August 21, 2010

CANADA: Breast cancer yoga improves recovery

EDMONTON, Alberta, August 20 (UPI)
A specialized Iyengar yoga program for women receiving breast cancer treatment makes a positive difference in their recovery, Canadian researchers say. (Photo: New York Daily News / Getty)

Amy Speed-Andrews of the University of Alberta and colleagues had study participants -- currently in treatment for breast cancer and who have completed breast cancer treatment -- fill out a questionnaire about their physical and mental health at the beginning of a 10-week session of Iyengar yoga and again at the end.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Nursing, finds that after the yoga 94 percent said they had improvements in their quality of life; 88 percent say they felt better physically; 87 percent reported being happier and 80 percent said they were less tired.

The women reported decreased levels of stress, anxiety and depression -- a significant finding because breast cancer treatments often leave women in pain, immobilized, tired and depressed,
Jennifer Schelter (center) leads some 600 breast cancer survivors and their families through yoga exercises on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. They participate in the mass yoga class annually to raise funds and awareness of breast cancer issues.
(UPI Photo/John Anderson)