July 2, 2019
By: PathSOS Team

Yoga Breathing for Cancer Chemotherapy

Cancer is a word, not a sentence. Struggling with cancer is not that easy, but also giving up isn't an option. Yoga increases not only physical and emotional wellness but also brings peace amongst patients who thought they lost forever. When we talk about yoga, both the physical postures and controlled breathing comes to our mind.

Patients who are suffering from cancer receive Chemotherapy often suffer treatment side effects including fatigue, sleep disturbances, and other physical and mental side effects. Amongst all, Sleep disturbance is the most common symptoms which are experienced by cancer patients, occurs in approx. 80% of patients during chemotherapy, and results in hindering in quality of life. Several studies have researched the effectiveness of yoga, which includes breathing, postures, and/or meditation, in a population of patients with cancer.

A series of Yoga breathing techniques, called pranayama, works both as a physical practice and a form of meditation. Prana meaning spirit, life force, or breath, and Yama meaning expansion, control, or regulation designed as a way to quiet the mind. It may improve cancer-related symptoms & quality of life. Yoga breathing was a viable intervention among patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Pranayama may improve fatigue, sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety, and mental quality of life. In pranayama, the breathing techniques help provide the maximum amount of oxygen to the cells. The more oxygen to the cells supplied, the more rapidly the healthy cells will grow, also the life of the cells will get increased. Pranayama helps in increasing the number of healthy cells.

The Patients receiving cancer chemotherapy treatment were randomized to receive pranayama immediately consisted of a four breathing practices with 60-minute class once in a week for around seven weeks by two certi?ed yoga instructors who had special training in therapeutic yoga and over 25 years of combined experience teaching yoga to patients with cancer, and twice daily as a home practice for a total of 20-30 minutes per day. Four breathing practices are- The first was a breath observation technique, second technique was a form of Ujjayi breathing, the third technique was a forced abdominal exhalation, kapalabhati pranayama, and the ?nal breathing technique was alternate nostril breathing, Nadi shodhana.

Yoga helps cancer patients by reconnecting with their body after chemo, radiation and/or surgery. With this, people achieve a sense of improved well-being from focusing on moving from one pose to the next and thereby connecting to the present situations. The breathing and movements cope up with stress and promote inner peace, which can translate to increased emotional coping skills during and after treatment.

Thus, Pranayama-Yoga breathing technique is effective in curing Cancer, Chemo symptoms. Apart from this, the person who is practicing Pranayama may have very little chance of producing cancer.