Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yoga Alleviates Cancer Side Effects

Yoga has quickly become one of the most popular ways to exercise in the last ten years. Its ability to allow people to mix meditation with physical workouts has made it a popular option instead of the gym. Patients with terminal illnesses and cancer have begun taking on yoga as a complementary treatment therapy to help alleviate the side effects of traditional therapy.

Perhaps the biggest reason yoga has grown in popularity within the medical community is because of its ability to mix both the benefits within the physical and mental aspects of the body. Another reason it has become so popular is because it can be used at different times and in different ways. Patients can participate in yoga sessions based on their own treatment schedule. They can choose to take part in daily sessions that are short or long sessions once a week.

Many of the benefits of using yoga are often tied to physical aspects of the body and with terminal illness patients, these can be no different. Many patients, such as those with arthritis use yoga as a way to alleviate the pain and stress on the body. Of course they can also use yoga as a way to improve the range of motion and flexibility of the body, because arthritis patients deal with some great pain and limited motion.

From a mental aspect, yoga can be unbelievably beneficial when used as a complementary therapy option. Many patients have used yoga as a way to shut off the mind during tough times. A great example of this is mesothelioma (a cancer in the lungs caused by asbestos exposure) patients, who have a severely shortened life expectancy rate. Many of these patients use yoga as a type of meditation and peace of mind during a time of extreme difficulty and fear.

Yoga’s ability to mix mind related benefits like tranquility and peace of mind with physical benefits like improved range of motion will continue to make it a popular option with terminally illness patients in the future. Expect yoga to grow even more as continued research shows even more benefits of its use in the scientific and medical community. 

Guest Blogger: Krista

Krista Peterson is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness.

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