CAM Makes Me More Anxious?

Last Modified: June 14, 2011


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have such a hard time trying to relax and feel that many complementary therapies, like guided imaginary, meditation, mindfulness, only make me more anxious. It seems like more quiet, makes my mind race more. How can I overcome this?


Wayne Mylin, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA-CP is an Asian Bodywork Therapist specializing in Shiatsu and Acupressure at Pennsylvania Hospital, responds:

You are not alone... many people find that their anxiety increases when trying to become still and quiet. In this case, a good option is to relax by focusing on ways to discharge tension, stress and anxiety. Activities such as walking, stretching, yoga, swimming, and treatments such as shiatsu and massage (which occupy your mind with the sensation of touch) can be a very effective way to relax.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript from IntegrativeTherapies in Cancer Care.