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OBJECTIVES: Life-threatening diseases such as cancer represent unique traumas-compared with singular, time-limited traumatic events-given their multidimensional, uncertain, and continuing nature. However, few studies have examined the impact of cancer on patients as a persistent stressor. The aim of this qualitative study is to explore patients' ongoing experiences of living with cancer and the changes encountered in this experience over time.METHODS: Written reflections to three open-ended questions collected from 28 patients on their experience of cancer at two time points were analyzed to explore participants' experiences and perspectives over time. Content analysis using a framework approach was employed to code, categorize, and summarize data into a thematic framework. RESULTS: Data analysis yielded the thematic framework-living with paradox, consisting of four interrelated themes: sources, experiences, resolution of paradox, and challenges with medical culture/treatment. The primary theme concerned moving through a dualistic and complex cancer experience of concurrently negative and positive emotional states across the course of cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Respondents indicated that cycling through this contradictory trajectory was neither linear, nor singular, nor conclusive in nature, but reiterative across time. Recognition that patients' cancer experience may be paradoxical and tumultuous throughout the cancer trajectory can influence how practitioners provide patients with needed support during diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. This also has implications for interventions, treatment, and care plans, and adequately responding to the diversity of patient's psychosocial, physical, existential, and spiritual experience of illness.

Background. Complementary and integrative health approaches such as yoga provide support for psychosocial health. We explored the effects of group-based yoga classes offered through an integrative medicine center at a comprehensive cancer center. Methods. Patients and caregivers had access to two yoga group classes: a lower intensity (YLow) or higher intensity (YHigh) class. Participants completed the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS; scale 0-10, 10 most severe) immediately before and after the class. ESAS subscales analyzed included global (GDS; score 0-90), physical (PHS; 0-60), and psychological distress (PSS; 0-20). Data were analyzed examining pre-yoga and post-yoga symptom scores using paired t-tests and between types of classes using ANOVAs. Results. From July 18, 2016, to August 8, 2017, 282 unique participants (205 patients, 77 caregivers; 85% female; ages 20-79 years) attended one or more yoga groups (mean 2.3). For all participants, we observed clinically significant reduction/improvement in GDS, PHS, and PSS scores and in symptoms (ESAS decrease >= 1; means) of anxiety, fatigue, well-being, depression, appetite, drowsiness, and sleep. Clinically significant improvement for both patients and caregivers was observed for anxiety, depression, fatigue, well-being, and all ESAS subscales. Comparing yoga groups, YLow contributed to greater improvement in sleep versus YHigh (-1.33 vs -0.50, P = .054). Improvement in fatigue for YLow was the greatest mean change (YLow -2.12). Conclusion. A single yoga group class resulted in clinically meaningful improvement of multiple self-reported symptoms. Further research is needed to better understand how yoga class content, intensity, and duration can affect outcomes.

Purpose Previous research incorporating yoga (YG) into radiotherapy (XRT) for women with breast cancer finds improved quality of life (QOL). However, shortcomings in this research limit the findings. Patients and Methods Patients with stages 0 to III breast cancer were recruited before starting XRT and were randomly assigned to YG (n = 53) or stretching (ST; n = 56) three times a week for 6 weeks during XRT or waitlist (WL; n = 54) control. Self-report measures of QOL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form survey; primary outcomes), fatigue, depression, and sleep quality, and five saliva samples per day for 3 consecutive days were collected at baseline, end of treatment, and 1, 3, and 6 months later. Results The YG group had significantly greater increases in physical component scale scores compared with the WL group at 1 and 3 months after XRT (P = .01 and P = .01). At 1, 3, and 6 months, the YG group had greater increases in physical functioning compared with both ST and WL groups (P < .05), with ST and WL differences at only 3 months (P < .02). The group differences were similar for general health reports. By the end of XRT, the YG and ST groups also had a reduction in fatigue (P < .05). There were no group differences for mental health and sleep quality. Cortisol slope was steepest for the YG group compared with the ST and WL groups at the end (P = .023 and P = .008) and 1 month after XRT (P = .05 and P = .04). Conclusion YG improved QOL and physiological changes associated with XRT beyond the benefits of simple ST exercises, and these benefits appear to have long-term durability.

Purpose Previous research incorporating yoga (YG) into radiotherapy (XRT) for women with breast cancer finds improved quality of life (QOL). However, shortcomings in this research limit the findings. Patients and Methods Patients with stages 0 to III breast cancer were recruited before starting XRT and were randomly assigned to YG (n = 53) or stretching (ST; n = 56) three times a week for 6 weeks during XRT or waitlist (WL; n = 54) control. Self-report measures of QOL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form survey; primary outcomes), fatigue, depression, and sleep quality, and five saliva samples per day for 3 consecutive days were collected at baseline, end of treatment, and 1, 3, and 6 months later. Results The YG group had significantly greater increases in physical component scale scores compared with the WL group at 1 and 3 months after XRT (P = .01 and P = .01). At 1, 3, and 6 months, the YG group had greater increases in physical functioning compared with both ST and WL groups (P < .05), with ST and WL differences at only 3 months (P < .02). The group differences were similar for general health reports. By the end of XRT, the YG and ST groups also had a reduction in fatigue (P < .05). There were no group differences for mental health and sleep quality. Cortisol slope was steepest for the YG group compared with the ST and WL groups at the end (P = .023 and P = .008) and 1 month after XRT (P = .05 and P = .04). Conclusion YG improved QOL and physiological changes associated with XRT beyond the benefits of simple ST exercises, and these benefits appear to have long-term durability.

