A new study suggested that in patients suffering from advanced lung cancer, yoga can boost their physical and mental health. Caregivers can also reap benefits from it.
The research was conducted with a small group of 26 lung cancer patients and their caregivers. The average age of participants was 60 years. They took part in 12 yoga sessions. Exercise were based on postures, meditation and breathing.
The study author, Kathrin Milbury said that patients can do yoga and exercise alongside chemotherapy and radiation. Caregivers also go through tough times and they may have sleep troubles and anxiety. Thus, both caregivers and patients should engage in yoga and related activities.
Yoga is not a very intense activity to perform. Its mild nature helps people participate in it easily and it can be accordingly modified to meet specific needs of any patient. Since people with lung cancer have breathing problems, so they are advised to perform deep breathing exercise and the ones that open the chest.
In the study, a six-minute walking test was conducted. People, who did exercise and yoga, performed much better on the test and had higher stamina as compared to the controls, who did not participate in the exercise.
The findings of the study were presented at Palliative and Supportive care Oncology Symposium in San Diego.
However, it cannot be stated that yoga is better than other forms of exercise like swimming, etc. Yoga is one of the many ways to enhance the wellbeing of patients; both physically and mentally.
Researchers said that many participants were so thrilled with the result that they expressed interest to continue to practice yoga.
This study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the observations were only considered preliminary until they get published in a peer reviewed journal.