Yoga is one of the most popular complementary treatments for managing cancer symptoms and therapy side-effects. About 10% of cancer survivors in the US have practiced yoga for different reasons such as: relaxation, coping with psychological issues, taking an active role in their cancer journey, increasing energy levels, being more physically active, improving immunity, and overall wellness.
The authors studied 29 high quality clinical trials of yoga practices conducted both during and post treatment. Participants were mainly women with breast cancer. Results from these studies indicated that yoga practices improve different aspects of quality of life. One aspect that was studied in most of those trials was fatigue. The results demonstrated that yoga practice alleviated fatigue symptoms. Furthermore, some studies showed improvement in psychological distress during treatments, and improvement of sleeping and cognition problems post-treatment. Yoga also has the potential to enhance the immune system function as verified by specific biomarkers. The researchers suggested that more comprehensive studies should be conducted to verify the relationship between yoga practice and management of various cancer symptoms among different cancer types and diverse populations.
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