It is a known fact that pain and the stress created while trying to manage pain can make the condition worse. Alternative treatments for addressing cancer pain cannot cure the cancer; however, they often help patients manage their pain better. Safe alternatives may provide some benefits for the cancer patient and can be helpful in the reduction of pain levels.
Cancer and its treatment often present patients with a list of ailments including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep problems
Fortunately, these symptoms can be addressed safely with alternative methods of treatment. It is important to understand that these alternative treatments help address symptoms, but do not cure cancer. You will still need to follow your oncologist’s recommendations for treatment.
You can, however, benefit from a variety of alternative treatments to help decrease pain levels and help you cope with symptoms. Integration of these alternatives, with the care you receive for the cancer, can help you feel better.
Acupuncture for Pain Management
Many cancer patients have received help for pain relief through acupuncture. Tiny needles are used to activate nerves in precise areas. The stimulated nerves send signals to the brain, which in turn, releases neural hormones. This alternative care relieves certain types of pain in cancer patients.
In traditional Chinese medicine, a harmonious balance is maintained with energy flowing through the body. Pathways, or meridians, in the body must be kept clear to maintain a positive flow of energy. Acupuncture stimulates this energy flow and helps it stay in proper balance. While the science of the practice is challenging to understand, the results are beneficial.
This is a safe alternative when performed by a licensed practitioner. It provides effective results and is easily combined with other treatments. Some patients unable to tolerate pain medications are helped with acupuncture. There are few side effects from this treatment, and at Manhattan Sports Therapy, you are assured of receiving qualified care.
Another alternative method of relieving the pain caused by cancer and its treatment is massage. This complementary treatment helps with the symptoms of pain, cancer-related fatigue and anxiety. It can also improve your quality of life. Some patients taking chemotherapy medicines, like Taxol, find relief for the neuropathic pain related to these drugs. Different types of massage provide benefits to the patient. Types of massage include:
- Anma therapy – which is a Japanese massage therapy
- Aromatherapy massage
- Classical massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Myofascial massage
- Swedish massage
Deep tissue massage is not often used with active cancer treatment. Instead, it may be used a part of the after-care treatment. Once treatment for cancer is finished, chronic pain and limited range of motion, due to scar tissue, may be relieved with deep tissue massage.
Gentle massage is used to release endorphins that can reduce pain. These are the “feel good” chemicals released by the brain. Most people can tolerate gentle massage while undergoing cancer treatments. Swedish massage is a stronger type used to relieve muscle tightness and reduce stiffness.
Massage as an adjunct therapy promotes improved circulation, and it can decrease the inflammation and swelling in the area. It also improves mood by lowering the stress hormone levels in the body. Sore muscles also benefit from massage. Additionally, massage can help cancer patients relax. Some people find relief from anxiety, fear and depression with massage.
Benefits of Patient-Centered Care
Alternative treatments supplementing cancer treatment can provide a host of benefits for patients. At Manhattan Sports Therapy, Dr. Miro and his team are devoted to providing patients with excellent, personalized care.
Individualized treatment sessions promote a sense of healing, calm and serenity. While cancer treatment may feel impersonal and sterile, adding the friendly care of additional alternative treatments can be effective in helping you feel better and reducing your pain level.
Get more information about adjunct therapies to relieve the pain caused by cancer and its treatment by contacting Manhattan Sports Therapy. Schedule your consultation and assessment with Dr. Miro today.