Fighting breast cancer is incredibly difficult. Treatments like chemotherapy come with painful side effects, and the emotional toll cancer takes can be exhausting. To ease the difficulty, some people use complementary breast cancer therapies. These are therapies which complement their current treatments. Ask your cancer specialist if one or more of these therapies could work for you in addition to your current treatment. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group reminds you to get mammograms regularly!
The gentle stretching and mindful breathing involved in yoga are great relaxation techniques. Look for a beginner yoga class or relaxation-themed yoga group. Take it easy during class, refraining from any stretches that seem too strenuous or might be painful. Yoga is a great way to slow down after a stressful experience.
Also relaxing, meditation involves clearing your mind. Ideally, you think of absolutely nothing while meditating. If you know a friend who meditates, ask him or her to lead you in a meditation so that you can learn the basics. If not, consider downloading an app that teaches meditation. Often, the app will include calming sounds and guiding words during the meditation and a gentle ring telling you when meditation has concluded. Meditation can be an effective means of stepping outside your pain and exhaustion to feel more peaceful.
Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese practice of pricking the body with needles to relieve pain, nausea, and other conditions. Scientists believe the points acupuncturists prick have electrical properties, impacting the body’s neurotransmitters. When acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system in this way, they release chemicals into the muscular and nervous systems. These chemicals may stimulate your natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional wellness. Many patients undergoing chemotherapy have found relief from nausea through acupuncture. Acupuncture can also promote a sense of calmness or give a burst of energy, depending on the person. Ask your cancer specialist if acupuncture is right for you before you visit an acupuncturist.
Taking a break from daily life with cancer can refresh you for the road ahead. Your “vacation” may be as simple as watching a movie while cuddling under a blanket or spending a few hours enjoying your favorite hobby. However, you might need a longer retreat. Camps, retreat centers, and resorts for people dealing with cancer exist across the United States. Check with your doctor to make sure vacation is a healthy choice for you.
The support of people who have experienced or are currently experiencing breast cancer is invaluable. Whether online or in person, a support group can help you heal emotionally and cope with changes your diagnosis brings. Talk to your oncologist about support groups near you. If you would feel more comfortable speaking with only one person, the American Cancer Society offers a program that matches volunteers with people struggling with breast cancer for one-on-one discussions.
Thinking outside the box and trying new therapies can promote wellness and relaxation during a stressful time. Find an oncologist to explore all of your therapy options. Schedule a cancer screening with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group to detect problems early.
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