Tag Archives: yoga

Extended Resources: The Breast Cancer Online Summit

Extended Resources



Research on Yoga:  A Collated Document



Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training

Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training Miriam J. Johnson & David C. Currow To cite this article: Miriam J. Johnson & David C. Currow (2016) Treating breathlessness in lung cancer patients: the potential of breathing training, “significant improvement with training – more studies needed.”Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 10:3, 241-243, DOI: 10.1586/17476348.2016.1146596 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1586/17476348.2016.1146596

 PMCID: PMC5266177 PMID: 28079815


Morning breathing exercises prolong lifespan by improving hyperventilation in people living with respiratory cancer

Wei-Jie Wu, MB,a Shan-Huan Wang, MB,a,b Wei Ling, MD,a Li-Jun Geng, MPhil,a Xiao-Xi Zhang, PhD,a Lan Yu, MPhil,a,c Jun Chen, MPhil,a,c Jiang-Xi Luo, MD,a,c and Hai-Lu Zhao, PhDa

Five-year survival rate of those who participated in breathing exercises was significantly improved.
Adv Exp Med Biol.
 2018 Apr 4. doi: 10.1007/5584_2018_186. [Epub ahead of print]


Preoperative Rehabilitation in Lung Cancer Patients: Yoga Approach.

Barassi G1Bellomo RG2Di Iulio A3Lococo A3Porreca A4Di Felice PA4Saggini R4.

Breathing exercises helped stop craving for smoking.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 Nov 1.Published in final edited form as:Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Nov; 49: 260–271.

Published online 2014 Jul 21. doi:  10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.07.012

PMCID: PMC417446  NIHMSID: NIHMS616154 PMID: 25127084


Stanford scientists have identified a small group of neurons that communicates goings-on in the brain’s respiratory control center to the structure responsible for generating arousal throughout the brain. Mar2017  Mark Krasnow at Stanford, have identified a small clusters of neurons, in the brain stem, that link to breathing and relaxation, attention, excitement and anxiety.Slow breathing induces tranquility.  National Institutes of Health (grants HL70029 and HL40959)



Effect of restorative yoga vs. stretching on diurnal cortisol dynamics and psychosocial outcomes in individuals with the metabolic syndrome: the PRYSMS randomized controlled trial. “Multi-center randomized controlled trail of 171 patients. “Significant decreases in salivary cortisol, chronic stress severity, and stress perception in restorative yoga group vs stretching only group.”

Sarah M. Corey, PhD,1,* Elissa Epel, PhD,1,a Michael Schembri, BS,1 Sarah B. Pawlowsky, DPT,2 Roger J. Cole, PhD,3 Maria Rosario G. Araneta, PhD,4 Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD,4 and Alka M. Kanaya, MD1,a


https://www.vox.com/2015/7/22/9012075/yoga-health-benefits-exercise-scienceThe bottom line:Yoga is probably just as good for your health as many other forms of exercise. But it seems particularly promising for improving lower back pain and — crucially — reducing inflammation in the body, which can actually help stave off disease. Yoga also seems to enhance “body awareness,” or people’s sense of what’s going on inside themselves.


 2018 Annual Report on Prostate Disease from Harvard Medical School.

Yoga lessens treatment-related symptoms in men with prostate cancer Finding: Improved urinary function and erectile blood flow

The effect of YOCAS©® yoga for musculoskeletal symptoms among breast cancer survivors on hormonal therapy : Participants recruited from 2007-2010; Initially looking at sleep, the study found that musculoskeletal symptoms improved; move directed study needed. Restorative and gentle yoga was used.

Breast Cancer Res Treat.

Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Apr 1.

Published in final edited form as:

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Apr; 150(3): 597–604.

Published online 2015 Mar 27. doi:  10.1007/s10549-015-3351-1


Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience Breathing techniques are known to directly affect cardiac vagal tone and the initiation of the vagal brake to move the system towards the VVC platform and provides another bottom-up regulatory practice of yoga

Front Hum Neurosci. 2018; 12: 67.

Published online 2018 Feb 27. doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2018.000 PMCID: PMC5835127PMID: 29535617

Yoga in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Prostate Cancer Undergoing Surgery

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 30 to 80
Trial IDs: HSC2015-406H, NCI-2015-02219, CTRC 15-0003, NCT02620033

Yoga Therapy in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Childhood Lymphoma or Leukemia

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 13 to 17
Trial IDs: YOGAOT, NCI-2015-00975, NCT02473523

Yoga, Survivorship Health Education, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Reducing Insomnia in Cancer Survivors

Phase: Phase III
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: URCC14040, NCI-2015-01144, RSRB052271, NCT02613364

