Down Dog! Yoga Tames Cancer-Related Distress
How can you prepare patients to face the emotional challenges of breast cancer treatment? Research shows yoga can be more effective than individual supportive therapy counseling when it comes reducing anxiety and distress, as well as improving the quality of life.
Yoga as a psychotherapeutic intervention
Researchers studied the effects of a yoga program versus supportive therapy counseling in stage II and III breast cancer patients receiving conventional treatment. Sixty-nine participants with similar age, stages of disease, grade, and node status completed this study, published in Indian Journal of Palliative Care. Thirty-three patients completed the yoga program, which included interactive sessions regarding stress management and individual yoga instruction. Thirty-six participants took part in individual supportive therapy counseling aimed at educating patients on their disease and treatment options. While both groups had similar scores at baseline, patients in the yoga program reported decreased anxiety state, depression, treatment-related symptoms, severity of symptoms, distress, and improvement in overall quality of life.