Yoga Provides Comfort for those Undergoing Cancer Treatments
Traditional treatments for cancer can be very invasive and hard on a patient’s body, mind, and soul. The seemingly endless trips for chemotherapy, the anxieties of receiving the next test results, and the angst about one’s own future can put a tremendous amount of stress on a person. However, studies are being done to determine the effectiveness of alternative healthcare practices (like meditation, massage therapy, and yoga) with cancer patients. The results are very positive – especially with certain types of cancer that affect one’s ability to breath, like mesothelioma. Yoga in particular has shown to have positive results in the areas of stress management, creating better sleep, and subjectively improving the quality of life and life expectancy for cancer patients.
In 2005, an extensive test was conducted which concluded that, while more testing is required, it appears that regular yoga among cancer patients and survivors “yielded modest improvements in sleep quality, mood, stress, cancer-related distress, cancer-related symptoms, and overall quality of life.” (Bower, Woolery 2005).
While Yoga and other stress management activities cannot directly cure cancer – they do have a positive effect when used with traditional treatments. By reducing the amount of stress and stressors on the body, both emotionally and physically, one enhances the body’s natural ability to fight disease. Creating a regular, daily routine focused on stress management and creating a balance within your mind / body will help patients cope better with the realities of fighting cancer.
While battling any form of cancer, remaining stress free, positive, and focusing on the health of your body as a whole will ultimately benefit your overall treatment. Using yoga to manage your stress will help the rest of your body continue to function effectively, bring a sense of peace to your daily life, and most likely improve your overall quality of life while going through the rigors of cancer treatment. Yoga as a supplement treatment, along with other preventative healthcare methods, is becoming more popular and finding a yoga instructor and studio nearby which specializes in helping cancer patients and survivors should not be too difficult. The challenge is in creating a routine and sticking with it. Just remember, preventative healthcare is most effective when done regularly!