Many people have a very limited understanding of what holistic cancer treatment actually is. In fact, the words holistic and integrated cancer treatments are often used interchangeably. Let us understand the difference and how to use them to aid healing.
Different systems for treating cancer
Despite the overwhelming dominance of mainstream Western medicine today, many people find the need for a holistic cancer treatment. But traditional medical systems have always taken a holistic approach to health and illness. The four main ancient systems include Greek, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian.
- In Western system, with its emphasis on specialisation, you meet a physician for a physical ailment, may be a mental health professional for a psychological condition and a priest/pastor to address your spiritual questions.
- Traditional systems, on the other hand, emphasise on holism. So you meet one practitioner who understands you and treats you as a whole person. Different medical systems like Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tibetan Medicine etc. tare used. Such systems are practiced even today in China and India, if not in Greece and Egypt.
But there is little awareness about holistic cancer treatment among the general public worldwide. In fact, most people often use the terms ‘holistic’ and ‘integrated’ interchangeably and in the process dilute the meaning of both. We help you draw a clear distinction between the two.
Holistic cancer treatment: Addresses the whole person at all levels
A holistic approach is one that deals with the whole person. It takes into account all the aspects of a person – body, mind, emotions, relationships and spirit – and his needs at each level. Here the physical, mental, emotional, systemic and spiritual levels of a person are addressed.
You’re most likely using mainstream cancer treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You could also seek help from your psycho-oncologist, a family therapist and even your spiritual guide to address the different levels of the being.
Integrated cancer treatment: Combine different medical systems, carefully
Cancer is a complex disease. A single medical system may not have all the answers to aid your healing. So an integrated approach combines different healing systems to provide the most effective therapeutic experience and outcome.
An individual undergoing chemotherapy may supplement treatment with homeopathy (to reduce the side effects of the chemotherapy drugs). You can also use acupuncture (to boost energy levels) and Ayurveda (to improve immunity).
Need for both: Holistic and integrated approaches to cancer
- From a holistic perspective: There’s plenty of research indicating that using holistic cancer treatment are very important in dealing with cancer. It involves using mind and emotions and also using tools like meditation and prayer .
- From an integrated perspective: We see that allopathy, homeopathy, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine or any other system doesn’t have all the answers for cancer. Yet, each system has a specific insight and approach to cancer. Each of them may be useful and valuable depending on the person and his condition.
- Complementary not alternative: There is a growing trend of seeking alternative treatments for cancer. But it can be extremely dangerous. Instead, holistic cancer treatment works best alongside mainstream treatments. It helps in addressing the root cause of disease and also aids in healing.
- Tailor-made for you: Each of us are very different from each other – physically, mentally and emotionally. Then why have a standard treatment for everyone? What works for someone else, might not work for you. And so researching and finding a combination of treatments that work for you is the key.
Further, when different systems are carefully combined, the results can be even better. In fact, when confronted with a life-threatening illness, you must give it all you’ve got and leave no stone unturned. For any illness but particularly with cancer, you need to combine a holistic approach with an integrated one for recovery and healing.
- Other than Western medicine, have you considered incorporating an holistic and integrated approach to cancer in your treatment?
- Have you sought professional help or guidance in this area?
- What steps are you taking to become healthy again at the physical, mental, emotional, systemic and spiritual levels?
Nothing can prepare you for the cancer journey. But advice from someone who have been there, done that can certainly make you better informed. You can watch the Cancer Awakens video series here and read the articles here.