Sophrology is a method for bringing the mind and body into harmony using simple, easy-to-repeat techniques. It can help cancer patients manager the distress caused by the disease and its treatment, including anxiety, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and body-image disruptions.
Since 2007, Institut Curie in Paris has offered patients in the Outpatient Medical Oncology unit the opportunity to attend individual sophrology sessions. In general, a series of six hour-long sessions are offered on a weekly basis (or depending on the chemotherapy schedule).
Simple techniques to learn and practice
The sophrology techniques employed during these sessions focus on:
- Increasing awareness of bodily sensations and resources.
- Managing emotions and mental state.
Sophrology sessions are also a chance for patients to share their experiences and have someone listen to them; they can recharge their batteries, talk about whatever is on their mind, and try out techniques related to their needs. “Patients who try sophrology say that the sessions help them relax, better manager their emotions, and have more energy and confidence,” explains Chantal Barré, Institut Curie nurse-sophrologist.
To gain the greatest benefit from this method, regular training is necessary.
Individual sophrology sessions are offered at Institut Curie every Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm by appointment at the Medical Outpatient unit. A pre-registration interview helps the practitioner get to know the patients and understand their expectations so as to set a goal and explain how sophrology works.