Holistic & Integrated Approaches Can Support Chemotherapy: NCCAM


The number of people who are adopting holistic and integrated approaches as part of their cancer treatment is continuously rising. But the question that often comes up remains – Is holistic and integrated approaches effective for cancer? Does it really help during chemotherapy. Let’s find out.

Mind-body medicine

Mind-body medicine is the phrase most commonly used to describe any course of treatment that acknowledges that our thoughts and emotions influence our physical health. Hence, integrating holistic & integrated treatments with chemotherapy is known to bring positive results.

While ancient medicine traditions such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine have always known about this mind-body connection, modern western medicine or ‘Allopathy’ has seen the mind and the body as separate and, only in recent years, begun to recognise this link.

Research proves the effectiveness of holistic practises

Because of this renewed interest, most prestigious medical bodies in the West are conducting ongoing research in techniques such as Yoga, meditation, energy medicine, relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioural techniques. The results are very positive.

Consequently, acknowledging the role of emotions and reactions in illness and healing means simply, that wellness is now being directly associated with having a robust immune system. This is the basis of mind-body medicine.

The most organised and extensive research, in terms of surveys, trials and published papers, is perhaps done by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, USA (NCCAM) which reviews under one umbrella:

  • Traditional medical systems (such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine)
  • Alternative medical systems (such as Homeopathy and Naturopathy)
  • Natural treatments (such as probiotics or mega-nutrients)
  • Complementary practices (such as Yoga or Tai-Chi)

Since each of these traditions and techniques are deep and vast, it is important to clarify the basic terminology, before we can begin to choose and consider them for ourselves.

Holistic Chemotherapy as an Integrated cure of Cancer

One often hears the words ‘holistic’ and ‘integrated’ being thrown around and even used interchangeably. However, the words mean very different things and it is useful to clarify this:

  • ‘Holistic’ takes into account the ‘whole’ person i.e. body, mind, emotions, relationships and spirit. (This is sometimes referred to as the body-mind-spirit approach)
  • ‘Integrated’ is about bringing together different systems of medicine seamlessly, to result in the most effective healing outcome e.g. combining chemotherapy (allopathic medicine) with acupuncture (to boost energy levels) and an Ayurvedic tonic (to strengthen immunity).

To visit the NCCAM website, click here.


  1. Thank you for reaching out to the world and sharing your holistic approach. Some of us wish we had met you before we lost our dear ones to the disease. We will spread your positive words across to those that may still benefit. Thanks for attaching a new word to what many think of as a dreadful disease — Hope!
    Wishing you well,
    Kavita & Rahul

  2. Thanks Vijay, Nilima for sharing.

    Great personal journeys and experiences and the journey continues… for as long as you believe and have faith in.

    I like all that you wrote and researched, all very true as I have personally been a practioner for my cronic pain on the neck and shoulder (not a cancer yet!). Stress is the main creator!

    Easy said but not easy to manage as there are many external factors which are beyond your control and can be extremely challenging or even impossible at times but that’s part of life.

    I tried everything, from xrays to MRI to bone specialists, accupunctures, chinese medication, yoga, massages, aromatherapies, sleeping pills to anything I can get hold on to to get some good sleep so the pain is not severe. But the pain continues, so life goes on.

    I am back to chinese herbal medication, play lots of golf (fresh air, walk, lots of greens and lots of water and lots of sun ! and go see friends and get involved in areas where I can be happy and contributing meaningfully.

    Your findings will help lead many into depper readings and finding more solutions for different individuals. Thank you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here