Alternative Treatments for Lung Cancer
Alternative and complementary therapies can be
used to treat the symptoms of lung cancer and the side effects of lung cancer
treatment. They are not meant to be standalone cures. Alternative treatments
are meant to help patients feel better during and after conventional cancer treatments.
As is the case with many such therapies,
supportive research is sparse and opinions
are often mixed as to the efficacy of the methods. However, many people have
had success in using alternative treatments in the management of many diseases
and conditions. This includes lung cancer.
Before trying any alternative treatments,
check with your doctor to be sure that the methods are safe and right for you.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of
stimulating specific points on the body with very thin needles. The treatment
is meant to restore the natural flow of body functions. Acupuncture has been
found to be effective in managing the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
It has also been successful in helping people manage pain after surgery.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to stimulate
the part of the brain that affects emotion. Studies have shown that essential
oils can promote mental and emotional wellness by reducing stress, depression,
pain, and nausea. Lavender promotes
calmness. Frankincense is
meditative. Jasmine is
uplifting. Peppermint fights
nausea. Rosemary relieves
pain and congestion. Diffuse a few drops of essential oil in jojoba oil and
apply to pressure points like wrists, neck, and behind the ears. Add a drop to
your favorite face wash or four or five drops to a relaxing bath.
Massage is used to ease pain and promote
relaxation. Massage therapists use their hands or feet to apply pressure to relax
“knots” in the muscles caused by pain or tension. Some massage therapists
specialize in treating cancer patients.
Therapists use hypnosis to put the patient in
a trance-like state by using relaxation techniques. Hypnosis has been shown to
ease anxiety, nausea, and pain associated with cancer.
Meditation is a state of deeply silent inner
reflection in which the individual tries to quiet the mind from outside
“chatter.” It can be helpful in reducing stress and tension associated with
managing lung cancer.
Yoga is a series of body poses that combines breathing
with stretching movements as a form of meditation. It can promote relaxation in
cancer patients and provide more restful sleep.