Restorative Yoga Shown to Help Women with Breast Cancer
Gentle Restorative Yoga was shown to help women with breast cancer in a small, but significant study that shows how mind-body therapies can help people with cancer.
Yoga, using gentle spinal movements, called Restorative Yoga (RY) resulted in a fifty percent reduction in symptoms of depression, according to study results published in Psycho-Oncology. The women also experienced a twelve percent increase in peacefulness and sense of purpose following the Restorative Yoga sessions.
Forty -four women with breast cancer took part in the study, beginning with questionnaires at the beginning and end of ten weeks of practicing yoga. Half of the women were placed in the Restorative Yoga group, and the other half on a wait list. Thirty four percent of the women were undergoing breast cancer treatment; the others had finished.
The study showed that women with breast cancer who participated in Restorative Yoga classes experienced greater emotional benefits beyond those noted in questionnaires from the women with breast cancer who were on the wait list.
Suzanne Danhauer, Ph.D., based at Wake Forest University School of Medicine says, "Given the high levels of stress and distress that many women with breast cancer experience, the opportunity to experience feeling more peaceful and calm in the midst of breast cancer is a significant benefit." Gentle yoga …”is one mind-body therapy that is widely available and involves relatively reasonable costs”. Restorative Yoga requires minimal physical exertion, making it an attainable mind-body practice for anyone.
The study is positive, showing that women with breast cancer who practice Yoga experience helpful changes in emotion. Restorative Yoga helped depression, and reduced the stress of dealing with breast cancer. The authors say large- scale studies are planned to explore how gentle forms of Yoga can help women with breast cancer.