Regular yoga may improve life of cancer survivors: study

New York, Jun 7: Practising yoga regularly may help cancer survivors sleep better and have an improved quality of life, a new study suggests.

Researchers from University of Rochester in the US found that those who did two 75 minute yoga sessions a week for a month were less tired and had better social, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Yoga helpful for cancer survivors

Scientists studied 245 women who had been treated for breast cancer, with an average age of 54 years. The women had experienced any diagnosis of the disease - except metastatic cancer - had completed all standard treatments, and had "persistent sleep disturbance," 'the Telegraph' reported.

Researchers questioned women about their energy and pain levels, sleep patterns, social interactions, mental state and ability to work and then divided them into two groups.

The first group, which consisted of 123 women, attended a specially designed course of YOCAS - yoga for cancer survivors - with a specified instructor. In the second group, none of the women did yoga. The yoga course included breathing exercises, meditation, and 18 Hatha and restorative yoga postures.

After one month, all women were again questioned about their lifestyle. Those in the first group had better quality of sleep, less insomnia and less fatigue. Researchers measured quality of life, using a symptom inventory scale, in which patients indicated the extent to which they were troubled by sleep disturbances and tiredness.

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Women who did yoga had an improved score of an average 3.6 to 2.5 - a 44 per cent rise. There was no change in the scores of women who did not do yoga - they remained at their average initial score of 3.4.

"This low to moderate intensity yoga was found to be very beneficial for breast cancer survivors," said Anita Peoples from University of Rochester. "As yet, nothing has been found that works as well as yoga at improving quality of life among those who have suffered from the disease," she said.


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