BACKGROUND The current randomized trial examined the effects of a Tibetan yoga program (TYP) versus a stretching program (STP) and usual care (UC) on sleep and fatigue in women with breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy. METHODS Women with stage (American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM) I to III breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy were randomized to TYP (74 women), STP (68 women), or UC (85 women). Participants in the TYP and STP groups participated in 4 sessions during chemotherapy, followed by 3 booster sessions over the subsequent 6 months, and were encouraged to practice at home. Self-report measures of sleep disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), fatigue (Brief Fatigue Inventory), and actigraphy were collected at baseline; 1 week after treatment; and at 3, 6, and 12 months. RESULTS There were no group differences noted in total sleep disturbances or fatigue levels over time. However, patients in the TYP group reported fewer daily disturbances 1 week after treatment compared with those in the STP (difference, -0.43; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -0.82 to -0.04 [P = .03]) and UC (difference, -0.41; 95% CI, -0.77 to -0.05 [P = .02]) groups. Group differences at the other time points were maintained for TYP versus STP. Actigraphy data revealed greater minutes awake after sleep onset for patients in the STP group 1 week after treatment versus those in the TYP (difference, 15.36; 95% CI, 7.25-23.48 [P = .0003]) and UC (difference, 14.48; 95% CI, 7.09-21.87 [P = .0002]) groups. Patients in the TYP group who practiced at least 2 times a week during follow-up reported better Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and actigraphy outcomes at 3 months and 6 months after treatment compared with those who did not and better outcomes compared with those in the UC group. CONCLUSIONS Participating in TYP during chemotherapy resulted in modest short-term benefits in sleep quality, with long-term benefits emerging over time for those who practiced TYP at least 2 times a week. Cancer 2018;124:36-45. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

PURPOSE: Reviews of yoga research that distinguish results of trials conducted during (versus after) cancer treatment are needed to guide future research and clinical practice. We therefore conducted a review of non-randomized studies and randomized controlled trials of yoga interventions for children and adults undergoing treatment for any cancer type.METHODS: Studies were identified via research databases and reference lists. Inclusion criteria were the following: (1) children or adults undergoing cancer treatment, (2) intervention stated as yoga or component of yoga, and (3) publication in English in peer-reviewed journals through October 2015. Exclusion criteria were the following: (1) samples receiving hormone therapy only, (2) interventions involving meditation only, and (3) yoga delivered within broader cancer recovery or mindfulness-based stress reduction programs. RESULTS: Results of non-randomized (adult n = 8, pediatric n = 4) and randomized controlled trials (adult n = 13, pediatric n = 0) conducted during cancer treatment are summarized separately by age group. Findings most consistently support improvement in psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, distress, anxiety). Several studies also found that yoga enhanced quality of life, though further investigation is needed to clarify domain-specific efficacy (e.g., physical, social, cancer-specific). Regarding physical and biomedical outcomes, evidence increasingly suggests that yoga ameliorates sleep and fatigue; additional research is needed to advance preliminary findings for other treatment sequelae and stress/immunity biomarkers. CONCLUSIONS: Among adults undergoing cancer treatment, evidence supports recommending yoga for improving psychological outcomes, with potential for also improving physical symptoms. Evidence is insufficient to evaluate the efficacy of yoga in pediatric oncology. We describe suggestions for strengthening yoga research methodology to inform clinical practice guidelines.

Sometimes referred to as the “fountain of youth,” Tibetan yoga has been known to slow the effects of aging as well as enhance memory, improve physical strength, and support positive emotional and mental health. The practice heals the body-energy-mind system with a full sense of awareness and harmony. Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor and Director of Education at the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, focuses on the five principal breaths of Tibetan medicine and yoga and how special body movements for each of these breaths engage the five chakras in our body. Photos of each of the 16 movements will be provided for reference, as well as tips on how to keep your practice alive in the midst of your everyday life.Chaoul shares his experiences of daily practice in different settings and cultures, with a focus on simplicity, accessibility, and ease for your real-world lifestyle. Alongside his thorough and clear guidance for Tibetan Yoga’s core movements and breathing methodology, Chaoul provides a contextual understanding of the history and lineage of Tibetan Yoga so that you will be fully able to remove obstacles from your life and welcome in health and well-being.

"While yoga has become a common practice for health and well-being,the ancient tools of Tibetan yoga remained secret for centuries. Translated as "magical movements," Tibetan yoga can improve physical strength and support positive emotional and mental health, healing the body-energy-mind system with a full sense of awareness and harmony. InTibetan Yoga for Health & Well-Being, Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of Education at the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, focuses on the five principal breath-energies of Tibetan medicine and yoga and how special body movements for each engage the five chakras in our body. Chaoul shares his experiences of daily practice in different settings and cultures, with a focus on simplicity, accessibility, and ease for your real-world lifestyle. He also provides a contextual understanding of the history and lineage of Tibetan yoga so that you will fully be able to remove obstacles from your life and welcome in health and well-being"-- "Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor and Director of Education at the Integrative Medicine Program at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, delves into the history and lineage of Tibetan Yoga and presents a condensed set of 16 movements. This practice focuses on the five principal breaths of Tibetan medicine and yoga and how special body movements for each of these breaths engage the five chakras in our body. Tibetan yoga has proven health benefits and has been growing in popularity from its very deep roots. Chaoul shares his experiences of daily practice in different settings and cultures, with a focus on simplicity, accessibility, and ease for a real-world lifestyle, particularly urban and/or Western lifestyles. Photos of each movement will be provided for reference, and Chaoul also offers tips on how to keep your practice alive in the midst of your everyday life"--