According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture can be used as a complementary therapy in system management of cancer-related symptoms such as side effects to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, boosting blood cell count and improve natural killer cell activity.
The National Institutes of Health have confirmed that there is evidence acupuncture is effective in postoperative care, chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting.
In a study done by Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, researchers found in a randomized placebo-controlled trial, acupuncture was proven effective for cancer patients with a variety of chronic pain and aiding in pain management. Acupuncture is found to have positive results as a complementary method to pain relief.
Acupuncture is a non-invasive treatment that works by addressing the body as a whole to release any blockages or stagnations in the body’s natural energy flow.
Researchers from the Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center found massage therapy to significantly reduce the pain of cancer and chemotherapy treatments, more so than conventional care.
Many cancer patients who receive chemotherapy report adverse side effects such as nausea, pain, muscle aches, weakness and fatigue. When these patients are treated with massage therapy, however, both the frequency and severity of these symptoms begins to subside. It doesn’t take many sessions before patients experience a positive improvement in their symptoms. While the study mentioned above lasted for seven weeks, many patients report an improvement in their symptoms after just a single session of massage therapy.
Lymphedema, a swelling in the arms or legs, is common among patients who have received treatment for breast cancer. Manual lymphatic therapy works by using a light touch to help move fluid out of the tissues. Although lymphedema is not curable, it can be manageable with lymphatic drainage treatment.
The lymphatic system is essential for overall health. This system absorbs fluid, toxins and waste from tissue where it can pass through lymph nodes to be filtered. Lymphedema happens when the lymphatic system is blocked. The drainage therapy can help release these blockages to let fluid flow as it should.
Natural Ways to Help Stay in Cancer Remission
Diet can be a huge factor for staying healthy during cancer remission. You want to treat your body as best you can to prevent cancer from coming back. Boosting your immunity is essential for keeping your body’s defense working as it should.
Berries are a no-brainer. Filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants, make sure you’re getting your daily dose of blueberries and raspberries to help prevent cancer from growing. Green tea is another must. This tea contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. Try drinking at least one cup a day. Make sure to be eating whole grains and leafy green vegetables as well to keep an overall healthy diet.
Stay away from environmental toxins
Environmental toxins are everywhere, sometimes in places we wouldn’t expect. It’s important to be aware of these toxins and avoid them when possible. Avoid radiation, tobacco smoke and direct sun as much as possible. Be aware of pesticides found in food. Make sure to buy organic produce and wash it thoroughly before eating. Avoid plastic water bottles that are made with BPA and choose a reusable BPA-free bottle instead.
Maintain a healthy weight/exercise
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active is always important, but especially is important for those who have had cancer. By keeping your body active, you are keeping your immune system in check as well. If you feel you need to lose or gain weight after you cancer treatment, consider a year-long plan to get back to what is healthy for you. As for exercise, start off slow. Just by adding a 20-minute walk into your day you can start ramping up your immune system. Exercise is also great for mental health and wellbeing as well as staying in physical shape.
Don’t forget about your mental health
Cancer can be very traumatic, and so can treatment. You may have lingering feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression from the experience. If you feel anxious about the cancer returning, consider joining a support group or talking to a professional. Yoga and meditation have also been proven to help lower stress and anxiety. Your mental health is just as important as your physical and should be addressed.