When patients receive a cancer diagnosis they are often confronted with their own mortality for the first time. They are then forced to cope with new emotions and stressors that can make them feel powerless and overwhelmed. This is a stressful and anxiety-provoking time not only physically, but also emotionally and financially for them and their families.
Healing Through Meditation
There is growing evidence supporting the benefits of Meditation for cancer patients. They often have to learn a new skill set on how to cope with uncertainty and the stressors that a cancer diagnosis and treatment bring. Meditation involves the mental training of deliberately focusing on the here and now without judging our feelings as good or bad. Meditation relies on the experience of focusing on a neutral point and bringing our thoughts back as our minds wanders. Developing awareness this way helps to settle the mind and to minimize distractions.
Additional Benefits of Meditation:
- Meditation decreases stress by lowering blood pressure, slowing breathing, and helping you be more present in the moment.
- It improves sleep by relaxing the body and mind at the end of the day.
- Meditation also trains you how to focus on one thing at a time, improving concentration.
- It also promotes emotional well-being by decreasing depression and anxiety, and helping create a more positive outlook on life.
Providing Support for Patients
At Ochsner, Gael Thompson of Tibetan House teaches sessions in groupings of 5 weekly sessions – each an hour long. The sessions are open to Ochsner cancer patients and their caregivers and are typically small, with around 10 people per session. We excited to offer this to our patients, and are eager to support patients and families in every way possible.
To learn more about Cancer Support Services, click here.