Yoga improves quality of life for breast cancer patients
Already known to help with fatigue, the research shows that the benefits of yoga may extend far beyond that.
The researchers split more than 191 participants into three groups: a yoga group who focused on all aspects of the exercise, a group that just used stretching techniques from yoga, and a control group.
It was found that the simple stretching exercises counteract fatigue, but patients who participated in yoga exercises that incorporated controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques into their treatment plan also experienced improved ability to engage in their daily activities, better general health, and better regulation of cortisol (stress hormone).
Women in the yoga group were also better equipped to find meaning in the illness experience, which declined over time for the women in the other two groups.
“Combining mind and body practices that are part of yoga clearly have tremendous potential to help patients manage the psychosocial and physical difficulties associated with treatment and life after cancer, beyond the benefits of simple stretching,” said Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson.
To learn more about how integrative therapies are used for cancer support at Community, read this news release.