Hatha Yoga in Improving Physical and Emotional Health in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: VICC SUPP 1282, NCI-2013-01860, 121357, DOERSAJK04302014124530, NCT01951664

Yoga Therapy in Reducing Fatigue and Improving Quality of Life in Patients With Stage I-II Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: UPCC# 08113, NCI-2014-00413, NCT01985945

Gentle Yoga and Dietary Counseling in Improving Physical Function and Quality of Life in Stage I-II Endometrial Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: Not specified
Trial IDs: OSU-13005, NCI-2014-00770, 18240, 2013C0043, NCT02465541

Couple-Based Yoga Program in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Stage I-IIIB Cancer of the Esophagus or Lung Undergoing Radiation Therapy and Their Caregivers

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2014-0036, NCI-2015-01902, NCT02196844

Couples-Based Yoga Program in Improving Quality of Life in Patients with High-Grade Glioma Undergoing Radiation Therapy and Their Partners

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2015-0013, NCI-2015-01124, NCT02481349

Yoga Therapy for Living Well in Patients with Stage IV or Recurrent Metastatic Breast Cancer

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 21 and over
Trial IDs: Pro00044446, NCI-2014-00032, NCT01927081

Programs to Support You during Chemotherapy (Pro-You)

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 21 and over
Trial IDs: VICC GI 1549, NCI-2015-01042, NCT02489422

Ayurvedic Intervention in Improving Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Educational/Counseling/Training
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 11801, NCI-2012-00602, NCT01488123

Yoga or Stretching and Relaxation in Improving Physical Function in Patients with Stage 0-III Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: Phase III
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2009-0976, NCI-2012-01895, NCT01202851

Integrative Oncology Program in Improving Cancer-Related Outcomes in Patients with Stage III Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Behavioral study, Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Educational/Counseling/Training
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: 2012-0112, NCI-2014-02449, NCT02079662

Mindfulness Intervention in Reducing Anxiety in Patients Who Have Been Treated for Gynecologic Cancer

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Biomarker/Laboratory analysis, Supportive care
Age: 18 and over
Trial IDs: UW15000, NCI-2015-01263, 2015-0549, NCT02518308

Massage Therapy Compared to Light Touch Therapy in Decreasing Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

Phase: No phase specified
Type: Supportive care
Age: 18 to 65
Trial IDs: R21AT007090, NCI-2014-01419, mCRF, NCT01926678

Copyright 2016 Karen Armstrong E-RYT, LVCYT All Rights Reserved (Used with permission)

Yoga for Cancer Patients a Prescription for Sleep, Vitality (as Studied at Rochester Medical Center) May 20, 2010, 6:06 PM EDT – Democrat and Chronicle By Tom Randall .“We’re not talking about using a Ouija board and using fern leaves instead of chemotherapy,” Merrell said. “We’re talking about relaxation techniques to integrate the mind and body — instead of feeling disconnected from this cancer that’s in you, to feel that you’re a whole human being and you’re going on this path toward healing.”

Effectiveness of Yoga Therapy as a Complementary Treatment for Major Psychiatric Disorders: A Meta-Analysis

  • ♦Yoga can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • ♦Yoga has few contraindications and few side effects.
  • ♦Yoga may be a helpful complementary treatment for psychiatric disorders


PMCID: PMC3219516

PMID: 22


Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Meditation Techniques as Treatments for Medical Illness Background: Meditative techniques are sought frequently by patients coping with medical and psychological problems. “Safe and effective..

Albert J. Arias Karen Steinberg, Alok Banga Robert L. Trestman

Published Online:11 Oct 2006https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2006.12.817

Mindfulness at school reduces (likelihood of) depression-related symptoms in adolescents  Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like symptoms.

Date:March 15, 2013/Source:KU Leuven

Summary: Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later.

From the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship How Mindfulness is incorporated into medical practices:

Mindfulness based stress reduction ( MSBR) Chronic physical/emotional pain

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy ( MBCT) Repeat of depressive episodes

Dialectic Behavior Therapy ( DBT) Personality/eating disorders

This Acceptance and commitment therapy ( ACT) Mindfulness and Buddhist ideas.

Comparing Individual Preferences for Four Meditation Techniques: Zen, Vipassana (Mindfulness), Qigong, and Mantra Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAcCorrespondence information about the author PhD, MPH, LAc Adam BurkeEmail the author PhD, MPH, LAc Adam Burke

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2012.04.003 “Most patients preferred Zen and Vipassana – and accured QOL benefits overtime.”


Mind Over Matter: Can Zen Meditation Help You Forget About Pain? By Meredith Melnick @meredithcmDec. 09, 2010 – article reporting on research

The studies add to the evidence that mindfulness techniques like meditation can be learned, and that they may help in the management of a variety of conditions. “The results suggest that Zen meditators may have a training-related ability to disengage some

higher-order brain processes, while still experiencing the stimulus,” said Rainville. “Such an ability could have widespread and profound implications for pain and emotion regulation and cognitive control.”

