5 Holistic Methods of Cancer Treatment
Getting proper care after a cancer diagnosis is about a lot more than fighting the disease. You will need nutritional support, particularly if you’re undergoing chemo. Spiritual support, exercise therapy, and emotional connection are also key to maintaining your mental and physical health. You will need help.
1) Diet & Supplements
A diet designed to reduce your risk of cancer will also help after your diagnosis. No matter your treatment, try to load your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. If your diet hasn’t been high in fiber before, you will need to make this change gradually to avoid a jolt to your gut. Should you be unsure of what fruits and vegetables are the best, don’t overthink it. Strive to eat a rainbow of fresh foods each day.
Strive to put something raw on your plate at every meal. If you usually have toast in the morning, add orange slices, half an apple, or a handful of grapes to your plate. If lunch is usually a sandwich, replace highly processed deli meats with turkey or tuna salad and add a green side salad. For those who like a steak for dinner, consider a smaller cut and add broccoli or asparagus to your plate.
You can also ensure that you are taking a supplement regime to support your cancer treatment plan. Synergy Lifestyle Medicine, a cancer treatment center that deals with holistic cancer treatment Arizona, says that “…we administer vitamins and supplements orally and intravenously to patients to treat their specific health symptoms. And, as you might have guessed, this is all acutely customized to the patient’s unique situation.”
You may already have an exercise plan in place. As you structure your treatment plan, make sure that your current exercise routine isn’t too strenuous. You want to lift your spirits and elevate your mood, but pushing your body too hard can sap your energy resources.
Your body will be working hard to contend with the stress of the diagnosis and to work through any clinical treatment you’re currently undergoing. Whether you’re starting your exercise program or modifying an existing routine, take care to be gentle with your energy reserves. Exhaustion in any form will not help.
The process of informing friends and family of what you’re going through will be challenging. You may find yourself serving as their emotional support as they are made aware of your condition. Lean on your treatment team members to find support groups and other forms of connection with others going through the same challenges.
Take care of yourself first. There may be people in your social circle who’ve always relied on you for emotional support and connection. You may need to back away from those who were used to leaning on you and from folks who tend to be negative. If your social circle isn’t supportive, be ready to take a step back.
4) Mental Health
A cancer diagnosis is a huge jolt to both your mind and body. You may suffer from anxiety, find that you’re unable to rest well and take care of yourself, or you may fall into a depression. Your psychological support team can help you to manage the stress of the diagnosis and treatment, help you blow off steam, and let you fall apart in privacy as needed.
Your psychological support professional can also help you with communication. You will need to discuss your diagnosis with family and friends, but what about your children? Do you need to tell your boss or your co-workers? You likely know the best way forward, and your psychological support professional can give you guidance as well as the time and space to work it out.
5) Spiritual Support
You may have considered calling your pastor or priest as soon as you got your diagnosis, or you may not have a church home or a faith practice at all. Start where you are. If the faith tradition of your childhood offers comfort now, engage. If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, simply participating in a prayer or meditation group can help to clear your mind.
If you don’t have a spiritual home, discuss your concerns with the hospital chaplain to start. They will be able to recommend other connections in your community that will give you the support you need. For many people, religion is a hot-stove experience; they don’t want to get close to it again. However, spiritual support doesn’t have to be oppressively religious.
You are not just a disease and your entire being will go through cancer treatment. Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are critical. Additionally, access to emotional, social, and spiritual support are part of the care you deserve and need.