Different Alternative Approaches to Managing Cancer-Related Pain: Mind-body therapies

In a previous blog, we talked about how using alternative methods to treat cancer-related pain can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life. Today, we are going to talk about these alternative treatments and how they can help.

A patient’s quality of life should also be taken into consideration during and after the course of cancer treatment. The treatment should only get rid of the cancerous cells and leave the patient’s zest for life intact. This is because many patients who have been through cancer treatments would fall into depression, putting their spirits down so that their immune systems would be weakened if they relapse. As a result, their whole recovery may become compromised since they no longer care to live.

As such, if you know someone who is battling cancer, you may want to motivate them to live a good life to have more reasons to live for. For this reason, alternative approaches to managing cancer-related pain are being encouraged by medical professionals. These alternative approaches have been proven effective in boosting the mood of patients. As a result, patients become more lighthearted and are more responsive to their treatments.

Here are some of the more common alternative approaches to managing cancer-related pain.

Mind-body therapies
Mind-body therapies are designed to boost the mind’s positive impact to the overall functions of the body. These include practices that bolster behavioral, expressive, psychological, social, and spiritual approaches. These therapies are also effective in reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation.

Common mind-body therapies are:
Biofeedback – Biofeedback therapy works on the premise that you can improve your health by using the signals of your body – listening to these signals and influencing them to go where you need healing. To facilitate a biofeedback session, sensors are attached to your body so you can gain instantaneous feedback, such as on muscle tension, blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, among others. Once you see the feedback, a biofeedback therapist would teach you how to control these functions using mental and physical exercises.
Biofeedback therapy is said to be very effective in regulating instances of depression and anxiety on cancer patients, as it gives them the feeling of being in control.

Meditation – Meditation is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to tap “The Source,” or the energy of the universe. There are many forms of meditation, such as mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, visualization, or even repeating a mantra. Best of all, there are many free sources of meditation!

It is performed by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Depending on the kind of meditation, you are going to take deep breaths and to focus on your breathing. Little by little, your body would relax until you would be able to let go and feel the energies of the Universe working to calm you. This is a very simple and effective way to reduce stress and calm down. It is known to lower hear rate, slow down breathing, relax muscles, and even lower blood pressure. It can also change the structure of your brain to help you attune more into attention, consciousness, and thought. We will talk about meditation in detail in another blog.

Prayer – Many patients have said that prayer has many healing powers. If you have a very strong belief system, then prayer can help you “move mountains.” Similar to meditation, the act of praying and letting go of all your stresses to your God is known to introduce tranquil states, calm you, and help you become more focused.

Reiki healing – Reiki healing is a 2,500-year-old Buddhist practice where a reiki healer would lay his or hands over you to normalize your energy fields. Reiki is based on the belief that you are exuding energy on several levels. What it does is to balance the seven chakras of your body to ensure that they are aligned. The Reiki healer does not need to physically put his or her hands on you, but can also perform the healing remotely.

During a Reiki session, you would be asked to either lay down or to sit down. Then, the reiki healer would assess which of your chakras need alignment, such as which one is vibrating with too much energy, and which one has weak energy. The healing commences when the reiki healer would then restore the energy in your body by urging it to go where it needs to go.

Hypnosis – Psychology Today writes that hypnosis is “a technique for putting someone (or yourself) into a state of concentration where you are more suggestible and thus more open to messages about breaking bad habits or changing in other positive ways.” Depending on the practitioner, you would usually be asked to sit down and close your eyes as you listen to the hypnotist’s voice. This usually removes your inhibitions, and you are able to embrace the hypnotist’s suggestions with open arms.
For this reason, many people say that hypnosis is an effective treatment in changing their behaviors, perspectives, and outlooks. Some people claim to have stopped vices due to hypnotherapy, such as gambling, smoking, or excessive drinking. Likewise, some people say that hypnosis helped them become a better person by turning them into optimists and becoming more flexible with life’s challenges.

Music therapy – Another inexpensive way to reduce stress and foster relaxation, music therapy works by influencing a person’s emotions, as well as his cognitive and social well-being. How so? Think of your favorite song and remember what it made you feel. Were you elated or ecstatic, sad or depressed? If you listen to an upbeat song, do you feel like dancing or smiling? Likewise, if you listen to melancholic songs while it’s raining, do you feel down?
These are just some of the ways through which music influences the body. Other people would turn to music therapists to experience the healing properties of music. Meanwhile, others would turn to subliminal messaging or music to help boost their self-esteem, sense of worth, or even to enhance their emotions.

These are just some of the more popular alternative approaches to cancer-related pain. We will discuss more techniques in upcoming blogs.