Alternative Therapies to Complement Your Cancer Treatment
Many cancer warriors, and their medical teams, acknowledge the benefits of adding complementary medicine, such as nutritional therapy, acupuncture, reiki and yoga to their conventional treatment plans.
Alternative therapies can help keep you stronger, healthier and will not interfere with your current treatment plan.
As traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to diagnose, prevent and treat disease. Many hospitals have acupuncturists on staff to provide non-pharmaceutical pain relief. Acupuncture can treat the following symptoms and side effects.
• Nausea and vomiting
• Dry mouth
• Poor appetite
• Hot flashes
• Constipation and diarrhea
The analgesic effect of acupuncture has been studied in laboratories for decades. A study in 2002 showed a 36 percent decrease in cancer pain over a two-month time span.
A nutritional therapist can identify any nutrient deficiencies that impact your overall health. A diet recommended by a professional nutritional therapist can keep your body well-nourished and stronger during your cancer treatment.
Many patients battle gastrointestinal symptoms as a side effect of their cancer treatment. A nutritional therapist can make dietary recommendations to restore the digestive health, address deficiencies and prevent malnutrition.
There is encouraging research on the benefits of nutritional support and the role it plays in treatment success. A self-assessment survey concludes that those who remained well-nourished reported feeling healthier and stronger than those who did not change their diets.
Reiki is a Japanese technique based on the principle of an unseen life force that flows through the body. When the life force is low people are prone to illness.
While Reiki has a spiritual nature, it is not a religious belief. Your practitioner connects with the energy of your life force. Their hands will be placed on or above your body starting at your head. Reiki enhances your body’s ability to heal itself.
Some will feel the energy of Reiki as heat, others as coolness. Most will feel a sense of peace and relaxation. The following health benefits are attributed to the practice of Reiki.
• Reduces stress
• Encourages healing
• Reduces weakness
• Reduces nausea and vomiting
• Improves emotional health
• Improves sleep
According to the American Cancer Society, a small study showed that patients who had Reiki treatments reported feeling less pain than those who did not. Energy healing is currently available in many treatment centers and is available in more than 800 US hospitals.
Yoga is restorative. Keeping your body active and strong is a natural way to assist your recovery.
Fatigue is one of the most disheartening side effects of cancer treatment. Yoga provides invigorating benefits. Studies suggest that patients practicing yoga poses reported decreases in fatigue levels. The more yoga classes the patient participated in each week, the less fatigued they felt. Yoga postures and meditation provide the following benefits:
• Reduces Stress
• Reduces pain
• Improves physical conditioning
• Promotes restful sleep
• Enhances quality of life
• Fosters self-discipline and willpower
Integrated medicine combines conventional western treatments with alternative therapies for the nurturing of your mind, body and spirit.
Nutritional therapy, acupuncture, reiki and yoga are not the only options at your disposal to complement and enhance your cancer treatment. When looking at your options, it is important to find treatments that suit your needs and your lifestyle.