Mind-Body Medicine: Goals
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How can mind-body medicine help you during cancer care?
Emotions brought on by the cancer experience can be difficult to handle. A cancer diagnosis itself can make you feel shocked, afraid, depressed, angry, anxious, or helpless. Added to this, cancer treatment can be physically demanding and may cause side effects, such as nausea, muscle tension, pain, and lost sleep. It is not easy to cope with these life changes.
Mind-body medicine (also called “psychoneuroimmunology” or PNI) explores the influence of your mind and emotions on your body and immune system, and vice versa. In essence, mind-body medicine aims to use the power of thoughts and emotions to positively influence physical health.
Mind-body medicine techniques can become important tools to your peace of mind and well being. Throughout your cancer care, mind-body medicine can help reduce some of these symptoms and provide added support during a time when you need it most.
For instance, mind-body medicine can help to:
- Promote relaxation
- Decrease stress, anxiety and depression
- Improve mood
- Reduce treatment-related side effects (e.g., pain, nausea, muscle tension)
- Provide a sense of control and empowerment
- Improve coping skills
- Increase feelings of peace and calm