Cancer is normally linked with the body and the mind. Stress, pessimism and other emotional factors that have been proven to contribute to increasing the risk of cancer. This can be very challenging, especially for cancer patients who are diagnosed with the illness, as they will have to overcome their anxiety and stress in order to battle the illness. If they are unable to do so, it can be quite dangerous as stress is known to lower our immunity system. In other words, this will fuel cancer formation and possibly spread to other parts of the body too.
Isaac Eliaz, an integrative medicine pioneer, shared his research on how mind-body therapies such as meditation, yoga and Qigong can help to counter against stress and improve on one’s health in many other ways. “Chronic stress significantly reduces the immune response, while something as simple as family support or mindful meditation can boost it just as dramatically.” said Dr. Eliaz.
Dr. Eliaz also mentioned a few mind-body techniques that can help to cope with stress and ensure that one’s body remain healthy. These techniques include meditation, yoga and Qigong. Just meditation alone can help to reduce cortisol levels, pro-inflammatory cytokines, systolic blood pressure, anxiety, depression and stress. It also has been proven to help in improving multiple areas of cognitive function such as information processing, memory and decision making. As for yoga, it is exceptionally helpful especially towards post-operative breast cancer patients. This is because it can assist these patients by accelerating healing, reducing hospital stays and enhancing the quality of life. Practicing yoga can also help to reduce the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
“Through all this research, we see one common thread–the calming, healing power of our brains when harnessed through meditation and mind body practice. Simple acts, like breathing mindfully, can have a dramatic effect on all aspects of our being, right down to the molecular level. When practiced regularly, mind body therapies can be powerful tools to help us maintain optimal mental, emotional and physical health,” stated Dr. Eliaz.
We might not be able to feel such effects instantly. In fact, it might take awhile for us to realise the change that has taken place on us. Eventually, we will be able to cope better in stressful situations and overcome pressure more effectively. As mentioned by Dr. Eliaz, learning to reduce stress levels is essential for any cancer patient to have a better recovery. Hence, if yoga is able to help you achieve that, why not give it a go? You have nothing to lose anyway!
OMG Yoga recommends Hatha Yoga for beginners who have never tried yoga before. This is actually the most commonly practiced form of yoga. The main reason is that it can be customised for people of different levels ranging from beginners to advance students.