ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors who participated in a month-long program in the ancient art of yoga reported enhanced quality of life, better sleep, less fatigue and less need for sleep medications.

"This is a readily applicable approach that improves quality of life and reduces medicine intake in cancer survivors. This is a real positive," said Dr. Douglas W. Blayney, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). "This is also a creative application of scientific technique to complementary and alternative medical approaches. This applies real science.

"There is an increased importance of amelioration of the complications of therapy in long-term cancer survivors," added Blayney, who is medical director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan. "There are literally millions of patients to whom this might be applicable."

The results of the trial, the largest randomized, controlled study on this topic to date, are to be presented at ASCO's annual meeting, being held in June in Chicago.

Some 80 percent of cancer patients have trouble sleeping while undergoing treatment, and about two-thirds say the problems persist after treatment ends.

Despite these large numbers, few solutions exist.

The study authors involved 410 cancer survivors, average age 54, who had finished treatment two to 24 months before and who still reported greater-than-average sleep disruptions. Almost all of the participants were women, and three-quarters had had breast cancer, although the cancer had not spread. None had done any yoga in the past three months.

Participants were randomized either to receive regular follow-up care for cancer survivors or to receive regular care plus two 75-minute sessions of yoga per week for four weeks.

"We pulled components from gentle Hatha yoga and restorative yoga," explained study author Karen Mustian, an assistant professor of radiation oncology and community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "The actual components of each class included seated, standing, transitional and supine postures, and breathing exercises known as pranayama."

Emphasis was on breathing from the diaphragm rather than the chest and on mindfulness, visualization and guided meditation, she explained.

Yoga participants reported an improvement in sleep quality of 22 percent, while controls reported an improvement of only 12 percent, Mustian said.

Thirty-one percent of participants in the yoga group who had started out with clinically impaired sleep quality recovered vs. only 16 percent in the control group.

Fatigue in the yoga group was decreased by 42 percent, compared with only 12 percent in the control group.

Yoga participants reduced daytime sleepiness by 20 percent as compared to only 5 percent in the usual care group.

Quality of life improved, on average, 6 percent in the yoga group and not at all in the other group.

While the yoga group was able to get by with less sleep medication, people in the control group actually used more.

"It is possible that gentle Hatha yoga classes and restorative yoga classes might be useful to cancer survivors in communities across the U.S. in helping with side effects of cancer treatment, which help create impairments in quality of life," Mustian said. "What we can't say at this time is that other forms of yoga, such as heated, or more rigorous types of yoga would be effective in mitigating these side effects or be safe for cancer survivors."

SOURCES: May 20, 2010, news conference with: Karen Mustian, Ph.D., assistant professor, radiation oncology and community and preventive medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, and Douglas W. Blayney, M.D., ASCO president, professor, internal medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, and medical director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan Published on: May 21, 2010