Effects of Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation) for Breast Cancer Patients

In Yoga Therapy Greece we combine the ancient yoga wisdom and the evidence informed practices suggested by research. Critically evaluating the latest and most robust research articles, we are happy to share a small summary of them hoping that you will find it interesting to read and a help to understand the effectiveness of yoga and how much yoga can offer in the support of cancer patients.

The high-quality pilot study (7/10 Pedro Scale), ‘Impact of relaxation training according to yoga in daily life system on perceived stress after breast cancer surgery’ by Kovacic and Kovacic (2011) compared physiotherapy plus yoga-based relaxation to physiotherapy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate and short-term effects of yoga relaxation on psychological distress of breast cancer patients.

Both groups received standard physiotherapy for a week, the experimental group received in addition 45 minutes of yoga-based relaxation while they received a recorded relaxation to practice for 3 more weeks at home.

This high-quality pilot study indicated the significant effects of the combination of physiotherapy with guided relaxation, slow breathing and positive affirmations on stress in patients with cancer and the benefits from early complementary interventions. The yoga-based relaxation with the standard physiotherapy had significant results on stress, mental health and psychological parameters.

The physiotherapy with yoga elements group had after 4 weeks a statistically significant (P=.0005) decrease in stress in General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), (1.69 – 1.49) in psychological subscale of Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL) and (16.94 – 4.32) in Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), while the stress levels in the control group increased significantly. The results are in accordance with the findings of the systematic review on the effect of guided imagery of adult ICU patients (Hadjibalassi et al., 2020) indicating that yoga based guided relaxation could be a significant integral part of a rehabilitation physiotherapy program.

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Alexandra Papathanasiou Yoga Therapist (Graduate 2022)

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Alexandra PapathanasiouMay 16, 2023
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Alexandra PapathanasiouMay 16, 2023
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