By Denise Reynolds RD for eMaxHealth.com
Chronic stress is known to have damaging effects to the body. When you are already ill, such as with cancer, acute stress can take its toll as well, leading to poorer health outcomes. Researchers are continually looking for strategies that help cancer patients better cope with stress and anxiety during treatment and have found that a combination of mindfulness and art therapy may be one mechanism to improve quality of life.
Daniel Monti MD, the director of the Jefferson-Myma Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, and colleagues studied the therapies in eighteen breast cancer patients between the ages of 52 and 77 years who were not in active treatment. A portion of the patients were assigned to a group using a therapy that combines Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with art – a program they call “Mindfulness-based Art Therapy” or MBAT. The curriculum consisted of awareness of breathing, awareness of emotion, mindful yoga, and walking, paired with expressive art tasks to provide opportunities for self-expression of emotion and to facilitate coping strategies.Whizzco