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Yoga helps cancer patients manage side effects

Yoga helps cancer patients manage side effects

For more than 5,000 years, people around the world have practiced yoga for its mental and physical powers. Research has long shown that yoga can increase flexibility and reduce stress. At The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross Hospital, yoga is helping cancer patients and survivors have a better quality of life.

“For many patients battling cancer, the worst part is often the discomfort and debilitating fatigue brought on from cancer treatments,” said Lauren Mansell, Physical Therapist, Lymphedema Therapist and Certified Yoga Teacher with RIC at Silver Cross Hospital. “However, gentle or non-strenuous, slow-paced yoga movements can alleviate pain while providing patients with an energy and mood boost.”

Gentle yoga can also help cancer patients overcome:

  • Depression, fear and anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stress

For those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, yoga provides a means to strengthen the body, boost the immune system, and produce a feeling of well-being. For those recovering from surgery, such as that for breast cancer, yoga can help restore motion and flexibility in a gentle, balanced manner.

“It’s important to note that yoga is not a cure or treatment for cancer, but when combined with conventional medical treatment, can mean a world of difference for patients and their families,” adds Mansell.
Yoga for Cancer Classes

Beginning April 4, Lauren Mansell will lead Yoga for Cancer Classes every Monday at Noon in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center. The one-hour restorative yoga class will focus on gentle movement, relaxation, and meditation. Classes are open to all cancer patients and survivors. Cost is $10 per class and participants should wear comfortable clothing that allows for stretching and movement and bring a water bottle and yoga mat or thick blanket. Advanced registration is required at or by calling 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).


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