By Kristy Dawson
Within the medical and health care community, the increased focus on specialization has had a profound effect on patients with individualized focus on different health issues. Even though most of the impact has been in a positive manner, there are some ways that specialization has had a negative effect. Specialization has led to busier schedules, with more treatment and testing, which can often create high levels of stress for patients. Fortunately, there are a number of great numbers of complementary treatment options for patients, such as Yoga, that help to alleviate the stressors and side effects of treatment.
One of the largest reasons people take up Yoga during the cancer treatment process is because people can sign up for different types and schedules of use. Many patients take part in long sessions, once or twice a week, for an hour at a time. Others may decide to partake in daily sessions, when they wake up, and before they go to bed.
The physical benefits of Yoga have helped to make it one of the most used exercise options these days, and it can be just as beneficial for cancer patients as well. Most cancer patients turn to Yoga as a complementary therapy option because it is known for helping to alleviate side effects of normal treatment. Many cancer patients undergo regular schedules of chemo and radiation that bring on side effects like dizziness and nausea. Practicing Yoga regularly has been proven to help lessen cases of dizziness and nausea with patients. Aside from just helping with treatment side effects, it has a great effect on reducing body pain as well. For patients of any illness, especially arthritis, Yoga can be extra critical because of its ability to reduce pain and improve the body’s flexibility.
The help that Yoga can bring to the mental aspect of treatment can often be critical in improving the quality of life for cancer patients. With busy schedules of tests and treatment, the practice of meditation and peace of mind is a welcome departure. An excellent example would include the use of Yogic practices by mesothelioma patients. This is a cancer that develops from asbestos exposure in the lining of the chest and abdomen area with a severely low life expectancy. These patients are able to practice Yoga training as a source of stress relief, in a time that is often heavy with fear and anticipation.
It is with great reason that Yoga has become so popular with cancer patients and others within the medical community. Along with other complementary therapy options, Yogic methods provide an activity that not only has great physical benefits, but it can also allow for a crucial mental break from the rigors and stress of cancer treatment.