Yoga of Awareness for Breast Cancer Patients with Hot Flashes

A study published in Supportive Care in Cancer found that Jim and Kimberley Carson’s Yoga of Awareness program is effective at treating hot flashes and related symptoms in early stage breast cancer survivors.

Previously, research had shown that yoga was helpful for menopause-related symptoms in healthy women, but this study marked the first time that it was explored as a treatment option for cancer-related hot flashes. The study took thirty-seven women and randomized them to either an 8-week Yoga of Awareness program or a control group. The Yoga of Awareness Program that the women participated in contained gentle yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation, as well as group discussions on pain and symptom management.

Prior to the beginning of the yoga program, there was no difference in symptoms between the two groups. But after the program, the women who had undergone yoga training reported significant improvement in hot flash frequency and severity, as well as reduced levels of fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, sadness and low energy. After an additional three months, the yoga group had made even greater strides above the control group.

Yoga of Awareness is intended to complement ongoing medical treatment, and focuses on helping patients connect more fully with their “inner resources” to cope with physical and emotional difficulties. The program aims to help patients “live skillfully” as they “find their balance and keep their poise amidst the tumult of life’s ever-changing challenges.” Classes consist of hatha yoga and meditation techniques.

These promising results from Supportive Care in Cancer show that more research is needed into the effects of yoga for cancer suvivors and that Yoga for Awareness can help improve quality of life for cancer survivors.

Read more about Yoga of Awareness here.

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