Cancer treatment comes with a lot of stress. Chemotherapies and severe medicinal intake take a toll on your mental health. Well, meditation cannot directly treat cancer, per se. But, its calming and relaxing effects help cope with treatment stress and anxiety. As a result, most doctors suggest meditation for the treatment of cancer for improved results (1).
Before we see how meditation helps in cancer treatment, let us know a bit more about it.
The following topics are the stepping stones in our article.
- What is Meditation?
- How can you practice meditation?
- Upright meditation
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided visualization
- Tai chi & yoga
- Meditation & Cancer Care: Research and how it helps
- Improved mood
- Improved concentration and focus
- Reduced anxiety disorders
- Lower treatment side effects, like nausea
- Boosted immune system
Let us begin!
What is Meditation?
Meditation mostly involves remaining quiet and still for a given period. Therefore, a pre-requisite of meditation is regulating all possible thoughts in your mind. Once you achieve that, you can have a better understanding of your surroundings. Hence, you can now connect with your inner being. Meditation enables you to have a clean and spacious thought process (2). Mind-body interaction is possible when you are deep into your meditation. And this interaction is what proves beneficial for the treatment of cancer.
Meditation has various forms, but their common goal is relaxation and a state of calm. There are many methods of mind-body therapies. Let us look into the ones that help with cancer treatment.
How can you practice meditation?
Cancer cure by mind power is possible with some stress relief. This stress relief comes with various techniques of meditation.
In this, you need to maintain your posture and sit quietly for a specified period. The basic idea is to gain control over your thoughts. Regulating breathing, along with thought movements, can be achieved through this. Sometimes, people chant phrases or a mantra. This helps you cope with stress and any restrain negative thoughts.
Separating this from meditation has its own benefits. Take a full deep breath and wait a few seconds, then let it out slowly. Doing this daily can have significant benefits on your mental health. Few studies claim, deep breathing promoted the quality of life among women having breast cancer.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
Muscle retractions and contractions help relax your entire body. Performing stretches can help manage cancer treatment side effects like:
- Anxiety & stress
- Incomplete sleep
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body aches
- Depression and negative thoughts
This involves focusing on some pleasant sceneries and positive thoughts. The process helps in diverting your mind from negative thoughts. During the treatment of cancer, many negative thoughts can occur to you. The calmness and happiness that these lively scenes provide will help you cope with stress. The significant effects of guided visualization are:
- Quick healing
- Lower blood pressure
- Regulating pulse and heartbeat rates
- Manage cancer treatment side effects
Tai chi and yoga
These processes include coordinating breathing with stretches. Enough oxygen needs to reach your brains. The right O2 level helps in keeping mental stability and calmness. Yoga and Tai chi are a combination of the above forms of meditation. Hence, they provide you with their combined benefits.
Now let us look at how cancer cure with mind power works.
Meditation & Cancer Care: Research and how it helps
Meditation is gradually growing as a way of reducing mind-body stress. Several small studies show that meditation helps improve the quality of life of cancer patients. It also has proven benefits in relieving specific symptoms.
Let us look at its benefits in the treatment of cancer
Daily meditation for cancer has proven benefits for your mood (3). Extreme relaxation and calmness improve hormone regulation. This, in turn, reduces stress and depression. During cancer treatment having a cheerful mood helps cope with treatment side effects.
Improved concentration and focus
Meditation undoubtedly improves your concentration and focus (4). Studies suggest that avid meditators can reduce wandering thoughts (5). An idle mind is a devil’s workshop, especially negative ones. During cancer treatment dealing with negative thoughts wandering all the time is essential.
Reduced anxiety disorders
Researchers suggest that meditation is a useful tool to reduce anxiety-related disorders (6). Generalized Anxiety Disorders are common among mid-stage cancer patients. Meditation helps to become more resilient and less reactive to stress. Meditation helps to handle stress calmly.
Lower treatment side effects, like nausea
Complementary therapies, along with cancer treatment, have proven very beneficial. Meditation therapies help to cope with pain and other side effects like nausea (7).
Boosted immune system
Meditation has researched benefits on the immune system (8). Meditation brings about regulations and balance in the nervous system. It also helps in the production of killer cells that help the body clean up. It not only clears your body but your mind too. You are closer to getting cured of cancer with an effective immune system.
Daily meditation for cancer and its benefits are listed in detail above. We all know that cancer does not have any prescribed treatment. Doctors are trying their best to find ways to ease their treatment, at least. Meditation, along with some yoga and proper treatment, can help you fight cancer.