About Mind-Body Therapies

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Yoga

Mind-body therapies are a group of healing techniques that enhance the mind’s interactions with bodily function, to induce relaxation and to improve overall health and well-being. Daily practice is essential for deriving benefit from these therapies, which have become increasingly popular over the last two decades. A growing body of research indicates that mind-body therapies are safe and effective ways of mitigating physical and emotional symptoms, and improving coping skills in cancer patients. Because these practices are pleasant, noninvasive and beneficial, they are most suited for patients and survivors to help manage their own care.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s About Mind-Body Therapies database, a tool for the public as well as healthcare professionals, can help you evaluate the benefits of mind-body interventions. The database is continually updated to provide you with objective and evidence-based information.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a therapeutic component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves the use of very…
Purported Uses:
  • Cancer treatment symptoms
  • Pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Constipation
Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy involves the use of concentrated plant oils, known as essential oils, to improve well…
Guided Imagery
Guided Imagery involves deliberate use of the power of imagination to recreate mental images,…
Low-intensity exercise
Activities done at a comfortable pace such as walking, swimming, biking, rowing, dance, resistance…
Purported Uses:
  • Anxiety
  • Balance
  • Fall prevention
  • Cancer risk
  • Fracture risk
  • Fatigue
  • Heart health
  • Mood
  • Pain
  • Sleep
  • Treatment-related symptoms
Massage Therapy
Massage is effective in reducing symptoms associated with cancer such as pain and anxiety. Current…
Meditation
Meditation practices involve using the mind to focus one's attention, regulate breathing, and…
Purported Uses:
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Pain
Music Therapy
Music therapy can promote relaxation, distract from pain associated with many illnesses, and…
Qigong
Qigong, a practice developed in China, integrates body movement, muscle relaxation, and breathing…
Tai Chi (Tai Ji)
An ancient Chinese tradition, tai chi is an exercise program that uses a sequence of precise body…
Purported Uses:
  • Balance
  • Fatigue
  • Fall risk
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Physical function
  • Sleep
Yoga
Yoga encompasses breathing exercises, moving through various postures, and meditation techniques…
Purported Uses:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Pain
  • PTSD
  • Sleep
  • Stress