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Treatment for Cancer: Conventional and Integrative Working Together

Everyone who has undergone cancer treatment has a story about what has worked – or not worked – for them. Everyone is different and, in the end, it’s often about finding a specific “cocktail” of therapies that work in tandem to provide the best potential for successful treatment. For many, often a combination of conventional therapies performed by oncologists – chemotherapy, radiation, surgery etc. – and what is considered more integrative therapies – working through a mind/body connection – have proven to be successful, as well as providing relief for a host of symptoms.

Cancer treatments come in many shapes and sizes and they are not always based in traditional medicine. The mind/body connection is something that has continued to receive more and more attention through the years as we come to better understand how cancer works and how we can work through various channels to optimize our physical and emotional health.

Some of the “integrative” therapies that have been successfully used in tandem with modern medicine include:

* Acupuncture. During acupuncture, small needles are inserted into pressure points throughout the body working to provide relaxation, improved blood flow, and increased energy. Many cancer patients have reported the ability to better manage cancer treatment side effects with acupuncture.

* Meditation. Meditation and visualization can help in many areas of our life, allowing us to take a moment to relax, de-stress, and invite calm and focus into our minds and bodies. Positive visualization can provide us with a “map” for achieving our goals.

* Yoga. One of the greatest examples of connecting the mind and body is the practice of yoga. We work through poses that challenge our bodies and we call on our breath and our mental focus to allow us to achieve and hold these poses. Many people find the practice of yoga – as well as a variety of exercise integrated in their daily lives – to be integral to maintaining their strength and energy as well as alleviating a variety of symptoms.

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