How yoga can benefit cancer patients

How yoga can benefit cancer patients

Practicing yoga is great way to calm the mind, reduce stress, strengthen the body's core muscle groups and increase flexibility. The general benefits of yoga can help people with cancer for many of the same reasons, including the maintenance of emotional and physical health during the course of their treatment.

In fact, research has shown that yoga can lessen the severity of cancer symptoms and treatment side effects, improve both emotional and physical health and help the body maintain healthy biological levels.

The focus on breathing during a yoga session can help to reduce stress and promote greater balance between the mind and the body. The relaxation that comes from continual yoga practice can reduce the body's natural "flight-or-fight" response to highly stressful situations, which can help patients deal with worry, anxiety, fear and dread that often arise during the course of treatment.

The peaceful state of mind often achieved during yoga can reduce chronic stress and improve the overall biological functions of the body, which in turn also helps alleviate the stress of dealing with a disease like cancer. The breathing techniques learned during yoga can be used anytime and anywhere.

Regular yoga sessions can also elevate mood, increase flexibility, fight inflammation and reduce fatigue and sleep disturbance, all of which are beneficial to a person facing a course of cancer treatment. As complementary therapies go, yoga has been given an A-level rating by the Society of Integrative Oncology as a safe and effective therapy for women battling breast cancer.

There are many types of yoga, and you should take into account your individual physical activity level in order to find the right type, class and instructor to meet your needs. You should also consult with your cancer treatment team before you decide on any course of physical therapy or fitness.

Posted: 3/27/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: cancer, care, fitness, mind, stress, therapy, yoga

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