When you are being treated for cancer, it’s vital to tend your mind and soul in addition to your body. Although there are many benefits to massage therapy, taking a holistic approach toward healthy well-being will promote better quality of life and improved coping.  Here is some guidance toward establishing good strategies and wellness.

Cancer’s Effects

Beyond the physical toll it takes on the body, cancer patients often struggle with anxiety and depression.  According to some studies, between twenty and sixty percent of cancer patients may struggle with depression, and the diagnosis often leads to anxiety issues and fear for the future.  Even the most resilient patients can succumb to emotional and mental health issues. Although you may do well some days, certain events during your journey can create tremendous anxiety.  For instance, so much worry and stress can come from testing that some professionals refer to the anxiety it creates as “scanxiety.”   


Because of the many concerns associated with cancer, it’s vital for patients to participate in a healthy self-care program.  The National Cancer Institute explains that those who embrace healthy coping skills, such as stress management techniques and relaxation exercises, manage their cancer symptoms better and reduce their risks for anxiety and depression.  However those who self-medicate with smoking, drugs or alcohol, and those who are sedentary, experience a lower quality of life.


One important factor in self-care is advocating for yourself.  Some experts recommend talking directly with your physician and other health care professionals about your questions and concerns as they arise.  It’s can be important to helping you sort through your emotions and allow you better understanding of your disease and care.  You may also find help and comfort in engaging with support groups and meeting with a professional therapist. It’s important not to become isolated, and it’s important to have understanding in what is happening to you.

Spiritual Wellness

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, engaging with your spiritual belief system can help you cope and recover from your illness.  When you have cancer it is not the time to neglect your spiritual walk; keeping in touch with your spiritual side can improve your outlook along with your quality of life.  

Therapy Dogs and Cancer

Participating in a therapy program which includes dogs is a wonderful way to help manage cancer.  There is increasing evidence that dogs can help cancer patients feel better and heal. As the professionals at Rover point out, canine therapists not only distract you from your troubles, they can help you relax, increase your body’s stress-reducing hormones, and lift your mood.  What’s more, spending time with dogs allows patients to talk with their furry companions about concerns they might not voice to human ears. Patients often enjoy improved social interactions thanks to the time with service dogs as well; you may feel more open to talking with your doctors and loved ones after interacting with dogs.

Yoga for Cancer

Yoga involves developing skills that enhance and maintain mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Because of the well-roundedness of yoga, many health care professionals advocate adding it to a cancer patient’s lifestyle.  In fact, some research indicates yoga may not only help patients with mental and emotional wellness, but also manage symptoms such as pain, nausea, constipation, sleeplessness, and exhaustion.

Mind and Soul Wellness

When you have cancer, it’s not enough to treat your body.  It’s also vital to engage in a program of tending your mind and soul.  Establish self-care, advocate for yourself, engage spiritually, and consider participating in canine therapy or yoga to boost your wellness.  A holistic approach is a key to maintaining a good quality of life.