Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest post by Krista Peterson

Yoga helping patients with chronic illness

Throughout the past few decades there’s been an increased effort to explore complementary and alternative treatments within the health care process. In a number of cases, such as those with cancer patients, routine and traditional treatment is known to bring on a number of side effects. The increased effort to find complementary therapy has found that a number of natural methods, such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and yoga have shown success in helping patients with chronic illnesses reduce a number of side effects.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture are two of the most popular options within complementary therapy these days. Both work to have a major impact on the physical nature of the body and can be a great help to patients who experience constant pain throughout the body. Because acupuncture can help to stimulate multiple areas of the body, it has become so popular within the medical community. Most of the research regarding acupuncture has shown that it helps to activate some of the immune functions, such as improving lymphocyte and increasing the blood cell count.
Yoga’s impact on cancer patients is often unmatched. It has an excellent ability to combine both mental and physical benefits in the long run. The same principles that have helped to make yoga a popular choice for exercise also make it a great benefit for those who are sick. Arthritis patients have found that yoga use helps with their range of motion, flexibility, and cutting down on pain throughout the body. The side effects of some normal treatment like chemo and radiation involve nausea and vomiting. These have both been known to go way down with regular use of yoga during the treatment schedule.
Many patients also use yoga as a way to help relax their mind and reduce stress during the treatment process. A great example of this would include mesothelioma cancer patients, who use yoga in the ladder stages of their live. This is a type of cancer with a severely short life expectancy rate which develops after asbestos exposure. They use yoga as a vehicle to get away from the fear and stress that often consume their time after diagnosis.
The benefits of yoga in treatment are continuing to be expanded and embraced by doctors and physicians. Hopefully one day, complementary therapies can be embraced in most hospitals and worked into normal treatment schedules. There are a number of options that can help all different types of patients. With further research, it’s only a matter of time before complementary options become commonplace in the health care system.

"Krista Peterson is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness and the alternative treatment methods."