There is growing interest in mind-body therapies as adjuncts to mainstream cancer treatment, and an increasing number of patients turn to these interventions for the control of emotional stress associated with cancer. Increased research funding has enabled many such interventions to be evaluated for their efficacy, including studies of mind-body interventions to reduce pain, anxiety, insomnia, anticipatory, and treatment-related nauseas, hot flashes, and improved mood. Mind-body treatments evaluated for their utility in oncology include relaxation therapies, biofeedback, meditation and hypnosis, yoga, art and music therapy, tai chi, and qigong. Although studies are not always methodologically sound and results mixed, a growing number of well-designed studies provide convincing evidence that mind-body techniques are beneficial adjuncts to cancer treatment. The evidence is sufficient to recommend further investigation and adoption of these techniques in mainstream oncology care.
Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2010 Dec;11(3-4):128-40. Elkins G, Fisher W, Johnson A. Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, 77 Cottonwood Drive, Waco, TX 76706, USA. Gary_Elkins@baylor.edu