The definition health includes both physical, emotional mental and spiritual well-being (WHO,2016). The progression of a disease, though pathological may have some mental and emotional components that influence its advancement. Most of the conditions that are associated with long periods of pain and extended hospital stay always have some adverse effects on the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Some need different approaches to solve resolve. Body mind therapies are techniques that used as complementary or alternative to conventional medicine. They are important in management of pain in chronic conditions and enable the patient to cope with their conditions. The emotional wellbeing of these patients has been found to have a vital bearing in the prognosis.
According to Siegel, Miller and Jemal (2018), cancer has been on the increase in the recent past. It has been associated with a high numbers of fatalities that in one way or the other has caused some fear in everyone. The progression of the disease causes so much pain and disturbance to both the patients and the family members. The interventions are also very painful to bear. Both physical and emotional pain are a components common in many patients.
In a cancer patients’ life history, they are hard hit by the reality of knowing that they have been diagnosed with cancer. It becomes hard to accept and some enter a state of denial. They may undergo all the stages of grief before they can come to terms with the reality. The severity of the cancer is dependent on the organs affected and past medical records on the prognosis. Some cancers have a proper prognosis when treatment is commenced at its early stages. For those whom the disease has progressed significantly, emotional instability is likely to be more compared those whom it was discovered at early stages (Halter, 2017).
Patients are always uncertain of the changes that are likely to occur in their bodies. There is a feeling of loss. They feel deprived of health and to some extent they feel that their life has been cut shot. When they are made aware of the staging of the cancer and the past medical records of prognosis of similar stages, they may have a sigh of relief or further break down. It is usually a very trying moment for the patients and they need emotional support to take on the options available.
Depending on the severity, chemotherapy may be recommended. These sessions bring so many changes to the patients. They physically emotionally and mentally affect the patient. According Stroebe, Schut and Boerner, (2017) pain is both physical and emotional. Most have concerns of the losses the expect. Physically, fatigue is experienced due to anemia that results from bone marrow suppression. Loss of hair and other changes due to chemotherapeutic agents may be alarming and stressful. This stress will need to be managed in order better prognosis during treatment
Mind-body practices are those techniques that help modify biological, physiological, or psychosocial processes as well as improve QOL outcomes (Boyle and Bower, 2016). These are ways to relax in a stressful situation. Cancer patients would have better outcomes if these methods are used. These practices are dated back from ancient forms of medicine where they believed that emotional and spiritual wellbeing had an impact on physical wellbeing. Some of the practices are relaxation, meditation, tai chi and qigong, and yoga. According to the research, these practices help avert the negative effects of stress and improve the QOL. They affect the neurotransmitter and neuromodulators release in the brain and hence has an effect on the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic system. This is a crucial step in managing stress since it results from the imbalance between the two systems. Managing stress in cancer patient is a big stride in the management of the disease.
According to Hussain and Bhushan (2010) meditation involves a deliberate effort to think about the events that have occurred. One may concentrate on a particular thing, other than the disease, and this will inhibit the stressful thoughts. One may think about the exact disease and by this, they acknowledge the diseased and accept the turn of events. These two approaches in meditation achieve the same purpose, avert the effects of stress.
HIV is a dreaded disease that emerged in the late twentieth century. It was dreaded for causing a high number of mortalities before scientists could study it well and understand its natural history. It is a sexually transmitted virus which leads to AIDS. Until recently there were no antiretroviral drugs the more reason to be anxious
Anxiety anger and depression are a common phenomenon among these patients when they learn of their conditions (Vos, Craig and Cooper, 2015). They are anxious of the changes on their body. The body immune system is destroyed and they patients become immune compromised in the process. They are susceptible to opportunistic infections, most of which are said to be the main causes of these deaths. A patient may be anxious even when they catch a flu since they are not sure if that would be the cause of their demise. They may feel angry of their partners and the condition they are in. they end up becoming depressed and stigmatized.
They withdraw from people and do not want their conditions known by other people. They fear that many people might be so judgmental. In the society, the disease has been in the past associated with immoral behavior which is not always the case every time. The fear of being labelled ‘immoral’ by members of the society they opt to keep to themselves. Some may be so much depressed that they may refuse treatment. Mental health care is always necessary to enable them cope with the circumstances. Taking the ARVs may also be quite demanding and disturbing. They may be required to carry them along wherever they go. They may avoid taking them in public or completely fail to take them when there are people around.
