Yoga Therapies: Cancer Support

The following post is excerpted from Jillian McKee’s unpublished article “Great Poses for Cancer Patients” with many thanks.

With cancer already taking its toll upon the body, chemotherapy and/or radiation can have damaging effects. For this reason, many patients seek out alternative therapies, including yoga, to augment their traditional therapies as well as ease the associated side effects. Numerous reports have proven that yoga is a helpful tool in coping with the decreased immune system and nausea often associated with treatment.

Several clinical reports find that one hour a day of yoga, versus mild exercise and counseling, decreased nausea and contributed to a greater sense of well being. There are certain poses specifically designed to promote digestive health that provide the body with immense benefits. Yoga poses open the flow of the digestive tract and can help a patient who maybe experiencing chemotherapy’s side effects.

Click on any image to begin a slide show of suggested poses with descriptions.[nggallery id=1]

Keep in mind that the postures are just a portion of yoga practice. Pranayama, or Yogic breathing, meditation, and relaxation also will restore an individual’s spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health. Laughter Yoga also includes an option to lift a person’s spirit and bring about a positive state of being.

“While it’s not a cure for cancer, yoga enhances physical and emotional wellness—and brings a peace many patients had thought they’d lost forever.”
From Yoga for Cancer by Sandy Boucher