Contemplative/meditative self-healing in women with breast cancer

Briggs, W. M., Vahdat, L. T., & Caputo, T. A. (2010). The effect of a contemplative self-healing program on quality of life in women with breast and gynecologic cancers. Alternative therapies in health and medicine,16(3). Full text.

NB: The authors’ names differ in various published formats. PubMed, for instance, shows Loizzo JJ, Peterson JC, Charlson ME, Wolf EJ, Altemus M, Briggs WM, Vahdat LT, Caputo TA. The version cited here was found in GoogleScholar.

From the Abstract: Stress-related symptoms-intense fear, avoidance, intrusive thoughts–are common among breast and gynecologic cancer patients after chemotherapy and radiation. The objective of this pilot study was to determine the impact of a 20-week contemplative self-healing program among breast and gynecologic cancer survivors on self-reported quality of life.  …

A 20-week program was implemented: the initial 8 weeks addressed open-mindfulness, social-emotional self-care, visualization, and deep breathing followed by 12 weeks of exposing stress-reactive habits and developing self-healing insights. Daily practice involved CD-guided meditation and manual contemplations.

Sixty-eight women were enrolled, and 46 (68%) completed the program. … Biologic data revealed significant improvement in maximum AM cortisol and a reduction in resting heart rate at 20 weeks. These findings suggest a contemplative self-healing program can be effective in significantly improving quality of life and reducing distress and disability among female breast and gynecologic cancer survivors.


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