The reality of a cancer diagnosis can be difficult for both patients and their families. When taking a look at maintaining wellness as a whole, we must consider not just the physical, but our mental and emotional health as well. For this reason, some patients may consider integrating natural methods of wellness in addition to cancer therapy that can help make the cancer journey more manageable.
A few examples of wellness practices include:
- Meditation: This practice combines mindfulness, deep breathing and focus to achieve a state of stability and calmness. There are several apps that can be downloaded on your smart phone for a guided experience, including Calm and Headspace.
- Music Therapy: Research1 has shown that music can help alleviate pain, manage stress, promote physical rehabilitation and more. Now days, music is readily accessible almost anywhere thanks to smartphones and music apps.
- Art Therapy: Art is a powerful form of expression that allows individuals creative freedom to help foster healing and explore emotions. Drawing, painting and photography are only a few examples of art forms that we can try!
- Massage Therapy: This form of treatment uses rubbing and pressure techniques on the muscles and body to promote physical pain as well as stress relief.
- Yoga: Yoga is a mind and body practice that integrates physical movement, breathing techniques and meditation that encourages the embodiment of relaxation.
Navigating a cancer journey is no easy feat. Each individual patient will live their own unique experience. With the help of your oncologist and health team, the path to healing can be taken one step at a time.
The Oncology Institute recommends patients consult their primary care physician prior to engaging in any new physical activities.
For more information on ‘Complementary and Alternative Methods and Cancer’, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.
1 Stanczyk, Malgorzata Monika. “Music therapy in supportive cancer care.” Reports of practical oncology and radiotherapy: journal of Greatpoland Cancer Center in Poznan and Polish Society of Radiation Oncology vol. 16,5 170-2. 8 Jun. 2011, doi:10.1016/j.rpor.2011.04.005.