Yoga and Cancer Patients

While battling cancer, the cancer treatment brings the discomfort, weakness and infirm. Cancer survivors have a long road to recover from ongoing nausea and weakness from chemotherapy or radiation.

Refer my last post “yoga, anxiety, depression“, I have discussed a study of Harvard Medical School Mental Health Letter. According to this “yoga reduces stress and anxiety which in turn reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and eases respiration. What’s more, patients who practiced yoga were also less sensitive to pain than subjects who did not, and therefore better able to tolerate treatment.”Further studies confirm ” A structured yoga practice during cancer treatment can radically improve physical symptoms such as pain and fatigue”

As per Indian Journal of Palliative Care 
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer pose severe psychologic distress that impacts the functional quality of life. While cancer-directed treatments are directed purely against tumor killing, interventions that reduce treatment-related distress and improve quality of life are the need of the hour. Yoga is one such mind-body intervention that is gaining popularity among cancer patients.

Several research studies in the last two decades show that YOGA improved mood states, symptom reduction, stress reduction and improved quality of life of cancer patients/survivors.
 US studies are further looking at whether yoga can help to reduce the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment and also can help cancer survivors
.Many cancer patients  and cancer survivors are discovering, that Yoga strengthened their bodies and is able to deal with the uncomfortable side-effects of treatment, during and after treatment.

Yoga is a science that involves stretching, meditation, breathing, and postures, which creates harmony between mind, body, and soul. to have a calm mind.YOGA helps in staying healthy and preventing illness. Yoga for cancer patients can work magic on many levels with these simple and effective Yogasanas.

Sukhasana easy pose

1. Seated Meditation (Sukhasana, Easy Pose).-
Sit on the floor with legs crossed in front. Legs can be crossed as shown above or just in simple way.
 Close eyes and make sure sitting bones are connected to the floor. Hands on your folded legs
Stretch spine softly to sit up tall, the neck should be aligned with the spine. The body should be erect and steady.
Breathe deeply in and out and try to keep the mind focused in such a way that no thought flow in/out of mind. Just be blank.No emotions.
Remember your posture and meditation should be in conjunction. The physical position should remain as described and mind should not wander. This is true for all poses (asanas). Sitting postures are designed to support the work of the mind. Sitting erect like this increases the relationship between the brain and the spinal column. With spine upright, energy flows freely along it, and the discomforts, distress,  caused by cancer treatment are reduced. In early stages it may be difficult to maintain this pose and mind, but as I say “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory”.Just do it, Adopt tagline of Nike..Perform this asana for as much time as is comfortable.

2. Frog Pose (Mandukasana)-
This asana is also good for diabetics. This can be performed by anyone but for cancer patients, it should be done around 5-7 times a day without overexertion. The procedure of doing this can be viewed at youtube Onlymyhealth Yog

 3.Cobra Pose ( Bhujangasana)-In this pose, your body bends like a rising snake. It should be avoided by those cancer patients who have just undergone abdominal or stomach surgery due to Cancer.
Lie on belly on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor.
With forearms pressing on floor bring elbows directly under your shoulders and parallel to each other.
Raise forehead looking in front.
Remain in the position for at least 15-30 seconds and breath comfortably.
Repeat for 5 to 7 times.

Helps to ease symptoms of asthma, improve blood circulation.
Video Onlymyhealth Yoga

Matsyasana pose

4.Matsyasana pose Easy (Fish Pose simple)-
Sit on the floor with your legs together and extended in front of the straight  torso
 Slowly roll onto your back. Press your palms down and legs below pelvic.
Gently breathe in and hold the breath
View video 


The images are only informative, not exhaustive. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure any disease. This advice should not be substituted for the medical advice of the doctor or any healthcare professional.
Yoga should always be done under the guidance and supervision of Yoga experts.

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