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Can Yoga and Meditation Help Myeloma Patients?

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Published on January 31, 2018

Challenges brought on by a myeloma diagnosis and treatment are likely to trigger anxiety, stress and fear. In the midst of a whirlwind of stress from living with a life-threatening condition, can yoga and meditation help? Tune in to learn more about the path to mindfulness from patient advocate and care partner, Lori Puente, and expert, Robin Katz. 

The Living Well with Myeloma series is a Patient Empowerment Network Program produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene, Takeda, Amgen and AbbVie for their support.

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Transcript | Can Yoga and Meditation Help Myeloma Patients?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

Lori, what about you? You tried meditation for a little while. So what’s your balancing act now? 

Lori Puente:        

Well, where I learned how to meditate was in my yoga class, and the yoga—yoga is very meditative in and of itself as an exercise. The lights are dim, nice music in the background, and it’s soft voice, and things like that, and at the end, they always did that quiet time.

But, the yoga instructor studio where I was going, she had—once a month only; we were disappointed—for $10, you could come, and she would guide you through meditation and teach you the basics, and that was very helpful because she taught me how to do some little exercises with my fingers, for instance, tapping, to help limit the outside noise. Let’s say you’re sitting there meditating, maybe in your backyard, and all of a sudden, the fire truck goes by. How do you keep yourself in that quiet space? So that was very helpful to me, to have those kinds of tips. 

So I would encourage people to look for that. And now, I think somebody was telling me there’s an actual meditation studio—it’s probably a Pilates or yoga studio, but they have regular meditative classes. And then, Danny was right. There are some wonderful apps that you can put on your phones now that take you through a guided meditation. So it’s worth learning a little bit how to do it, and also, be kind to yourself, because quieting the mind—if you’re not used to it, it’s very challenging when you’re going through what you’re going through at that moment.

Andrew Schorr:

It’s all yakity-yak.

Lori Puente:        

Yeah. So, on the one hand, it’s important, but on the other hand, it’s very challenging to suddenly do these things that you’ve heard about but you’ve never applied, and now you’re in a crisis. So you have to forgive yourself, but just keep making little efforts. If you can just quiet your mind for 30 seconds or a minute. It’s kind of like training a dog on how to sit and stay. First, it’s like if you can get his butt down for a couple seconds and he gets the food, you’re good, and you work your way towards getting him to be able to do that for a longer period of time. It’s not too different in this.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. When you said that, I started thinking of myself as a puppy. I’m trying to self-train myself as a puppy. So, Robin, is that fair to say? Small bites, small steps?

Robin Katz:        

Yeah.

Andrew Schorr:

Is that the way to think of it?

Robin Katz:        

Yeah, I agree totally. Because then, you build it up to whatever length of time you want to meditate, or deep breathing, but I also like what Lori said—to be kind to oneself and to your partner or your friend who has cancer, and to give yourself some patience, to be less anxious about everything. Patience is really important.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.