Top 5 Benefits of Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer
Leo Mowry, Stretch.Heal.Grow. Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master, and author shares the 5 benefits of yoga.
1. Relaxation / Stress-management.
Needless to say, for most people, stress and anxiety go hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis. Happily, practicing yoga effectively helps to alleviate both. Studies have shown that a regular yoga practice lowers cortisol (the “stress hormone”) levels and blood pressure, and increases serotonin and endorphin production.
2. Improve circulation and flow of lymph throughout the body.
One of the reasons yoga is so healing lies in its intrinsic ability to stimulate blood flow and lymph flow. Being pumped through the heart, blood naturally moves more vibrantly thought the body than lymph fluid. Lymph flow relies on correct breathing and muscle motion. With its emphasis on breathing, stretching, strengthening, twisting and movement, yoga decreases tension from the body, creating more softness and space through which our bodily fluids can flow more easily.
3. Minimize fatigue and improve sleep.
Fatigue and sleep problems are frequent side effects of mainstream cancer treatments, and also contribute to increased inflammation in the body. Study after study has shown the benefits of yoga on sleep. Significantly, a comprehensive study showed that on average there was 57% decreased fatigue, and up to 20% decreased inflammation in breast cancer patients, 6 months after the study began.
Cancer can take an emotional toll on someone and it can be difficult to deal with it alone. The calming effects of yoga can provide a physically and emotionally beneficial activity you can do with friends or new friends from the community, allowing you to connect on happy and positive terms.
5. Manage Physical Pain.
Studies have shown that yoga can help with pain management specifically for women who are in recovery. Regular yoga practice can aid with improved circulation, relaxed muscle tension, and expand ranges of motion.
This week marks the fourth Stretch.Heal.Grow, a retreat for young women living with breast cancer, our partner Jasmin Fiore hosts each year. The retreat inspires and educates young women through yoga, meditation and healthy living workshops. It provides an opportunity for young women living with breast cancer to come together in community and support. A Big thank you to our partner Eisai for their support.