7 posts from November, 2018

Ommm: People with cancer practice chair yoga for bone benefits

Posted November 6th, 2018 by

Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can take a toll on your bones and overall strength, so some patients are turning to chair yoga to boost their bone health and balance.

Things like bone health ‘seemed trivial compared to cancer’

We heard about chair yoga in this New York Times article, “Chair yoga for my funny bones.” The author, Susan Gubar, began practicing chair yoga after she recovered from a fractured pelvis following years of ovarian cancer treatment.

“I had no idea that cancer treatments put patients at risk for osteoporosis,” says Gubar, whose treatment included chemotherapy, radiation and steroids. A new diagnosis of osteoporosis and a vitamin D deficiency “made me realize how often I ignore health issues because they seem trivial compared to the mortal threat of cancer. Stress tests, dental work, cholesterol checks: who cares? Just dealing with cancer had been enough for me. Clearly that had to change.”

Gubar says she used to love walking but says she gave it up because she now walks stooped-over with a walker and has neuropathy in her feet (also from chemo). Her physical therapist and a friend from her cancer support group urged her to try chair yoga – now she’s hooked.

Small studies have shown that yoga may increase bone density in the spine and hips, in addition to strengthening muscles and improving balance, flexibility, stress management and self-esteem. Gubar uses yoga in combination with other treatments prescribed by her doctor for osteoporosis.

Chair yoga on YouTube

Gubar attends chair yoga classes in-person. But you can find several chair yoga flows online, ranging in length from 5 minutes on up to an hour (just remember to check with your healthcare provider before trying a new form of exercise):

Have you experienced bone loss or fractures following cancer treatment? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to connect with thousands of other members in our cancer forum and learn how they’re treating or managing their symptoms and treatment side effects.

Healthcare = hot election topic. Check out some Election Day basics

Posted November 5th, 2018 by

Ready to cast your ballot? Election Day is almost here and recent polls show that healthcare is one of the top issues on voters’ minds. Here’s some quick election-related info for you.

  • Election Day and voting basics – Tomorrow (November 6, 2018) is a general election for most states, except Louisiana (where November 6 is a primary and December 8 is a runoff general election). You can search for your polling place here. Learn more about voting in general, as well as voter accessibility laws for seniors and people with disabilities, and absentee voting info for military families and overseas U.S. citizens.
  • Seats up for grabs – Candidates are vying for all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 35 (of 100 total) U.S. Senate seats, 39 governor spots, and a number of state and local public offices. See who’s running for Congress in your state, and look into their stance on healthcare and other issues that matter to you.
  • Pre-existing conditions=top issue – A spring 2018 poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that healthcare was a top issue for 22 percent of registered voters. More recently, a September poll found that healthcare is a top issue for 27 percent of voters. “KFF polling continues to find pre-existing conditions as a widespread concern and with the impending lawsuit Texas v. United States, a majority of the public say it is ‘very important’ that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with pre-existing conditions ensuring guaranteed coverage (75 percent) and community rating (72 percent) remain law.” Revisit the results of a 2017 PatientsLikeMe poll about the ACA and the ACA repeal efforts of 2017.
  • Health-related ballot measures – Several states have ballot measures concerning medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion and other healthcare matters. Check out ballot measures by topic and state.

Is there any other info you’d like to share about the upcoming election? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to (respectfully) chime in with information that you think matters to the community.