Complementary And Holistic Medicine For Breast Cancer Survivors
Complementary and holistic medicine is a breast cancer treatment based on a holistic view of medicine. This breast cancer treatment is an alternative choice to standard breast cancer treatment, which works for some breast cancer patients and not for others. However, this stands true for any kind of breast cancer treatment at this time, including chemotherapy.
The purpose of complementary and holistic medicine is to provide a complete balance of mind, body, and emotional healing therapies to affect the whole person. Complementary and holistic medicine has a lot to do with vitamins and nutrition and areas overlooked in tradition breast cancer treatment. There are literally hundreds of complementary and holistic medicine therapies available and not all of them have been clinically studies for their effectiveness. It is important that you discuss the type of complementary and holistic therapy you are consider with your doctor before starting the therapy.
The following are few holistic therapies used in breast cancer treatment in conjunction with standard treatment
Acupuncture may help relieve the symptoms of fatigue, hot flashes, nausea and vomiting and pain.
Aromatherapy uses scented oils to inhale into the body or to be applied by massage. The benefits of aromatherapy are said to be the relief of high blood pressure, nausea, depression and anxiety. The oils called essential oils are made from flowers and plants, fruits, resin, seeds, stems and roots. The oils are usually diluted with a base vegetable oil. Aromatherapy products are purchased at a health food stores and other bath and body boutiques.
Different oils will produce different results. Use peppermint for headaches and indigestion, Eucalyptus, rosemary, and tea tree to stimulate the immune system, Eucalyptus for respiratory relief, and ylang ylang, geranium, lavender, lemon, clary sage, and chamomile for relaxation. Studies are not conclusive on the efficacy of aromatherapy.
Chiropractors manipulate the spine muscles, joints and bones. Chiropractic therapy is a hands on type of body massage. It is also used for connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Chiropractic sessions are designed to realign the body and promote internal body healing.
Guided imagery is also called visualization. This technique requires the visualization of your goals as a breast cancer survivor through mental images, pictures, sounds, and smells. This technique is wonderful for relieving stress.
Hypnosis can put a person in a deep state of relaxation, can allay fears, change thinking and bring back past memories. Hypnosis is best known for relieving pain and it can also relieve anxiety, nausea, and vomiting.
Journaling is writing down your thoughts and feelings, aspirations, and fears. By getting it all out you are releasing what is bottled up inside and this produces a cathartic, healing effect.
Massaging the soft tissues of the body with hands, fists, fingertips, or even elbows can relieve a lot of pent up stress in the body as well as relieve anxiety, fatigue, and pain. Massage can also stimulate the immune system.
Meditation clears the mind of all thoughts and focuses on a phrase or breathing. Mediation relaxes the mind, keeps the mind alert, and brings the person into physical and emotional balance.
Listening to music is relaxing, and promotes a sense of well-being. It is said it can reduce anxiety nausea and vomiting.
Progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a therapy that tenses and relaxes a muscle, manipulating one body part at a time. This complimentary and holistic therapy reduces nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and depression in breast cancer patients.
Reiki is a Japanese hand technique said to release the body’s life energy and though there are no scientific studies at this time, Reiki is said to produce deep relaxation, warmth in the body, sleep, and a sense of well- being.
Shiatsu is a finger message borrowed from the idea of acupuncture. Shiatsu releases the body’s qi, which is the internal flow of vital energy. The purpose of Shiatsu is to stimulate the body to heal itself. Breast cancer patients have reported relief from neck, shoulder, back pain, muscle tension, stiffness and headaches.
Tai Chi and Yoga
Tai Chi and Yoga both provide healing benefits through deep breathing techniques, body movements, and meditation. Tai Chi and yoga is said to increase strength, balance, flexibility, relaxation, and wellness in breast cancer patients.
Prayer is a wonderful healer with psychological and emotional benefits to promote a sense of peace and well-being within the breast cancer patient.
Support groups are a great place to share experiences, talk about family issues, dealing with breast cancer, investigating new therapies that have been tried out by support group members and bonding with other women who are going through breast cancer just as you are. Support groups help you to realize you are not alone. There are people there going through the same fears and aspirations as you and you will support each other through the good times and the bad.