Ayurveda and Yoga: Complementary Treatments for Cancer
This is a really great article that I wanted to share with everyone about the benefits of Ayurveda and Yoga in relation to the treatment of Cancer. Please share with anyone you know that might be going through this, and would like more information on how traditional healing therapies can compliment western medical treatments and dis-ease.
Ayurveda is a traditional Eastern approach to balanced and healthy living. At its core, it is a system that emphasizes acceptance of human needs and the pursuit of vitality.
Ayurveda does accentuate preventative measures, but the system can also benefit patients who already have a developed illness, such as cancer. A traditional Ayurvedic treatment model incorporates internal medicine and surgery along with medicine, emotional care, yoga and meditation. This parallels most Western cancer treatment models, any many patients can easily adopt it as a comprehensive treatment plan.
Ayurveda for Cancer Patients
With clearance from their oncologist, cancer patients can partake in most components of an Ayurvedic system, including:
• Relaxation techniques and breathing exercises
• Specialized diets (with an emphasis on cleansing, plant-based foods)
• Therapeutic massage
These modalities all have the potential to help cancer patients reduce or manage their symptoms. Meditation excels at controlling anxiety, while therapeutic massage is especially helpful for decreasing pain. Practitioners may use any combination of these approaches depending on their illness, lifestyle and emotional state.
Herbal supplements and other natural medicines play a large role in Ayurvedic treatment as well. Some of the natural medicines, including garlic and turmeric, have been shown to have anti-cancer activity in laboratory studies. However, some supplements can have negative interactions in cancer patients, so practitioners are encouraged to clear all use of Ayurvedic supplements with their oncologist before consumption.
Yoga for Cancer Patients.
Along with tenets such as hygiene and exercise, yoga is an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine. Both practices emphasize similar principles of focused energy and mind-body healing, so it’s natural that the two go hand in hand.
Cancer patients often report feeling more centered and relaxed after adopting a regular yoga practice. Additionally, specific poses can help minimize their symptoms. For example, triangle pose can encourage healthy digestion, while simple inversions like downward dog can help fight fatigue.
Practitioners should focus on gentle yoga classes or classes designed specifically for cancer patients. These classes take patients’ physical limitations into consideration and often revolve around relaxing or restorative postures.
Author bio: Faith Franz has spent nearly two years researching and writing for The Mesothelioma Center. As an advocate for alternative medicine, she encourages patients to explore all of the treatment options that could potentially save their life.