Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years to improve physical and emotional well-being. Empirical research on yoga has been ongoing for several decades, including several recent studies conducted with cancer patients and survivors.
Practicing the various yoga poses for cancer help in eliminating the toxins, increasing the levels of energy, and improving the functioning of the inner systems and organs. Practicing yoga for lung cancer is effective in bringing relief to the symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath.
The practice of yoga for cancer therapy has come to be widely used as a complimentary treatment to facilitate the healing process and also to minimize the ill effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Pilates is another discipline that cannot be neglected. Practicing Pilates for breast cancer patients can be very useful in revitalizing and helping the mind and body to recover.
Patients usually face a lot of mental and physical challenges after the surgery and treatment of breast cancer. A lot of emotional stress can be experienced with just the thought of living with a condition that is life threatening. Practicing the smooth flowing movements combined with proper breathing techniques help improve posture and balances the muscles .This is important in recuperating from the side effects of the treatment of breast cancer.
Yoga for cancer
Yoga can be a powerful tool for healing; particularly since it can help reinforce the immune system. For people suffering from cancer, Yoga can be a real source of empowerment – since one can practise oneself.
In yoga, we deal with the body is through the practice of physical postures (called asanas). These invigorate and balance all the systems within the body – circulatory system, respiratory, digestive, nervous system, musculoskeletal, endocrine, reproductive and urogenital system. When something goes out of balance, the whole body gets affected. As a result a number of asanas are practiced in sequence to deal with the whole body.
Yoga practice is always patient specific, depending upon which parts are affected, the type of cancer one is suffering from (or had), and the patient's physical abilities. The physical exercises and asanas in Yoga work in a number of ways on the internal organs and the systems of the body, especially the nervous system. This also includes the joints, muscles and ligaments. Yoga affects ones breathing, posture, circulation, digestion, elimination, plus physical strength, stamina and flexibility.
When practicing a particular asana, the patient must do what he / she can without generating more pain. There may be some discomfort, but going to the point of sharp pain will not in any way benefit the practitioner. Oftentimes the asanas seem easier if the patient actually practises less.
These Yoga sessions also help the cancer patient cope with the traumas that accompany a diagnosis that, as anyone afflicted by cancer knows, carries with it emotions which can be rather devastating at times – shock, fear, anger, guilt, anxiety and grief to name a few. According to Yoga, the most effortless breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques can go a long way in helping the patient deal with them. They can also be of significant help in dealing with the anxiety of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
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