Free Class with Healthy Tips for After Breast Cancer Surgery

SunflowerI recently heard about a free class offered at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. I asked local Physical Therapist,  Kim Mills, to tell us about it.

This FREE class is available to ALL pre and post breast surgery patients (not just for Carle patients). Patients are welcome to attend the class before or after their surgery or even both, if they find that helpful, but the class content remains the same each time.

Classes are held monthly on the second Wednesday and fourth Friday at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. To reserve your spot call (217)383-6636.

Can you tell me a bit about the Arise class and how it helps women who have had mastectomies?

The Arise class is designed to give breast surgery patients helpful information to further promote their healing process. This class is a one-hour class which includes scar healing techniques, gentle range of motion exercises, lymphedema education/prevention tips, and much more. Class participants have been grateful for the class and have stated how beneficial the information has been in helping them to know what they can and should be doing after their surgery.

The class has been named “Arise” because it’s so important for patients to realize the importance of getting up and getting moving again after their surgery (as long as their doctors haven’t given them any movement limitations).

What’s your favorite thing about the community here?

I Love how Bike-able this community is becoming and the many beautiful parks in Champaign/Urbana.

What’s your favorite local lunch place?

Favorite lunch spot would be Milo’s in Urbana! Lovely setting and delicious food!

Kim Mills, PT


Kim Mills is a PT who works for Carle Foundation Hospital. She’s taught this class since 2012 and is so thankful for the anonymous donor who makes this class possible through giving via the Carle Philanthropy Center.


Post-Mastectomy Massage

Cancer. Chemo. Radiation. Surgery. You’ve been through a lot, physically and emotionally.

Massage Therapy may help.

cancer and massage
* from S4OM: “What are people living with cancer saying about oncology massage?”

Benefits of Post-Mastectomy Massage

Potential benefits of massage therapy include:

  • decreased levels of pain.
  • reduced anxiety and depression.
  • decreased cancer-related fatigue.
  • improved sleep and sense of well being.

Massage may also help with scar tissue. Massage to the scar tissue can increase pliability of the area and ease the tight, uncomfortable pulling sensation around the scar. It’s best to work with a massage therapist or physical therapist trained in working with scar tissue. They will also be able to show you how to massage your scar.

Find a Massage Therapist

In Champaign-Urbana: I am a Preferred Provider for the Society for Oncology Massage with training in post-mastectomy scar tissue massage. You can schedule a massage here. I recommend starting with a 30 minute session.

Otherwise, check S4OM’s locator tool to connect with one of my wonderful colleagues.

Massage at Restoring Balance

I will create a custom massage for you. If you are uncomfortable on the massage table, I will work with you to find a comfortable position. It’s your choice whether or not to have your scar, or any part of your body, massaged. If you are too cold, I will add  a blanket. Put simply, it’s your massage and it will be will be customized to you.

For more information: