Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[Guest Article] Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients

Benefits of Yoga for Cancer Patients
Liz Davies

Yoga has provided many benefits for a wide variety of physical issues. It provides relief for back and joint pain. Yoga is phenomenal for stress management and overall well-being. The success millions of people have had with Yoga prompted the medical community to take notice of the benefits. Today, many doctors’ recommend a Yoga practice to cancer patients. While Yoga does not cure cancer, it provides powerful benefits to those who suffer with cancer.

Remarkably, Yoga relieves many of the symptoms related to
chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer patients must undergo these arduous treatments, and must suffer with fatigue and nausea afterwards. The nausea is unbearable for most patients. However, a mild Yoga program relieves the nausea and helps cancer patients maintain their energy. Many will still feel fatigued but to a much lesser degree. For cancer patients this is welcomed relief from the side effects of chemo or radiation therapy.

Yoga also is shown to increase the number of red blood cells. This is particularly important for cancer patients. A regular yoga practice will increase the circulation of oxygen carrying blood cells. Adequate oxygen supplies are paramount in healing the body whether a person has cancer or another illness. The improved circulation and increase in the number of cells helps the body to heal, and keeps the immune system healthy.

Attitude is an important element when fighting any disease. However, cancer patients struggle the most with keeping a positive attitude. This devastating disease is often fatal if not treated early. In addition, many of the cancer treatments cause a host of side effects. Yoga is proven to
increase a person's overall sense of well being which can help a person maintain a positive attitude. In fact, many family members of the patient will participate in a yoga practice. Family members are under severe stress while their loved one battles cancer. It provides an outlet for the stress and emotions. In addition, it helps loved ones maintain their strength and well-being.

One of the most amazing benefits of yoga is most people discover they sleep better. Sleep is important to maintain a healthy body and mind. For cancer patients and their loved ones, sleep deprivation can cause emotional and physical breakdowns. Even for those who do not have a devastating illness such as cancer, will benefit from a regular yoga practice. People will get a restful sleep and will feel better throughout the day. 

A yoga practice does not have to be strenuous. Many people experience the many health benefits from a gentle yoga class. The classes are 30 minutes to an hour depending on what type of yoga you choose. However, yoga can also be done in the convenience of your own home. If you are new to yoga, you can start with a beginners program by taking a class or buying a DVD. Yoga is beneficial for people with all types of cancer whether that is
breast cancer, liver cancer or even rare forms of pleural mesothelioma.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TED videos

I’ve been enjoying TED videos recently and I just wanted to share some of them I consider worth watching.

They go pretty well with The Switch and The Happiness Hypothesis book. I’ve found these two books very interesting and one of the best non-training (at least on the first glance) books I have read in a while.
The positive psychology approach (concentrating on your strengths) is very interesting to me and it goes pretty well with ’Finding the bright spots’ for the Rider (if you don’t know what the hell am I talking get your hand on The Switch book).

I suppose this can be used in sport coaching as well. For example, in a group of athletes, coaches are often focused on bad performers and provide critique to them („Lift those damn knees when doing skips John!“). Instead I think one should concentrate more on good performers and provide positive reinforcements and specific feedback for them ("Great knee height John. Great arm action"). This is easier said than done of course, because we are biased toward negative stuff. Been there, done than. Trust me. This approach demands a lot of work.

Another fine read on this pedagogic aspects of coaching is Lyle’s mega series Because We Let Them. Really good read when it comes to Motivation 2.0 (see The Drive book) or carrot~stick, punishment~reward. Anyway, behavior can be explained by context as well (’what looks like a human problem is often a situation problem’) as presented in some of the videos above. 

The more I am involved in coaching the more I realize that psychology is crucial things. To be honest, I suck at it. But hell, I admitted and I am learning :)