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What are some types of mind-body medicine?

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Mind-body medicine can be added to your traditional treatments to help you relax and to focus your mind. Types of this complementary medicine include:

  • Meditation: You sit quietly and breathe deeply. Sometimes you repeat a word or phrase called a mantra. The idea is to gain control over your thoughts and breathing to help you relax.
  • Deep breathing: This part of meditation also works on its own. Just take a deep breath in from your diaphragm, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly let it out.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: This relaxes your whole body, one muscle group at a time. You lie down and tense, then relax, each group of muscles. Start with your feet and work up to your neck and face.
  • Guided imagery and visualization. Focus on a pleasant scene to steer your mind away from stressful thoughts.
  • Yoga and tai chi: These exercise programs blend deep breathing and relaxation. Yoga combines a series of strengthening, stretching, and balance poses with deep breathing. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that uses a series of gentle movements combined with deep breathing.

From: Benefits of a Holistic Approach WebMD Medical Reference

American Society for Clinical Oncology: “About Complementary and Alternative Therapies,” "Cancer and Your Body."

American Cancer Society: "Coping with Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Mind-body modality."

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk," "Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress," "Tai chi: Meditation in motion?"

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "About Mind-Body Therapies."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Meditation: In Depth."

Mindful: “How to Do It.”

Integrative Cancer Therapies: "Mindfulness meditation for oncology patients."

CancerCare: "Relaxation Techniques and Mind/Body Practices: How They Can Help You Cope With Cancer."

Cancer Research : "Impact of Deep Breathing and Relaxation Exercises on Health Related Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy."

BreastCancer.org: "Progressive Muscle Relaxation."

Medscape: “Progressive Muscle Relaxation: A Cure for Cancer-Related Fatigue?”

Cam-Cancer: "Progressive muscle relaxation."

Oncology Nursing Society: "Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)."

Cancer Research UK: "Visualisation," "Yoga."

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Guided Imagery."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Tai chi: Healing from the inside out."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

American Society for Clinical Oncology: “About Complementary and Alternative Therapies,” "Cancer and Your Body."

American Cancer Society: "Coping with Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Mind-body modality."

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk," "Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress," "Tai chi: Meditation in motion?"

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "About Mind-Body Therapies."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Meditation: In Depth."

Mindful: “How to Do It.”

Integrative Cancer Therapies: "Mindfulness meditation for oncology patients."

CancerCare: "Relaxation Techniques and Mind/Body Practices: How They Can Help You Cope With Cancer."

Cancer Research : "Impact of Deep Breathing and Relaxation Exercises on Health Related Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy."

BreastCancer.org: "Progressive Muscle Relaxation."

Medscape: “Progressive Muscle Relaxation: A Cure for Cancer-Related Fatigue?”

Cam-Cancer: "Progressive muscle relaxation."

Oncology Nursing Society: "Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)."

Cancer Research UK: "Visualisation," "Yoga."

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: "Guided Imagery."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Tai chi: Healing from the inside out."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on May 26, 2019

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