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Meditation / Creative Visualisation
Also Known As:
Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, Aikido
Summary:

Meditation is a technique where the attention is focused on a point of reference, such as the breath or an object, in order to help you create a peaceful, quiet state of mind. For people with cancer, it may be useful for pain, anxiety, and distress and to help cope with the symptoms of cancer and its treatments, such as fatigue, sleep and mood disturbance, nausea, and depression, thereby improving quality of life. People with cancer who have practised meditation describe a number of benefits such as increased positivity, better coping strategies and being more in control, and being able to deal with pain in other ways than relying on medication.

Description:

Meditation is usually practised in a group, although an individual therapist can help you learn how to meditate. The session, usually lasting an hour, starts with some relaxation and verbal instructions, followed by silence for practice to take place. You can be seated or lying down and some traditions adopt certain seating positions, such as the lotus position or sitting cross-legged.

There are also moving forms of meditation, such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga and Aikido. It is recommended that meditation is practised regularly at home for it to be of most benefit. You can also practice meditation without a therapist, using a music file, CD or tape, which may be useful if you have to stay in bed or can’t leave your home. You can buy these online, from some book stores or health shops, and from some cancer support groups or centres.

History:

Meditation has been practised for thousands of years across the world. The history of meditation is intimately bound up with the religious context within which it was practised. Some practices and religions that use and teach meditation include forms of Buddhism (e.g. Tibetan, Zen), Hinduism, Aikido, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Islam, and Yoga.

Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other approaches in that it does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and requires no specific posture. Secular forms of meditation were introduced in India in the 1950s as a Westernised form of Hindu meditative techniques, and arrived in the United States and Europe in the 1960s. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasises stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement.

Notes:

Meditation is generally considered safe, especially under the guidance of a trained health professional, although cancer patients should consult their doctor or other healthcare professional before using a movement based meditation such as yoga or tai chi. There are no reports of side effects. There is no legal requirement in the UK to have a licence to teach meditation and/or mindfulness techniques, so it is best to check what training your therapist has had. Some traditions and schools of meditation have their own training and accreditation schemes. Some nurses and doctors have training in this area. And psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists all have training in the use of relaxation and visualisation techniques. Through the process of meditation, you are calling on yourself to participate in your own wellbeing. Meditation is thought to help people live in the moment rather than worrying about the future. Meditation can be both a spiritual practice and a health practice.

As a spiritual practice, it is used to gain an understanding for self-improvement, and ultimately to link with the divine in a state of altered or heightened consciousness. Some people consider prayer to be a form of meditation. As a health practice, the West has taken an interest in meditation for its potential to maintain health and help healing. Popular and scientific interest in the 1960s and 70s looked at how meditation could help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and generally improve health by stimulating what Dr Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind/body medicine, termed the relaxation response. Meditation is commonly used alongside other self-help practices such as Creative Visualisation. An example is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which includes yoga, imagery and group work.

Costs:

Some clinics are able to offer a package of free/ low cost sessions. Costs can vary widely depending on the size of the group, length of the sessions and tradition. Some practitioners ask for a donation, rather than a set price. Others charge by the hour.



