Many studies have suggested that yoga therapy may be beneficial to many cancer patients, including mesothelioma patients. The art of yoga has been known to help relieve stress and to help strengthen your musculoskeletal structure. Yoga also has the ability to help boost your energy levels and to help improve your body’s circulation and flexibility.

What is Yoga?

Yoga helps strengthen and relax your body. This is accomplished through acts of breathing, poses, and meditation. The practice of yoga dates back to over 5,000 years ago. There are different styles of yoga and different levels of mastery that range from beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Three common beginner yoga poses are:
  • Downward Facing Dog

    Person on yoga mat doing the yoga pose downward facing dog.

  • Warrior II

    Person on yoga mat doing the yoga pose Warrior II.

  • Cobbler’s Pose

    Person on yoga mat doing the yoga pose cobbler's pose.

Yoga Helping Mesothelioma Patients

Yoga can be used as a form of therapy for mesothelioma patients. By doing gentle yoga poses, a patient is able to strengthen their body during and after the treatment process.

According to Yoga U, yoga is a holistic approach to healing. It is emerging successfully as a method used to combat both the physical discomfort of cancer and the discomforting side effects that are associated with cancer treatments.

As a mesothelioma patient, symptoms vary depending on treatment. Many mesothelioma patients will experience treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

Some common side effects a patient may experience are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Surgical Pain

Many doctors will prescribe solutions to help patients manage their pain and side effects. However, adding yoga as a complementary healing approach may help a patient along their medical journey.

4 Benefits of Doing Yoga

In the words of renowned yoga teacher, B.K.D. Iyengar, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not to be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.”

Currently, there isn’t a cure for mesothelioma. However, researchers are dedicated to finding the best treatment options that they can offer, to stabilize a patient’s disease and to improve their prognosis.

Outside of seeking medical treatment, here are 4 benefits that have been associated with yoga that can be beneficial to a mesothelioma patient.

  • 1
    It helps clear toxins from your body.
In the process of doing yoga poses, you are doing so much more than just using your muscles. Yoga increases the blood flow in your body. It helps balance your glands, enhances your lymphatic flow, and enhances your internal purification processes.

By doing deep and relaxing breaths, yoga helps increase the oxygen-rich blood that’s delivered to your cells. This process helps deliver nutrients to your tired cells and helps clear out toxins left in your body from cancer treatments.

  • 2
    It helps reduce your stress and anxiety.
Stress has been known to weaken the body’s immune system. Yoga helps relieve tension and anxiety that you may be experiencing.
  • 3
    It is a method of exercising.
In many circumstances, a mesothelioma patient cannot vigorously workout like they may have been able to in the past. For example, a mesothelioma patient may experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

With peaceful and easy poses of yoga, a patient is still able to engage in some form of physical activity. Research has revealed that when a person exercises regularly, they stimulate their body’s natural defenses to fight cancer and other illnesses.

  • 4
    It’s a form of holistic healing.
For a patient that is experiencing chemotherapy, surgery or radiation, the practice of yoga provides them with support that helps them both physically and emotionally. Yoga helps strengthen their body by restoring motion and flexibility. It also helps boost a patient’s immune system and provides them with a state of emotional well-being.

Check out this video of simple yoga techniques that a chemotherapy patient may find uplifting.

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Show Sources & Author

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  5. The Guardian. How yoga could ease cancer patients' pain and fatigue. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jun/07/yoga-cancer-patients-pain-fatigue. Accessed: 07/20/2017.
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  8. Sharecare. What are the different levels of yoga classes?. Retrieved from: https://www.sharecare.com/health/yoga/what-different-levels-yoga-classes. Accessed: 07/20/2017.
  9. Verywell. Essential Yoga Poses for Beginners. Retrieved from: https://www.verywell.com/essential-yoga-poses-for-beginners-3566747. Accessed: 07/20/2017.
  10. Encyclopedia Britannica. B.K.S. Iyengar. Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/biography/B-K-S-Iyengar. Accessed: 07/20/2017.
  11. DOYOUYOGA. 12 Inspiring Quotes From B.K.S. Iyengar. Retrieved from: https://www.doyouyoga.com/12-inspiring-quotes-from-b-k-s-iyengar-guru/. Accessed: 07/20/2017.
  12. DANA-FARBER Cancer Institute. Exercising with lung cancer. Retrieved from: http://www.dana-farber.org/Health-Library/Exercising-with-lung-cancer.aspx. Accessed: 07/24/2017.

About the Writer, Nicole Godfrey

Nicole Godfrey is the Senior Content Writer for Mesothelioma Guide. She develops content to help educate and provide awareness about the most significant information about improving a mesothelioma patient’s prognosis.