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Aug 8;17(1):390. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1898-Study protocol on comparative effectiveness of mindfulness meditation and qigong on psychophysiological outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer: a randomized controlled trial.

Ho RTH1,2Wan AHY3,4Chan JSM4Ng SM4Chung KF5Chan CLW4. Large study showed significant pain management improvement in meditation and qigong, lower stress level, and overall QOL.



Yoga for improving health-related quality of life, mental health and cancer-related symptoms in women diagnosed with breast cancer Cochrane Review 2018/2017


We included 24 studies with a total of 2166 participants, 23 of which provided data

Moderate-quality evidence supports the recommendation of yoga as a supportive intervention for improving health-related quality of life and reducing fatigue and sleep disturbances when compared with no therapy, as well as for reducing depression, anxiety and fatigue, when compared with psychosocial/educational interventions.




Yoga practices positively address many of the side effects that cancer patients, survivors experience. These effects are also felt by anyone involved in cancer research:  scientists, doctors, nurses, therapists, caregivers.


Yoga practices encompasses the entire person:  mind, body, emotions, and spiritually (not religiously).


More studies are needed in the field of Yoga Therapy and Cancer.



The Breathing Book, by Donna Farhi

Healing Mudras, by Sabina Mesko

Yogic Management of Cancer, by Dr. Swami Nirmalananda

The Yamas & Niyamas, by Deborah Adele

Exercises for Joints and Glands, by Swami Rama

Yoga and Breast Cancer, Ingrid Kollak and Isabell Utz-Billing, MD

The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga, by Ray Long, MD

Relax and Renew, by Judith Laster, Ph.D.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Sri Swami Satchidananda

ABC Workbook for Cancer Patients, by Robin B. Dilley

Returning to Health with Dance, Movement and Imagery, by Anna Halprin

Yoga for Wellness, Gary Kraftsow

The Stress Management Workbook, by Ruth C. White, PhD

Meditation books by Jon Kabat Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodron








Yoga for Healing Phone Call

Offering “Yoga for Healing” : You are the Beloved Universe
Find a cozy place, get your yoga blanket and pillows
Bed, recliner, couch or floor is perfectly fine.

Call In: 712-770-4073
Access Code: 7569#
#6 for muting/unmuting

These can be recorded for others!!! December 15th, Thursday
We meet and greet from 4:45Pacific Time, 6:45 Central Time, 7:45 Eastern Time for 15 minutes

Breathing, Range of Motion, Meditation


Let me tell my story, since this day, thirteen years ago, I was in surgery having a foot of sigmoid colon removed. I had a twitchy gut all my life, bloating and sensitivities. It didn’t feel very different, in the beginning, when I had reflux and bloating. I was 44 and otherwise “healthy”. I worked, was raising a daughter with my husband, took care of my aging mom, was singing, doing 12 step, doing yoga, weights and aerobics. But I felt tired. Unbelievably tired. I started napping long hours. My stomach pain grew worse. I went to the doctor and told I was depressed. I took the pills, and didn’t feel any better. I took time off of work, and started to feel bad about myself and my inability to cope with life. I was so damn tired. I started having back pain, leg pain, the cancer was eating through the nerves and outside my colon. I got night sweats and felt full, even though I stopped eating. Finally, I saw blood in my stool. Then, for sure, I knew I was really sick.
After six months of weekly chemo infusions of 5FU, so aptly named, with Leukovarian, I was totally depleted of any physical power. My spirit remained strong, but my body felt ready to leave the earth. I was tempted to go. But our daughter was now 16, and whatever I could do to stay, I would do. It meant learning to live in a body that was scared, painful, weak, unbalanced and almost certainly not going to live very long.
I asked the God of my Understanding to make my life, whatever time I had left, to be of purpose. My career path switched to training to be a yoga teacher for cancer survivors. Not many people were training, so I used my experience, my knowledge of teaching and my 20 year practice of yoga to help myself begin. I started with breathing. I had lost my breathing stamina. It took time.
It took willingness to start a class in San Diego for patients, family, and caregivers. I started attending advocacy trainings for crc and ended up making a CD to hand out to cancer patients.
I continue to make digital downloads, teach yoga, train yoga teachers from around the world on my online course, and use social media to reach survivors, like me, home in bed, and not knowing what to do to feel better.
For as long as I am able, my service if my passion.
Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, E-RYT500, Yoga Therapist, Survivor, Advocate, TT Yoga for Cancer Survivors

Why Yoga?

Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, M.A., E-RYT500, Yoga Therapist, Survivor

Main Points
• Past research on yoga was poorly designed
• Newer scientific studies point to physical, psychological and social benefits of meditative group practices, including yoga
• Meditative Practices focus on breathing, mindfulness based relaxation techniques, visualization and gentle movement

What’s the buzz about yoga for cancer patients? And is there solid research to back all the claims? If we look at the research over the last two decades, we will be mislead into thinking that yoga studies show no real benefit, largely because the studies that were conducted were poorly designed and executed. The Cochrane synopsis says that yoga itself was defined in too broad of category, from vinyasa flow active yoga to restorative yoga. And since there is no agreement within the studies about what yoga practice should be used; it’s hard to ferret out any truth about its benefits for a wide range of cancer patients and survivors.

However, within the last several years, a more focused approach to research on yoga is taking place. The literature is clearly pointing toward the benefits of meditative practices, which includes yoga. Yoga
can then borrow the research done on breathing techniques for stress reduction. The heart of yoga is breathing. What separates yoga from other forms of exercise is its close attention to movement connected to breath pace. Gentle range-of-motion movements, using one’s breath as a guide is a form of meditation in itself. So, what we can infer with confidence from the plethora of studies on the benefits of breathing practices from reducing anxiety to helping people cope with pain. Anecdotally, most of my yoga students in treatment for cancer report that they use diaphragmatic breathing as their main coping tool when stressed, fatigued, experiencing sleeplessness or when they are in pain.

The structure of a yoga class designed for cancer patients and survivors should highlight known meditation practices that are documented in other populations of people under severe stress, like war veterans. In fact, the U.S. military forces are doing most of the latest research on Integrative Medicine, in an effort to care for war veterans. Meditative practices include, yoga, Thai Chi, Qi Gong, mindfulness meditation, massage, and acupuncture. Cancer patients often suffer anxiety post treatment, just as war veterans do from engaging in life-threatening battles. Here again, inferencing the similarities in beneficial complementary approaches we can extrapolate the benefits to cancer survivors. Cancer patients are living longer, with advancements in cancer treatments. However, their quality of life is taking precedence over mere survival. Yoga can have a profound positive effect on the quality of life of survivors. Research is clear on this one point.

Perhaps the most promising studies on meditative practices include regained length on their telomeres (a DNA indicator of aging). Morning blood cortisol levels showed significant drops after meditative yoga practices in as short as eight weeks. Blood pressure can be lowered with diaphragmatic breathing practices, as well as, the metronome of the heartbeat. There are many reasons to give yoga a place in the treatment of cancer survivors.

Thank you to the Ruesch Center for inviting me to share my passion for yoga, And to Chris4life.org for supporting my reach to cancer patients through their community called “COLONTOWN”.















Jean’s yoga class (and free downloadable meditations) https://soundcloud.com/yoga-being/yoga-for-healing-class?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=email

Jean’s website YogaBeing.net

Jean’s FB page https://www.facebook.com/YogaBeing/

Jean’s Pinterest Yoga Tips



Jean’s Yoga Tip #171: Our tongues are amazing! Stick yours out. Go on, all the way out and point it down. Now, say your name. I keep your tongue out and say your name. This helps activate our abdominal muscles, tone our chin and giggle. In yogic philosophy, the tongue is the connection to all the glands in the body. Now breathe in and out, sticking your tongue all the way out, and then bring it all the way in. Happy Yoga Tongue!

Coming back from cancer

Nine years ago, this October 28th, I finished treatment for iiic colon cancer. I was 47, and had been a Resource Specialist for over 25 years, mostly in San Diego. But my chances of recurrence were high, so I retired early, thinking that I had about five years to live (if I was lucky).

Chemotherapy was devastating to me and not having a job was depressing and scary. I worked at home to rebuild my strength and my life’s purpose. Always a yoga enthusiast, I found I couldn’t do what I was used to doing. Others must be having the same issue – trying to find a way back to a ‘new normal’?

I became a yoga teacher and yoga activist. I am a listserv consultant on many cancer sites and made a yoga cd, gave away over 3,000. The YCS cd is now available for free download, and in Spanish, too. Russian is the next language and I hope to have it translated into as many languages as possible.

I speak at cancer symposiums and teach YCS yoga in San Diego. I am putting a 45 hour teacher training on line by January 2013. We hear so much about yoga to rebuild and regain strength, but for me, it was about dealing with the emotional, physical and psychological effects of cancer where yoga has done its greatest healing. I specialize in teaching patients in therapy and long-term treatment.

You can download hours of meditations for survivors and the 80 minute yoga class in English and Spanish for cancer survivors by going to my audio page on this website.

yoga for cancer survivors

Blessings and Love,