February 24, 2012

Alternative Therapies for Mesothelioma Patients

At some point every mesothelioma patient, or their family members, may be tempted to seek out alternative medicinal therapies in search for a cure to the disease. And while it is generally accepted by practitioners of western medicine that complementary and alternative treatments can't cure cancer, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, these treatments can often help provide relief of the symptoms associated with cancer. As a result, mesothelioma patients should discuss any of the below alternative therapies with their treating physicians to determine whether any are appropriate for their condition:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture performed by a certified practitioner can be completely safe. But a patient seeking acupuncture treatment should ask their physician to recommend the acupuncture practitioner who provides the treatments. During an acupuncture session, small needles are inserted into precise points on the patient body. Acupuncture is performed on cancer patients in an effort to attempt to relieve pain and relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. Some patients report that nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth all are effectively relieved by acupuncture. However, there is no evidence that acupuncture has any effect on mesothelioma. Acupuncture is not considered safe for patients with low blood counts or who are taking blood thinners.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is usually performed by a licensed hypnotherapist, counselor or licensed psychologist, who performs a number of relaxation and positive thinking exercises with the mesothelioma patient. For some, hypnosis results in the patient entering a peaceful, relaxing, trance like state. Hypnosis is commonly associated with the reduction of anxiety, pain, and nausea symptoms. Again, mesothelioma patients seeking hypnotherapy should ask their treating physician or oncologist for a referral to an appropriate practitioner

Massage

Licensed massage therapists will use his or her hands to apply pressure to the muscles and skeletal structure of the mesothelioma patient. Massage has been associated with the relief of anxiety, exhaustion, and soreness in cancer patents. Some massage therapists undergo specialized training enabling them to work with people suffering from cancer. Again, as with every alternative therapy, it is necessary to discuss whether massage treatment are appropriate for the cancer patient, and ask them for a referral to the massage therapist they would trust with the patients care. There are also two important things for cancer patients undergoing massage therapy two remember: Massage therapy should never cause pain; A massage therapist should never apply pressure near a tumor or surgical wounds. Mesothelioma patients with low blood counts or who are taking blood thinners should not seek out therapeutic massage as an alternative therapy.

Meditation

Meditation can be performed anywhere. Unless the mediation the mesothelioma patient is contemplating undertaking requires strenuous activity, or unusual breathing patterns, there should not be a limitation on whether one can participate in the activity. But mesothelioma patients still should consult their physician before undertaking any new activity, even meditation. Meditation typically involves a time of stillness and contemplative thought, in which the patient tries to focus their mind on asingular subject, such as a thought, picture or tone. Meditation may reduce stress and improve quality of life in people with cancer. One of the advantages of meditation is that it can be performed when a person is alone. Mesothelioma patients should ask their personal physician for recommendations for a meditation instructor.

If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, or an asbestos related disease, you can contact the Asbestos Legal Center, at 1-800-970-3878, for a free consultation.