Creative Therapies and Mind-Body Health Systems

  • Veena Sankar


This chapter covers noninvasive complementary modalities that are generally not part of conventional treatment plans. Creative therapies, including music and art, will be explored. Theories and evidence of attention and distraction as modulators of pain will be presented. Mind-body therapies, such as massage, yoga, and t’ai chi, will also be covered. Relevant scientific data and evidence will be presented with the understanding that many of these ethereal and personalized therapies do not always rest their laurels on the scientific method. Novel and emerging methods to harmonize the current rigorous, reductionist standards of scientific literature and the intuitive, holistic approaches of complementary therapies will be discussed. Concepts of pluralism and whole-systems research will be explored.

The therapies were selected for their prevalence in major cancer centers in the United States and abroad, as well as their relevance to presenting the overarching issues facing complementary therapies regarding research, legitimacy, patient safety, and funding.


Music therapy Art therapy Massage Yoga T’ai chi Mind-body Creative Pluralism Whole systems 



American Art Therapy Association


Advanced certified


American Medical Association


American Music Therapy Association


Art Therapy Credentials Board


Art Therapist Certified Supervisor


Art therapist registered


ATR-Board Certified


Complementary and alternative medicine


Certified massage therapist


Certified music therapist


Food and Drug Administration


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


International Association of Yoga Therapists


Journal of the American Medical Association


Licensed massage therapist/practitioner


Mindfulness-based art therapy




Music Therapist Board Certified


National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine


National Music Therapist Registry


Positron emission tomography


Registered music therapist


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veena Sankar
    • 1
  1. 1.Austin Anesthesiology GroupAustinUSA

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