5 benefits of sophrology for cancer patients

Developed by Professor Alfonso Caycedo in the 1960s, sophrology is an established complementary therapy in France. It is part of the supportive care offered to cancer patients at the same level as counselling, dietetics and physiotherapy.

Sophrology uses simple and flexible exercises based on gentle body movements, breathing and visualisations. Regular practice helps patients reconnect with their body and develop their own resources to restore harmony between body and mind. Overall it helps them better live their lives.


When a person is diagnosed with cancer, often the first reaction is shock and a sense that their world has been turned upside down. 

They soon feel fear and anxiety about the future along with a range of emotions from anger to sadness. 

Sophrology helps to re-focus on the here and now. Through breathing exercises and visualisations it helps a person RELAX. Patients find the exercises helpful to manage their emotions and release tensions.

It does not stop there. Sophrology also helps with the worry and stress generated by the idea of the treatment. This may include surgery or a treatment with substantial side-effects. The practice of sophrology is here beneficial in apprehending the surgery or treatment more positively. The practice of the exercises help reduce the anxiety and face the treatment with SERENITY.


Fear and anxiety create a surplus of tensions in the body which exacerbate some side effects and pains. Side effects such as fatigue or nausea can be reduced and pain better managed by helping a patient release tensions. Some visualisations specifically designed for cancer patients help to better ACCEPT the treatment or face surgery with a PEACEFUL mind.


There are several reasons why cancer patients suffer from insomnia. Sleep problems often start with the fear and anxiety generated by the diagnosis.  Worrying thoughts keep a person awake at night. Sleep problems can also manifest with the discomfort and pain associated with a treatment. Often, long-term sleep problems settle and even in remission patients still complain from sleep disruptions. Through relaxation, counted breathing, visualisations bringing a sense of comfort and security and programming techniques sophrology can help patients REGAIN THEIR SLEEP which ultimately also benefits their ability to recover and heal.


Based on the re-connection with the body, sophrology helps patients re-build a trusting relationship with their body. Regular training helps activate and develop inner capacities and is particularly useful to regain CONFIDENCE and SELF-ESTEEM. The practice of sophrology proves useful for patients in remission who once they have finished their treatment can still feel fearful about cancer coming back,  feel isolated as clinical support stops and may be apprehensive about resuming their jobs.


Last but not least, the sense of lack of control and powerlessness when diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming. Sophrology remedies this because it is a discipline accessible to everyone. The exercises are simple and flexible, easily learned, practical and easy to implement in daily life.

Through regular practice patients re-build their connection with their body and develop their own ability to manage their thoughts and emotions which adds to their sense of WELLBEING. Sophrology gives patients tools to be autonomous. Patients soon discover they are able to BETTER LIVE what life offers them and improve their QUALITY OF LIFE.


Give sophrology a go – Try those short and simple practices to find your inner calm and discover how to start taking back control of your body and health.

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