Yoga Benefits Survivors’ Immune Systems

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Many women diagnosed with breast cancer find that complementary medicine techniques such as yoga can help them achieve physical, mental, and emotional balance during and after conventional treatment. A study shows that women treated for early breast cancer who did Iyengar yoga had a better quality of life compared to women who didn't do yoga.

The study also showed that the women who practiced yoga had decreased activity of a protein in the body, NF-kB. NF-kB is a protein in the immune system and is associated with physical and mental stress. Less activity by this protein may possibly mean the women have less stress, but more research is needed.

Scientific research on most complementary therapies is relatively new and the studies are small (like this one). Still, early results have shown that some complementary techniques may help ease physical and emotional symptoms in some people. When combined with conventional medicine, complementary therapies may offer a more integrated approach to healing.

In the breastcancer.org Complementary Medicine section you can learn more about complementary therapies, including yoga. If you'd like to try a complementary medicine technique, talk to your doctor about it. Together, you can decide what's best for YOU.

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