Can Pranayama Help Lung Cancer

Carcinoma of the lung, or in simple terms lung cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer that claims thousands of lives every year, even though there are certain ways with which the risks of developing the cancer can be lowered. Here we talk about them. In this article, you will learn what Ayurveda tells about lung cancer and how Pranayamaa can help lung cancer by lowering the risks and improving the health of those already affected. 

Causes of Lung Cancer According to Ayurveda 

Ayurveda believes that the severity, causes and effects of a disease differ from person to person. The pathogenesis of lung cancer (and most diseases) in Ayurveda is explained on the basis of the Tridosha theory. Pitta Dosha represents Agni or the fire element, which is present in every cell of the body, is responsible for digestion and metabolism. The decrease in the Agni in the body is inversely proportional to the growth of related tissue which may lead to the formation of Arbuda or tumour [2].   

 Other cause specific to lung cancer include exposure to tobacco, smoking, air pollution, exposure to radioactive substances, breathing asbestos fibres, exposure of the chest area to radiation therapy, family history of lung cancer, presence of arsenic in drinking water, unbalanced diet, etc [3]

What is Lung Cancer? 

Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the body which often lead to tumour formation disrupting the functions of the body. When such out of control growth of cells begin in the lungs, it’s called lung cancer [1]. The symptoms of the disease include: 

Early Stage Symptoms

  • Persistent coughing
  • Loss of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reddish or muddy brown spit
  • Renewed wheezing
  • Repetitive infections in the bronchial tract
  • Hoarseness of voice

Later Stage Symptoms 

  • Numbness of arms and legs
  • A jaundiced appearance
  • Tumorous growth
  • Seizures
  • Bone pain
  • Dizziness

Benefits of Pranayama in Lung Cancer

Pranayama is a type of breathing exercise that involves slow, forceful breathing that helps strengthen the lungs. 

Several research studies have shown that practising Pranayama regularly can improve lung functions. A 6-week long 2019 study found that practising Pranayama for one hour every day improved multiple parameters of lung functions. The claims were backed by pulmonary test results. According to the authors of the study, Pranayama may be a beneficial lung-strengthening exercise for several conditions including lung cancer [4].

Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found similar results. The study involved patients receiving cancer chemotherapy and it was successfully seen that the increase in the number of hours of practising Pranayamaaa improved the symptoms of cancer along with the quality of life. It also found that the yogic breathing exercise could improve the sleep cycle of the patients, reduce anxiety and improve their mental health resulting in overall betterment [5]

Right Way of Performing Pranayama 

There are certain thing that must be kept in mind while performing Pranayama such as: 

  • The place where you practice must be well-ventilated and clean. 
  • Morning and evenings are the ideal times for practising. 
  • You must practice Pranayama for at least 15 minutes every day. 
  • It is essential that you practice every day, at the same place and at the same time.
  • Ensure that there are no distractions where you practice. 

Conclusion

The yogic breathing technique, Pranayama has been proven to be beneficial in improving lung health and reducing the risks of developing lung cancer. It can also have a positive impact on the overall health as the practice may improve sleep quality, increases mindfulness, reduces high blood pressure, enhances cognitive performance and more.

 

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