Many widely practiced philosophies can be utilized when a diagnosis of Cancer has been made. In this article we explore the differences between Complementary and Alternative Therapies, collectively referred to as CAM. More and more, integrative medicine is used in the treatment of many diseases.
With mainstream society becoming increasingly more self aware, many patients are opting to use complementary and alternative therapies to aid the recovery process.
How Cancer Occurs
It is considered that when the body is unwell overall, it is more likely that tumors will occur. In simple terms, the occurrence of Cancer is due to the cells of the body behaving in an unusual manner.
That is, cells naturally reproduce, but occasionally a unnatural patterning emerges where cells will begin to multiply and divide themselves in a manner which is abnormal. These cells continue to malfunction until a noticeable mass develops .This mass can be benign or malignant, the latter of which is Cancer.
Integrative Medicine: Exploring The Differences
Not to confuse the two, complementary medicine is used in conjunction with conventional treatments. Alternative therapies are those which are sought after as a replacement to the more orthodox chemical based lines of treatment. Some examples of complementary therapies are acupuncture, acupressure, massage, yoga, aromatherapy and counseling.
Alternative therapies would consist of specific dietary plans including but not limited to herbal inclusions. Psychological and spiritual healing programs are used to stimulate the immune system, whilst prayers and detoxification programs are also used frequently. These alternative methods treat the disease by taking a view of the body as a whole diseased entity.
Using Hypnotherapy As Complementary Treatment
With regard to complementary therapy, it is worth noting that Hypnotherapy has also played a major role in the treatment of Cancer. Dr.Milton Erickson was a pioneer in pain control using Hypnosis and spent more than forty years visiting Cancer patients to assist with pain control. He was successfully able to either alleviate pain, or remove pain altogether.
Since Hypnotherapy can also be used successfully for guided imagery and deep relaxation, it stands to reason that this is an effective complementary therapy.
Increasing tolerance to stress and pain is of major benefit to the Cancer patient since it affords the patient a different perception of what is happening to them, and affords them more coherence when they would otherwise be incapable. The mind-body connection plays a significant role in the recovery process.
Although the choices are vast, many who regularly practice yoga, meditation, self hypnosis and similar philosophies are generally better equipped mentally when dealing with such a traumatic event such as a Cancer diagnosis. The ability to relax plays a critical role in dealing with nausea associated with chemotherapy, pain, and of course obvious high stress levels.
When conventional medicine must be used, it is certainly worth exploring which of these Complementary therapies can be integrated into your care and recovery.