Welcome to Week Two of The Chrysalis Method:
You may start to notice the swelling decreasing and energy levels increasing. If you’ve had a breast augmentation, you will most likely still feel like your breasts are at your throat and very tight. Some women even describe the feeling like having an elephant sitting on their chest due to the heavy feeling. The shape of your breasts will likely start going from squarer last week to more rounded. Remember, it takes time for them to drop and begin to take their final shape. If you've had a reduction, or explant surgery you may still have swelling but might be experiencing a different feeling of tightness. Your pain should start to decrease by the end of this week and your energy should begin to increase. Participating in the movements this week should drastically improve how you feel, so please don’t miss your movements!
Remember that this program is designed to provide structure, clarity and support for all women after any type of breast surgery. All women deserve to recover from breast surgeries in the most optimal way.
“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming.”
Exercise Protocol for Post-Op Breast Surgeries
Every woman’s procedure is unique. Every surgeon’s technique is unique. Every single recovery is unique. This program was designed to give women general guidelines to follow to maintain fitness, reduce post-op complications from occurring, and most importantly provide an emotional support group for all women to have as an outlet for questions and concerns while feeling part of a community avoiding isolation.
Your surgeon is the expert for your procedure, what exactly was performed, and what specific restrictions you should follow for your specific case. Only your surgeon knows exactly what tissues were cut and how your body responded during the surgery. It is important that you continue to listen to your surgeon’s precautions and follow his/her recommendations for your follow-up to ensure proper tissue healing and optimal recovery.
This program is a guideline to follow for lower body movements to keep you active during your recovery. Once your surgeon gives you permission to begin using your upper body, you will have access to unlock upper body movements that will gradually increase your range of motion back to normal as well as regain your strength.
Precautions for 4-6 weeks per most surgeons:
NO lifting, pushing, pulling more than 10 pounds. If you have a baby, toddler, or child this goes for holding him/her as well. You will need to make modifications to care for your child/children during this acute phase of healing. (Samples of things weighing about 10 pounds: average 3-month-old baby and older, a gallon of milk (1 ¼ gallon), sack of potatoes, large bag of sugar/flour, large watermelon, a holiday ham or turkey, most cats/dogs, most vacuum cleaners, laundry basket filled with towels or jeans, etc.)
If you MUST hold your baby/toddler and do not have anyone to assist you, keep your arms/elbows in tight to your sides and keep the child close to your body. In other words, do not reach out and/or hold the child away from your body as this will cause added strain on your muscles and potential harm.
NO jumping, running, bouncing (Even if you’re a marathon runner and you want to get back to running ASAP, you can’t do this until your surgeon gives you clearance which will typically be a minimum of 4 weeks post-op)
Caution must be taken with any activities engaging your core. Again, we want to make sure the incisions are healed completely before activating your core. Many incisions are made below the breasts which attaches to the same skin that covers your stomach muscles. You don’t want to compromise the healing incisions so make sure to take caution when activating your stomach muscles. This is hard to do when your core is the center of everything. Just don’t do any specific abdominal exercises like crunches/planks/sit-ups/etc.
Wear a nice supportive bra when performing any physical activity. Your surgeon will tell you whether he/she recommends you wear a bra at rest during recovery. Different surgeons have different preferences on this so it’s always important to specifically ask your surgeon about how much and what type of bra you should be wearing post-op.
As always-follow YOUR surgeon’s protocol and make sure you use caution in the very early days to let the incisions heal. Once the incisions are healed completely and there are no stitches, you can then perform cross-friction massage to the scar to lessen the scar tissue. Again-ask YOUR surgeon when this is okay to do for your specific case. It will be several weeks before your incisions are completely healed to perform any cross- friction massage.
