Meditation with art lowers stress in breast cancer

Washington: Cancer and stress go hand in hand. Higher the stress levels, the poorer the response from cancer patients.

But there is a way out. Researchers from The Jefferson-Myrna Brind Centre of Integrative Medicine say meditation and creative art therapy are the answer.

The brains of women with breast cancer who took part in the programme showed changes in activity linked with lower stress and anxiety after the eight-week programme.

Daniel Monti, director of the Jefferson-Myrna Centre who led the study, found that Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy (MBAT) helped cancer patients to lower stress levels and improve quality of life, the journal Stress and Health reports.

"This type of expressive art and meditation program has never before been studied for physiological impact and the correlation of that impact to improvement in stress and anxiety," says Monti, according to a Jefferson-Myrna statement.

All those tested had received the diagnosis of breast cancer between six months and three years prior to enrolment and were not in active treatment.

Participants demonstrated significant effects on cerebral blood flow compared with the control group.

These increases correlated significantly with a lowering of stress and anxiety.