A new study has found that yoga has distinct benefits for women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment. The study revealed that yoga fights tiredness and regulates stress levels. Researchers have stated that the benefits of yoga go beyond fighting fatigue.
The University of Texas undertook the study in an effort to find a scientific link between body-mind interventions for cancer patients.
Researchers discovered that although simple stretching exercise were useful to fight fatigue, those who took part in yoga exercises that included meditation, relaxation therapy and breathing exercises, experienced better overall health. These patients were also able to undertake their daily activities better and there was more efficient control of the stress hormone, cortisol.
The females who took part in the yoga classes were also able to handle the effects of their illness better than the women in the other groups.
This study included the comparison of a group of females doing yoga to a group who were doing simple stretching exercises. The patients in both groups were required to attend classes aimed at breast cancer patients. The classes were attended three times a week for an hour per session, and lasted for the duration of the six week radiation treatment period. Electrocardiogram tests were done and saliva samples were collected from the patients.
The results indicated that the females who practiced yoga experienced a steeper decline in their levels of cortisol throughout the day. This indicates that yoga exercises offered patients the ability to regulate their stress hormones.
After the completion of the radiation treatment, the females in the stretching and yoga groups were the only ones who reported feeling less fatigued. Researchers have stated that higher stress hormone levels for the duration of a normal day have shown links to worse results for breast cancer.
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