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    Practitioners
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    Liz Butler
    London, UK - England (South East)
    Liz Butler is a Nutritional Therapist from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2000, with a Masters Degree in Nutritional Medicine at Surrey University, and a training in Metabolic Typing and Functional Medicine. ...
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    Claire Forrester
    Cambridge , UK
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    Dr Sosie Kassab
    London, UK - England (South East)
    After qualifying from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, Dr Sosie Kassab gained considerable experience in a range of different medical fields...
    Clinics
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    3E Centre (3E Zentrum)
    Buoc, Germany
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    Action Cancer
    Belfast, UK
    Action Cancer is a Northern Ireland cancer charity, established in 1973 by cancer specialist Dr George Edelstyn. Services include counselling and support services for cancer patients and their families. ...
    Bracken Trust Cancer Support Centre (The)
    Llandrindod Wells, UK - Wales
    The Bracken Trust supports those who are coping with cancer, their families and the bereaved. They are about empowering people to live with, through and beyond cancer. ...
    CLAN Cancer Support
    Aberdeen, UK
    CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity for anyone affected by any type of cancer at any time from diagnosis onwards. ...
    CLAN Cancer Support
    Lerwick, UK
    CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity for anyone affected by any type of cancer at any time from diagnosis onwards. ...
    Cancer Help
    Preston, UK
    Cancer Help was formed by Margaret O Donoghue in 1989 and now has two fully staffed day centres, bringing invaluable benefits to countless thousands of cancer patients in the Preston and Garstang areas. ...
    Fountain Centre (The)
    Guildford, UK - England (South East)
    The Fountain Centre is located within The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, and is an integral part of the St Luke’s Cancer Centre. ...
    Gentle Approach to Cancer Association
    Preston, UK - England (North)
    The support centres at the Gentle Approach to Cancer Association, offer a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer. ...
    Harmony Hill of Union
    Union, United States
    Harmony Hill offers cancer retreat programmes at no cost to participants. Cancer retreats can also be offered virtually via Zoom. ...
    Haven (The)
    Leeds, UK
    The Haven offers free support, information and complementary therapies to anyone affected by breast cancer. At their Havens in London, Hereford and...
    Holistic Centre (The)
    Godalming, UK - England (South East)
    A requirement of the Holistic Centre is that all therapists are fully qualified members of their appropriate Professional Body and that they all hold Public Liability Insurance. ...
    Jane Scarth House
    Romsey, UK - England (South East)
    Jane Scarth House is Wessex Cancer Trust’s walk-in centre in the heart of Romsey, offering free, one to one counselling, aromatherapy, massage, ...
    Lyndale Knowsley Cancer Support Centre
    Liverpool, UK
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    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centre (The)
    Cosham, Portsmouth, UK
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centres provide a safe and welcoming environment for people affected by cancer. Services for people with cancer, their ...
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centre (The)
    Plymouth, UK
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centres provide a safe and welcoming environment for people affected by cancer. Services for people with cancer, their ...
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centre (The)
    Runcorn, UK
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centres provide a safe and welcoming environment for people affected by cancer. Services for people with cancer, their ...
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centre (The)
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    Macmillan Cancer Resource Centres provide a safe and welcoming environment for people affected by cancer. Services for people with cancer, their ...
    Nenna Kind Cancer Support Centre
    Chesterfield, UK
    If you, or a family member or friend, have cancer and would like someone to talk to, you are welcome to call in for a chat to the Nenna Kind Cancer Support Centre in Chesterfield. ...
    North Wales Cancer Care
    Caernarfon, UK - Wales
    North Wales Cancer Care is a voluntary community group supporting anyone affected by cancer. They offer information, one to one support, complementary therapies and guidance to help people cope with the emotional stress and sense of isolation that a diagnosis of cancer can bring. ...
    Penny Brohn UK
    Bristol, UK
    Penny Brohn UK pioneered the Bristol Approach to cancer care for people with cancer and those close to them. ...
    Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine
    London, UK
    The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) is the largest public-sector provider of integrated medicine in Europe. Formerly known as ...
    Sara Lee Trust
    St Leonards on Sea, UK
    Providing complementary therapies, counselling and creative therapies to people in Hastings and Rother living through cancer and other serious ...
    Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts
    Washington, United States
    Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts is a non-profit health, education and creative arts organisation that serves individuals, families and...
    Swansea and Gower Cancer Self Help Group
    Swansea, UK
    The Swansea and Gower Cancer Self Help Group exists to provide support to cancer sufferers, their family and carers. The group manages a Charity Shop ...
    Vibrant Health
    Potters Bar, UK - England (South East)
    Vibrant health Spa specialises in detoxification, and cell regeneration. It is the only Colon Hydrotherapy recognised School in the UK to teach ...
    Waterside Cancer Support
    Hythe, UK - England (South East)
    Waterside Cancer Support Centre is Wessex Cancer Trust’s non-clinical support centre based in Hythe for the benefit of anyone from the Waterside, New ...
    Wessex Cancer Trust
    Southampton, UK - England (South East)
    Wessex Cancer Trust was established in 1981 to provide relief for adults, teenagers and children living with cancer and their carers. The Trust ...
    Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre
    Sheffield, UK - England (North)
    Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre is a charity that supports cancer patients who are receiving radiotherapy. They provide ...
    Wirral Holistic Care Services
    Wirral, UK
    The origins of Wirral Holistic Care Services stretch back 20 years. It was then that Dorothy Crowther, their chief executive, first proposed the idea ...
    Information & Advice
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    Cancer Decisions
    Lemont, United States
    A Moss Report assists with educating a cancer patient about any promising alternative treatments for their particular condition. Please see the website for costs of downloading or ordering a printed copy of each Moss report. ...
    Cancer Information and Support Society (CISS)
    St Leonards, Global (ie: web based)
    CISS promotes non-toxic holistic medicine. The educational organisation promotes prevention, self-help and freedom of choice in therapies for cancer...
    Cancer Options Ltd
    Nottingham, Global (ie: web based)
    Led by Patricia Peat, an experienced oncology nurse, Cancer Options offers support and information on orthodox treatments, clinical trials and developments worldwide. ...
    Canhelp Inc
    Livingstone, United States
    CANHELP serves patients and/or family members who wish to take an active part in the healing process and are willing to think outside the conventional medical box. ...
    Douglas Macmillan Cancer Information Centre
    Sidcup, UK
    The Douglas Macmillan Cancer Information Centre offers information on all types of cancer, emotional support, support groups, complementary...
    Ian Gawler Institute
    Hawthorn East, Australia
    Established over 30 years ago by Dr Ian Gawler, The Gawler Foundation provides support through lifestyle-based educational retreats and programmes for ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Cambridge, UK - England (South East)
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Edinburgh, UK
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Fife, UK
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Inverness, UK
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Wishaw, UK
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    Maggie's Centres
    Wishaw, UK
    Maggie’s Centres’ philosophy is in helping people with cancer to be as healthy in mind and body as possible, while assisting them with contributions ...
    New Approaches to Cancer
    Chertsey, UK
    New Approaches to Cancer is a national registered charity that was started by a group of four colleagues – two doctors and two healers back in 1969. ...
    Quest for Life Centre
    Bunadoon, Australia
    The Quest for Life Foundation provides interactive group programs to educate, empower and encourage people living with the challenges of cancer ...
    Yes to Life
    London, UK - England (South East)
    Yes to Life is a charity that offers support to people with cancer in the UK who want to take a proactive role in their treatment ...
    Organisations
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    Acorn Cancer Support Group (The)
    UK
    Acorn Cancer Support Group’s aim is to alleviate the physical and emotional distress of cancer patients and their carers. ...