Meditation for Cancer Patients

Posted on 5/17/2013 by Josh Hoffman in cancer chronic illness meditation

Coping with cancer can be challenging. Here are some ways to make it more bearable.

Coping with a major illness like cancer brings a multitude of challenges. Patients often deal with psychological as well as physical pain. Stress, anxiety, anger and depression as among the most common emotional effects.  Pain, nausea, insomnia and other physical discomfort are often physical effects and side effects from treatment can often exacerbate some of those discomforts.  While there are medications available to ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, nausea and other issues, sometimes meditation can be a very helpful in easing symptoms.

Meditation comes in many forms and all focus on awareness of one's breathing, sounds, sensations and pushing away intruding thoughts.  It can be practiced alone, one-on-one, or with a group. Some of the most common include:

Guided Meditation which can be led by mental health professionals, doctors, or meditation masters and focuses on imagery such as a peaceful beach.

Mindfulness Meditation focuses on sensations, feelings, thoughts and images as they arise without passing judgement.

Transcendental Meditation uses a mantra, usually a word, phrase or special sound which helps the practitioner focus.

Martial Arts such as quigong, tai chi, and aikido offer a moving form of meditation. You should consult your doctor before attempting any of the forms of moving mediation such as martial arts to be sure you are strong enough and your joints are supple enough to practice it safely.

The ultimate goal of meditation is to help the practitioner to find a relaxed and quiet space within themselves by. By practicing meditation for two twenty minute sessions a day, many practitioners report lower blood pressure, less anxiety, reduced pain and reduced stress levels. Mediation is no going to make cancer go away but it can certainly improve the quality of life for patients dealing with cancer.




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