Practicing yoga has the power to enhance a patient's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. According to latest research, yoga reduces stress and anxiety which in turn reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and eases respiration.
WHAT IS YOGA?
A 5,000-year-old practice based on ancient Indian philosophy, yoga has gained popularity worldwide in recent years. Yoga uses a combination of postures, rhythmic breathing, and meditation, and is said to contribute to our physical and mental well-being.
There are many types of yoga, but hatha yoga is the form of yoga most often referred to when people use the word yoga. With its slow, gentle movements, the practice of yoga may be possible for people who are otherwise limited in their activities due to fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment.
Physical Yoga aims to bring attention to the present moment by focusing on the breath. There are many different styles of yogic breathing, but the main element is to focus on inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose. This type of breathing shifts the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (also known as fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation by slowing the heart rate.
Chronic stress, such as the type brought on by cancer treatment, turns on the fight-or-flight response without any rest. The breathwork in conjunction with gentle yoga poses is calming and restorative. It lowers breathing and heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs. In addition, the lymphatic system fights infection and disposes of toxic waste products. Regular yoga practice increases lymph drainage. Furthermore, studies have shown that a structured yoga practice during cancer treatment can greatly improve physical symptoms such as pain and fatigue.
Studies have shown that yoga can improve the quality of life, fatigue, anxiety, and pain. In addition, aspects of yoga such as meditation, camaraderie, breathe work, and improved posture can help with improved attention and breathing.
A gentle yoga program started with a certified instructor with the support of your doctor should pose no risks. Always take care to avoid any trauma, in yoga or in any other setting, to the affected area to reduce the risk of infection.
Yes, after checking in with your doctor about considering any physical restrictions you may have, the yoga instructor could suggest starting movement with all the major joints to warm the body up.
These movements could be performed lying down in a bed, face up or sitting in a chair.
Oncologists may be able to recommend yoga classes give guidelines for practicing yoga in your community in addition to yoga, take some time learn about other integrative treatments for cancer (sometimes called alternative treatments) such as acupuncture, massage, and qigong.