The Benefits of Yoga for the Circadian Rhythms of Cancer Survivors

Scientists have just conducted a nationwide, multi-site, randomised, controlled, clinical trial examining the efficacy of yoga for improving circadian rhythm, anxiety and mood among cancer survivors.

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Jan 03, 2017
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28021667

How are your circadian rhythms at the start of this New Year?! Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism's environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes....and humans of course!

Sadly, many cancer treatments disrupt circadian the rhythm, often exacerbating the anxiety and mood struggles experienced by survivors, ultimately, impairing recovery and quality of life. Scientists have just conducted a nationwide, multi-site, randomised, controlled, clinical trial examining the efficacy of yoga for improving circadian rhythm, anxiety and mood among cancer survivors. Good on them we say :)

410 cancer survivors between 2-24 months post-therapy, who reported no participation in yoga during the prior 3 months, were randomised into 2 arms: 1) standard care, and 2) standard care plus the 4-week yoga intervention (2 x's/wk; 75 min a session). The yoga intervention consisted of pranayama, 18 gentle Hatha and Restorative yoga asanas and meditation. Circadian rhythm, anxiety and mood were assessed pre- and post-intervention.

Results wonderfully indicated a more favorable circadian rhythm in the yoga group. Significant differences were also revealed between groups on anxiety and mood with yoga participants demonstrating greater improvements in anxiety and mood from pre- to post-intervention compared to controls. Researchers concluded that this brief community-based yoga intervention favorably altered circadian rhythm and improved anxiety and mood among the cancer survivors in this study. Super cool huh?! :)

Go to the profile of Heather Mason

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS

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