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How Yoga Helps Patients in battling Cancer

Cancer is a serious disease, and is extremely common. It is expected t affect 1,735,350 people in the United States alone in the year 2018.[1] Even though the statistics might seem staggering, there are also many people who can beat the disease through proper treatment and a strong will.

One of the most exhausting and challenging phases of suffering from Cancer is when the treatment starts. Even though the treatment can completely eradicate cancer in some patients, the incapacitating fatigue that results after the treatment can be immensely draining.

To make sure you can maintain your mind and body strength throughout this difficult journey, experts recommend  Tailor made Yoga therapy programs. Whether you currently have Cancer or you have successfully beaten the disease, Yoga will prove to be extremely beneficial in giving you the healing endurance you need.

According to yoga expert, Dr. Yogananth Andiappan who recently completed a study on the application of yoga therapy as a rehabilitative therapy for breast cancer patients says, many aspects of yoga practice are helpful for patients dealing with the physical and emotional burden of cancer treatments. Moving through gentle postures and relaxation techniques help restore physical functioning and well- being. The most important practice he recommends is pranayama, which can relax the body, still the mind, and help people cope up effectively with the daily lives.

Breathing practice is a great tool to release tension and anxiety which is unknown to many people. One of the reasons for pranayama’s effectiveness is its easy applicability: Breathing practices can be done anywhere, anytime by people in all stages of illness or health.

How Yoga Helps Cancer Patients/Survivors

1.     Managing Stress and Anxiety

It is natural for cancer patients to experience emotional turmoil and high levels of stress and anxiety during their difficult journey. Yoga can be extremely helpful in managing all these emotions since it has a calming effect on your mind and body. With the help of guided meditation and deep breathing techniques, you can regulate your breathing and promote relaxation in your body.

2.     Getting Rid of Toxins

The toxins that appear in your body as a result of cancer treatment can also pushed out of your body if you take advantage of breathing exercises practiced in Yoga. Deep breathing improves the oxygen flow in your body, which eliminates the presence of toxins present in the body.

3.     Physical Activity

Exercise is extremely important when you are suffering from any serious condition. Since it can be difficult for a cancer patient to indulge in physical activity regularly, it is advisable to practice yoga since it is an extraordinarily balanced and safe method.

4.     Pain Management

Along with Yoga being used for reducing stress, relaxing your muscles, and increasing blood circulation throughout the body, it is also known to be significantly effective in managing pain. The recovery process of cancer patients, therefore, greatly improves with Yoga.

There have been many studies that back the effectiveness of Yoga in treating this disease.

Studies Conducted

  1. A study conducted on adult patients who have Cancer and who are receiving treatment showed that men and women that received training in different physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation from a Yoga class reported experiencing a reduction in the negative effects of cancer treatment. They also believed that Yoga had a healing effect on their mind and body. (McCall et al., 2015)
  2. Another study on adult cancer patients suffering from different types of cancer that were receiving chemotherapy and radiation showed great results. The study revealed that Yoga was seen to affect both, physical as well as the emotional health of the participants. The participants reported a significant reduction in fatigue, stress, and some of the most bothersome symptoms of the disease. There was also immense improvement seen in the overall mood and the ability to relax and sleep.


The science of Yoga that originated thousands of years ago continues to amaze the world with its numerous benefits. Yoga, today, can be seen as an excellent way of calming the mind and body and healing even the most serious and painful diseases faced by humankind


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