Never before has this kind of study been done on breast cancer patients to lower stress and anxiety levels in patients improving their quality of life. In Stress and Health, patients were led through an 8-week program consisting of Mindfulness-based Art Therapy MBSR (awareness of breathing, eating, yoga, walking and listening) coupled with art expression proved to help with their coping and self-discipline and provide patients a way to meaningfully express their emotions.
Cerebral blood flow and stressor task
Brain scans were performed at rest, on task, meditation task and neutral task, which showed increases in the emotional centers of the brain and the left insula, which helps to perceive emotions, the amygdala which helps to experience stress, the hippocampus which regulates stress responses, and the caudate nucleus part of the brain’s reward system. All which correlates with significantly lowering stress and anxiety.
The neurophysiological and psychological responses revealed the mindfulness intervention reduced depression and anxiety, improved immune system response and helped mediate emotional responses in women with breast cancer. The studies were so successful in the results they will be used in other disease populations.
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