It is clear from our study, and other studies examining mind-body interventions in patients with cancer, that it is important for patients to consider participating in some kind of program to manage their stress and improve their quality of life. This is particularly true for patients who are vulnerable to adjustment problems, such as those experiencing depressive symptoms.
There are many different mind-body programs that can be useful during cancer care, with qigong being one of them. Patients will often ask which mind-body program is the best for reducing stress and improving quality of life. The answer is, “the one you will do every day and make a part of your life.” ■
Disclosure: Dr. Cohen was the principal investigator in the qigong study.
Dr. Cohen is Professor in the Departments of General Oncology and Behavioral Science, and Director of the Integrative Medicine Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.
Qigong (“qi” or “chi” = energy flow, “gong” = skill or achievement) is an integrated mind-body exercise and meditative practice that involves rhythmic breathing coordinated with repetition of fluid movements and calm focus on the body. A study reported in Cancer by Zhen Chen, MD, and colleagues...