Types of Alternative Medicine
Most alternative mesothelioma treatment options fall into one of two categories.
The two main types of alternative mesothelioma treatment are:
- Mind/body therapies: This includes yoga, tai chi, and meditation
- Oral, topical, or intravenous: This includes Chinese medicines, vitamins, botanicals, and herbs
Many patients believe that alternative mesothelioma treatment can improve comfort and life quality. These therapies can be used to treat symptoms and side effects of traditional mesothelioma treatment.
Meditation is a silent inner reflection. Many patients find that it helps quiet the mind from compulsive thoughts and fear.
It can be a helpful form of alternative mesothelioma treatment, as it can reduce tension and stress that many patients feel. It often includes deep breathing techniques that may help patients boost lung function.
Although there is no specific diet for mesothelioma patients, nutritional needs may change throughout treatment. Additionally, some foods can affect a person’s symptoms.
It is recommended that mesothelioma patients maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrients they need.
Some dietary suggestions include:
- Avoid low calorie and non-nutritious foods, such as soda and chips
- Eat whenever hungry, no matter what time of day it is
- Supplement diet with high-calorie meal replacement drinks
- Use herbs and spices in recipes to make food taste better
- Consume pureed meals if solid foods become difficult to eat
- Eat several smaller meals throughout the day
- Eat sitting up and do not lie down after eating
- Eat high-fiber foods to ease constipation
Acupuncture uses very thin needles inserted into specific points on the body. It is meant to restore energy and bring harmony to the body.
Acupuncture as an alternative mesothelioma treatment has been found to be effective with nausea and vomiting that can be caused by chemotherapy. It is also reported to help ease pain after surgery.
Hypnosis is believed to put mesothelioma patients into a state of increased focus and concentration. It is also helpful in easing anxiety, nausea, and pain.
Further, hypnosis is found to be effective for many smokers who are trying to quit.
Alternative mesothelioma treatment may include speaking with a therapist.
Mesothelioma patients are likely to experience emotional distress that may include:
- Fear of the disease
- Fear of death
Behavioral therapists can help mesothelioma patients cope with their diagnosis. In addition to one-on-one support, patients may also wish to join a support group.
A lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage that aids in the movement of lymph fluids around the body.
Lymphatic system fluids help remove toxins and waste from the tissues in the body. Lymphatic massages can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system.
Taking herbal supplements is one of the more common forms of alternative mesothelioma treatment. Many patients state that herbal supplements ease symptoms and side effects. Some believe they can even kill cancer cells.
Some herbal supplements used in complementary and alternative medicine are:
- Adenophora root acts as an antibiotic and is used for dry coughing
- Asparagus root is believed to prevent cells from growing
- Astragalus is used to boost the immune system and slow tumor growth
- Licorice root is an expectorant and has been found to relieve coughing and shortness of breath
- Oldenlandia diffusa is believed by some to kill cancer cells
- Poria mushrooms can help with swelling and improve sleep
Aromatherapy is common in complementary and alternative medicine. It uses fragrant oils that many find to be very calming.
The oils can be infused with scents such as lavender and are used in massage, added to bathwater, or released into the air. Patients find aromatherapy to be helpful in relieving nausea, pain, and stress.
Alternative mesothelioma treatment may also include using exercise to manage symptoms during and after cancer treatment.
Gentle exercise may help with fatigue and stress, and some studies have shown that exercise programs can help cancer patients live longer. However, it is important to check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise routines.
Yoga is an ancient practice that combines stretching with deep breathing. As a mesothelioma alternative treatment option, yoga may provide stress relief, improve sleep, and reduce fatigue.