Relaxation Techniques and Biofeedback for Cancer Pain Management

  • Asimina Lazaridou
  • Robert R. EdwardsEmail author


The biopsychosocial model of cancer management demonstrates the importance of a wide range of factors in shaping the experience of cancer-related pain symptoms, ranging from physiological to psychosocial aspects. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques are promising psychological interventions in cancer pain management although relatively little research attention has historically been devoted to these treatments. In this chapter, we review evidence of the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)-based relaxation techniques as practical patient tools for managing multiple symptoms impacted by cancer and cancer treatment, such as mood, sleep disturbance, cognitive disruption, pain, and reduced quality of life. The potential benefits of such therapies, in the context of treating cancer patients, extend to minimizing adverse side effects of medications, possible cost reductions, and shortened hospital stays. Overall, these interventions are noninvasive and can be individually tailored to achieve beneficial effects on a variety of psychophysiological symptoms.


Biofeedback Cancer management Relaxation techniques Progressive muscle relaxation Guided imagery Breathing awareness Psychological interventions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyBrigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, BWH Pain Management CenterChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain MedicineBrigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, BWH Pain Management CenterChestnut HillUSA

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