LexiYoga

Yoga: A Great Option for Cancer Patients

Written by Kristy Dawson.

One of the major movements in the past decade within the medical community has involved increased participation in complementary and alternative therapy sessions, especially involving cancer patients. More of a reliance on these complementary therapies has brought about a number of options that have helped patients to alleviate side effects of routine treatment and reap some other benefits at the same time.

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Among the most popular complementary therapy options is yoga, which has a great ability to allow patients to cut down the side effects of normal treatment, while experiencing both physical and mental benefits.

Perhaps one of the reasons yoga has become so popular with cancer patients is because it is one of the few complementary treatment options that can be done in different times, lengths, and styles. Many patients opt to take part in daily sessions of yoga therapy in the morning and evening time. Some others may prefer longer sessions of an hour or so a few times a week.

Yoga's popularity as an exercise option has come because of the numerous physical benefits that people have enjoyed while taking part in it. For cancer patients, the physical benefits of yoga start and end with the way it helps to alleviate some of the side effects from routine therapy treatment like chemotherapy and radiation. Among those side effects that are common are nausea and dizziness, which can be taxing throughout the process of treatment. Along with helping alleviate side effects like nausea, yoga helps patients with their sleep as well. Many will experience sleep related problems like fatigue and insomnia throughout their treatment schedule.

Using yoga can help patients relax more, allowing for better sleep and less fatigue. Aside from just the reduction in side effects from chemo, patients with other illnesses have reaped the physical benefits of yoga as well. People with arthritis have undertaken yoga because it helps their range of motion and flexibility, while also cutting down on overall body pain.

The mental benefits may be the most rewarding part of the use of yoga as a complementary therapy. Yoga has a unique ability to mix the physical aspect with great mind-body things like meditation, relaxation and tranquility. The time for relaxation through meditation often allows cancer patients to help cut down on overall stress that is commonplace during the treatment process of chronic illness. A great example of cancer patients using yoga to relax involves mesothelioma patients. This is a cancer in the lungs and abdomen resulting from asbestos exposure, with a severely low life expectancy rate. These patients use yoga as a way to shut off the fear and stress that come with having such a severe outlook, which is often the case.

Essentially yoga is one of the few types of therapy processes that patients often look forward to during treatment. You won't hear many patients talk about looking forward to taking part in chemotherapy and radiation, but you will likely hear some talk about how they are excited to take part in yoga. Rather than just something that generates side effects, yoga does the opposite and essentially helps to heal numerous aspects of the body.

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