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 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.