The Second Week after surgery:
If you are feeling good from your first week and want to change up your routine, you can modify your activity slightly, so you don’t get bored. Maybe modify your walking path slightly or go out at a different time of day. Just don’t forget you’re only in week two, so your body is really trying to heal and doesn’t need to be pushed. It’s okay to move but it’s also okay to continue getting rest. You are not trying to work up a sweat in the first 4 weeks of recovery, so please continue the program as it's designed and do not push yourself.
Continue asking for help. So many women are afraid to ask for help and feel they should be superheroes. Accept the fact that you have undergone a major surgical procedure and you need rest just as much as you need activity to recover.
The first week to two weeks may seem easy, but understand that this program is designed to maximize your recovery in a healthy way while minimizing weight gain, decreasing risk of blood clots, and increasing overall mental health and wellbeing.
For this week, enjoy three different 10-minute walks on three days and perform the leg movements on three opposite days. These lower body movements outlined below are designed to improve blood flow/circulation and and increase the release of endorphins which will improve your overall mood and emotional wellbeing. If you have ANY questions regarding these movements, please post your questions to the forum for clarification prior to beginning. Or contact us at info@TheChrysalisMethod.com for any questions you may have. It’s best to be sure you know what to do and not do before attempting and doing something incorrectly. And remember, you're NOT trying to work up a sweat! Listen to your body and follow the videos carefully. If anything is causing too much strain, effort, or even discomfort, stop it immediately.
Are you experiencing back pain? One of the most common complaints women have in the first couple of weeks is back pain. There are a couple things you can do to help alleviate this discomfort.
First, positioning your body properly during sleep is very important. If you’ve been told to sleep on your back, which most women are, try sleeping with a pillow under your knees as well as under both arms. You may feel like a cocoon or trapped by pillows, but by propping up your knees and arms, you put your body and spine in a less strained position.
Second, you can try alternating heat and ice on your back. It’s not recommended to use heat on your implants during this acute phase of healing due to the inflammation from surgery, but the heat on your back may provide some comfort. Ice is a safe option on your back and chest to decrease any swelling or inflammation, HOWEVER, it must be covered in a towel or cloth and not directly applied to the skin creating a cool compress. If the area is too cold it can compromise healing due to restricted blood flow.
Lastly, if you can get some small balls (like tennis balls) and place them between your back and a wall or back of a chair, this pressure may provide some relief like a massage. Gently roll up/down/side/side on the balls gently pressing your back into the balls for a self-massage.
Movements Week 2
Movements: Week 2
Pick 3 non-consecutive days during week 2 to perform all of these lower body movements. Continue your daily walking, but only perform the lower body movements on 3 days during this week to allow adequate time for your body to rest. Try and perform these movements every other day and not on consecutive days.
1. Seated Knee Extension:
o 15 reps on each leg
o 3 sets total
Sit in a chair or on the edge of the bed/couch with knees bent. Straighten one leg at a time with strong hold contraction of your quad for 5 seconds each (the muscle on the top of your thigh).
2. Standing Hamstring Curls:
o 15 reps on each leg
o 3 sets total
Stand at a counter or table and keep your knee pointed down while bending it up towards your butt. Your knee should stay pointing to the floor and not raise up to isolate the hamstring (the muscle in the back of your upper leg/thigh).
3. Seated Ball Squeeze (or pillow):
o 15 reps
o 3 sets total
Place the small ball between your thighs and squeeze it tight holding for 5 seconds. You should feel this on your inner thighs.
4. Standing Heel Raises:
o 15-20 reps
o 3 sets total
Standing at a counter or holding onto the back of a chair or couch for support with your feet shoulder width apart, raise straight up onto your toes squeezing your calf muscles tight on both legs at the same time. Hold for 5 seconds.
Recap of movements for week 2:
o Seated Knee Extension
o Standing Hamstring Curls
o Seated ball Squeeze
o Standing Heel Raises
- Total of 4 movements for week 2. Perform all 4 movements on 3 non-consecutive days in addition to your low intensity endurance activity on 2 days during the week.