Posters on Tibetan Yoga and Cancer Research presented at Recent Conference

Ale with cancer patientsA MD Anderson Cancer Center/Ligmincha Institute research team led by Lorenzo Cohen. Ph.D., and Alejandro Chaoul-Reich, Ph.D., presented, at a recent conference, two new aspects of their research on using Tibetan Yoga with cancer patients, which began in 2000. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche was a co-author in both posters.

The International Research Conference for Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) met May 13–16 in Miami, Fla. The conference had the theme of “Strengthening Research in Integrative Health Around the World.” Alejandro, who is also the director of research for Ligmincha Institute and the organizer of Ligmincha’s annual Buddhism and Science research conference at Serenity Ridge Retreat Center, presented the two posters at the conference.

Following up on their first research on Tibetan Yoga, using tsa lung trul khor for people with lymphoma, the researchers worked on a mixed methods analysis. This included not just the quantitative analysis (already published in 2004 in Cancer Journal) but also a qualitative analysis, presented by Belita Leal, Ph.D., which included patients’ responses to how they are feeling in relation to having cancer and undergoing treatment. This qualitative analysis revealed, for example, more acceptance living with cancer, no matter the outcome.
View poster A

The second poster, presented by Alejandro, was on a recent pilot study, in which patients with stage I-III non-small-cell lung cancer undergoing radiotherapy, along with their family caregiver, participated in a 15-session Tibetan Yoga program. The program included the Nine Breathings of Purification exercises and tsa lung movements. This research, spearheaded by Kathrin Milbury, Ph.D., is important because in the context of patient care, the needs of the caregivers are rarely addressed. Rosalinda Engle, M.A., a member of Ligmincha Texas who is a mind-body intervention specialist at MD Anderson, was one of the instructors, together with Alejandro.

Fourteen patients and their caregivers completed the program, and almost 96 percent rated the program as useful or very useful. Result, among other things, revealed a significant increase in spiritual well-being for patients and decrease in fatigue and anxiety for caregivers.
View poster B

These studies continue to expand the research of Tibetan Bon Buddhist contemplative practices. They will be presented in detail at Ligmincha’s upcoming Buddhism and Science conference, set for Oct. 7–9, 2014.
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