Ease cancer symptoms with these activities?

Integrative therapies, such as yoga and meditation, can be beneficial and improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients, according to the newest clinical guidelines released by the Society for Integrative Oncology. A team of researchers led by Columbia University led a systematic review of more than 80 different integrative therapies and graded each one based on effectiveness and safety for breast cancer patients. The results of their efforts showed some therapies, including yoga, massage, meditation and music therapy, can help reduce anxiety, stress and depression. This recent study adds to a growing body of evidence that some integrative therapies can play a part in a cancer patient’s journey, says Traci Biancalana-Barker, cancer nurse navigator at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Integrative therapies, like yoga and meditation, promote overall physical and emotional well being,” says Biancalana-Barker. “Of course, there are benefits from physical activity, but these therapies also help create a sense of peace and relaxation as well as a more positive body image and higher self-esteem.” In addition to the physical and emotional benefits, some integrative therapies are easy to adopt as part of everyday life. “Even if cancer patients haven’t been active in quite some time, these activities are a good starting point since you can do them anywhere and they don’t require any equipment,” she adds.