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Yoga shown to help patients after treatment for breast cancer

The physical side effects of treatment can be really tough, with fatigue, inflammation and pain being the most common, not to mention the emotional strain having treatment for a prolonged amount of time can have on a patient.

Some of the most common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy involve destroying the body’s cells, most of which are cancerous, but some of which are also healthy. Whilst the efficiency and accuracy of these treatments have come a long way from the past (In 1942 they started to use nitrogen mustard mustine – a variant of mustard gas and the first kind of chemotherapy – to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and in the 1800’s they used x-rays as the first form of radiation therapy) modern day treatment effects can leave patients exhausted and in a lot of long-lasting pain.

A recent study for Ohio State University by Professor Janice Kieholt-Glaser showed how yoga had an approximate 41% reduction in fatigue, significantly improved sleep and lower levels of inflammation compared to breast cancer patients who had not practiced yoga. If yoga was continued for six further months, the fatigue, sleep and inflammation improved even more.

Professior Kiecolt-Glaser believes that the most beneficial aspect of yoga was the breathing and calming meditation. She said: “We think improved sleep could be part of the mechanism of what we were seeing.  When women were sleeping better, inflammation could have been lowered by that.  Reducing fatigue enables women to engage in other activities over time.  So yoga may have offered a variety of benefits in addition to the yoga exercises themselves.”

The increase in popularity of health and wellness holidays has included yoga practices being held in locations all around the world. If you’re looking for a relaxing break abroad that has yoga on the itinerary, prepare well and buy good quality breast cancer travel insurance.

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