Artofhealing Cancer


Yoga is an ancient Indian science and is one among the six great Indian philosophies that have evolved over thousands of years. In the spiritual dimension, yoga is a path toward attainment of superconscious states beyond sensory perception and knowledge. It deals with the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual well-being of an individual.

A growing literature shows the potential benefits of practicing yoga. Yoga is an ancient discipline and its physical and mental health benefits have been described in early texts. Although it has been used in India for centuries, it has recently started to gain global recognition.

Various international cancer organisations like American Cancer Scoiety, Memorial Sloan Katerring Cancer Canter are recognising the importance of yoga in cancer survivors and also patients on treatment for cancer. A recent Cochrane review has shown yoga to have moderate-quality evidence for reducing depression, anxiety and fatigue[i].

[i] Cramer H, Lauche R, Klose P, Lange S, Langhorst J, et al. Cramer H, editor. Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;1:CD010802.

Treatment regimens for cancer can pose serious side effects such as change in appearance, infertility, altered sexual functioning, hair loss, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, infections, and low blood counts, which affects the patients overall functional quality of life (QOL). Fear and anxiety associated with invasive treatment procedures, sexual dysfunction secondary to surgery and radiation, and problems associated with extended hospital care and aggressive medical treatment are among the most common causes for the treatment-related side effects observed in cancer patients.

Several scientifically proven benefits of yoga in cancer patients (during treatment as well as in survivors):

  • Reduce depression and anxiety state
  • Management of a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite.
  • Reduction in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).
  • Reducing pain
  • Reduces lymphedema post breast cancer surgery
Yoga & Meditation Therapy attch 2

Various modules of yoga can be tailored to meet the needs of cancer patients.

Raghvendra et al have written a comprehensive of Yoga practices in cancer patients and their benefits.

Nicole Culos-Reed et al reviewed scientific evidence of yoga in cancer patients across studies published from 2004 to 2011 and confirm the scientific evidence that yoga helps in improving quality of life, psychosocial, and limited symptom outcomes in cancer survivors.

Danhauer et al reviewed yoga therapy during cancer treatment. They conducted a review of non-randomized studies and randomized controlled trials of yoga interventions for children and adults undergoing treatment for any cancer type. Results from various studies suggest that yoga leads to improvements treatment-related changes in mental health, fatigue, sleep quality, and other aspects of quality of life.
Although yoga is useful in improving fitness and health in both healthy and disease populations, caution is advised while dealing with cancer patients due to their disease condition and increased propensity for injury. Bone metastases in long bones present an increased risk of fracture with some asanas, especially in the elderly population. Second, hyperventilation practices have been shown to cause pneumothorax earlier, the chances of this is high in patients with lung cancer or lung metastases undergoing radiotherapy. Patients having pleural effusion, ascites, abdominal surgeries, etc., need a more cautious approach with yoga interventions, slow deep breathing, pranayama, and relaxation techniques being useful in these conditions. The performance status and general condition of the patient are of paramount importance while selecting yoga interventions.

Some of the yoga asanas and their specific benefits are listed here

Suggested Readings

[1] Cramer H, Lauche R, Klose P, Lange S, Langhorst J, et al. Cramer H, editor. Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;1:CD010802.

[1] Rao RM, Amritanshu R,1  Vinutha HT,1 Vaishnaruby S,1 Deepashree S, Megha M,1  Geetha R, and Ajaikumar BS. Role of Yoga in Cancer Patients: Expectations, Benefits, and Risks: A Review. Indian J Palliat Care. 2017 Jul-Sep; 23(3): 225–230. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_107_17

[1] S. Nicole Culos-Reed,1,2,3Michael J. Mackenzie,1Stephanie J. Sohl,4Michelle T. Jesse,5,6Ashley N. Ross Zahavich,1and Suzanne C. Danhauer. Review Article Yoga & Cancer Interventions: A Review of the Clinical Significance of Patient Reported Outcomes for Cancer Survivors. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 | Article ID 642576 |

[1]Danhauer SC, Addington EL, Sohl SJ, Chaoul A, and Cohen L. Review of Yoga Therapy During Cancer Treatment. Support Care Cancer. 2017 April ; 25(4): 1357–1372. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3556-9.

Yoga & Meditation Therapy

We at AOHC conduct regular group sessions and private sessions (on request) which are specifically planned as per patient’s clinical condition. To help us deliver the service we have with us Mr Pankaj Kumar.

dr for. Yoga & Meditation Therapy

Mr Pankaj Kumar is a Yoga Therapist & Certified Yoga Trainer with extensive experience in training & treating people with Yoga, for more than two decades now. After his formal learning of Yogic Studies in India from Bihar Yoga Bharati (World’s First Yoga University), he worked as Yoga Therapist with California Wow Experience and Planet Yoga Bangkok, for a couple of years.

With help of Yoga Therapies, he worked closely with patients suffering from Slip Disc, Lower Back Pain, Cervical Spondylitis & Lymphedema and Cancer Patients, to help them heal and lead a healthy life.

Mr. Pankaj has also been very actively associated with a lot of MNCs in India to conduct a variety of Yoga Sessions for their employees, over the last few years. As part of his collaboration with such Corporates, he has carried out training sessions in Deloitte, Whirlpool India, to help their employees learn Yoga for stress management & overall health.

During Covid, he conducted Online Yoga Training for employees of Luminous, to help them Boost Immunity and incorporate Yoga in their daily lifestyle. An experienced professional in Yoga Based Therapy, his vision is to be able to help a diverse set of people worldwide, benefit from his expertise in yoga, in times to come.