Holistic healing is an approach to cancer care that focuses on the body, mind, and spirit. It incorporates nontraditional complementary treatments like acupuncture and massage with conventional therapies to increase your quality of life.
It is important to talk with your doctor before you try any new treatment. Especially if the treatment you choose could cause side effects or interact with your regular medicine.
Reiki is a simple yet effective form of healing that may be helpful in reducing pain and anxiety for cancer patients. It can also reduce other uncomfortable symptoms such as weakness and nausea, making it easier for patients to comply with treatment protocols.
Practitioners use their hands to channel universal life force energy in a non-invasive way. They also sweep their hands over clients to detect hot spots, which indicate areas of the body that need healing energy.
Reiki is a natural stress reliever and helps people shift into a parasympathetic, or rest-and-digest, mode of thinking. This state is thought to improve the body’s ability to heal itself, according to a number of studies.
One of the oldest healing traditions, massage involves rubbing and putting pressure on muscles, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments.
In the right conditions, it can help reduce stress and fatigue, improve circulation and rehabilitate injuries. It’s also been proven to be a powerful complementary therapy for a wide range of ailments.
The benefits of massage are immediate and noticeable, as the treatment prompts the release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing.
However, massage is not a replacement for assessment and care by a doctor, and you should always consult your oncologist before starting any alternative therapy. It’s best to talk over your concerns about holistic therapies with your doctor and find a balance between traditional cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, and complementary treatments that address any mental, emotional or spiritual problems you may be facing.
Nutritional Counseling is a form of holistic healing that can improve the quality of life of cancer patients by helping them make healthier choices and adopt healthy eating habits. It can also help them maintain their strength and vigor throughout treatment.
Eating the right foods can help reduce side effects from chemotherapy and radiation, including nausea and loss of appetite. It can also help stabilize blood sugar levels, which increases energy and helps people feel less tired.
Nutritional counselors use their training to help clients understand how certain nutrients can affect their health and how to avoid or address any nutritional imbalances that may be caused by cancer or other conditions. They also teach skills and tools that will help them maintain their new, healthier eating habits in the future.
Exercise is a powerful tool to help patients reduce stress, improve their quality of life and increase energy levels. It also lowers the risk of recurrence of cancer and can improve survival for survivors.
Research has shown that exercise can help patients recover from cancer treatment by increasing energy levels, strength and cardiovascular endurance. It can also reduce side effects like fatigue and anxiety.
The guidelines recommend that patients start exercising slowly and build up to 30 minutes of moderate activity (movement that includes slightly quicker breathing and a light sweat) 5 or more days a week. It’s best to work with a fitness professional, such as a physical therapist or exercise physiologist who is experienced with cancer patients.
Meditation is a way to help calm the mind and body. Some meditation practices focus on silently repeating a calming word or chant, while others include deep-breathing or relaxation exercises.
Meditation may improve the quality of life for people living with cancer, and help reduce anxiety and depression. It can also help increase concentration and emotional balance.
A recent study found that meditation can also have a positive impact on the chromosomes that form part of our cells called telomeres. Longer telomeres are associated with better health and reduced risk of disease.
Practicing meditation can be difficult at first, but with consistent practice, you’ll get used to the slowing of your thoughts and feelings. Start with a few minutes each day and gradually increase the amount of time.