AdventHealth, in collaboration with the Christina Phipps Foundation, recently hosted a training to teach local yoga instructors the skills to lead classes specifically tailored to cancer patients.
During the free training weekend in July at the AdventHealth Daytona Beach Cancer Institute, clinical experts shared their knowledge on various aspects of cancer care with participating yoga instructors.
“Cancer and the side effects of treatment can be extremely stressful physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Andria Roberts, AdventHealth Daytona Beach cancer care navigator, said during an interview with The Hometown News. “As a nurse, I lean on evidence-based interventions to help my patients cope with their cancer and manage side effects.”
Research shows that yoga can help reduce stress and fatigue, and improve flexibility, circulation, strength, breathing, sleep, mood, balance and overall well-being. Additionally, yoga can provide a vital support system and promote healing during a patient’s cancer journey.
AdventHealth Daytona Beach and AdventHealth Palm Coast both offer weekly yoga classes on site for anyone in any stage of their cancer journey – either in active treatment or even years after treatment has ended. Additionally, caregivers are also encouraged to attend.
The clinicians at AdventHealth consider these yoga classes as a complementary part of their comprehensive patient care approach, aiming to restore or maintain function, alleviate fatigue and pain, and reduce anxiety and depression.
“From an AdventHealth initiative, we go at it from a team approach, so you have medical oncology, surgery, radiation, but we also look at the yoga team as part of our team," Jody Sullivan, director of radiation oncology at AdventHealth Daytona Beach and AdventHealth Palm Coast, explained in an interview with The Observer. "We look at it as part of the journey the patients go through and at them [the yoga instructors] as a helping hand."
The Observer reporter Alexis Miller notes that yoga instructors find fulfillment in giving back and witnessing the benefits of yoga for cancer patients, while cancer patients appreciate the positive impact on their bodies and camaraderie they experience with others.
“When I walked in the room with all of these people that are in the same place I am, it just felt so good to be around people that understood,” one yoga participant said to Miller.