Prescribing yoga for cancer patients - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Yoga for cancer patients

Doctors have long supported yoga as an important tool for cancer survivors.  But now, the biggest-ever scientific study on yoga shows it's more than that.  Yoga may not be a cancer cure – but it is a prescription for better sleep and less fatigue.

Your first yoga class can be a little intimidating.  From the intentional breathing - to the twisting, bottoms in the air, seems a little awkward. 

But for Marianne MacLeod, "I was a little hesitant - I didn't think I could do all the movements.  I'm not young anymore, " yoga has made all the difference in her recovery from breast cancer.

"I find it very relaxing and beneficial to my general state of health," she says.

The latest research shows Marianne is not alone.

The biggest study of its kind found those cancer patients who practiced gentle, restorative yoga showed nearly double the improvement in sleep quality and reduction of fatigue compared to those not practicing yoga. They also reported better quality of life overall.

"The balancing, the stretching, I just love it.  It's very enjoyable," she says.

Good science that shows a real benefit for cancer survivors; and yoga is fun.  This move is called "breath of joy."  And we can all use a little more joy.  Whether we're fighting cancer or just fighting a blue mood.

"I intend to keep doing it," says Marianne.

Insurance providers rarely cover fees for yoga classes as treatment for cancer.  But this recent study may begin to change that.

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