About Mind-Body Therapies


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.

Massage Therapy

Massage is effective in reducing symptoms associated with cancer such as pain and anxiety. Current oncology guidelines recommend using massage for depression and mood disorders. Massage is generally safe and increasingly used as a complementary therapy to provide relief from certain symptoms of cancer and other illnesses.


Meditation practices involve using the mind to focus one's attention, regulate breathing, and develop a non-judgmental awareness of thoughts and feelings to achieve inner calmness, physical relaxation, psychological balance, and improved vitality and coping.

Music Therapy

Music therapy can promote relaxation, distract from pain associated with many illnesses, and relieve distress. It can also strengthen and enrich communications and provide support to loved ones.