Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Throw Back Tuesday: The Awareness of a Social Stigma in Pole Dancing & Health

Blog Originally Published October 5, 2011 on www.PoleHarmony.com. Updates and corrections have been made to the original blog to reflect current research program progress as of October 2016.

October is breast cancer awareness month. In honor of those affected by breast cancer who I've known personally or been acquainted with, I've decided to participate in educating myself and others through this blog entry about this important issue affecting so many lives every day. By clicking the image to the left in this blog entry, you will be directed to the National Breast Cancer website. While reading through some of the information on nationalbreastcancer.org, I came across an interesting article regarding male breast cancer. Breast cancer is often thought of as a women's disease much like pole dancing is thought of as a women's sport. I got to thinking and came to the realization that men have a commonality with the general public's misconception when it comes to breast cancer and pole dancing. Men pole dance and men can get breast cancer. Two completely different topics relating to the same issue.

Click to enlarge image. Courtesy of NationalBreastCancer.org

As a woman, I am informed by my health care provider to routinely perform a monthly breast self exam.  This technique can be performed in the same manner for men. The best way to detect breast cancer is by self examination or mammogram. It's important to seek immediate care from your health care provider if you find any abnormality while performing your breast self exam. The most effective treatments are those that can be administered to cancer in it's earliest stages. Early detection is key to survival.

The pole community has become quite active in the breast cancer awareness campaign. Pink Pole Power is a United States based organization founded by a man named Sean O'Connor. Pink Pole Power has participants from around the world that have submitted a favorite pole photo that is digitally enhanced by Pink Pole Power's trademark pink pole and organization signature along with a monetary donation. Half of the proceeds go to charities that help pole dancers going through breast cancer. Pink Pole Power's mission is to promote pole dancing for fitness and breast cancer awareness. Visit www.pinkpolepower.com for more information and to participate in this great cause and obtain your very own Pink Pole Power support pole photo. I've taken part in contributing in hopes that some day my family, friends, and the many people currently battling this horrific disease will eventually be presented with a treatment offering a cure.

Update October 2016: The website www.PinkPolePower.com appears to no longer exist and upon research for this updated blog piece, I was unable to find any information regarding this organization's current activities.

On Monday October 3, 2011, Indianapolis dyed their infamous downtown canal pink. The fountains pink water sprayed up into the air in celebration of the city's Pink Monday. Pink Monday was initiated by the NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts, as a fundraiser to aid in continuing research and treatment. The committee in charge of organizing the upcoming 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis has partnered with the Komen Tissue Bank creating the campaign Super Cure, which organized a drive where women donated healthy breast tissue for cancer research. A major donation will again take place a week before the upcoming Super Bowl. Super Cure has successfully raised awareness of breast cancer research and brought the Komen Tissue Bank and their purpose into headlines for the fight against breast cancer.

Update October 2016: Indy's Super Cure Tissue Bank is based at the IU Simon Cancer Center. (http://komentissuebank.iu.edu/support-ktb/indys-super-cure/)

It appears four years later, the Super Cure project is still making an impact.  Local news station journalist Anne Marie Tiernon of WTHR reported a story in March of 2016 about a local mother that donated her healthy breast tissue and how her tissue was chosen for many important research studies. Read the full article here.

Pink has become the trademark color of breast cancer awareness. It's important we don't forget that just because pink signifies femininity it isn't just a disease reserved for women. Men are just as susceptible to this disease as women and are fighting the same battles within their treatment course. In October of 2010, Pennsylvania established the third week of October as Male Breast Cancer Awareness week. The ribbon symbolizing male breast cancer is a pink ribbon with a blue shadow. The blue shadow signifies the men living in the shadows of the pink stigma of breast cancer. A campaign raising awareness for men and breast cancer is known as Out of the Shadows of Pink. Men have a higher mortality rate because they are often diagnosed in late stages of the disease due to the lack of awareness in self detection. It's time we open our minds and push social stigma to the way side to realize- men pole dance and men can get breast cancer.

