The advanced type of cancer can’t be cured by alternative medicine, but they can offer some comfort and pain relief. It doesn’t take a psychologist or any medical health expert to know that some of these commonly used therapies have been proven to be tremendously effective in alleviating cancer pain, depression, and stress.
A lot of cancer patients are eager to try almost anything that can help decrease the pain that they’re feeling, and this includes alternative cancer therapy. Most often, for people with cancer, you feel as if you no longer have control over your health. Alternative therapy may provide some control, although not all types of alternative treatments have been proven to be very effective for the longer term, and some even pose a danger to other conditions.
To help you choose the effective from the not so recommended, here are a few commonly used alternative treatments that are proven and tested to be universally safe. Additionally, there has been increasing evidence that the cancer treatments listed below may provide mild to moderate benefit.
If you’re thinking about trying these alternative treatments, talk to your doctor.
- Acupuncture. The acupuncturist inserts small needles on the trigger points of the patient’s body. Indications for acupuncture include cancer pain relief and decreased nausea caused by chemotherapy. Family members must make sure that the needles are sterile, and the practitioner doing the treatment is qualified to do so. For patients who have been prescribed with blood thinners, they’ll have to check with their doctors first.
- Exercise. Gentle exercises that are structured and prepared by a certified instructor can help control the signs and symptoms that present during cancer treatment. These exercises are indicated for stress and fatigue relief, better sleep, and improvement of quality of life. Patients will be started slowly and are progressed depending on his performance. They can do their programs three to four times weekly.
- Aromatherapy. This type of therapy is calming in relaxing, as it utilizes scented essential oils that are applied during a massage or added to bath water. The oils are heated so that the scents of lavender, peppermint, lemon, or chamomile are released into the room. Aromatherapy has been found to help in alleviating stress, nausea, and painful joints.
Cancer patients can contact an aromatherapist if he wants a more organized session, but he can do aromatherapy by himself. The oils are very safe to use on the skin and don’t cause skin allergies. However, patients with estrogen sensitivity should be cautious in applying too much lavender and tea tree oils.
- Massage. For cancer patients, massage should be done gently. The massage therapist uses kneading and effleurage techniques to relieve pain, stress, and muscle tension and promote rejuvenation and relaxation. Mild to moderate pressure can also be applied.
Massage looks easy but only if it’s done without structure and organization. The real message that has a process is done by a seasoned and certified massage therapist who knows what to do and not to do when it comes to cancer patients. They must know that massage is contraindicated for those with low blood count and those with the involvement of the bones.
- Hypnotherapy. This involves a deeper state of focus. In a hypnosis session, the therapist usually talks in a gentle voice to help the patient relax. He then walks you through your goals, dreams, and hopes for the future, or whatever you were there for. For the cancer patient, it is a pain relief and stress reduction. It may also help in preventing nausea from chemotherapy. A certified therapist must do this.
- Yoga. Yoga is a practice that combines deep breathing and stretching. There are poses that the yoga instructor teaches you that will require you to bend or twist. There are many variations of yoga, depending on the kind of yoga that you want to try. This therapy is effective in relieving pain and stress and improving sleep. Just for caution, the patient may want to choose a yoga instructor that is used to handle people with specific illnesses like cancer so that she will know what poses are more beneficial and appropriate for him.
- Tai Chi. The Tai Chi instructor combines slow and organized movements with deep breathing to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It is generally safe to try for everybody provided that no pose causes pain or discomfort. It doesn’t even require much strength. Initially, the cancer patient starts with an instructor and can do tai chi on his own later.
The alternative therapies mentioned above are also safe to combine, for example, tai chi and aromatherapy or yoga and massage.