Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Breast Cancer Patients Can Benefit Most From Yoga And Meditation, Says New Guide Rating Complementary Therapies

  • Experts produced first science-based guide on complementary therapies
  • Therapies are graded their effectiveness at easing cancer symptoms
  • Said yoga and meditation can manage anxiety, depression, and fatigue
  • Acupuncture can control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
  • Only a handful of therapies currently have a strong evidence base 
  • One supplement sold to prevent neuropathy increased risk for condition 

Yoga and meditation can ease the symptoms of breast cancer, says a top-level investigation.

The first guidelines on complementary therapies awarded the relaxation techniques an ‘A’ rating for routine use to manage anxiety and other mood disorders suffered by women with the disease.
Most patients would also benefit from the techniques for reducing stress, depression, and fatigue, says the guidance.

Acupuncture received a ‘B’ rating for controlling nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
For the first time, the US-based Society for Integrative Oncology has produced science-based guidance to inform doctors and patients about the safety and effectiveness of complementary therapies for breast cancer.
Around 80 different therapies were analysed.
The guidance does not investigate if complementary therapies can affect the cancer itself, but whether their use makes a difference to a range of related and common health problems such as anxiety and fatigue

Around four out of five cancer patients take a complementary treatment or follow a special diet.

Surveys show alternative therapies taken by patients include shark cartilage, blessed thistle, slippery elm, sheep sorrel and potentially toxic doses of vitamins.
But some cancer specialists have been concerned that alternatives may cause harm by delaying or replacing scientifically tested conventional therapy.
To produce the guidelines, the researchers reviewed randomised controlled clinical trials conducted from 1990 to 2013 among breast cancer patients who had complementary therapies together with standard cancer care — defined as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy.
The researchers considered the magnitude and type of benefit and harm along with trial quality and size.


· Yoga re-energises women who have battled breast cancer, a previous study found.
· Three months of practicing postures, breathing and medication cut fatigue in cancer sufferers by 57 per cent.
· Inflammation, which increases the odds of cancer coming back, was also reduced.
· The study also showed that the more yoga a woman did, the greater the increase in her energy levels.
· Yoga sessions could give others – including the elderly – an energy boost. 
Breast cancer is Britain’s most common cancer with almost 50,000 cases a year. 
Of 4,900 research articles reviewed, 203 met the criteria for the final analysis and grading.
The top ‘A’ rating was awarded to meditation, yoga, and relaxation with imagery, which had the strongest evidence supporting their use.
The same techniques received a ‘B’ grade for reducing stress, depression, and fatigue, along with acupuncture for controlling chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.
More than 30 interventions, including some natural products and acupuncture for other conditions, which had weaker evidence of benefit due to either small study sizes or conflicting study results, were given a ‘C’ grade.
One therapy was found to be harmful: acetyl-l-carnitine, which is marketed to prevent chemotherapy-related neuropathy, and actually increased risk for the condition, said the guidance.
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center with colleagues at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and other institutions in the US and Canada drew up the guidance.
It was presented yesterday at the Society for Integrative Oncology's 11th International Conference held in Houston, Texas. (MORE)

Source: Daily Mail

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Broga Yoga, Detox Retox and More Put Guys' Twists on Yoga

Part of the ever-growing fraternal culture of "brohood," an increasing male demand for yoga (possibly driven in part by pro basketball player advocates such as LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal) has spawned a new wave of guy-centric "broga" courses.
Broga Yoga trademarked the catchy term in 2009 and debuted its program for guys by guys — namely, co-founders Robert Sidoti and Adam O'Neill — in Martha's Vineyard. Described by O'Neill as "a unique blend of vinyasa-style yoga, body-weight based functional fitness movements and high-intensity interval training," the regimen also substitutes rock music for chanting in the safety zone of a "bro" environment, although approximately 15% of class participants are women. 
According to Yoga Journal's most recent 2012 Yoga in America study, 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, up from 15.8 million in 2008, and 17.8% of them are men.
"[The] study also indicated that there are 105 million 'aspirational yogis' in the U.S. and roughly half of those are men," O'Neill said. "Based on current trends, we expect about 2 million men to take up yoga within the next year. With the adoption of yoga among professional male athletes, special-forces military training programs and police departments, men are gaining a greater understanding of yoga's many benefits and beginning to participate in increased numbers." (MORE)
Source: LA Times

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Meditation Sessions Become a Hit In Dysfunctional Congress

