ve been there and it is my passion and purpose to help you.
The Heal & Thrive Membership incorporates my own personal rehab recovery program that I designed as I was recovering from Stage 3C ovarian cancer. I literally began creating it from the hospital bed post major surgery!
I had to do it on my own because no other medical professional knew how to help me–it was so frustrating!
This is why I’m here to help you and also teach other movement educators who want to learn how to help their own students/ clients.
Hi, I’m Emilee.
I am a body-mind health coach, movement healer, life coach and 2x cancer thriver. Author of Reclaim Your Strength & Hope, for safely rehabilitating your body after cancer surgery.
My mission is to help cancer survivors reclaim strength & hope and live a better quality of life. I teach movement as medicine and help women get out of physical and emotional pain after a cancer diagnosis.
After my Stage 3C Ovarian cancer surgery, I was frustrated to find limited resources about how to exercise safely with an ostomy. Because I’ve taught Pilates and yoga and have been working as a movement educator for the past 25 years, I understand and respect the human body. At the time, I was aware that movement was essential for my rehabilitation and improving my quality of life. I knew movement would be my medicine–and today I am here to teach you my exact roadmap to recovery.
My intention for Heal & Thrive is to help you connect to a better quality of life while you are going through the cancer journey. Some people heal faster. While others take years to heal. There is no one way that is perfect and I can show you the right movement that I call medicine.
Once you hear those words, “You have cancer,” you become overwhelmed by the thought of, “What do I need to do?” I can remember the feeling of being outside of my body … and I can still recall the panic deep in my chest and hardly being able to breathe through the fear. I remember feeling so alone.
No one should have to go through cancer alone, yet so often that’s how it shakes out.
With my Heal & Thrive Membership Program you won’t have to.
The Heal + Thrive Membership Program
"As a gynecological surgeon, I know that this isn't easy territory. Surgery, recovery in a hospital and then the cancer treatments can all conspire to rob women of any sense of control over their bodies.
Emilee shows women how to rebuild, refocus and emerge stronger in a truly gentle and caring way. Her exercises are safe, gradual steps that women can do from their hospital bed to their own bedrooms to build endurance, confidence and strength. It's progress, not perfection, and Emilee’s book is there at your side along the journey to feeling whole again.
I whole heartedly endorse Emilee’s cancer recovery program and her spirit embodied in this unique method for women."
"I am blessed to know Emilee Garfield. She has been an inspirational patient in so many ways.
She has demonstrated courage, optimism, and humor during bleak times. Her grit and flexibility directed her through a true storm of life. This determination and bravery motivates all her providers and will continue to push anyone she meets to a better self.
Emilee gives hope with her motivation, perseverance, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle despite tremendous adversity.
Thank you for reminding me to NEVER QUIT!"
"Emilee has written a book that is perfect for all patients undergoing abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Through her own experience, she has realized that recovery from surgery is not a race but a journey. She embodies mind, body and spirit to a successful restoration of excellent health.
Emilee elicits safe and dependable mental and physical exercises for a solid core recovery.I will recommend this book to all my patients."
Imagine … getting your body back in shape safely and gently, without overwhelm or fear of the unknown!
Plus, you don’t need any prior experience doing yoga or pilates.
I’ve had too many women come to me in tears telling me that their own yoga and pilates teachers don’t know how to help them post surgery!
From the moment you find out you have cancer, you can begin your Prehab Recovery. This program will prepare your body for the physical fight so you can recover faster and with less pain.
Research shows that for most people exercise is safe and helpful before, during and after cancer treatment. It can help improve your quality of life.
Exercise and stretching may help you cope with those nasty side effects of chemo and radiation (I know it did for me).
Here are some of the benefits you will experience:
- More energy
- Less Pain
- Less anxiety & depression
- More Flexibility
- Better CORE function and strength
- Better Balance
- Better Posture
- Increase Upper Body Strength
- Increase Lower Body Strength
- Less Back Pain
- More Self-Confidence
- Improved Self-Worth
- Decrease Lower Limb Lymphedema post surgery
- Less Scar Tissue Pain
- Safe exercises for an Ileostomy surgery and post reversal
Note: Heal & Thrive is specifically designed for women recovering from Abdominal and Pelvic cancers, but all are welcome.
NOW… Take A Peek of What’s Inside The Heal & Thrive Membership Program!
