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What Are The Alternative Treatment Available For Mesothelioma Patients

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Many types of therapy are available to mesothelioma patients that can be used in addition to traditional medical treatments. Many patients have found these alternative therapies to be an excellent way to manage pain, improve general health, and get relief from other disease symptoms. These treatments cannot cure the disease, but they can assist patients in living more comfortably by relieving pain and stress. Alternative treatments that have had value for some mesothelioma patients include acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, meditation, dietary supplements, TENS therapy, yoga and pet therapy.

Acupuncture is so widely accepted as an alternative therapy that many insurance companies provide coverage for it. Acupuncture is performed by inserting very fine needles into pressure points at specific locations on the skin. Acupuncture is routinely used to give relief from pain and inflammation and from anxiety or stress. You can find more information on acupuncture at The American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.

Aromatherapy uses fragrance to boost physical and psychological well-being. Distilled and highly concentrated plant-based oils are blended and used by aromatherapists to give relief from pain and other symptoms of the disease. Aromatherapy is often combined with massage therapy, which allows patients to receive a massage with oils that have been mixed with small amounts of the fragrant plant-based oils.

You can find out more about aromatherapy at the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and Precious Aromatherapy, Inc.

Massage therapy is known to promote blood and lymphatic flow, boost circulation, and aid in relieving muscle tension. In addition, massage stimulates the digestive and nervous systems, and can relieve chronic pain. Many patients report that massage also reduces anxiety and feelings of stress. Get more information about the benefits of massage therapy at and Alternative Medicine Online.

Meditation has long been used as a means to reduce anxiety, feelings of stress and depression. It is also believed that meditation can assist in managing pain and other symptoms of mesothelioma. Many cancer patients who supplement their traditional treatment with meditation find that the practice relieves pain, stress, and anxiety.

Many patients feel that the use of supplements is beneficial to their overall health during treatment. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids are all dietary supplements. The body requires vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to perform essential life functions, and supplements may provide necessary chemicals when such substances are missing from a patient’s diet. In fact, in one clinical trial of chemotherapy for treating mesothelioma patients, the participants’ average survival and time to cancer progression was improved by the vitamin supplementation of B12 and folic acid.

In addition, many herbs can help to provide relief from symptoms of the disease. Of course, when taking any kind of supplement, a patient should discuss the matter first with his or her physician. Supplements can affect the performance of certain prescription medications. Some supplements may even be dangerous when taken with certain medications. For more information on the use of dietary supplements, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and’s Common Herb Mistakes.

TENS Therapy
TENS therapy stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS therapy is somewhat similar in principle to acupuncture, in that it stimulates defined body locations. In contrast to acupuncture, which uses fine needles, TENS therapy uses electrodes that deliver very mild electrical shocks to the body location to be stimulated. Like acupuncture, TENS may provide relief from pain and inflammation and from anxiety or stress. Unlike most other alternative therapies, TENS has been approved by the FDA. This means that, according to the FDA, the procedure is safe and that TENS therapy may be covered by insurance. You can find more information on TENS Therapy at Health Scout and BBC Health.

Yoga began in India, where it is practiced more to promote spirituality than physical well-being. But in the U.S., yoga has been recognized as a form of exercise that is also psychologically calming. Simple yoga techniques can help improve a patient’s general health and state of mind.

Pet Therapy
Pet therapy is also referred to as animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted activities. The goal of pet therapy is to improve a patient’s general health and well-being by allowing the patient to interact with animals. The soothing effects of simply stroking a dog or cat have long been known to improve a patient’s mood and lift the spirits. In addition, the interaction even offers some physical benefits, such as, for example, the temporary lowering of blood pressure. Get more information at The Delta Society.

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