Yoga Shows Promising Benefits For Breast Cancer Patients

Doctors have found that yoga brings emotional benefits to women with breast cancer. Those in a recent study had a 50% reduction in depression and a 12% increase in feelings of peace after taking a RY yoga course.
A study recently published in Psycho-Oncology showed that women who undertook a ten week program of 75 minute Restorative Yoga (RY) classes had positive gains with depression, positive emotions and calming spirituality as compared to a control group. RY is a type of yoga that is more passive and gentle which allows people in differing levels of wellness to practice it.

Forty-four women with breast cancer took part in the study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The groups were split in half, one taking the yoga classes and the others in the wait list. The majority of those in the study had already completed their cancer treatments with 34% still being treated. The participants were given a questionnaire at the start and end of the ten week program. The answers showed that those in the RY program experienced a wide range of benefits compared to those in the control group. After the study was completed those in the control group were invited to attend identical RY classes.

Medical News Today reports:

“Evidence from systematic reviews of randomized trials is quite strong that mind-body therapies improve mood, quality of life, and treatment-related symptoms in people with cancer. Yoga is one mind-body therapy that is widely available and involves relatively reasonable costs,” said lead researcher Suzanne Danhauer, Ph.D., based at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. “Given the high levels of stress and distress that many women with breast cancer experience, the opportunity to experience feeling more peaceful and calm in the midst of breast cancer is a significant benefit.”

Surprisingly those with higher negative emotions and lower emotional well-being were the women who most benefited from the yoga classes.

With yoga being so widely available at reasonable costs this research can benefit many women. Suzanne Danhauer says that the promising results are allowing the researchers to embark on a larger scale study reports Science Daily.

“Evidence from systematic reviews of randomized trials is quite strong that mind-body therapies improve mood, quality of life and treatment-related symptoms in people with cancer,” Danhauer said. “Yoga is one mind-body therapy that is widely available and involves relatively reasonable costs.”

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