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Cancer Patients Have Fun With NIA

CancerWise - October 2008

NIA is a mind-body practice set to music that involves fluid, gentle, whole-body movements of different styles and speeds. Created in the early 1980s, NIA combines various types of yoga, martial arts, healing arts and freestyle movement.

Cancer patients and caregivers who attend NIA classes at M. D. Anderson can participate as little or as much as possible. People say they feel energized by the practice whether they are sitting or standing, says Carla Warneke, a certified NIA instructor at the institution’s Place … of wellness.

“Everyone comes in all composed, and then the music starts and they start having fun,” Warneke says. “The wigs fly to the side, and people start getting into the movement. NIA works because it’s fun. It keeps patients and caregivers motivated and doing the things they need to do to stay healthy.”

NIA and other mind-body practices are offered at the Place ... of wellness, part of the cancer center’s Integrative Medicine Program. Classes and services are available to all cancer patients and caregivers, regardless of where they have been treated.

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© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center