Chemotherapy, radiation, and other forms of traditional cancer treatment have often made the process drawn out and difficult for patients. A number of side effects hamper patients throughout this process. Recently, many cancer patients have taken to complementary therapy options aimed at alleviating some of the side effects of normal treatment. Some of the most popular options in complementary therapy have been natural health methods like Chinese medicine, yoga, and acupuncture.
Chinese medicine dates back over 2000 years and was once used as a primary form of treatment for cancer within China. As the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation became more prevalent, there was increased research into Chinese methods that would alleviate or provide an alternative to some of the side effects. A great example includes the use of Fu Zhen therapy, which works to improve the immune system through an herbal regimen. This type of Chinese medicine protects the immune system from any damage and has been known to help survival rates with cancer, often working best when combined with traditional therapies.
Acupuncture is a type of Chinese medicine, but it has gained so much popularity with patients that it’s become a separate option. Acupuncture has a great ability to provide cancer patients with some excellent benefits in the physical sense. Its stimulation of separate points in the body helps to alleviate pain in many cases. Back and joint pain are two of the main areas of alleviation. Acupuncture has also grown popular with cancer patients because in many cases it has cut down on side effects of chemo like nausea.
Yoga is one of the most popular complementary treatment options because of its ability to provide both physical and mental benefits for cancer patients. Yoga hits much of the same physical issues as some other options, including helping with range of motion, balance and alleviating some body aches. The use of yoga is probably so popular with patients because it can also provide a chance for peace of mind during the treatment process. With health care being specialized and treatment schedules being long and stressful, yoga is often a welcome departure for cancer patients. An excellent example of the impact yoga can have includes mesothelioma cancer patients. This is a type of cancer that evolves from asbestos exposure to form tumors within the chest and abdomen organs. These patients have a severely low life expectancy rate and use yoga as a chance to clear their mind and forget about the stress and fear that may often consume their lives.
Complementary options have grown so much because of their ability to alleviate the side effects that are common with the routine therapy process. Natural methods will continue to be the most popular options because of their ability to provide a versatile set of benefits along with the ability to take away some of the side effects of treatment .
By Kristy Dawson
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