The Cancer Core RecoveryⓇ Program
A Self-Paced Journey with access to over 100 videos.
Everything essential that you need to gently heal and strengthen your body after cancer.
Here’s A Sneak Peek Into Each Phase…
Pain Relief Exercises for in The Hospital Bed
Your recovery begins in the hospital. The sooner you start moving, the sooner you will get out of the hospital and back to your life. Your nurses will have you up and walking ASAP. If you are working with a Physical Therapist you can pull up the exercises on your Ipad or phone and show it to your doctor or PT. Medical clearance is NECESSARY BEFORE you start any physical exercise program.
If you’re starting this program after coming home from the hospital, I recommend you still start with Phase 1 when you feel ready.
The exercises in Phase 1 include very gentle stretches and movements that stimulate blood flow and help reduce low back pain, pelvic pain and scar tissue that is forming. There are NO abdominal exercises involved.
Phase 1 includes simple exercises in bed where you bend your knees and stretch your feet. At the end of this phase, you’ll be on your way to sitting in a chair. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have the energy to do all of Phase 1 in the hospital. You can start after you return home and feel ready.
You can pick and choose the gentle exercises that feel right for you.
The Essentials for Rebuilding Your Body Post
Surgery & Improving Lymphatic Flow
In Phase 2, you will begin your exercises at home. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible for you. What you’ll be doing is not traditional yoga or Pilates; it’s my own recipe for rehabilitating your core in the safest way possible and this doesn’t include sit ups!
The gentle movements in this phase will help prevent something your doctor may not have told you about–lower limb lymphedema. Basically, this means swelling of the legs. It’s now known that it can occur many years after your original surgery—up to ten years later!
In Phase 2, you’ll work on rebuilding your strength, balance and flexibility … and not the traditional way you might think of balance, like standing on one leg. None of that in this phase. It is important to work on the flexibility part first, because after you’ve had surgery, your body has been traumatized and there’s a lot of inflammation. It’s best for your recovery not to return to your former, strenuous workout routine right away.
Or if you have never really had a movement routine or are new to all of this, this is the PERFECT place for you. I love teaching beginners how to realign and strengthen their bodies from past injuries and surgery.
In Phase 2 you will also learn simple exercises to do that will help stretch your internal pelvic floor muscles and surrounding hip muscles. These movements are extremely helpful for anyone who has ever had pelvic radiation or trauma to the pelvis from surgery. You will learn that no muscle works alone and no system works alone. This is a full body recovery program.
Core Recovery & Rebuilding Strength
Phase 3 is the central pillar of the entire program because it’s all about rebuilding your core strength.
This is my favorite phase. I created these safe exercises for myself because of my ileostomy. I found the area around the surgical site to be weak. When I tried normal core exercises it would pull on my internal scar tissue causing severe pain. I got frustrated.
After radiation damaged and weakened the tissues in my abdomen and pelvis, I lost sensation inside my core. I also had nerves cut through my sacrum and bladder region making it challenging for me to feel my deep core muscles. These muscles are important to you.
The problem when you have a weak core is that you are at a higher risk for a hernia! This is a common problem for anyone who has had abdominal surgery. If you have an ileostomy or an ileostomy reversal you are at an even higher risk for developing a hernia. This is why you DO NOT strain or go beyond where your body is ready to.
The good news is that I know how to help you. I know how to support and strengthen your deep core muscles in a safe way. I myself have to be careful and mindful of this today even seven years after my surgeries.
I will teach you how to be mindful and concentrate on timing and micro-mini movements to strengthen your body on a deeper level. You’ll be amazed at how the slower and smaller your movements are, the more you will feel your insides working on a deeper level and NOT be in pain. The best!
Balance & Strength
In this phase you will learn how to regain your balance and strength. Learn the foundational body mechanics for better walking which is the FIRST step in your recovery for years and beyond.
The focus in this phase is rebuilding back your hip and lower body strength.
In Phase 4, you will also learn how to safely do a modified plank and
side plank exercise, which is essential to strengthen your core and
The Stretch Phase
Phase 5 is one of my favorites. I provide over 40 tried and tested stretches for you to choose from, to help relieve your back, pelvic and hip pain.
The timeline for each of the phases completely depends on your body’s recovery needs and you can customize how you move through each phase of the program.
… AND THERE’S MORE
Empower Wellness Series
21 days of movement inspiration to help motivate you to get back on your feet again. Return to yoga, pilates or the gym without the fear of getting injured.
