Beating the Breast Cancer Blues Could Be as Simple as Saying 'Om'

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woman meditatingEven when a woman has successfully battled breast cancer, there's a 50/50 chance she'll have another challenge to face: A bad case of the blues. Previous research has shown that as many as half of breast cancer survivors fight depression, so it's about time we found a solution for these ladies! Finally, it's here ... and although it could be a complement to other treatment options like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, it doesn't come in the form of a prescription. (I know, can you believe it? Ha.)

University of Missouri researchers say Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is basically a long, fancy name for a meditation technique, improved breast cancer survivors' emotional and physical well-being. Awesome!

The technique, it seems, appears to be more than what most of us think of when we hear the word "meditation." (You know, sitting cross-legged and humming, "Ommmm" over and over again like a yogi.) It's actually a unique combo of meditation, yoga, and physical awareness. And MBSR programs consist of group sessions throughout a period of eight to ten weeks, during which participants practice meditation skills, discuss how the body responds to stress, and learn coping techniques.

In the new research, MBSR had some really great, tangible results, lowering breast cancer survivors' blood pressure, heart rates, and respiratory rates.

I love studies like this, because it just goes to show something we might dismiss as too bizarre/alternative or simple could actually translate to amazing results ... for breast cancer survivors, and likely those suffering from depression or stress even unrelated to disease! I'm sure there were some women involved in this research who were skeptical about MBSR at first and now are total converts. Just goes to show having an open mind is the first step to healing!

What do you think of this study? Have you tried or would you try meditation?


Image via Matt Scott/Flickr

breasts, cancer, alternative medicine