Breast Cancer Treatment Benefitted by Yoga

Breast Cancer TreatmentBreast cancer treatments are harsh; not only do women have to get used to the idea of what it would feel like to be without their breast, but once a tumor is found, they also have to undergo harsh breast cancer treatments. Treatments range from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and holistic drugs and medications. However, new research suggests that breast cancer treatments may be benefitted by yoga.

Once the tumor is discovered, things get even harder for those who suffer at the cruel hands of breast cancer and their families. Instead of watching their loved ones, undergo hostile treatments, families have researched alternative and holistic methods for breast cancer treatment. There have been studies to show that yoga is good for cancer survivors but can it be a breast cancer treatment?

Yoga has been practiced for so long no one is sure when it first began, but many historians believe it began sometime in 3000 B.C. Over the centuries yoga has undergone four stages; the Vedic Period, Pre-Classical Period, Classical Period, and Post-Classical Period, which is similar to the stages of breast cancer. Are the two interconnected? This would make sense as to why yoga would be used as a holistic treatment for breast cancer

When someone think of breast cancer treatments the mind automatically goes to chemotherapy and the removal of a breast. Would different asanas have the power to keep the tumor from spreading within the breast? Could yoga be a safer way to fight the war on breast cancer?

Over the decades yoga has become increasingly popular, along with its new found popularity, there are many new yoga trends emerging every day from hot yoga to nude yoga. Ever since Guru Swami Sivananda bought Western civilization and taught  The Five Principles of Yoga the West has gravitated toward more holistic medicine, especially in California.

California is known for its alternative medicine ways on almost every corner there are signs of holistic medicine being practiced. Acupuncture offices, aromatherapy offered in salons, and yoga studies offering to help re-energize the body.  Can downward dog be a breast cancer treatment?

Perhaps a look at what Yoga is about will help us examine whether it’s capable of such scientific powers as becoming a breast cancer treatment.  What does Yoga mean?  Yoga  derives from the word yuj which means oxygen.

A key element of yoga is connecting the mind, body, and spirit. One of the easier ways to connect our bodies is to follow The Five Principles of Yoga;

1. Savasana-Relaxation, 2. Asanas-Exercise, 3. Pranayama-Breathing, 4. Proper Diet, 5. Dhyana-Positive Thinking & Meditation

Is the connection of our bodies the answer to breast cancer treatment? Maybe it is time to delve into the basic Principles of Yoga.  There are the 12 basic Asanas. Each Asana, position, helps a different part of the body and opens up the 7 chakras. Chakras are our bodies centre of power. Proper form is said to help prevent diseases, like diabetes, arthritis, and asthma. Perhaps opened chakras can lead to breast cancer treatment.

In 2012 popular Yoga Guru, Baba Ramdev underwent some fire when his YouTube website  claimed that he could cure cancer, homosexuality, and AIDS through yoga,  wheat-grass, and the teachings offered in his  Divya Yoga Mandir Trust center. Some Bollywood actors follow the famous guru wholeheartedly, but blind trust did not end well for one person listening to the advice of Ramdev; it caused his death.  Upon that death, the Indian Union Healthy Ministry stepped in and ordered him to cease talks alternate treatment plans through yoga and healthy juices.

While breast cancer patients and their families are not asking for yoga to cure cancer. they are asking if it can be used as a treatment, or at least benefit breast cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society say that a holistic option is open for those who want to go that route. Is it realistic for yoga to do the same thing an holistic drug can do?  

Breast cancer treatments and having breast cancer is hard. The harsh treatments tend to wipe people out and getting their lives back on track before breast cancer becomes an every day struggle. Soothing breathes and instructors with warm greetings are a welcome change to drugged induced environments.

While yoga seems like a good idea for breast cancer treatment, it is doubtful that it will become one. There is no history supporting yoga for being a good candidate for breast cancer treatment. 

Yoga might not be the solution to breast cancer treatment, but it is how some people say they survived chemotherapy and got their motor skills to return to them. There’s a special yoga dedicated to cancer patients it’s called yoga for cancer. Taking part in yoga for cancer can be seen as a breast cancer treatment.

Since yoga offers low impact on joints it’s the perfect exercise to build up bone strength.  Yoga for cancer also focuses more on asanas, and asanas help the body’s blood flow.

In a 2009 study of women who were apart of two focus groups, one with an hour of yoga a day and one with only group therapy, studies  have shown that cancer patients who participate in one hour of yoga have had less anxiety, stress, and social awkwardness after their surgery.

Breast cancer treatments have different stages, which is why yoga is good, it may not be a treatment itself but it isn’t useless. It does help gaining mobility, de-stressing, fatigue, sleep, and pain to some degree, and it can also help with experiencing a state of calm after the storm, leading to a healthier lifestyle.

By Jordan Walker

American Cancer Society