On a physical level, yoga can help those in active treatment and going through chemotherapy by providing pain relief and easing nausea. It can also combat chemopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and mood swings.
After surgery, yoga can help patients regain range of motion and strength safely.
In addition to physical benefits, yoga helps many people manage depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. Yoga can increase the quality of life for those directly affected by cancer and those who care for them.
Complementary therapies such as yoga can be crucial in helping those affected by cancer develop a solid physical, emotional and mental base as they make the sometimes difficult transition from being a person fighting cancer to living as a cancer survivor.
Articles + Research
Yoga Journal: Yoga for Cancer
"While it's not a cure for cancer, yoga enhances physical and emotional wellness many patients had thought they'd lost forever.”
MSNBC Special: Yoga Can Ease Cancer Treatment Side Effects "Women undergoing radiation felt better after twice-a-week classes.”
Women Fitness: Yoga for Cancer
“Cancer patients often find themselves in distracted states of mind-- bombarded as they are by frightening, sometimes contradictory, information, subjected to invasive, painful procedures, and not-always-compassionate medical care. When our minds are so grievously disturbed, we may find it impossible to make crucial decisions or relate satisfactorily to our family and friends... When the tension is released, energy can flow more easily in the body and allow patients to experience a sense of well-being and strength."
The National Cancer Institute: Thinking about Complementary & Alternative Medicine: A Guide for People with Cancer
"Energy medicine involves the belief that the body has energy fields that can be used for healing and wellness.”
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center: Patient Yoga, a Healing Practice
"Yoga is a way to help people find what is already there. And if we can help their bodies stay moving as well, this will help the mind.”
American Cancer Society: Complementary and Alternative Treatments--Mind, Body, and Spirit
“According to a report to the National Institutes of Health, there is also some evidence to suggest yoga may be useful when used along with conventional medical treatment to help relieve some of the symptoms linked to cancer.”
American Cancer Society: Guidelines For Using Complementary and Alternative Methods
"Some people believe that mainstream medicine is the only option they have when it comes to treating symptoms and side effects, relieving pain, and improving quality of life. Actually, there are many complementary treatment methods you can use safely, right along with your medical treatment. For example, some people find that certain complementary methods... such as aromatherapy, biofeedback, massage therapy, meditation, tai chi, or yoga -- are very useful to help control some of their symptoms and improve the quality of their lives. But these treatments do not treat the cancer.”
WebMD: Yoga May Help After Breast Cancer
Yoga may ease hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in breast cancer survivors, new research shows.
Psycho-Oncology Journal: Yoga Benefits Women with Breast Cancer
Researchers conclude that yoga resulted in a 50% reduction in depression, a 12% increase in feelings of peace and meaning, and a significant improvement in fatigue symptoms for women with breast cancer