Complementary therapies

Two complementary therapies have positive research evidence and are likely to help relieve side-effects of cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. treatment.

Cancer is an illness that needs careful management by a specialist medical team, and complementary therapies should not be seen as the main treatments for cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. in their own right.

Acupressure and acupuncture for relieving side-effects of treatment

Self-administered acupressure can help to reduce nausea following chemotherapy,[1,2] and is easy to learn, using the same points as acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. but simply pressing on these instead of stimulating them with needles.

Electroacupuncture involves a practitioner stimulating the acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. points with a low electrical current, and has also been shown to reduce chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.-induced acuteHas a sudden onset. vomiting.[1,2] These therapies are usually given in combination with anti-nausea medications.[2]

Ginger for relieving side-effects of treatment

Ginger may help reduce chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.-induced nausea.[3] Fresh root ginger, about one teaspoonful, can be chopped up and added to hot water and sipped throughout the day.

More complementary therapies

Important

Speak to your doctor before you try any of these approaches. Some therapies interfere with conventional treatment - for example, herbs may interact with medication you are taking and can present their own side-effects. Herbs should be supplied by a qualified, registered herbalist.

References: 
  1. Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer.-induced nausea or vomiting (Review). Ezzo J, Richardson MA, Vickers A et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 2 ( DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002285.pub2).
  2. Natural Standard Database. Link