Yoga, as I’m sure you know, provides many benefits for an extremely diverse assortment of physical issues from back and joint pain to stress management and overall well-being. The success millions of people have had with yoga prompted the medical community to take notice of the benefits. Today, many doctors’ (including the Mayo Clinic) recommend a yoga practice to cancer patients. And while yoga does not cure cancer, it does provide several important benefits to cancer patients.
Yoga primarily is beneficial because it relieves many of the symptoms related to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer patients often must undergo these painful treatments, and suffer fatigue and nausea after. However, a mild yoga program relieves the nausea, which is unbearable for many patients and helps maintain patients’ energy. While many still feel fatigued it is to a much, much lesser degree. For cancer patients this is often a very welcome relief.
Yoga has also been shown to increase the number of red blood cells which is particularly important for cancer patients. Regular yoga practice increases the circulation of oxygen carrying blood cells and adequate oxygen supplies are undeniably important in healing the a cancerous body. The improved circulation and increased red blood cells helps the body to heal and keeps the immune system in working shape.
Attitude is also an important aspect of fighting cancer and one many cancer patients struggle with. Because cancer is a devastating disease is often fatal if not treated early it can be difficult for cancer patients to stay positive. Yoga, however, is proven to increase a person's sense of well being and can help patients maintain a positive attitude.
Another of the amazing benefits of yoga is that it can help people sleep better. Sleep is essential to maintaining health during cancer treatments. Furthermore, for cancer patients sleep deprivation can cause emotional and physical breakdowns but yoga can help patients get a restful sleep and feel better throughout the day.
By Trevor Bradshaw