Cancer treatment is an excellent example of how complementary and conventional procedures can work in concert to improve patients’ quality of life.
For instance, mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, has no known cure. However, people with this condition may benefit from complementary treatments like yoga and animal therapy.
Various stages of mesothelioma differ in severity and symptoms. So being well-informed is vital.
Cancer patients who are also animal lovers might enjoy goat yoga, a combination of yoga and animal therapy. This treatment allows people to practice yoga routines with goats present.
You may wonder: can goat yoga improve the health of cancer patients? Additionally, you might be interested in attending yoga classes or events tailored to specific conditions.
The article describes the potential health benefits of goat yoga for cancer patients. Additionally, this write-up suggests helpful tips if you’re new to goat yoga.
Also mentioned in this article are goat yoga events designed for specific conditions.
Cancer patients can access two complementary treatments simultaneously with goat yoga, namely, yoga and animal therapy.
In 2018, the International Journal of Yoga published a systematic review of evidence-based studies on yoga’s effects in conjunction with conventional cancer treatment.
Despite methodological limitations and gaps, the survey showed positive results from yoga interventions.
While the report emphasizes the need to continue research using well-designed clinical trials, it strongly supports yoga’s integration into conventional cancer treatment.
A growing body of literature suggests how the human-animal bond can help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
Here are some ways animal therapy may benefit cancer patients’ overall health:
- Managing Pain, Stress, and Depression: A study investigating animal-assisted activities (AAA) on hospital patients receiving chemotherapy showed that depression symptoms improved by nearly 67% in the AAA group.
Moreover, the study indicated that AAA significantly improved arterial oxygen saturation, which is essential for good circulation.
Additionally, in a representative survey of 309 chemotherapy patients aged 59, most reported that pet ownership helped them cope with their diagnosis-related stress.
Lastly, a study showed that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on patients with chronic pain might help reduce disease-related pain.
- Improving Quality of Life: Animal therapy may also help improve cancer patients’ QOL.
A study examining 42 head and neck cancer patients showed that animal-assisted visits (AAV) may have improved their emotional well-being and general satisfaction.
Another study noted that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) helped women with breast cancer by:
- Improving communication with healthcare professionals
- Increasing calm and anticipation toward counseling participation
- Achieving a higher level of disclosure of information and engagement with therapy
Most people consider cancer as one of the most terrible diseases worldwide. Cancer diagnosis, its progression, and the adverse effects of its treatment, like chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and diagnostic procedures, can cause physical, psychological, and emotional problems affecting patients’ quality of life.
However, as indicated above, goat yoga is a fun and unique activity that may help improve cancer patients’ QOL and overall health.
While goat yoga may seem strange to some, many participants report feeling lifted after their sessions. Why not, since yoga and playing sessions with baby goats encourage you to engage the moment fully?
Patients benefit from goat yoga not only physically but also mentally. The activity helps people unwind from their daily worries and put life into perspective.
You’ll want to take the class for a time to reset in the scenic farm setting. For now, you can only access goat yoga in a few places.
If you live in or near Arizona, Arizona Goat Yoga, a well-known goat yoga pioneer in the United States, offers classes year-round. They also hold events for people interested in the activity. This December 2022, they’ll host several events where you can attend goat and alpaca yoga and cuddle with cows.
Typical goat yoga classes can feature up to eight goats ranging in age from a few weeks to two years old. During class, you can see these animals wandering beside you (and sometimes on you).
Classes usually last for 30 minutes and cover familiar postures and movements.
The studio is usually enclosed or fenced outside, providing fresh air for participants and goats. Some locations also provide an alternative when it is too hot or cold.
Taking goat yoga may not be a good idea if you don’t enjoy interacting with animals. Also, it is a very up-close-and-personal class, so if you are allergic to animals, you should avoid it.
Additionally, goat yoga may not suit those who prefer a controlled environment. The activity thrives on surprises. You may need help enjoying this class if any of the above applies to you.
However, goat yoga offers a change of pace while offering benefits for both the body and the mind. There is something unique about goat yoga that you won’t find in any other yoga classroom.
It has an emotional component, as participants can connect with nature. At the same time, you’ll enjoy the company of other sentient beings while keeping the present in mind and practicing compassion.
1. Yoga into Cancer Care: A Review of the Evidence-based Research
2. Pet Therapy Effects on Oncological Day Hospital Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatment
3. Cancer Patients and Their Companion Animals: Results from a 309-Patient Survey on Pet-Related Concerns and Anxieties During Chemotherapy
4. Palliative care and use of animal-assisted therapy
5. Beneficial effects of animal-assisted visits on quality of life during multimodal radiation-chemotherapy regimens.
6. Animal-Assisted Therapy and Counseling Support for Women With Breast Cancer: An Exploration of Patient’s Perceptions