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It's Holistic, Not Voodoo

By HERWriter
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If you are coping with cancer or another medical challenge, there is a lot you can do to improve your quality of life.

Therapies known as holistic carry the stigma of witchcraft or magic and yet, Western medicine - not easily swayed from the lab view of the world - now supports Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) programs in most cancer centers because survival often depends on more than medicine.

CAM is a growing area of study at the National Cancer Institute, covering ancient herbal remedies to targeted nutrition, acupuncture, meditation, massage, yoga and prayer among others. I suppose it can include Voodoo but most therapies are pretty mainstream and can be very helpful.

*Feeling fatigued? Try massage, change your diet to increase energy, take yoga, meditate.
*Having pain but are tired of pain medication? Acupuncture, hypnosis and meditation all work.
*Digestive problems? Change your diet, try herbal teas and, if possible, exercise.

Some therapies work by improving circulation, releasing toxins associated with treatment. Others counteract fatigue by restoring muscle tissue or supporting organ function. Some detox the body; others the mind. My observation over 20 years is, those who approach their condition holistically are able to tolerate treatments better and experience a faster recovery.

Safety is, of course, the first concern. Any therapy or supplement you want to try should be approved by your oncologist. Just because something is natural, it is not necessarily safe. Also, some therapies may not work well together. Personally, I’ve tried many that have been effective for me, helping me regain a sense of control and improving my situation mentally and physically.

I don’t know if complimentary and alternative therapies can cure cancer, but I do know they create an environment within my body that encourages a return to wellness and that’s good enough for me.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.