Woodlands patients benefit from exercises for body and mind

11:13 28 March 2014

Yoga session for cancer patients, at the Holiday Inn, Brampton, run by Cherie Luckman.

Yoga session for cancer patients, at the Holiday Inn, Brampton, run by Cherie Luckman.

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Relaxing is probably the last thing you would expect cancer patients to be able to do after being diagnosed but every week a small group is meeting in a Huntingdon hotel to do just that.

Since January, yoga has been prescribed by the team at the Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to patients they think would benefit from learning the techniques.

It is being delivered at Huntingdon’s Holiday Inn thanks to a new partnership between Woodlands and St Neots Community Learning, based at Longsands Academy.

A chance meeting between Woodlands community cancer nurse specialist Gini Melesi and St Neots Community Learning manager Judy Duddridge inspired the link which is starting to pay dividends.

Mrs Duddridge said: “It’s such a worthwhile project. Both ladies and gentlemen have been going and they do an hour chair-based yoga class.

“The feedback has been amazing. People have been saying that it’s so lovely to be out of a hospital with other people going through similar.”

The yoga techniques are passed on by teacher Cherie Luckman. While they will not cure or prevent cancer, it has been shown that they can improve general wellbeing by helping relieve side effects such as pain, problems sleeping, fatigue and depression.

Benefits of such exercises for the mind and body will be among the topics discussed at a conference open to anyone who is living with cancer.

The Wellbeing and Educational Conference Day, which is free to attend, is at Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s Education Centre from 9am-4.30pm on Wednesday, April 9. Other subjects covered will include the impact of a cancer diagnosis and emotional wellbeing and coping strategies.

INFORMATION: To book, call Gini Melesi on 07715 037711 or email virginiamelesi@nhs.net.

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