Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients

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September is National Yoga Awareness Month. Yoga can be beneficial for anyone, including cancer patients. Yoga is a combination of postures, breathing, meditation, bodyweight strength training and stretching. It is not considered a religious practice but rather a philosophy of creating an internal environment that promotes health and vitality. There are eight different types of yoga, including ashtanga, hot yoga, vinyasa, and hatha yoga. Hatha yoga incorporates slow, gentle movements along with breathing. 

The practice of yoga with cancer patients has been studied in recent years. Some of the benefits include: 

  • Help people who experience difficulty falling asleep or insomnia. 
  • A few studies found that yoga was associated with a decrease in fatigue related to cancer and cancer treatments.
  • Through its centering activities and breathing, yoga may reduce anxiety in cancer.
  • Yoga may improve the loss of appetite when it accompanies a diagnosis.
  • Yoga could decrease pain associated with cancer when used as a complementary treatment to conventional pain management.
  • Yoga appears to have a role in stress reduction and has shown to lower blood cortisol levels.
  • Yoga can help improve flexibility, strength, muscle tone and balance. 
  • Yoga can possibly have a survival benefit by decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels. 

Read more about the benefits of yoga for cancer patients. Cancer patients should check with their oncologists about starting any exercise or physical activity before beginning.

Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Patients with Cancer from Oncology Nursing News
Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients from Verywell Health
Yoga from breastcancer.org
Role of Yoga in Cancer Patients: Expectations, Benefits, and Risks: A Review from the National Institutes of Health

Are you looking to start practicing yoga? Find a yoga studio in your area or use any of the variety of yoga classes available through YouTube and online. Here are a few suggestions on where to start.

1 comment

  • Dale Evans | Sep 6th 2019 @ 6:09 PM

    great information

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