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Meditation Technique Helps Breast Cancer Survivors

Scientists at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing found a meditation technique that can help breast cancer survivors improve their emotional and physical well-being, according to a report by Psychcentral.com.

The results of a study done by researchers, Yaowarat Matchim, a former nursing doctoral student, Jane Armer, professor of nursing, and Bob Stewart, professor emeritus of education and adjunct faculty in nursing, called “Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Health Among Breast Cancer Survivors,” was published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research.

Researches found that breast cancer survivors’ health improved after they learned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which incorporates meditation, yoga, and physical awareness, the report stated.

“Post diagnosis, breast cancer patients often feel like they have no control over their lives,” Armer said in the report. “Knowing that they can control something — such as meditation — and that it will improve their health gives them hope that life will be normal again.”

The university’s MBSR program consists of group sessions over eight to 10 weeks, where participants practice meditation skills, discuss how their bodies respond to stress, and learn coping techniques.

Researchers found survivors who learned MBSR lowered their blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate, and their moods improved. Also, their level of mindfulness increased after taking the class, Armer said.

“Mindfulness-based meditation, ideally, should be practiced every day or at least on a routine schedule,” she said in the report, explaining the approach works best as a compliment to other treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

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