A 2010 University of Pennsylvania study found that 70% of comprehensive cancer centers offer information on complementary therapies, including acupuncture, biofeedback, and massage. And, over half of these centers endorse the use of these alternative therapies according to the study’s co-author, Dr. Jun Mao, Director of Integrative Care at the Abramson Cancer Center.
Recently, Dr. Nancy Snyderman covered a story on an episode of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” highlighting the use of complementary therapies for the treatment of cancer. Snyderman specifically highlighted the usefulness of Biofeedback Therapy stating, “Biofeedback may be one of those hidden gems that we don’t talk enough about. Being able to imagine a part of your body, harness thought and control things like heart rate and blood pressure and minimize pain is astonishing. I am a huge fan of biofeedback and using that same power to enhance the immune system – a field called psychoneuroimmunology.” Not surprisingly, Snyderman would like to see more Biofeedback being used. Balance Health + Wellness echoes her sentiment – we believe in arming our patients with tools to help them feel more in control of their lives.
As we all know, complementary therapies do not cure cancer, but they do something just as important; they empower a patient. During or after completion of chemotherapy/radiation – anxiety, fear, uncertainty, pain and nausea are common. Therefore, a patient is often left feeling out of control. Biofeedback is a treatment that enables one to learn how to control his/her body by using one’s own mind. Through Biofeedback, a patient learns how to strengthen the mind-body connection and control physical responses to pain/stress. As a result, a patient is able to lower stress/anxiety and manage the pain.
Biofeedback is performed in an office setting, averages between 6-12 sessions and requires home practice. In just 2-3 months, patients are able to use their Biofeedback skills on their own and maintain positive changes without the help of a therapist.
For more information on Biofeedback, please refer to the Biofeedback page or Dr. Eugenie Pabst’s website.