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Birmingham’s Forge, UAB partner to share self-care for cancer survivors

Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center (Forge) and the UAB Integrative Medicine Clinic recently partnered to host a free “Lunch & Learn” to discuss implementing self-care techniques for healthcare professionals, breast cancer survivors and co-survivors.

The free Lunch & Learn educated participants on elements of self-care, while providing safe and easy techniques that clinicians and survivors can implement into their daily lives.

Community activist, organizer and facilitator T. Marie King served as the keynote guest speaker, introducing attendees to the topic of self-care and sharing practical advice and tips for making time to incorporate a practice into an everyday routine.

“If I’m not managing my emotions, stress, and tension, then I’m not going to be of help to others,” she advised.

Forge’s Lunch & Learns are designed to specifically address the needs of healthcare professionals that serve the breast cancer community as well as anyone who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer and their loved ones.

Caroline McClain, director of Forge, said in a statement, “We are delighted to host this important Lunch & Learn series as part of our ongoing commitment to offering resources, extension services, and continuing education that will ultimately improve the well-being and quality of life of our breast cancer survivors.”

In addition to the discussion, recent participants also had the opportunity to try experiential opportunities offered by individuals from UAB’s Integrative Medicine Clinic. All were encouraged to join in low-impact yoga therapy with Keeley Michael, who expertly demonstrated modified poses that healthcare professionals can perform at their desk and breast cancer survivors at all stages of recovery can adapt to their practice.

Elizabeth Vander Kamp, artist in residence for UAB’s Institute for Arts in Medicine and a partner of UAB’s Integrative Medicine Clinic, complemented the physical element by sharing the art of the Zentangle — an easy to learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

As participants tried their hand at creating, Vander Kamp encouraged everyone to remember that with Zentangle, “Anything is possible one stroke at a time.”

RELATED: Wind Creek Hospitality donates $25,000 to Birmingham’s Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn