Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Health Coping Strategies

"There are no downward dogs here.It is so gentle. For a long time, I thought it should be called something else. It is very subtle work, and people are surprised that such subtle movement has such a huge effect."
"Yoga has an incredible effect on depression and anxiety. It is very effective."
"Sometimes people come in and have no idea why they are so anxious -- their body is still processing the shock [of medical diagnosis]. It is like the mind is trying to catch up."
"Movement is medicine. We can help people be strong enough to finish their treatment and feel better while they are in it."
Anne Pitman, yoga therapy instructor, Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre

"I sat down and within ten minutes [after breast cancer diagnosis] I was bawling my eyes out. It is a fear and anxiety you can't describe."
"I think just having a place to come [to] that wasn't the hospital was always really comforting."
Julie Truelove, cancer patient, yoga practitioner
Anne Pitman works with patient Julie Truelove at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre using yoga therapy. Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen

A randomized control study published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that the practise of yoga was useful in helping to control fatigue and inflammation markers, linked to pain and depression. Research remains ongoing, but yoga practitioners believe that their clients can feel the difference to their well-being and ability to cope with terrifying fear and pain, with the aid of yoga, an ancient relaxation and meditation practise.

The therapy that evolves out of yoga practise as taught and encouraged at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre is comprised of breathing exercises and gentle movements, subtle exercises that Anne Pitman, co-founder of the first yoga therapy school in the city of Ottawa relies upon to make a huge difference for many who suffer with cancer and other illnesses. Yoga helps these people deal with chemotherapy and surgery in their medical protocol.

Studies into the effects of yoga have verified that yoga is successful in lowering stress and anxiety and in promoting a diminished sensitivity to pain in people who engaged in yoga practise for a number of months, as opposed to those who do not. Yoga also aids surgery patients in the need to remain mobile, improving overall movement and reducing swelling. As far as Ms. Pitman is concerned, the therapy is trauma work.
Yoga for Breast Cancer Relieves Anxiety, Stress, and Treatment Side Effects --
Yoga is capable of diminishing the trauma felt by many cancer patients who react to the diagnosis and allied treatment as though they were experiencing physical blows to body and mind. Co-director of the Ottawa School of Embodied Yoga Therapy, Cassi Kit, works with those suffering chronic pain sometimes caused by orthopedic injuries, anxiety and mood disorders as well as traumatic brain injuries.

The yoga workers collaborate with other health-care professionals to give assistance to people recovering from motor vehicle accidents. Yoga therapy and its training have recently been regulated through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, but Ms. Pitman has taught yoga for 30 years, with a master's degree in kinesiology. She conducts weekly group classes at the Centre in addition to administering one-on-one therapy.

The new accreditation system promises to standardize yoga therapy, resulting in treatments accredited specifically for yoga therapy covered by health insurers, just as physio and message therapy are, both of which were regulated much earlier.

Try this quick routine created by Health's yoga guru, Kristin McGee. It's designed to fight anxiety, ease backaches, cool hot flashes, and power up your libido -- from Health magazine

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