When loved ones are diagnosed with serious illnesses, it is tempting to despair of there being any way to comfort them. After all, having a life-threatening disease can be dispiriting in a way that few other life experiences may be. That said, yoga meditation techniques and deep breathing exercises may help people with rare conditions improve their quality of life.
Some diseases have few symptoms, at least until a medical checkup reveals that an individual has an advanced and potentially deadly illness. Consider a recent letter to the Edmonton Journal, in a which a resident of the Canadian city stated that they had been diagnosed with a rare, asbestos-caused form of cancer.
"Alberta Vocational College-Edmonton, now named NorQuest College, removed hazardous chrysotile asbestos in the late 1990s," the reader noted, adding that this event may have triggered diseases in a number of people, including a serious form of lung cancer called malignant mesothelioma.
This condition is a relatively rare type of lung cancer, which in the U.S. occurs in roughly 3,000 people each year, according to the American Cancer Society. It is an aggressive carcinoma that appears in the tissues surrounding the lungs, and healthcare experts agree that exposure to asbestos is a prime cause of the illness.
People diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may feel as if they have gone from healthy to all-but-dying, without any intervening steps. This notion is not true – the feeling is a byproduct of the disease's few initial symptoms – but it can lead to anxiety, depression or exhaustion.
Fortunately, yoga-based pain management techniques may help people with mesothelioma conquer their fear and overcome some of their physical aches or inertia. Such alternative or complementary treatments are not intended to treat the disease, but instead to mitigate its side effects.
With a little encouragement from friends and family members, people with such illness may begin to feel strong and happy, even during such a difficult period.