by LAUREN GRZINA
Mind-body techniques are based on the premise that what we think and feel affects our physical and mental health and wellbeing. These therapies are not a cancer cure and are done alongside routine medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Mind-body techniques provide emotional support and alleviate physical and mental symptoms of cancer and treatment. The main aim of these techniques is to overall improve the quality of life for the patient before and after cancer treatment:
Beauty Therapy is any beauty related treatments, including—but not limited to—facials, manicures and hair treatments. Medial cancer treatments can often create appearance related side effects such as hair loss, skin irritation and paleness that can lead to psychosocial distress and changes in the patient’s body image. Studies have shown that beauty therapies can indirectly reduce psychological distress through positively impacting a patient’s body image and self-esteem, as well as lessen the symptoms of depression.
Massage therapy involves massage of a person’s muscle and other soft tissue with the intention to improve the patient’s mental and physical well-being. Massage therapy can reduce pain through both local effects on the muscle and by affecting the subconscious parts of the brain that experience pain. Massage therapy can also help cancer patients through:
- Easing fatigue
- Relaxation and,
- Alleviating stress
Art therapy is using visual art materials to create pictures or objects under the guidance of a trained art therapist. The aim is not too create masterpieces, but to provide emotion support and offer a creative outlet through which patients can express themselves and be granted new perspectives. Art therapy is thought to improve a patient’s mental health, but decreasing perceived anxiety and depression and physical pain by giving patients a healthy copying mechanism for dealing with the side effects of treatment and cancer and improves their outlook on the future.
Solaris Cancer Care Cottesloe offers all three of the mind-body techniques mentioned in this article. You can also find massage at Solaris St. John of God Subiaco and Solaris Sir Charles Gairdner. Click here to learn more.
Lauren Grzina is Solaris Cancer Care’s social media intern and has helped manage Solaris’s Instagram account since late April 2021.