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Benefits of Somatic Movement for Cancer Patients

Read Time: 1 minute
Denise Gascoigne, RDN, CPT, RSME

Group of people sitting on yoga mats in a studio

If you’ve been hearing about the benefits of somatic movement, you’re not alone. Somatic movement has been getting a lot of attention as an approach to manage pain associated with cancer treatment. You might be wondering what somatic movement is and where you can find classes in your area.

During somatic movement, you focus on your own feelings while being present in the moment. Somatic movements are typically done at a slow and deliberate pace. Pilates, yoga, and tai chi are also considered somatic movements when done with an awareness of the internal body (interoception), the external environment (exteroception), and movement in space (proprioception).

A recent study found that somatic yoga intervention was effective in reducing pain associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy syndrome (CIPN) in cancer survivors. The same study found that somatic yoga intervention had the additional benefit of improving quality of life for participants.

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Wellness and Integrative Health Center offers weekly Pilates, yoga, and tai chi classes. These are free to Huntsman Cancer Institute’s community and offered in a convenient, virtual format. In addition, the Wellness and Integrative Health Center has a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) on staff.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit the Wellness and Integrative Health Center. You can also call 801-587-4584 for information.

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Cancer touches all of us.