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Benefits of breathing with flowing movements for breast cancer recovery

Posted Oct 24 2011 3:52pm
Come and tune in to my first radio talk show with Irina
One question I will cover is: Does breathing and yoga movements together help manage lymphedema associated with breast cancer? Absolutely, breathing and moving are necessary for managing lymphedema.  Some of the benefits of yogic breathing and gentle flowing poses assist the body to circulate lymphatic fluid through its network of vessels. 
In order to keep this fluid flowing, we need to foster relaxation.  This need to develop a deeper state of relaxation to counter act mind and body stress is so important for our health, well-being and recovery. Practicing yoga will target the soft tissue areas with flowing movements and keep the lymphatic fluid moving throughout the channels rather than slowing down and creating a back up. On going yoga poses and breathing exercises will  keep the chest tissues from shrinking and promotes the opening and healing in the area. 

It is recognized in cancer treatment that the “milking out” of lymph fluid build up is imperative for the patients health.  In a flowing yoga practice this “milking out” can occur.  Many deep breathing practices stimulate the “milking out” of the lymphatic fluids so this too is important to bring into your yoga practice. The goal of the pose is to keep the muscles relaxed so that the muscle fibers elongate. Elongating these fibers will improve joint range of motion, reduce inflammation and enhance  respiration.  Breathing in the moment brings the realization that the pose and the breath are promoting the healing process.    

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