A cancer diagnosis may cause a person to feel their life is spiraling out of control due to the rising cost of insurance and difficult to access cancer treatments. Because of this, more people are looking for proven and successful, non-toxic cancer treatments. And while most natural cancer treatments may not be recommended by conventional doctors as standalone treatments, they are shown to be successful when used in conjunction with other therapies or treatments.
Today, many of these methods are used in modern, integrative cancer treatment centers, and for good reason. They can help a patient recover quicker, control side effects of treatment such as pain or nausea, and reduce stress. Together, this creates an overall, healthier and more positive experience for the patient. The following are some natural cancer treatments, how to use them and why they help.
Integrative, Complementary and Alternative Cancer Treatments
Nutrition – Nearly 80% of people with cancer experience malnutrition, and half of those diagnosed with cancer were already malnourished. It’s no surprise in this day and age when many people feel they are simply too busy to worry about what they eat. In addition to this, we do not emphasize whole, clean nutrition as part of a daily health plan.
Most hospitals or clinics that offer an integrative cancer treatment plan will have nutritional counseling on-hand to help outline a specific diet plan for a patient. Generally, a diet should be focused on healthy, organic and wholesome foods with as little processing as possible. An emphasis is placed on fresh produce, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins while leaving out junk and other harmful foods.
Acupuncture is part of Chinese Medicine and involves the use of sterile needles inserted in strategic points throughout the body. But don’t worry, the needles are only about the size of a hair, and most people claim it only feels like a tap on the skin. In spite of the ease of acupuncture, it is very effective for nausea, stress, pain and can even reduce lymphedema, a swelling due to excess fluid that accumulates when lymph nodes are impaired or removed. During acupuncture, a patient lies on a soft bed, sofa or massage table for 30-60 minutes. The sessions are often reported to be calm and relaxing, which also contributes to stress relief. This is considered one of the most proven, natural methods to aid in the treatment of cancer.
Music Therapy uses music to help a patient both emotionally and physically during cancer treatment. Studies show that music intervention can alleviate symptoms from the side effects of conventional treatment, as well as relax heart rate and reduce pain. (1)
Music therapy may be passive, as in when music is played during treatment or when a patient takes a time out to relax, visualize or meditate while listening to music. It is also effective as an active process, where the patient plays an instrument, sings or participates in a music group workshop or class. Both are effective and a patient may use many music therapy methods throughout their treatment.
Biofeedback is a complementary technique that measures body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, or muscle tension, while a trained practitioner helps you learn how to control them. In this case, patches are placed on the patient’s body and a health care practitioner will gently guide and teach the patient to control the feedback. It is an excellent tool to help a person integrate body and mind in healing, and many have used this technique to control anxiety or insomnia, reduce tension and headaches and even aid in constipation.
Yoga is a stretching exercise, as well as a spiritual practice and meditation that connects body and mind. With practice a patient can learn to relax and reduce stress. The various poses can aid digestion, increase flexibility, lower blood pressure and reduce back pain. It is especially helpful for increasing self-confidence and overcoming depression. Working with an experienced teacher can help a patient avoid over-stretching or help modify poses that might be out of range for some.
Meditation has many benefits for those living with cancer, such as reducing chronic pain and anxiety while increasing energy. It can help a patient develop a more positive outlook on life, which is important for healing. And the best part, it is widely used to reduce stress, which in turn can lessen internal inflammation. This is highly beneficial as most studies show us today, reducing internal inflammation creates a more conducive environment for healing. (2)
Hypnosis is a form of meditation along with guided imagery. This is exceptionally good for those who have a difficult time with meditation. During hypnosis, an experienced practitioner guides the patient into a deep trance state, which can put them in a healthier state of mind that is more receptive for healing. It is especially helpful for pain relief, fatigue related to traditional cancer treatment, hot flashes, insomnia and nausea. This practice is used during treatment or as an ongoing integrative cancer treatment option.
These are just some of the alternative, natural cancer treatments that can be integrated with a conventional treatment program. Several larger cancer treatment centers as well as specialized smaller ones offer these therapies and more. If you or a loved one has cancer, you can find help to fully heal with integrative therapies and take comfort that you are utilizing the absolute best care available.
1 Bradt, J., Dileo, C., Magill, L., & Teague, A. (2016, August 15). Music interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. Retrieved August 2, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27524661