Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients
Cancer continues to plague humankind more than ever before and it is estimated that in the next ten years its incidence will increase more than 75% globally. The cause of this deadly disease is not known and the cure is as taxing as the disease itself. Its high time to find a therapy that can complement the current line of treatment that can help cancer patients achieve holistic recovery.
Yoga has been positively impacting generations all over the world. Over the centuries its potential has been tapped by the young and old all alike to reap several health benefits. Its positive impact on controlling the mind and the senses is known by many however not many are aware that Yoga benefits even Cancer patients immensely.
The after effects of chemotherapy and radiation are known to be as severe as the dreaded disease itself. Yoga has helped to fill those gaps that are left by cancer treatment as the patients grapple with the crisis and fight for a normal life. The limitations posed by allopathy can be overcome by Yoga. Let’s dive into the basics of Yoga for Cancer & after that, we can focus on various asanas which can help in fighting Cancer from within…
How Cancer Patients can benefit from Yoga
Cancer deeply impacts a person’s psyche and the cancer patient may feel weak, lonely and depressed in his crusade against the deadly and sometimes fatal ailment. Research reveals how the practice of Yoga has far-reaching psychological effects on Cancer patients. Some of the benefits can be seen below –
Yoga helps in reducing stress in Cancer patients
Mental stress can be defined as the mental state of incessant thinking which can tire the mind over time. It is seen how the life of a cancer patient catapults into a stressful zone right from the time he is diagnosed with Cancer. The risk of losing one’s life can make the most optimistic people stressed, fearful and pessimistic. Yoga breathing techniques can help in diminishing the stress vastly.
By meditating daily for few minutes in Sukhasana or by focussing on one’s breath in Pranayama, cancer patients can effectively detach themselves from the mental stress that plays havoc with one’s mind with the onset of Cancer and the treatment that follows. With greater control over one’s breath, one can improve one’s immune system and its defence mechanism.
Yoga helps in alleviating fatigue in Cancer patients
Fatigue is a normal occurrence for every cancer patient who fights the killer disease day in and day out facing new trials and tribulations as the disease progresses. Yoga can greatly benefit a cancer patient to alleviate fatigue.
Shavasana or the dead body pose is a means of conscious relaxation wherein the cancer patient can relax each part of the body from head to toe which is fatigued due to Cancer. By sending a positive message to each and every organ, a cancer patient can persuade his subconscious to fight the tough battle against Cancer.
Yoga helps in improving Sleep patterns in Cancer patients
As the body is fighting against a deadly invasion it needs good sleep to recover and improve its overall defence system. Cancer patients tend to suffer from insomnia which can further add to their woes.
It is better to opt for alternative methods like Yoga which can help induce sleep rather than subjecting the body to more medicines. The cancer patient can calm the mind by chanting ‘Om’ a few minutes before retiring thereby sending a strong positive signal to the mind to stabilise and gain greater control.
How Cancer Patients can benefit from Yogic Asanas
Yogic asanas can help cancer patients achieve physical endurance and also help them relax after facing harsh treatments like radiation. Following are a few asanas that cancer patients can benefit from.
Yogic Asana for improving blood circulation in Cancer patients
Cancer patients can benefit hugely by doing the asana called Viparita Karini which improves blood circulation to the upper body. Viparita Karini is performed by lying down on one’s back and slowly raising one’s legs against the wall. The hands need to be spread out on the floor with palms facing upwards.
Viparita Karini is an asana that not only helps cancer patients to calm down and relax but also helps prevent headache, stress and insomnia.
Yogic Asana to soothe muscle soreness in Cancer patients
Cancer patients can soothe their muscles by performing Supta Badha Konasana. This asana is performed by lying down on the back and joining the soles of the feet. The hands are spread out on the floor with the palms facing upwards.
Supta Badha Konasana is very effective in relieving stress from tired muscles and soothe sore muscles. It helps the body to unwind and reduce overall tiredness.
Yogic Asana to improve digestion and immunity in Cancer patients
Yogic asana such as Ardha Matsyendrasana can provide immense benefit to cancer patients. To perform this asana, one needs to be seated cross-legged on the floor and slowly give a lateral twist to the spine by turning on one side and look over the shoulder. Then one must hold on and feel the stretch on the sides, abdomen and spine.
Ardha Matsyendrasana improves blood circulation to the digestive tract and the spine. It helps in boosting digestion. This asana can help cancer patients improve digestion which suffers greatly due to the consumption of strong medicines. As blood flow increases to the alimentary tract the process of detoxification speeds up. With toxins being flushed out overall immunity of the body improves greatly.
While we cannot eliminate Cancer completely from the face of the earth, we can apply the benefits of Yoga to help cancer patients lead a life filled with positivity, hope and strength.