Cancer Recovery Relaxation Class
Go from being physically and emotionally exhausted, stressed out and anxious to feeling restored and rejuvenated in this 17 minute class.
7 Days to Restore Your Core
Overcome your fears of core exercises in just 1 week. 21 Inspiring exercises with detailed instructions and video emailed to you each day for 7 days. Imagine a mini course that is digestible, not overwhelming.
In Bed Healing Class
This gentle class will help you safely stretch the scar tissue in your abdomen, using pillows for props. You will learn to breathe and relax. It is perfect for when you are struggling with fatigue.
These are the same exercises that I did in my own recovery post surgery from an ileostomy from stage 3c ovarian cancer.
How Emilee’s Work Has Changed Lives!
A must read for women going through ovarian or abdominal cancer!Emilee's book not only guides the reader through step-by-step exercises for women healing from cancer surgery; she also includes inspirational exerpts about mindful practices, positive thinking, and her own healing journey with cancer that makes this book very special. Reading it feels like she is with me speaking to me. It is perfect for anyone who is navigating the difficult journey of cancer to begin on the road to healing.
Hope & realism!This book can be helpful if you’ve had any kind of abdominal or pelvic surgery. I have had multiple surgeries as a result of endometriosis, and can relate and benefit from most of what’s in the book. Hope & optimism can be hard to come by when your body isn’t working as it should post-surgery, and Emilee provides that along with practical ways to get your body healthy again. Don’t let the cancer part scare you away from reading this if you need help with pelvic or abdominal dysfunction!
I rate this as a solid, intermediate routine - I expected it to be more beginner level, but was super pleasantly surprised!
Emilee is a great instructor, very encouraging and provides great form pointers. I definitely felt the core work the next day and enjoyed the routine. The core work and stretches are designed to aid in your cancer recovery and to strengthen you along the way, but I found this to be a nice routine for anyone. Emilee uses slow and controlled exercises for a recovery pace.
Love the program!
I am loving the program. I'm now at step 3 (just got my balls) and seeing some small changes already. Mainly the feeling that I'm waking up parts of me that have been dormant or withered away with the transplant. I am so very thankful to have a pathway back to moving that understands where I've been!!
Thank You Emilee!!
Hey Emilee, I wanted to tell you that I went for my 3 month check up with my Oncologist. When she was examining me she could not get over how good my pelvic floor felt. I told her it was because of YOUR exercises that I had been doing since my debulking surgery. Your videos have taught me so much about movement and the importance of stretching after surgery. I am 61 years old and had a five hour debulking surgery with a colon resection. Thank you Emilee! Never stop doing what you're doing, you are a blessing.
I'm so happy to have found what I have been searching for!
Emilee, I'm so happy to have found what I have been searching for. I'm so glad for your movements. It is very common as humans to always compare oneself with others. It is that pain that unites us when we have lost it all. I can clearly see the road ahead. I have been struggling for 3 years and you inspired me and showed me how we can recover together by sharing pain.
Emilee I love you!!!
Emilee I love you!!! This lady gets it! She understands the ups and downs during and after surviving cancer! She is so dedicated to helping others through it together. I've had 9 surgeries (more to come) and my last one was a big one... 16 hours! Her gentle stretches are so mindful of a body that's been through trauma like ours. She's been there. I will help you scream it to the world because I think this is the most well designed program too!!!
These exercises have been perfect!
These exercises have been perfect getting back in touch with my body and I was actually able to go for a 4 mile walk today! I totally attribute the physical and mental strength for this to your program. CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH!!!
Emilee has created a structure that allows you to feel safe and free from pain after surgery!
I was recovering from kidney surgery and saw on Facebook a post of the article Rebuild Your Core. This caught my attention because that is exactly what I needed to do but was reluctant as I wasn't feeling 100%. After reading that article, I called Emilee and have started her recovery program. At first I was nervous and fearful, but once she explained to me it's not what you think, it's not doing crunches or even beginning with what I thought was my core, I trusted her. These movements she shares in the article are so helpful for anyone recovering from major abdominal surgery. I did Pilates prior to my surgery and I am completely starting over. I feel like this is giving me a new start and a new foundation to re-educate myself on the true deep muscles that make up my core. Her approach is very gentle and encouraging. She has created a structure that allows you to feel safe and free from pain after surgery.