Update October 2016: www.HisBreastCancer.org was founded in 2009 by a BRCA2 positive brother and sister that had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The website was created to meet the educational needs of men diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Every year, starting October 1st everything pink suddenly finds it's way to the store shelves.  "Buy pink to support breast cancer awareness!" It's everywhere.  I have even participated in purchasing items because they were pink and had the classic breast cancer marketing jargon attached to the item's packaging.  But what are we really donating when we're making these purchases?  I came across a post on social media this morning that got me thinking about all the breast cancer marketing tactics that exist to exploit this incurable disease. 

Last week, I wrote a blog post about workout equipment for a BOSU balance trainer that was pink.  Pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. Again, the marketing worked for me.  I bought into it an I participated in the hook, line, and sinker pitch.  I decided it was my duty to learn more about this product I was pitching to my readers.  Yes, I love using mine.  I think it's a great workout.  But I wanted to know more about how this piece of exercise equipment is promoting the classic pink products in honor of bringing awareness to breast cancer. 

As a Registered Nurse, the first thing that caught my attention during my quest for researching the BOSU balance trainer was an online article all about the product's ability to assist patients in breast cancer recovery through exercise. (Read more via the BOSU Breast Cancer Recovery Exercises article.) BOSU has worked with cancer specialists to develop a program specifically for patient recovery from breast cancer surgeries and treatments.  The BOSU discount for the month of October does not claim to donate a special percentage of sales to any of the multiple research or funding organizations.  This company is purely offering their product at a discounted price and educating those who have been affected by breast cancer or to trainers working with clients who have been treated for breast cancer in the importance of exercising post treatment to aid in their recovery.  So there we have it.  An honest pitch towards breast cancer awareness.  Yes, the company profits but so does the customer.  You're buying into a product and the knowledge and expertise put into the research of how to best utilize the product for this particular situation.  I now feel vindicated in my decision to promote one of my new favorite pieces of exercise equipment to all my readers. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

BOSU Balance Trainer Workout

I've been using my pink BOSU balance trainer lately for my workouts at home.  I must say, I LOVE this thing.  I reviewed the video that came with my BOSU prior to actively doing the video as a workout and thought that some of the exercises looked pretty easy.  Upon actually doing the video I discovered that was not the case at all.  Some of the exercises that look to be easy are not easy at all.  It's crazy to think that simply lifting one leg while standing on the BOSU could prove to be a nearly impossible task all in itself.  I can honestly say I feel as though I got a great workout and look forward to mastering some of the balance techniques this piece of equipment forces my body into. 

While researching some great exercise videos to share on this blog post for my readers, I came across a promotional offer via BOSU for October.  Being October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, BOSU has a special offer available for their pink colored equipment.  I purchased my BOSU last year when they released the pink BOSU balance trainer so I've had mine for awhile.  It's taken me awhile to really incorporate it into my workouts.  When I first got my BOSU, I was only focusing on using it for specific yoga poses.  One in particular was the crane pose.  A little tip for this pose on the BOSU- stretch out your wrists really well.  This pose is very intense on the wrists so if you have a prior wrist injury or issues with your wrists, you may not want to attempt the crane on the BOSU.  Be sure you are strong in your crane on solid ground first.  The balance will shift and if you don't have a strong grounded crane and you may risk face planting into the floor. 

Check out the current promotion below and the video I've posted showcasing some exercises you can do with the BOSO stability ball. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 2016 Pole Challenges!

Here's the line up for the October 2016 pole challenges!

It all starts in a couple of hours!!! Who's up to take the first ever POLE DANCE NATION CHALLENGE? We're celebrating October with 31 days of O-M-G. Join us for a screams extravaganza of the pole universe's sexiest, scariest and most sensational moves. HASHTAG #PDNOMG to participate in this challenge hosted by @andrecorey_ @anna_kia_poles @dakota_wolfe and @zeniacontortion. Oh yeah, if you want to WIN EXCLUSIVE Pole Dance Nation gear, #Repost this challenge on your page. We're choosing 2 winners. One will be drawn at random from everyone who reposts. The other will be chosen from the people who participate the most. That's 2 chances to win. But you MUST REPOST THE FLYER 😉#PoleDanceNation _ #PoleDance #PoleDancer #PoleDancing #PDNChallenge #PDNChallenge2016 #PDChallenge #PoleDanceChallenge #OMG

A photo posted by Pole Dance Nation ™ (@poledancenation) on