Alternative cancer treatments

There are several alternative or complimentary treatments that cancer patients can try to help with many of the side effects or symptoms that occur during their disease process. Many of these alternative treatments are endorsed by mainstream medicine. The Mayo Clinic has approved all of the treatments here for use by cancer patients, however they do recommend that any cancer patient consult with their oncologist or physician prior to starting any type of treatment to make sure it is safe for them.

Many people who have cancer have unresolved pain that is not controlled with medication. There are also many who do not like the side effects that pain medication give them. Medications can cause problems such as drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. One alternative treatment that can be beneficial in the treatment of cancer pain is acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years for disease and pain. It can help to stimulate the immune system as well as relieve pain.

The Army and Air Force are now using acupuncture in their field hospitals as treatment for pain instead of medication in a lot of cases. In acupuncture, thin needles are placed in the skin in various points of the body. The insertion will depend on the area of pain. Most treatments are done on a weekly basis and will take from 30 minutes to one hour in length. The insertion of the needles are usually not very painful in nature. Acupuncture has been shown to help the body produce its own natural endorphins which can cause a euphoric effect and reduce pain.

This type of treatment is very safe and has few side effects. It is becoming readily available in most areas and is a viable alternative to strong pain medications in most cases. The only problem with acupuncture is that it might not be safe if a person is taking blood thinners or has a bleeding disorder. There can be some bruising at the site of the needle insertion but this is not the norm.

Other alternative treatment that can relieve pain due to cancer can include massage therapy. Massage therapy can relieve musculoskeletal pain as well as help the body to produce its own natural endorphins. Massage therapy can also help to relieve anxiety and stress that can go along with cancer and its treatment. Massage therapists work by manipulating the muscles and trigger points to release both muscle pain and energy blockages that may be causing issues and tension. Massage therapy has been shown to be effective in relieving pain, stressful situations, anxiety, and is helpful in sleep disorders. It can also help to jump start the immune system.

Hypnosis can be beneficial to those who suffer with stress, lack of sleep, nausea, vomiting, anxiety and fatigue. Hypnosis can even help to relieve pain in some situations. In hypnosis a person is helped to achieve a state of extreme relaxation and then several suggestions or affirmations are made while they are in that state. Scientists are not exactly sure how this works however they feel that while the brain is in such a state of relaxation it can focus much more intently on what is presented to it and this makes it much more able to work on those areas of focus. This type of therapy has been shown to be effective in changing negative behaviors, reduce anxiety and stress, treat certain types of pain, help nausea and vomiting that is suffered during chemotherapy, and help improve sleeping habits.

There are several types of hypnosis that can be used for different problems. Self hypnosis can be taught to the patient to be used at home for future treatment. The length of treatment will depend on the issue that is to be treated at the time. Hypnosis sessions can last from 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Weekly sessions are usually optimal and recommended by most therapists.

These are just a few of the alternative treatments that can be utilized by those who have cancer and would like to look for more holistic means to take care of their medical needs. Cancer patients who are interested in these types of treatments should consult with their oncologist or physician to get recommendations as to what types of treatments they recommend for this.

Last updated on Oct 4th, 2009 and filed under Cancer Research. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “Alternative cancer treatments”

  1. Kate says:

    Thank you for highlighting the benefits of hypnosis with cancer patients. Hypnotherapy and self hypnosis are perhaps the most underrated and under used tools that we have to help with all physical ailments, including cancer. Used for stress relief, it’s a natural and effective way to help prevent some cancers; however medical hypnosis specialists can do much more in helping treat those who’ve already developed cancer, as your interesting article above points out.

  2. Love great natural remedy and alternative remedy blogs like this, we really are in need of more of them to more readily educate the people. Keep up the good work!

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