ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
CANCER
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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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