Being diagnosed with a life threatening disease such as cancer and

Being diagnosed with a life threatening disease such as cancer and undergoing treatment can cause unwanted distress and interferes with quality of life. to the many conventional approaches for managing distress from the fields of psychology and psychiatry many patients are seeking strategies to manage their distress PX-866 that are outside conventional medicine such as mind-body techniques. Mind-body techniques such as meditation yoga tai chi and qigong have been found to lower distress and lead to improvements in different aspects of quality of life. It is essential that the standard of care in oncology include distress screening and the delivery of different techniques to help patients manage the psychosocial challenges of diagnosis and treatment of cancer. in one category with the primarily therapies including techniques such as meditation relaxation tai chi and qigong and yoga. These are typically seated or movement-based techniques that can be helpful in managing stress and enhancing QOL. The expressive arts such as music therapy art therapy dance therapy and journaling also fall into this aspect of the Mind and Body category. Other techniques in the NCCAM Mind and Body category are considered techniques such as acupuncture massage therapy Feldenkrais Alexander technique Pilates and spinal manipulation. This report will focus on the mind-body techniques for which there are no external manipulation of the body. Some of these other techniques will be addressed in other reviews (e.g. acupuncture and massage). Although a number of evidence-based conventional psychological behavioral and pharmacological interventions exist for managing distress in cancer patients this report will also not focus on these more accepted psychological therapies such as support groups or cognitive behavioral therapy. Of note research shows that mind-body practices have a positive effect on many systems in our body improving QOL reversing the harmful effects of stress and creating fundamental changes in the way the brain functions [23-31]. These practices can affect neurotransmitters (i.e. glutamate GABA) PX-866 and neuromodulators (i.e. dopamine serotonin epinephrine) which are essential in maintaining a healthy balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic arousal therefore helping to manage the stress response [32]. Mind-body practices have an excellent safety profile with Mouse monoclonal to HSP60 some practices requiring more physical activity than others. The research to date indicates that there is good evidence that mind-body practices can be utilized as useful complementary therapies in people with cancer. Consistent with the general behavioral intervention literature in cancer efficacy for the benefits of mind-body interventions is mixed although generally positive. Early intervention studies are generally susceptible to common methodological flaws (e.g. small sample size lack of control groups and follow-up PX-866 periods as well as heterogeneous and primarily self-reported outcomes) and prudence is PX-866 warranted when drawing conclusions. However a recent meta-analysis of 13 randomized control trials primarily for women with breast cancer revealed large effects for psychological health and medium effects for fatigue general QOL PX-866 and psychosocial wellbeing [33]. Although the authors reported only small effects for sleep disturbances and physical function it is important to note that the reviewed trials were based on a prevention rather than treatment model as they did not select for elevated symptom burden. Consequently similar to the behavioral intervention literature at large studies tended to use an “all-comers” approach to patient recruitment which may have resulted in small treatment gains [34]. Over the last couple of years methodologically rigorous RCT’s addressing some of these limitations have been conducted and published in top tier journals in clinical oncology. Although there is some data to support the use of expressive art therapies such as music therapy [35] art therapy [36] and expressive writing [37] and journaling to improve QOL the number of trials is limited and they typically have small sample sizes and often no control organizations. There are many different mind-body programs that can be useful and this paper will review recent findings for yoga and the movement-based methods of yoga exercise tai chi and qigong. Yoga Meditation is an ancient practice that is part of.