How to Minimize the Risk of Cancer with Yoga?

Sydelle Enoch 

Yoga is a group of physical, spiritual, and mental practices originating from ancient India. It helps each practitioner establish a necessary union of mind, body, and soul.

Yoga is more than a practice where you try out different postures it’s a way of life.

The training helps you lose weight and decrease your risk of getting various diseases. It’s needless to mention it helps you get more activity into your lifestyle and tone the body at the same time.

Did you know that practicing yoga also reduces the risk of different types of cancer?

Keep reading to find out more about this subject.

Yoga Improves Immune System

According to a study published in the PLoS One[1], yoga has an immediate impact on gene expression, particularly in immune cells, thus forming the basis for their long-term cell biological and higher level health effects. That’s not the only piece of evidence alleging that this practice has an incredible effect on the immunity.

For example, the same journal published a review of available studies on this subject and found that mind-body practices including likes of yoga and tai chi have a promising role in regulating the immune system[2].

Why does this matter?

It’s because the weak immune system is strongly associated with the development of different types of cancer, including breast cancer as discovered in the study from the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology[3].

Speaking of breast cancer, a study from the International Journal of Yoga[4] shows that this practice has beneficial effects in managing cancer- and treatment-related symptoms in patients.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure

The CDC[5] reports that about 75 million adults in the US or 32% of the entire population have high blood pressure, thus accounting for 1 in 3 adults. Higher blood pressure puts you at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke; you already know that. But you, definitely, didn’t know that hypertension also increases cancer risk.

The study[6] whose findings were presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress showed that hypertension elevates the risk of developing colorectal, oral, bladder, lung, and kidney cancer as well as skin melanoma. That said, yoga poses as an effective way of regulating blood pressure.

For example, a study from the BMC Cardiovascular Disorders[7] showed that participants who exercised simple yoga postures at home experienced a decline in diastolic pressure and reported improved quality of life, comparing to participants in the control group.

Weight Management

About 20% of all cancer cases diagnosed in the United States are related to excessive body weight, the American Cancer Society[8] reports.

Furthermore, overweight and obesity contribute to at least 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths. Having excess weight increases the risk of breast cancer, colon and rectum, pancreas, endometrium (lining of the uterus), esophagus, and kidney cancer.

Reasons, why body weight influences cancer risk, are numerous, including hormonal imbalances, increased inflammation, impaired immune system function, and so on. If you’re struggling with extra weight, yoga can help you lose it in a natural and stress-free manner. Therapeutic yoga programs are effective in promoting weight loss and improvements in body composition.

Yoga is firmly linked to weight management and prevention of obesity, according to a study from the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine[9].

Therapies

Fights Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is known for its contribution to the development of different types of cancer. Research from the Journal Oncology[10] mentions that inflammation is associated with colon carcinoma, liver cancer, skin cancer, and so on.

The study also explains that numerous factors cause chronic inflammation including bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, chemical irritants, and nondigestible particles.

Moreover, a research whose findings appeared in the Histopathology[11] showed a strong link between inflammation and prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers affecting men. Here we see yet another mechanism that yoga uses to decrease cancer risk.

Growing body of evidence confirms this ancient practice reduces stress and tackles inflammation, such as the study from the Psychosomatic Medicine[12] which showed that regular practice of yoga has substantial health benefits due to its anti-stress and anti-inflammatory effects.

That’s not all, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research[13] featured a study which proved that yoga reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine and elevates anti-inflammatory cytokine.

Furthermore, the study whose findings were published in the Integrative Cancer Therapies[14] journal showed that yoga classes are beneficial for men suffering from cancer of the prostate who see improvements in fatigue, sexual health, and general quality of life.

Conclusion

The ancient practice of yoga is well-known for its health benefits that go from diabetes prevention and management to stress reduction and improved heart health.

This article showed you different ways that practicing yoga can help reduce various types of cancer. Schedule your very first yoga class today.

Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com

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