Today’s journal post is in recognition of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and was submitted by yoga student and American Cancer Society Health Systems Manager (North Central Region – Ohio) Leigh Anne Hehr.
The health benefits of practicing yoga are well known and widely documented. There is evidence to support that yoga can increase strength and reduce stress through movement through postures, a focus on breathing, and elements of meditation.
But is it a good practice for cancer patients? According to a report in from the National Institute of Health (www.nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga-what-you-need-to-know), there is evidence that, when used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment, yoga can relieve some of the symptoms linked to cancer and other chronic diseases.
With its flowing movements along with a focus on breathing deeply and guided visualization, yoga can lead to a state of relaxation of mind and body, which can be particularly beneficial during and after cancer treatment. While it may take repeated practice to see marked improvement, many people say they feel the benefits of yoga after their first session.
As with all exercise programs, it is important that you have a conversation with your doctor before beginning yoga. While yoga alone cannot cure cancer, it just may be able to help cancer patients gain strength and reduce stress, helping them through their cancer journey.
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