Meditation sessions have become a wildly popular pastime in Congress ahead of votes, although the practice is far more common among Democrats than Republicans.
Rep. Tim Ryan began organizing two weekly meditation sessions at the start of the 113th Congress almost two years ago. One session is open to staff and one to members of Congress, which Ohio Democrat Ryan calls the “Quiet Time Caucus.”
These are held from 6 to 6:30 p.m. before votes begin each week the House is in session.
Ryan tells Page Six he’s trying to persuade more members to join.
“The more staffers on the Hill who are meditating, the more it will help Congress. It’s mainly Democrats [in the group], we haven’t had a Republican yet. It is not something you can force somebody to do. We have teachers come in who teach different forms of meditation, mostly people who are working with veterans. Meditation has proven very helpful in getting veterans off their medications. We have Vietnam vets who say they haven’t had a good night’s sleep for years before this.”
The trend’s already caught on with hedge-fund moguls from Dan Loeb to Ray Dalio (who says it makes him feel like “a ninja in a fight”) and Holly­wood players includingMartin Scorsese.
Ryan believes meditation can also help pols be better at their jobs, explaining, “There is a value in having some quiet time before votes — it can help anyone make better decisions.” (MORE)
Source: pagesix.com

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Restive Lads Opt For Meditation Over Detention

Teenage boys are not known for deep contemplation, but if if gets them out of detention then it seems meditation can be very appealing. 
At Balgowlah Boys, a comprehensive public school on the northern beaches, students can now swap an afternoon detention for meditation.
In a darkened classroom last week, about 20 barefooted boys spent an hour breathing, relaxing and clearing their minds. And while they may have been sceptical before their first class, the boys who rolled out of bed for the early-morning class were converts.
For Kobe Edwards, the meditation class was a ticket out of 90 minutes of detention. But he also surprised himself by enjoying it. 
"I felt really relaxed. I will probably come back again," Kobe said. 
For 14-year-old Jerald Paul, he expected meditation to be "pretty boring" but after the class he was surprised at how relaxed and rejuvenated he felt.
"It was better than I thought, better than detention," he said.
The idea for a meditation class came from the school's year 10 advisor, Sebastien Hartog, as he spent one afternoon supervising a detention class.
"I spent an hour and a half staring at these boys and them staring back at me and I thought there had to be a better use of everyone's time," Mr Hartog said. (MORE)

Source: Sydney Morning Hearld

Friday, October 24, 2014

Daily Inspiration

Teach Me How To Hobby: Yoga/Meditation

There’s a sign on the Ave, an advertisement for hot yoga, that reads: “Do hot yoga, look better naked.” I hate that sign.
I’ve been doing yoga and meditation for years. One of my goals in the next few years is to get yoga-instructor certified so I can teach. And the idea that yoga is there to get your body slim and fit, that it is only a material thing, is one of the misconceptions about yoga that frustrates me. Yoga, at its core, is about the relationship between the mind, the body, and the soul. 
The core of yoga’s philosophy is that everything can be supplied from within the individual, whether it be physical exercise or spiritual enlightenment. 
Yoga originated more than 5,000 years ago. No one is really sure exactly when, because the practices are often only passed down from student to teacher. Yoga originated from the need for self-understanding, a harmonious interaction between the mental and physical. It has been recommended by doctors for aiding a number of ailments, including back pain, arthritis, depression, and other chronic conditions.
Despite the current surface-level yoga that many people practice, a lot of yoga was originally based in deep meditation. Its purpose was to work toward the ultimate step of classical yoga, samadhi, the Sanskrit word for contemplation. Samadhi is the realization of the essential nature of the self. In fact, three of eight steps have almost nothing to do with the asanas, or the physical exercises, of yoga. 
I think a lot of people are scared away from yoga because it seems like an “athletic” exercise, but I can assure you it’s not. My legs look like cold spaghetti when I run but I can still do yoga. Yoga is about trusting your body, about letting it do exactly what it needs to do. I mostly practice alone in my apartment, and I use what I’ve learned to do in yoga class on my own. Practicing yoga is about letting go and understanding yourself on a physical and mental level. 
Being flexible isn’t a requirement for a good yoga practice. If you haven’t done it before, I suggest signing up for a Hatha yoga class. These are more pose-based and slower-paced. Hatha allows you to explore your body at your own pace. It also gives you a chance to focus on breathing techniques. (MORE)
Source: Daily UW