Four Powerful Mind-Body Meditative Therapies to Manage Cancer Side Effects
I was first introduced to meditation when I was in high school. A family friend had invited a meditation practitioner named Soma to stay at their house for a week to teach them how to meditate. They also invited my own family over to learn this fascinating and powerful mind-body therapy.
She taught us of all the benefits of meditation including less anxiety, improved attention span, increased creativity, reduced pain, emotional balance and so much more.
When she told me that I could attain an increased focus through meditation that would allow me to get better grades in school, I was hooked… I was already doing well in school, but anything that could give me an extra edge got me excited! What can I say… I was a nerd. 😊
To this day, I have kept meditation as a part of my life… although I admit, not as often as I would like.
When I was researching holistic therapies for those with cancer, I was not at all surprised to see that meditation was one of the mind-body therapies that topped this list!
Other mind-body meditative therapies that are extremely helpful include: hypnotherapy, guided imagery and positive affirmations.
Mind-body meditative therapies can be used to help manage the physical, emotional and psychological symptoms that someone with cancer might experience.
Let’s explore the benefits of mind-body meditative therapies for cancer patients in a little more detail:
👉 Meditation – according to research studies, regular meditation can help cope with stress, as well as reduce chronic pain, anxiety and sleeping problems.
It can also help lower blood pressure and improve mood in people living with cancer
👉 Hypnotherapy – the goal of hypnotherapy is to enter an altered state of consciousness resulting in relaxation, hyperfocus and increased suggestivity to bring about change.
Studies show that hypnotherapy can reduce nausea and vomiting, procedural anxiety, and acute or chronic pain in children and adults.
👉 Guided imagery – In guided imagery, you use positive mental images to help you think of, and reach a specific goal, such as reducing your blood pressure.
Research in cancer patient shows that it may help with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, especially for people who have anticipatory nausea, which is when they feel nauseous before chemotherapy, even though the chemo hasn’t started yet.
👉 Positive affirmations - Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. They are very powerful because they help you to conquer negativity, fear, worry, and anxiety related to your cancer and cancer treatments.
When you repeat these affirmations over and over again, and believe in them, you are able to change your pattern of thinking.
An example of an affirmation you can repeat is “I heal with every inhalation and let go of cancer with every exhalation.”
These therapies are useful if you are currently being treated for cancer, are in cancer remission and trying to avoid a recurrence, and even when you’re trying to prevent cancer from occurring.
Remember, our mind and body are inter-connected and we all need to spend time creating these positive vibes within us for our overall health and well-being, both today and in the future.
Have you tried any of these mind-body therapies to help you in your cancer journey? If so, which ones? Which ones would you recommend to others?
My online program, Cancer Recovery Roadmap, goes into mind-body holistic and integrative therapies in much more detail and provides guidance on implementing these therapies into your cancer recovery plan. Check it out!
I’ve taken all my research on diet, environment, lifestyle and mind-body and put it into a very comprehensive program which will help you create your own cancer recovery plan. If you want to take your recovery from cancer to the next level, click on the image below.
Also, if you want to join a free community of people with cancer looking for holistic and integrative strategies to encourage cancer recovery CLICK THIS LINK to join the Holistic Strategies for Cancer Recovery Facebook group to help support your journey and connect you with like-minded people.
1) Zhang, M. F., Wen, Y. S., Liu, W. Y., Peng, L. F., Wu, X. D., & Liu, Q. W. (2015). Effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy for reducing anxiety and depression in patients with cancer: a meta-analysis. Medicine, 94(45).
2) Snow, A., Dorfman, D., Warbet, R., Cammarata, M., Eisenman, S., Zilberfein, F., ... & Navada, S. (2012). A randomized trial of hypnosis for relief of pain and anxiety in adult cancer patients undergoing bone marrow procedures. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 30(3), 281-293.
3) Kwekkeboom KL, et al. Patients' perceptions of the effectiveness of guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation interventions used for cancer pain. (2008, August). Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Elsevier. 14(3): 185-194.
4) Hart J. Guided imagery. (2008). Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Mary Ann Liebert. 14(6): 295-299.
5) Taber JM, Klein W, Ferrer R, et al. Optimism and spontaneous self-affirmation are associated with lower likelihood of cognitive impairment and greater positive affect among cancer survivors. Ann Behav Med. 2016 April ; 50(2): 198–209. doi:10.1007/s12160-015-9745-9.