By Katherine Keys
Patients living with mesothelioma, the aggressive type of cancer most often caused by asbestos exposure, face a number of symptoms that range from mild to severe. Both the cancer itself and the treatments for it can cause pain, nausea, and fatigue. They also cause psychological effects, like fear, depression, and hopelessness.
While mesothelioma is unfortunately not curable for most patients, there are many treatments that can extend life and combat the symptoms of the cancer and chemotherapy used to treat it. These include a lot of natural and holistic strategies, including yoga. Many mesothelioma patients face fear and uncertainty. They may work with mesothelioma lawyers to get justice for the cancer likely caused by working conditions, but this can only provide so much relief. If you are struggling to cope, yoga may help.
Yoga for Pain
Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the disease, is the cancer of the tissue that lines the lungs. As the cancer grows in that tissue it presses against the spine and nerves. This can lead to significant pain for patients. Research has found that practicing yoga regularly can help relieve pain by improving the body and brain’s tolerance for it.
Any pain caused by mesothelioma, or even other kinds of pain that are less tolerable because you are ill, may be reduced by doing yoga several times a week. A qualified instructor can even tailor a yoga workout to meet your specific needs. If you are experiencing mostly back pain, for instance, there are certain poses that will help more than others.
Battle the Fatigue of Fighting Mesothelioma
The many effects of cancer on the body, not to mention the treatments, include fatigue. If you are struggling with mesothelioma you probably also struggle to do the things you used to because of being tired and having less energy. Just one session of yoga per week boosts energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue. If you can work up to it, and your health care professionals give you the green light, more than one session per week can really help you to get your old energy back.
Manage Mood and Fight Fear
Living with a death sentence hanging over your head is a terrible thing to have to experience. Patients with terminal cancers like mesothelioma have to be brave in the face of being given a short life sentence. That can take a toll on the psyche and leave you feeling afraid, anxious, depressed, and alone. Time and again, yoga has been proven to help people manage these negative feelings and boost mood.
Many studies have demonstrated that there are positive psychological benefits of yoga, but some have focused specifically on cancer patients. In one study a group of cancer patients participated in yoga for several sessions and researchers found that they all experienced a reduction in stress and anxiety and reported having a better quality of life.
If you are battling mesothelioma, trying yoga could help you feel better and give you a valuable coping strategy. Be sure to work with a professional who can help you start doing yoga at a pace that is best for your current fitness and health level. Once you get started you will likely experience relief from symptoms and a better outlook on living.