Yoga program gives freedom to cancer patients

Wed, 02/25/2015 - 7:54 PM | by mitch

By Michelle Hallmark, Director of Client Navigation

“When I first came here, I used a cane to walk, but after a few sessions of yoga classes, I don’t need a cane anymore,” Little Red Door client Arcileo said. “It’s helped me a lot.”

This is just one example of the many benefits our clients experience from yoga through the Door to Wellness program.  Yoga classes are led by Stella Snyder, our yoga instructor who is certified in oncology care and tailors classes to those undergoing cancer treatment.

Yoga is a complementary therapy to cancer treatment that includes breathing techniques, relaxation, mental imagery, body awareness and gentle movement and stretching.

Common side effects of cancer and its treatment can include fatigue, pain, depression, reduced muscular strength and decreased flexibility. Emerging research shows that many of these symptoms can be lessened and quality of life can be improved through massage and yoga.  Growing evidence also supports that cancer patients can benefit from physical activity before, during and after treatment.

Since the implementation of Door to Wellness in April, many of our yoga participants have reported benefits of the yoga class including pain management, stress reduction, improved flexibility and increased energy levels.

Some of the responses we’ve had from our surveys include:

·         “This was my first time doing yoga and after doing the class I realized I should have been doing this a long time ago.”

·         “It helps me by giving a structured time to stretch, relax, and get in touch with myself.  I always feel better after the class.”

·         “The yoga class has really helped my stress level to go down.”

Yoga for cancer patients is offered at Little Red Door every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of its Door to Wellness program.  There are three yoga classes scheduled on Tuesdays,  open to cancer patients, survivors, their caregivers, and oncology providers.  You do not need an appointment.