Saturday, August 6, 2011

Guest Post by Jillian McKee

Easing Chemotherapy Pain Through Yoga

The benefits of chemotherapy in cancer treatment are undeniable. Unfortunately, chemo treatments cause pain, discomfort, sore muscles, and nausea, making it difficult for a recovering cancer patient to have any positive quality of life. Recently, cancer patients have begun turn to a very old remedy for these issues - yoga.

For instance, information found at the homepage for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, shows that since most cancer treatments such as chemotherapy cause debilitating effects to the entire body, practicing yoga can be a great way to ease the pain and discomfort these treatments cause. The website also states that incorporating yoga into treatment can help the mesothelioma prognosis to have a better outcome in subsequent doctor's visits and can also increase life expectancy. Yoga helps to keep the entire body fit, which can counteract the sickness and nausea commonly associated with chemotherapy. Also, cancer patients are dealing with a constant high level of stress, and yoga can be an excellent way to alleviate some of that stress and anxiety with various relaxation techniques.

Be sure, when starting yoga as a way to relieve pain from chemotherapy, to find the right schedule for you, and to stick to it regularly. The body will learn to anticipate a set scheduled time for practice, which will help with overall fitness and limberness.

It is also extremely important to consult your physician before trying and alternative or supplemental medicine, as they will be most familiar with your case, and will know your body's limitations as you heal. For example, it might not be wise for a bone cancer patient to try some of the more rigorous yoga poses, as their bones are fragile and more easily broken. Also, keep in mind that yoga, as a treatment for pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy, will have varied results from patient to patient, as with nearly any alternative medicine. Complementary treatments such as Gentle Yoga can be extremely beneficial, but the patient must be in the proper state of mind, as well as being in good physical health other than the cancer, for any complementary treatment through yoga or other means to be effective.