Restorative yoga after cancer: how it works

“Previous studies have found that yoga is effective in reducing sleep disturbances in cancer patients, but does not include control groups and long-term follow-ups,” explains study lead author Lorenzo Cohen. “Our study hoped to address the limitations of previous theories.”

Why sleep is so important in cancer treatment

A few sleepless nights are bad for the healthy average person, but they are even more bad for cancer patients. Sleep deprivation is associated with the activity of cells with lower natural kill (NK). NK cells are critical for the optimal functioning of the immune system, and therefore crucial for the full healing of the human body.

For any disease that affects immunity, the patient is prescribed bed rest, rest and a large amount of quality sleep. The same can be said for cancer patients, because in the process of sleep, a person can recover faster and best.

“Yoga can help your body relax, calm down, fall asleep easily, and sleep soundly,” says Dr. Elizabeth W. Boehm. “I especially like yoga nidra and special restorative yoga for normalizing sleep.”

Working with patients, Boehm gives them a number of recommendations regarding their daily routine. She insists that they stay off their computers until late at night, put away all electronic devices an hour before bedtime, and really get ready for bed. It can be a pleasant bath, light stretching, or mind-calming yoga classes. In addition, Boehm advises to be sure to go outside during the day to get a boost of sunlight (even if the sky is overcast), as this makes it easier to fall asleep at night.

What do patients do to help them sleep?

Science is one thing. But what do real patients do when they can’t sleep? Often they use sleeping pills, to which they get used and without which they can no longer sleep normally. However, those who choose yoga understand that a healthy diet, giving up bad habits and relaxing practices are the best cures for all ailments.

A well-known yoga instructor in Miami has been cured of breast cancer for 14 years. She recommends yoga to anyone undergoing treatment.

“Yoga helps to re-energize the mind and body that were destroyed (at least in my case) during the treatment,” she says. “Breathing, gentle gentle movements, and meditation are all calming, relaxing effects of the practice to help deal with this. And while I couldn’t exercise enough during the treatment, I did visualization exercises, breathing exercises, and it helped me sleep better every night.”

The CEO of Brooklyn Culinary Arts also talks about how yoga helped her beat her cancer at 41. She recommends a combination of grounding and yoga practices, as she herself has found that this can be a cure, but yoga can be painful at some stages of the disease.

“After breast cancer and a double mastectomy, yoga can be very painful,” she says. – The first thing you need to do is get permission to practice yoga from your doctor. After that, let your instructor know that you were sick but are recovering. Do everything slowly, but absorb the love and positivity that yoga gives. Do what makes you comfortable.”

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