Mindfulness apps for cancer patients
Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager Emeritus, Oncology, Social Work
NOVEMBER 19, 2019
We all hear a great deal about the value of meditation or mindfulness. Generally helpful in life, this practice can be especially valuable in times of difficulty and stress. For cancer patients and survivors, learning how to relax can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and generally enhance mood and functioning.
Some people get so good at it that they can quickly meditate and move off during a CT scan or waiting for surgery. One woman, a practiced yoga instructor and longtime mediator, told me this story: "She was prepped, on the stretcher, and waiting to be taken to the OR for cancer surgery. A nurse checked her blood pressure and immediately became very alarmed, running to get several colleagues to help her. A doctor took her pressure again, and it was still extremely low. As she began to realize what was happening, she explained that she was doing slow breathing and meditating. She was immediately told to Stop it! as they were concerned that her respiration were too slow."
Most of us won't ever be that good, but I know that regular meditation has been a positive addition to my life, and I hope that you have considered it, too. A colleague in Ohio put together this list of helpful apps to try.
Guided Imagery & Meditation Apps
- Headspace (guided meditation and mindfulness)
- Stop, Breathe & Think (guided meditation and mindfulness)
- Insight Timer (meditation and sleep)
- UCLA Mindful (mindfulness meditation)
- Mindful USC (meditation and mindfulness)
- Virtual Hope Box (relaxation and coping)
- Smiling Mind (mindfulness)
- Ten Percent Happier (meditation and mindfulness)
Apps for Kids
- Mind Yeti (mindfulness for kids and parents, Spanish sessions available)
- Meditation Apps for Kids (Common Sense Media shares their list of meditation apps for kids)
- Health Journeys (guided meditation audio library)
Have you used any mindfulness apps in your recovery? Join the BIDMC Cancer Community and share your story.