According to National Cancer Institute, the stretching, breathing exercises, and meditation involved in yoga may help ease many ailments of those who practice. People with cancer often suffer from a host of symptoms and side effects such as depression, pain, nausea, fatigue and many others. Complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) are gaining popularity amongst patients as add on to conventional medicine.
Yoga is one of the CAM modalities that is being used by cancer patients today. Yoga has proved to be safe and useful in management of cancer. Research Reports show that yoga gives consistent positive results in management of symptoms and improving quality of life during and after cancer treatment such as chemo/radiation treatment.
Life style and psycho-social stresses are recognized to be contributors of disorders such as cancer, by a few researchers. Evidence suggests that meditation can even alter cancer survivors’ cells.
- Life style and psychosocial stresses are recognized to be contributors of disorders such as cancer, by a few researchers according to psycho-neuro-immunological model for cancer. This has helped to create an awareness of the role of mind body relationship in the etiology and progression of cancer [Amritanshu et al, ref: J Yoga Phys Ther 3:129.doi:10.4172/2157-7595.1000129]
- Cancer survivors who perform gentle yoga report they sleep better, feel less fatigued and enjoy better quality of life, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, where a 410-participant study was conducted.[Mustian etal. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2013 Sep 10;31(26):3233-41]
- Yoga breathing techniques, called pranayama, work by acting as both a physical practice and a form of meditation. In a pilot study conducted by Dr. Anand Dhruv in UCSF showed statistically significant improvements in sleep disturbance and anxiety were seen with increased yoga practice.
- In a randomized controlled trial of yoga among a multiethnic sample of breast cancer patients, Moadel AB, et al. showed that high class adherers (> 6 classe) have higher energy levels and physical well being than low adherers (1 to 6 classes) and non-adherers (0 classe). Attending the intervention at any level was related to improved mood regardless of one’s initial distress level [Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2007 Oct 1;25(28):4387-95]
- Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the University of Calgary De-partment of Oncology have demonstrated that telomeres – protein complexes at the end of chromosomes – maintain their length in breast cancer survivors who practice meditation or are involved in support groups, while they shorten in a comparison group without any intervention. [Carlson et al., published in Journal Cancer on 3 NOV 2014]
- Yoga for Cancer Patients Provides Benefits of Sleep, Vitality. Details of the Bloomberg article is HERE