Beneficial Effects of Pranic Meditation on the Mental Health and Quality of Life of Breast Cancer Survivors.

Author: Castellar JI1, Fernandes CA1, Tosta CE2.
1Universidade de Brasília, Brasilia, Brazil. 2Universidade de Brasília, Brasilia, Brazil
Conference/Journal: Integr Cancer Ther.
Date published: 2014 Jun 5
Other: Special Notes: 1534735414534730 , Word Count: 363

Background. Breast cancer survivors frequently present long-lasting impairments, caused either by the disease or its treatment, capable of compromising their emotional health and quality of life. Meditation appears to be a valuable complementary measure for overcoming some of these impairments. The purpose of the present investigation was to assess the effect of pranic meditation on the quality of life and mental health of breast cancer survivors. Design. This study was a prospective single-arm observational study using before and after measurements. Methods. The subjects were 75 women submitted either to breast cancer therapy or to posttherapy control who agreed to practice pranic meditation for 20 minutes, twice a day, during 8 weeks, after receiving a formal training. The quality of life of the practitioners was assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and EORTC BR-023 questionnaires, and the mental health status by the Goldberg's General Health Questionnaire. Results. After 8 weeks of pranic meditation practice, the subjects showed a significant improvement of their quality of life scores that included physical (P = .0007), role (P = .01), emotional (P = .002), and social functioning (P = .004), as well as global health status (P = .005), fatigue (P < .0001), pain (P = .007), sleep disturbances (P = .01), body image (P = .001), arm symptoms (P = .007), and breast symptoms (P = .002). They also showed a reduction of the side effects of systemic therapy (P = .02) and being upset by hair loss (P = .02). Moreover, meditation was associated with improvement of the mental health parameters of the practitioners that included psychic stress (P = .001), death ideation (P = .02), performance diffidence (P = .001), psychosomatic disorders (P = .02), and severity of mental disorders (P = .0003). The extension of the meditation period from 8 to 15 weeks caused no substantial extra benefits in practitioners. Conclusions. The results of this pilot study showed that breast cancer survivors presented significant benefits related to their mental health and quality of life scores after a short period of practice of pranic meditation, consisting of simple and easy-to-learn exercises. However, because of the limitations of the study, further research is required using a more rigorous experimental design to ascertain whether pranic meditation may be an acceptable adjunct therapy for cancer patients.
© The Author(s) 2014.
biometenergy; breast cancer; intentionality; mental health; pranic meditation; quality of life

PMID: 24906909