By Erin Buck, Ph.D., and Michelle Fingeret, Ph.D., Body Image Therapy Service
Wouldn't it be nice to put aside all those negative feelings about your body? What about eliminating the pressure you place on yourself to look a certain way?
Can you image what it would be like to accept and nurture your body for what it is rather than criticizing it?
We're inviting you to celebrate "Love Your Body Day" with MD Anderson on Oct. 17. Love your Body Day is a campaign established by the National Organization for Women to raise awareness about women's health and to increase acceptance of the various sizes, shapes and forms of the human body.
The Body Image Therapy Service at MD Anderson is taking this one step further by encouraging not only women -- but men, patients, caregivers and employees alike -- to focus on showing their body some love.
Your relationship with your body is just like any other relationship -- it needs attention, work and compassion. Patients with cancer can experience a number of changes to the way they look and how their bodies function. Some of these changes are temporary, while others may be more long term.
Although it is entirely normal for these changes to upset you, we want to help you focus today on different ways you can learn to accept, appreciate and honor your body.
What are some different ways you can help celebrate Love Your Body Day?
- Find something about your body you like and appreciate. This might involve an aspect of your appearance or the way your body functions and moves.
- Plan at least one activity today that makes your body feel good (e.g., massage, get a hug, stretching/exercise, go for a walk, do some gardening).
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and feel good against your skin.
- Try to let go of harsh criticism and negative evaluation of your body. Show your body more compassion and care.
- Look Good ... Feel Better is a free program to help women undergoing cancer treatment to learn how to cope with appearance-related side effects of treatment. You must pre-register. For more information on the Look Good ... Feel Better program at MD Anderson, call (713) 792-6039.
- The Beauty/Barber Shop offers hair and head care services, including help with wigs, hats and scarves. Free for MD Anderson patients.
is a retail shop that offers specialized products such as breast
prostheses, bras, clothing, head coverings, cosmetics and informational
- The Integrative Medicine Center has programs that complement medical care and focus on the mind, body and spirit.
- The Learning Center offers a consumer health library. Many books and resources are dedicated to helping patients cope with body and appearance changes.
- Anderson Network,
a patient support organization and program of the Department of
Volunteer Services that offers hope, support and understanding for
patients and caregivers. It sponsors the Partners in Knowledge, News in Cancer (PIKNIC) educational
forum that includes topics relevant to managing body image concerns and
using mind/body techniques to cope with stress.
Don't let your body image concerns stop you from getting back to living your life and doing things you enjoy.
We support and encourage you in finding ways to improve your relationship with your body.