Ep. 113 – How This Global Education Summit Improves Your Patients’ Lives – Denise Stewart

Podcast graphic: headshot of Denise Stewart in a teal square background, on a white square with the title: How This Global Education Summit Improves Your Patients’ Lives

Oncology is full of excited, passionate people who love to educate others, like practitioners or patients. But very few platforms educate BOTH – when we educate both patients & practitioners, we equip all involved parties to be more in tune with what patients need.

Denise Stewart, founder of the Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit, is my special guest on today’s episode. She discusses how this approach to breast cancer education is improving lives globally & why it’s crucial we have a common educational ground for both practitioners & patients.

Launch Week for the Breast Cancer Rehabilitation & Wellness Summit is February 15-21! Access the content now!

Denise Stewart’s Bio

I am an Occupational Therapist who knows how pain can become a game-changer. It never stopped me thankfully, but it certainly changed how I  have played the game.

As a child, I suffered chronic tonsilitis, which required repeat antibiotics and weeks of bed rest with many days off school. Little did I know then about how antibiotics change gut health and go on to affect the body’s levels of inflammation, potentially for life.

As a young adult, I took the wrong wave at Mooloolaba beach; it was a dumper and I got dumped good and proper; suffering serious low back spine damage. This is when I learned about how hard it is to stand on two feet; one leg would always be looking for another place to be and my low back floated between too straight, too curved and too rotated.

My back pain stayed and stayed and then got worse. I made an awkward landing while jumping a fence when 8 months pregnant. On my defense, this was my first pregnancy and I thought I was Superwoman. Actually, it was more like feeling too tired to walk the distance to the gate.

Back pain seemed to morph into shoulder and arm pain and weakness, which really just would not go away. I blamed baby holding (4 over 8 years)  and working too hard.

Unfortunately, pain, poor sleep, and irritability were my common companions, even though I tried many and varied treatments.

As a young woman, being a wife, a worker, a mother to a young family, and exercising were all important to me.  

I hoped and believed I would find a new positive level of health and wellness.

With extensive research and trialing many new therapies, I finally found a successful multi-pronged treatment approach to manage my chronic pain.

I went on to apply this research and experience to my work- with people who had survived cancer but suffered chronic swelling. In the late 1990s there was no research on non-cancer pain, movement restrictions, and radiation fibrosis, yet each person I saw suffered these things. 

I used chronic pain research principals, new soft tissue treatments coming from elite sports care and the high tech treatments for astronaut recovery to develop low cost and effective treatments for the side effects of cancer treatment.

Today, each person’s program is t’s a multi-pronged approach; a personalized combination of new musculoskeletal and scar treatments, posture + core stability retraining, investigating stress management strategies, restoring gut health, managing food sensitivities and regular self- treatment. 

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