Support (Complimentary) Treatments for Cancer
Support treatments are generally not used as major cancer treatments by themselves at this time. However, many people with cancer and their doctors (especially cancer specialists) now use or prescribe complimentary treatments. This is due to their known value for supporting and improving bodily functions, which leads to better quality of life.
- Chiropractic: corrections to the spine, other bones, and joints to realign the body; therefore providing stress relief, decreased pain, boosts the immune system, and generating a sense of overall relief/well being due to endorphin release.
- Nutrition: this includes everything from diet, water, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and homeopathy. All of these can provide enormous support to the body, mind and emotions; however a word of caution, it is vital that a person with cancer (or any other dis-ease or imbalance) thoroughly discuss everything they are taking with their doctor or practitioner. The reasons for this are varied, but all of these things, when used properly, provide support. When used incorrectly they can and do produce unnecessary complications or competition in the body, which produces further stress.
- Massage/bodywork: all forms are generally not recommended unless a person is in remission, the cancer has been eliminated or terminal (if touch can be tolerated). Otherwise, massage/bodywork has been known to spread active cancer. (Always get written permission from your doctor or practitioner, this protects both you and the therapist.)
- Energy work: considered one of the safest and most effective support treatments, as there is no physical touch, or substances involved. Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, etc., have all been shown to provide stress relief, improved immune response, mental relief/mood improvement, lower blood pressure, better absorption of nutrients, and so on. Energy work is so safe that generally one doesn’t need a prescription to receive it, however, it is recommended to tell your doctor if you do.
- Yoga (other physical movement such as tai chi, walking): also strengthen the body and immune system. They also help balance body weight. (Inactivity and increased body weight are two of the increasing problems for people recovering from cancer. Sometimes physical activity isn\'t possible, however studies have shown that even imagining these activities help.)
- Aromatherapy: the use of essential oils for stress relief, ridding the body of excess toxins, fungi, bacteria etc. Again like prescriptions, essential oils can be very powerful, and need to be used with caution. It is also recommended to only use those that are organic or certified pure, and explained by someone with extensive knowledge and use of these oils, or only use on the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list.
- Counseling: (generally with a qualified therapist) helps with depression, goals, fears, and communication with others, especially family members.
Author Pam Taylor has over 23 yrs experience in the holistic field as a therapist, instructor (including medical massage and terminology), consultant, and author.