Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga and Breast Cancer

Yoga can be a great benefit to a cancer patient or survivor.  We all get stressed, and need to de-compress in this fast paced world we live in here in the USA.  For someone who is going through the cancer process it is even more stressful and the need to take better care of ourselves is greater than the "average person".
There is medical proof that stress is harmful to our bodies and drops our immune systems, stress also releases hormones.  For some of us hormones are not our friend, but instead more like a CIA double agent and we have to be very careful.
Yoga not only reduces stress, it stretches muscles, muscles that may have been operated on, moved, pulled, affected from radiation, degeneration, lack of use, etc.

Yoga can be practiced by all, and at different levels.  It can be done privately in your own home, or at a studio with a group, at your local park, gym, there are lots of yoga classes nowadays. 
Yoga helps you become more aware of your body and your mind, your mental and physical well being.  Now, me being a Christian I don't like all the new-age beliefs and practices associated with mainstream yoga like chakra, crystals and aura.  I am a certified yoga instructor and I take a more Christian take on my classes like breathing out the stress or fear and inhaling the Holy Spirit.  My class may not be for everyone, and mainstream classes may not be for me.  I fully feel you should go where you are comfortable and this blog post is not a religious lecture.
Yoga can enhance the quality of life for women dealing with breast cancer.  What's nice is that yoga can be done at any time before, during and after a cancer diagnosis helping to relieve stress, and assist in recovery after radiation, surgery, chemo.
Studies show that yoga has a very positive influence on the mobility, flexibility, strength and over all physical fitness of women going through treatment for breast cancer.
Women who implement yoga into their daily routines find it compliments their traditional medical treatments.  Yoga helps to relax and stretch the whole body inside and out after chemo rounds and the deep impacts of radiation seeping into muscles, it is CRUCIAL after a mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery to regain range of motion in the muscle that is affected and most times lost after surgery. 
As I said yoga can be done at any time and can be either private, one on one or in a group and all levels of physical ability enjoy it.  I have seen women who have limited range of motion all the way to 100% range of motion and the support and encouragement from others who are going through the very same thing is amazing.  There is no need to feel embarrassed at our classes we have an amazing group of women and every class is a blessing.