Yoga effective for breast cancer patients


Wednesday 4th March, 2009

Women suffering with breast cancer have been found to benefit emotionally following a ten week study into the effects of the practice.

The study found a 50% reduction in mental health problems such as depression and an increase in positive emotions and spiritual feelings of wellbeing and calm.

The program involved ten weeks of Restorative Yoga (RY) which is similar to other yoga types but with passive movement of the spine in all directions. Relaxation is aided by cushions and blankets to provide support. It is effective for people with differing levels of health due to minimal physical movement which makes the practice easier.

The study involved 44 women with breast cancer of whom 34% were receiving cancer treatment with the rest having completed it already. Half the group took yoga classes while the other half were in a control group. At the beginning and end of the program all participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to evaluate quality of life.

Results from the study showed clear evidence that women who had taken part in the RY class experienced various health benefits (including reduced fatigue) over the control group .

Researchers said that evidence from these studies into mind-body therapies were strong for the improvement of mood, quality of life and cancer treatment symptoms. Yoga was seen as a widely available therapy at relatively low-cost giving women with breast cancer the opportunity to experience peace, calm and significant health benefits.

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