Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients

Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body.

It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.

Several studies suggest Yoga can complement cancer-fighting medical treatment to help heal the body, mind, and spirit in the midst of the cancer battle.

Those studies have demonstrated that yoga can combat fatigue and improve strength and range of motion for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

So, what are the benefits of yoga in cancer patients, and how can you get started?

1. Lower fatigue

Several studies have linked yoga with reduced fatigue in cancer patients. Several studies have reported a significant decrease in fatigue through the use of yoga, and three studies showed that patients’ fatigue decreased the more yoga sessions they did per week.

2. Reduce stress

Battling a life-threatening disease is physically, emotionally, and mentally stressful. Yoga may be able to help with this aspect of cancer as well. One study found that practicing a seven-week yoga routine was able to reduce the likelihood of developing “mood disturbance” by up to 65 percent.

Other research has found that the reduction in stress also improves quality of life, appetite, and could be responsible for reduction in pain.

3. Improve physical functioning

In addition to everything on your mind, cancer affects your ability to move. Spending time in the hospital or sick at home can make the body stiff and sore and make it more difficult to complete daily tasks. As a regular form of exercise, yoga is a gentle way to stay limber and active. A review of 16 trials found that regular yoga practice can improve functional well-being in both cancer patients and survivors.

4. Sleep better

A combination of physical and mental stress can make sleep difficult, but healing the body requires ample rest. Yoga can help with insomnia and make it easier for cancer patients to relax at night. A research has found yoga to be able to help improve sleep quality, efficiency, and duration.

5. Lower risk of recurrence

It has been shown to result in decreased body fat density, which can help to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Obesity is a risk factorTrusted Source for cancer, and managing your risks is important even after a diagnosis and recovery. Regular exercise through yoga is just one way of keeping the risk at bay.