Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yoga and Cancer

The greatest strength we posess
is the unwillingness
to give up hope.

-Judith Hanson Lasater

When you, your friend or a family member get diagnosed with cancer -you stop breathing. Many kinds of cancer are treatable, but unfortunately some are not. Besides medication you can always ease the symptoms with other alternative rehabilitations. Practising yoga is one therapy that can be done anytime and anywhere either sitting, standning or laying.

Please enjoy today´s guest blogger, Krista Peterson. She is passionate about the health of individuals and the benefits of yoga in cancer patients.

Yoga becoming popular among cancer patients

For many cancer patients, finding some time of peace and calm can be extremely difficult. A routine of treatments, therapy, and constant visits from multiple physicians can take even more of a toll on patients than the normal rigors of a terminal illness. In recent times, there’s been a growing use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for cancer patients. With this growing use of complementary treatments, yoga has quickly become one of the most popular options in alternative therapies for these patients.

Along with meditation, yoga provides these cancer patients with the opportunity for that rare time of silence and relaxation. It’s in this time that major mental and physical healing can occur. Essentially as a way to quiet the mind and open up the body to movement, allows these patients to reduce stress and also allow the body to become less tense and more flexible.

The ability to have an effect on both the mental and physical state of a patient is one of the reasons that yoga has gained such popularity as a complementary treatment option. For many of these cancer patients, their body can be beaten and heavily affected not only from the diseases they’ve endured, but also in many side effects from their routine treatment such as chemotherapy. The ability to take on yoga will help in the body’s flexibility and in turn, relieving some of the physical issues that may come up as a side effect of normal treatment.

For many patients and survivors, the proof is in their stories. One great example involves mesothelioma survivor Paul Kraus. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that invades the lining of the organs in the chest and abdomen area as a result of asbestos exposure. Following his diagnosis in 1997 Kraus implemented an alternative treatment plan that included a rigorous diet, exercise, and mind clearing therapies such as yoga and meditation. He used this plan to outlive what was expected by nearly 14 years, into 2011 and still living. This is particularly impressive considering average mesothelioma life expectancy is between eight and 14 months on average.

Certainly there are a number of other success stories out there with the use of yoga as a complementary and alternative medicine for cancer patients. Its ability to allow time to clear the mind and affect the mental state positively, as well as the physical state will continue to make it an even more popular therapy option for patients with cancer and terminal illness.

1 comment:

  1. Hej hej!
    Yoga är en så underbar källa för kraft och lugn. Det är jätte bra om fler och fler kunde använda yoga som en terapeutisk behandling, för det fungerar verkligen. Jag kan bara säga hur bra det har varit för mig. När jag sitter där i tystnaden så får kroppen tid för att återhämta sig och läka. I bland blir det så stressigt att vara sjuk, att jag tror att kraften som skulle kunna gå till healing, försvinner.