The benefits of yoga are being taken advantage of by more and more people these days. The chance to find mediation, stretch the muscles and decrease pain and fatigue is helping to make yoga one of the most popular options for exercising right now. Many are unaware that yoga is being used by patients with cancer and other illnesses as a major complementary option in the treatment process.

This use of yoga in the treatment process comes as a complement to many of the routine and traditional therapies that have been around for years. Unfortunately with these traditional therapies, often come a number of side effects. Chemotherapy, probably the most widely known cancer therapy, comes with a severe set of side effects that includes extended periods of nausea and vomiting, as well as further physical pain to the body. Yoga has become extremely popular with cancer patients because it has been able to help in cases of the therapy-related side effects.

The breathing and stretching aspect of yoga can also have a great impact on some of the body’s other physical characteristics. Sleep has been shown to improve following regular use of yoga for cancer patients. A great benefit of yoga is that it has been proved to help lessen the dependency on sedatives and drugs during the treatment process. The American Society of Clinical Oncology conducted a study last year that researched nearly 420 cancer patients who experienced the benefits of yoga added into their normal schedule.

The growing popularity and research in the success of yoga with these patients has been positive to a point. Although more and more physicians are suggesting the use of yoga as a complementary option, health care systems and the government still do not provide any extra access or support of yoga for these patients. Further efforts are looking to push some sort of financial support to patients who may want to take part in yoga therapy.

The effect of yoga has been used by patients of a number of diseases including mesothelioma, diabetes, leukemia, and other forms of cancer. The stretching and exercise aspect of yoga has been known to help arthritis patients with muscle tension and overall flexibility of the body. Yoga can also help their total range of motion, which can be severely affected by the disease. From a mental standpoint, yoga can be extremely beneficial. Many patients use it as a time of relaxation, rather than a time of stress. The ability to be able to find peace of mind and tranquility is extremely important. For example, mesothelioma survival rate is very severe; therefore these patients may carry extra value to this time of reflection, relaxation, and tranquility.

The scope and impact of yoga on cancer patients will remain to be seen in the coming years as its still growing in popularity in the medical community. With continued research and studies to show its significance to these patients, it will only continue to become a greater option in complementary treatment for cancer patients.

Krista Peterson is an aspiring writer & recent college graduate. As a health and safety advocate, she uses her writings to spread awareness of such issues. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves it!

Cancer and Meditation

Yoga has been used to ease the pain for cancer patients for a while now. More recently meditation has also been used to aleviate cancer patients symptoms of anxiety and pain. Our Guided meditations for Cancer are free and a good place to start. 

To discover more ways to explore your spirituality, check out the Online Spiritual Courses on Yogi Times University.


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