Alternative cancer treatments include hypnosis, acupuncture and aromatherapy, as listed by Mayo Clinic. These alternative treatments don’t treat cancer directly; however, they reduce the severity of any signs and symptoms associated with cancer. Alternative treatments also reduce the severity of side effects of mainstream cancer therapies.
Hypnotherapists use hypnosis in a therapeutic context to help cancer sufferers, explains Cancer Active. Hypnosis is relevant in cancer treatment because it takes into account the mind, body and spirit, which are interconnected. Hypnotherapy relieves stress, eliminates side effects to cancer treatments and helps prepare the candidate for surgery.
Acupuncture helps reduce post-operative pain and aids in recovery from the side effects of cancer therapies, states the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. Acupuncture also reduces the need for medications that can cause side effects. Acupuncture uses thin needles placed at various trigger points with the aim of nerve stimulation.
Aromatherapy is the process of using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, explains the National Cancer Institute. Aromatherapy is usually part of other treatments such as massage and acupuncture. Clinical studies show improved sleep and reduced depression after an aromatherapy session. Lowering depression improves the immune response to cancer, which helps reduce associated signs and symptoms.