Unité de psycho-oncologie, Institut Curie, 26, rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris.
The aim of this article is to answer a certain number of questions posed by medical staff in oncology concerning relaxation techniques and their implementation in cancer centers. At present, these techniques are underdeveloped in France but are recognized more and more in other countries, as noted by a recent meta-analysis. After having defined the relaxation techniques and their targeted actions, we present a serie of studies which evaluated the efficacy of relaxation in various domaines: stress management, management of treatment side effects, and management of advanced cancerous disease symptoms. Relaxation techniques have many advantages, various indications specific to oncology, and few limits for their implementation. Finally, we formulate some questions and suggestions for improving practice and research of this technique in oncology.