Meditation and Visualization

Meditation and Visualization

There are actually several varieties of this category of treatment.

Yoga as Therapy for Adult Cancer Patients

The January 24 issue of The Sentinel ( ran an article by Leah Farr entitled "Yoga Used as a Therapy for Cancer." According to the article, American Cancer Society statistics indicate over 8 million people are affected by cancer in the United States, many of whom could benefit from complementary therapies such as Yoga, massage, meditation, and reiki. A 9-month pilot program at the Carlisle YWCA is offering just that. This program is funded through the Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation and is available to people in all stages of the disease--from those who are newly diagnosed to those who are 18-months post treatment.

Bonnie Berk, a registered nurse, is the Yoga instructor for the program. She states, "Studies show that Yoga can be a tremendous relief for your entire body."

Dr. Wallace Longton, Carlisle Regional Cancer Center's director says, "More and more through research, it is found that patients utilizing these forms of complementary care do much better throughout their cancer treatments."
According to the American Cancer Society's website, "Some people believe that mainstream medicine is the only option they have when it comes to treating symptoms and side effects. Actually there are many complementary methods--such as massage, meditation, or yoga--which are very useful to help control some symptoms and improve the quality of their lives."

Oncologists are prescribing Yoga as a way to help cancer patients reduce stress and retain or regain muscle tone. Yoga also has been shown, through studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Cancer Journal, to help relieve the pain and insomnia that can affect people with life-threatening illnesses. The goal of Yoga for cancer patients is to eliminate tension and increase relaxation.

Marty Frost, recently diagnosed with mouth cancer and throat cancer, is a testament to the benefits of the program. "It was amazing," he says. "When I was done, I was more alert and relaxed and it even got rid of some of the pain." He admits he might have been skeptical before trying the treatments, but he's now a believer. "Just because something sounds different, doesn't mean it doesn't work."

An additional bonus of these complementary therapies is their continued benefits to the patient after finishing treatment. Patients enjoyed the "safe haven" during their treatment, and are able to continue receiving the benefits long after the treatment has ended.

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Human prostate cancer PC3 cells were treated in vitro with psychosomatic power emitted by a Buddhist-Zen Master. A significant decrease of growth rate was observed as determined by MTT assay after 48 hours. These cells also had two- to three-fold higher levels of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAcP) activity, a prostate tissue-specific differentiation antigen. In addition, the treated cells formed fewer and smaller colonies in soft agar as compared with control cells, which displayed anchorage-independent growth. These observations provide insight into the suppressive effects of healing power through the practice of Buddhist-Zen meditation on tumor progression. The emitted bioenergy may be suggested as an alternative and feasible approach for cancer research and patient treatment.