Posted by: manjitsandhu | March 1, 2011

Can Meditation Really Help a Cancer Patient?

There are a number of research studies that suggest that one of the reasons that cancer grows is because of the failure of the body’s immune system. As a result, many new studies aimed at stopping cancer are concentrating on changing or stimulating the immune system through a variety of techniques.

One of these techniques for bolstering the immune system is mediation. High levels of cortisone in the blood like gluco-corticoids can inhibit the immune system. These gluco-corticoids are released into the blood as a response to anxiety and stress. It is believed that regular meditation can not only reduce the anxiety suffered by a cancer patient but can make that patient’s body more able to resist the development of new cancer cells and fight existing cancer. One particular study on meditating and its effect on the immune system suggests, however, that meditating must profoundly reduce the patient’s anxiety and this level of relaxation must be sustained for longer than the ordinary period to be effective.

Besides the effect on the immune system, mediation can improve overall health and begin the healing of certain diseases like cancer. It does this by bringing on mental tranquility and physical relaxation. The many reported benefits of mediation include the easing of stress, tension, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

For cancer patients in particular, meditation can lessen pain, reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, and improve mood. When the mind is calm and the body is relaxed, a cancer patient may be able to get rid of the damaging effects of stress and tension as well as alter the negative way in which he or she copes with the disease that can often exacerbate their condition and shorten their life expectancy.

There is some scientific evidence that meditating can influence physiological changes in the body, including the reduction of gluco-corticoids mentioned previously. Other documented positive responses include lowered blood pressure and pulse rate. Some studies even show that some of these changes that meditating has on the body can slow down the growth of tumors. There are reports of increased survival rates in cancer patients who use meditation.

Patients should never rely on this type of therapy alone or look for it to be a cure. But experts will agree that the positive effects of meditation can promote wellness and quality of life.

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Manjit Sandhu