One of the most intense and emotionally challenging events that can be experienced in life is a diagnosis of cancer. Cancer is a disease that may not always have a positive outlook, and there are not always treatments available for all types of cancer. While chemotherapy and conventional medicine can treat symptoms and disease, there are many steps that individuals faced with a diagnosis of cancer can follow to help increase their chance of recovery, while reducing symptoms of the disease.
One very powerful and effective therapy for cancer recovery is physical exercise. While exercise must be combined with proper nutrition and medically proven treatment practices, exercise can be extremely effective in treating the symptoms of many types of cancer and helping on the road to recovery.
Some major symptoms are common across many types of cancer, ranging from common cancers like breast cancer to rare diseases like mesothelioma. These symptoms include a loss of appetite, a decrease in energy, and depression. Exercise can be effective in treating these symptoms. Intense physical activity triggers the release of dopamine and other endorphins, which can have a significant and long lasting effect on mood and outlook. Physical exercise also stimulates appetite, increases energy levels by regulating insulin production in the body, and helps prevent insomnia by stimulating healthy sleep.
Any exercise programs that are conducted during cancer recovery or chemotherapy should be approved by a doctor or other medical professional. Different types of cancer may not allow for certain physical movements or other motions, so finding the appropriate physical therapy and exercises for an individual’s tailored recovery program is essential.
There are many excellent cardiovascular exercises that can be used as part of a cancer recovery program. Swimming is an excellent low intensity cardiovascular exercise, which avoids putting excessive strain on any joints. Swimming requires the use of muscles all over the body, and can be tailored from a low intensity swim, to a high level cardiovascular workout.
Yoga is also an excellent activity for anyone taking part in an active recovery program. Yoga has been scientifically (National Institute of Health) to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, and can have a positive impact on lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Cancer patients and survivors that are unfamiliar with the practice of yoga should talk with their doctor about programs that may be specific to their condition. An increasing number of cancer centers offer wellness programs, and yoga instructors are increasingly experienced in working with such patients.
Moreover, some yoga instructors also provide additional complementary therapies such as crystal and gemstone healing sessions. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that different sizes of crystals and gemstones can be used to enhance the meditative experience that goes hand in hand with practicing yoga. From jade eggs that can be used to strengthen pelvic floor muscles to stones and crystals that are believed to have specific energy centers or chakras, if you are a spiritual person, the possibilities are endless.
Ultimately, high stress levels can impede a healthy recovery, and the stimulating movements of Yoga combined with meditation and crystal therapy can be part of an effective lifestyle change to encourage a healthy, active recovery. Furthermore, thanks to yoga teacher training courses like this one: https://www.siddhiyoga.com/become-certified-yoga-instructor, the message and the benefits of yoga are beginning to spread all over the world.
By: David Haas