SIDE NOTE: This article is provided compliments of the Mayo Clinic “Living with Cancer” Blog. We find their advice to be highly credible.
Yoga helps cancer survivors with overall well-being
By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
Every day researchers are learning more about the health benefits of mind-body techniques. Yoga has been in the spotlight showing positive benefits for cancer survivors.
Yoga is an ancient Hindu practice combining meditation, breathing and body postures to relax the mind and body together.
There are many different types of yoga. The most common form used for health conditions is Hatha yoga because it has easier movements and a more relaxed pace.
One of the major concerns that cancer survivors may experience long after treatment is over is lack of energy and fatigue. When studied with a group of breast cancer survivors, those who used yoga had a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate, improved energy levels and mood.
Along with decreasing stress levels, other benefits include an increase in muscle strength and flexibility, and improved balance.
Next time you see your health care provider, ask if yoga is a safe option for you. If you have never tried yoga, begin by exploring classes offered in your health care center or community center.
Many times health care centers will offer classes on seated yoga for those people with limited physical mobility. Start slow and find an instructor who will work with your individual needs at first to get you comfortable with the techniques. At the end of a yoga session, you should feel energized, yet calm and relaxed.
At North Star Lodge we offer the “Sound Sleep – Sound Rest” program which follows the primary practices of yoga. If you think this kind of strategy to reduce anxiety and improve sleep is mumbo jumbo we challenge to attend the introductory session offered each Thursday at Noon-12:30 pm. Visit us in the Stepping Stones Library at North Star Lodge for books on this topic and other stress reduction techniques. Any words of wisdom from our regular participants?