Coping with the rush of feelings that the death of a loved one brings may feel impossible to express. It may be helpful to consider complementary therapies to find a different way to work through your grief. The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center offers a range of options to bereaved families. Learn about the Complementary Therapies Program. Think about which therapies mesh with your needs and interests.
Yoga, tai chi, massage and reflexology may help ease physical symptoms brought on by stress and bottled-up emotions. These activities provide a physical outlet and can help to connect the mind and body in working through grief.
This is a technique that combines visualization and relaxation to combat anxiety, pain and persistent thoughts and fears. Studies have shown that it lowers blood pressure, decreases stress hormones, enhances sleep and boosts the immune system. Sessions can be adapted to all ages. Try guided imagery for yourself in our Guided Imagery Audio Library.
Art and Music
Art therapy and music therapy aid in finding creative outlets for feelings and emotions that are too difficult to express in words. No experience with art or music is required. Both adults and children find comfort through these therapies.
Writing in a journal to express thoughts and feelings can help ease the pressure of grief. Keeping a journal informally or working through structured workshops may be helpful.
For more information on therapies offered through the Cancer Center, please call 1-877-408-7377 (PFSS).
This guide was made possible by financial support from the Coach Carr Cancer Fund.