Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Yoga Offers Those Battling Cancer

By Jillian McKee
Guest Post

For those battling cancer, yoga can serve as a healthy fitness regimen and can be very beneficial in cancer treatment and recovery. Yoga is praised for its amazing health benefits ranging from increased flexibility to muscle tone to an improved posture. It has recently become more and more popular among cancer patients and is recommended widely by many medical professionals today because it strengthens the body as well as the mind and mental state of the individual.

Yoga strengthens the mind of cancer sufferers by focusing on self-awareness and by emphasizing relaxation techniques, which calms the minds of patients while easing stress. This is beneficial to cancer patients because this diagnosis can bring on psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and fear.

Yoga also benefits cancer patients physically. Yoga is a great exercise for cancer patients because it is a low impact type of workout that those battling cancer can do without wearing out their bodies and overexerting themselves. Gentle, restorative yoga allows one to work at their own pace and at their own ability and it is not a competitive environment. Workouts are always very individualized and can give those with cancer a feeling of empowerment.

This practice focuses on relaxation, breathing techniques, dexterity, hand-eye coordination and it increases overall well being. Yoga users can experience lower blood pressure, improved circulation, as well as an increased endurance and stamina. This physical strength has the power to promote mental will and desire for the body to feels better and healthier.

Yoga offers many benefits, but the most important benefit is the increased amount of energy redeemed from the practice on the mat. Cancer treatment regimes often eat away at the immune system, causing a person to feel weak. Those with aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma, have experienced yoga as a compliment to their cancer treatment, have reported feeling more awake and energized during the day. They have also reported lower anxiety and having improved quality of sleep. A good nights rest can actually help the immune system and is essential in a healthy lifestyle. The energy yoga brings makes the cancer patient feel alive and well and ready to fight the disease.

Through the mental and physical strength yoga gives the body, yoga has the ability to promote health and, in some instances, could possibly stretch grim prognosis like the mesothelioma life expectancy. This shows cancer sufferers a new sense of energy and life; and the power to keep going and continue a healthy life.

Photo Caption: "Photo Courtesy of Photos8.com."

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