Dec 17, 2018 8:00 AM


silhouette of woman meditating

Having cancer is hard on a person. So is taking care of someone who has it. Even after successful treatment, cancer and its treatments have side effects that can lower your quality of life:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Difficult sleep

The good news is scientific evidence shows that mindfulness practices can help relieve these side effects. 

Mindfulness helps you keep your thoughts focused on the present. Breathing and movement techniques help you stay in the moment and relax.

Mindfulness Classes and Activities at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) offers these mindfulness classes and activities for patients and caregivers.

  • Mind-Body Skills Group. This class has four 90-minute weekly sessions, offered several times each year. Trained facilitators teach you skills to help ease stress and pain and restore your sense of well-being. The class is free, but you need to register in advance. The next series of classes will be held on Wednesday afternoons beginning on January 16. Register for the Mind-Body Skills Group.
  • Sound Bowls. The tones of these “singing” bowls help you relax and focus during meditation. HCI’s Paul Thielking, MD, guides 60-minute sessions at 1 p.m. on the 2nd and 3rd Thursdays each month in the Multipurpose Room on the 6th floor of the Cancer Hospital.
  • Guided Relaxation. A trained facilitator guides you through a 30-minute meditation session that focuses on relaxation. Join in Tuesdays at noon in the Elyse Pantke White Chapel and Meditation Room on the 5th floor of the Cancer Hospital.
  • Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Yoga. These mind-body practices are centuries old. They combine postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. HCI’s Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness and Integrated Health Center offers free classes for patients and caregivers. Check the Wellness Center’s catalog of classes.

HCI’s G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center (CLC) has more than 400 items about mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery, and self-hypnosis. These items include books, CDs, and preloaded MP3 players. Cancer information specialists can help you find the items right for you.

Finally, here are some mindfulness activities you can do solo.

Mindful Walking

You don’t need any special training for this kind of meditation practice.

  1. Focus on your steps. Notice the way your heel touches the ground and how the ball of your foot rolls on the floor. Stand tall.
  2. Focus on your breathing. For each step you take, breathe in deeply. Hold the breath for a moment, then release it slowly.
  3. Quiet your mind. Let your thoughts come and go. If you get stuck on a thought, return your attention to your breathing and your steps.

You can do this anywhere you have room to walk. If you happen to be at Huntsman Cancer Institute, we suggest using our labyrinth on the 4th floor patient patio

Guided Meditation Apps

There are many guided meditation apps you can use with your phone. Our Cancer Learning Center recommends this one: CancerCare Meditation iPhone App.

Try a mindfulness practice today!

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Cancer touches all of us.

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