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1-min read

International Yoga Day 2019: How the Ancient Indian Practice Helps Cancer Patients Recover Better

Adopted under the agenda of ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy,’ resolution 69/131 recognized that Yoga 'provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.'

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Updated:June 20, 2019, 11:30 AM IST
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International Yoga Day 2019: How the Ancient Indian Practice Helps Cancer Patients Recover Better
Representative Image. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ PeopleImages/ IStock.com)
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International Yoga Day 2019 | The International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year on June 21 to raise global awareness about the benefits of the ancient Indian practice. On December 11, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’, after a resolution was introduced by India’s Ambassador to UN Asoke Mukerji, which saw 177 nations joining as co-sponsors, the highest number ever for any General Assembly resolution.

Adopted under the agenda of ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy,’ resolution 69/131 recognized that Yoga “provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

Several studies conducted over the years suggest that while Yoga may not cure cancer, it certainly helps patients cope better with fatigue, insomnia and other related side-effects as a result of treatment.

A 2013 review of studies published by Elsevier Inc concluded that “yoga interventions may be beneficial for reducing cancer-related fatigue in women with breast cancer.”

Another review of nine studies conducted with cancer patients and survivors said yoga “yielded modest improvements in sleep quality, mood, stress, cancer-related distress, cancer-related symptoms, and overall quality of life.”

“Results from the emerging literature on yoga and cancer provide preliminary support for the feasibility and efficacy of yoga interventions for cancer patients, although controlled trials are lacking. Further research is required to determine the reliability of these effects and to identify their underlying mechanisms,” it said.

Yet another review of 16 studies that evaluated 23 physical and 20 psychosocial outcomes concluded that “Yoga appeared to be a feasible intervention and beneficial effects on several physical and psychosocial symptoms were reported.”

“ In patients with breast cancer, effect size on functional well-being was small, and they were moderate to large for psychosocial outcomes,” it said.

Yoga may also help cancer patients undergoing treatment with sleep management. “Yoga was shown to be safe and improved sleep and QoL in a group of older adults with insomnia. Outcomes depended on practice compliance,” according to one study.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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