Yoga cannot replace the medical treatment that cancer survivors must experience. However, gentle, restorative yoga speeds the recovery process and provides therapeutic healing to a ravaged body.
Cancer does not discriminate, and strikes young and old with impunity.
The good thing about yoga is that it offers an appropriate therapy, exercise program, and even life path, for anyone young, old, or in between. The benefits go far beyond improved flexibility and relaxation. Yoga sets cancer survivors on the road to healing, with a life-centered focus and a real way to cope.
Health care facilities, around the world, are now incorporating yoga therapy into their cancer recovery centers.
Medical professionals are beginning to recognize the extraordinary benefits yoga provides to patients. The difficult road of recovery back from cancer is not always lit well enough within basic clinical care. Yoga focuses on the union of mind, body, breath, emotion, and spirit, to finally give cancer survivors a holistic leg to stand on.
People recovering, from most types of cancer, share at least a few maladies. Fatigue is the most common.
Any time the body is subjected to high stress situations, such as - surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and pain, fatigue is an obvious result.
As part of the recovery process - The body has been fighting a disease and then fighting to heal. Regular yoga practice will increase energy levels, and allow those recovering from cancer, to feel able again. Yoga postures strengthen and tone core muscles in the body. This low-impact movement also improves circulation and mobility.
The particular postures and yoga routine, that will help someone recovering from cancer, will be prescribed on an individual basis.
There are many types of cancers, and what may benefit one recovery, or individual, may not be as effective in the case of another. That is why highly trained, and expert yogis, are so important for therapeutic yoga and cancer recovery. Knowledge of particular healing or therapeutic properties, of each posture, breathing method, and other yogic healing aspects, is indispensable.
Pranayama, or yoga breathing, focuses on specific breathing exercises that invoke relaxation and enhance optimum recovery. Yoga instruction often employs guided relaxation, meditation, breath awareness, visualization techniques, and guided breathing exercises.
Students are guided to find a peaceful place, where they release their anxiety and pain. Pranayama techniques also have an extremely beneficial impact on the nervous system. Focused breathing brings calm to the mind and body, allowing for healing. Stress is the number one enemy to effective healing.
As with many ailments, yoga students, recovering from cancer, often suffer from decreased range of movement. Along with increasing muscle strength, yoga postures improve range of movement and flexibility. Posture is also improved, allowing proper body alignment and balance.
With freer movement and mobility, cancer survivors will begin to grow lighter in spirit and feel more independent.
Yoga for cancer recovery should focus on providing the most benefit possible. This means patients should not push past the point of pain. The important thing for anyone to remember, who has been through a serious medical procedure, is to begin slowly. Perform the yoga poses in a way that is comfortably challenging. There will be some discomfort on the road to recovery.
Steadily press forward, and find the internal limits, but avoid approaching the pain threshold.
Yoga instructors need to remember that yoga therapy requires adapting yoga practice to individual needs. Each students case will be different. Each class period will be different. Teachers must also learn to be healers and go the extra mile for any student recovering from cancer.
Those recovering from cancer, who choose yoga practice to assist their healing, will benefit greatly across the board. In addition to regular yoga practice, pay close attention to diet and nutrition. Yoga nutrition focuses on natural, whole foods that support the bodys functions.
Support your body in every possible way to make a complete recovery when healing from cancer.
Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author (text)Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.