These emotional and psychological problems can be handled by implementing the mind body techniques. Stress can be averted by meditation and relaxation. Qigong and taiji are some mind body technique. They employ a martial art approach in which movement, meditation and controlled breathing are practiced. Qigong differs from conventional exercises in that they emphasize on full concentration, relaxed breathing and meditation (Suresh and Raju, 2016). All these activities are integrated and are said to reduce anxiety, depression, oxygen demand, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It helps improve the mood levels hence would be a great assistance in helping stigmatized patients to cope.
Taiji quan is a practice that also a practice that involves the use of a martial art approach (Davis, 2018). It focuses on calmness, meditation and maintenance of balance. This intervention implemented on HIV patients has been found to promote their quality of life. They have an improved emotional and social wellbeing better coping and stress management. These methods can be used as complementary methods to the conventional ARVs.
According to Nolen-Hoeksema and Rector (2015), patients diagnosed with mood disorder range from depressed to maniac. A depressed individual has very low moods and tends to be withdrawn a manic on the other hand is very highly irritable. Mood disorders are categorized into bipolar and depressive disorders. Mood disorders present with interrupted patterns of sleeping eating habits and daily activities. Some may present as headaches which cannot be rationally explained. Some show excessive and pressured talking with an evident high level of distractibility.
This is a lifelong condition that an individual has to live with. These mood disorders may present an individual as harmful to themselves or others. Maniac episodes may be very difficult to handle for those around them. sometimes these episodes may impair their normal behavior and judgement. This may be detrimental for their social and occupational life. Most of them are under medication to control their mood. Depressed individuals seem very disinterested in what happens around them. they are preoccupied with staying away and tend to be socially withdrawn. Normal life is impaired as they have a decreased interaction with people around them
People with these conditions may suffer from psychological and emotional issues such as self-esteem. Their condition is lifelong and they would need guidance on how to accept their conditions and manage it. The need to be aware that they are to take the medicine always and they should learn to appreciate it that way.
Mood disorders can be managed using the mind body practices such as relaxation, meditation, acupuncture and yoga. Mindfulness meditation has been adopted from the Buddhist and is being used clinically to control the mood disorders (Praissman ,2008). Mindful based stress reduction approach is a method aimed at cultivating more self-awareness and acceptance and not just to for relaxation. This enables a patient to view events objectively and a reflective manner as events rather than just thoughts (Baer, 2015). A patient is able to think and formulate a way to respond to issues rather that give automatic responses when faced by a particular event. Patients undergoing mindful based stress reduction experience a reduced blood pressure with a decreased level of depression. These methods can be used as complementary to drugs administered.
Many medical conditions have both an emotional and psychological aspect. The body mind techniques would enable an individual to cater for these perspective to complement the conventional medical approach by physicians to reduce pain and improve the quality of life.
Baer, R.A. ed., 2015. Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: Clinician's guide to evidence base and applications. Elsevier.
Boyle, C.C. and Bower, J.E., 2016. Mind-body therapies for cancer survivors. Complementary and Integrative Therapies for Mental Health and Aging, p.477..
Davis, D.D., 2018. Meditation, Taijiquan and Qigong: Evidence for Their Impact on Health and Longevity. Journal of Daoist Studies, 11(11), pp.207-230.
Halter, M.J., 2017. Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing-E-Book: A Clinical Approach. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Hussain, D. and Bhushan, B., 2010. Psychology of meditation and health: Present status and future directions. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 10(3).
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. and Rector, N.A., 2015. Abnormal psychology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Praissman, S., 2008. Mindfulness?based stress reduction: A literature review and clinician’s guide. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 20(4), pp.212-216.
Siegel, R.L., Miller, K.D. and Jemal, A., 2018. Cancer statistics, 2018. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 68(1), pp.7-30.
Stroebe, M., Schut, H. and Boerner, K., 2017. Cautioning health-care professionals: Bereaved persons are misguided through the stages of grief. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 74(4), pp.455-473
Suresh, P.Y. and Raju, P.A., 2016. Effectiveness Of 2 Weeks Qigong Exercise Therapy Vs Conventional Physiotherapy Management In Post Surgical Breast Cancer Survivors”: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
Vos, J., Craig, M. and Cooper, M., 2015. Existential therapies: A meta-analysis of their effects on psychological outcomes. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 83(1), p.115.
World Health Organization, 2016. WHO definition of health; 2003. Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19–22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.
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