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OPTIONS IN HEALTH: WHY COMPLIMENTARY METHODS MIGHT HELP

By Kayla Giacin
Friday, January 27, 2012

When looking at various treatments and medications for brain tumors and the complications that occur from them, it can be difficult to get a firm grasp on every detail that is involved with their usage; how to best take medications in conjunctions with other ones, how to weigh the pros and cons of various treatments, and so on.  To add to it another form of therapy may seem daunting, but seen in the right light, I think that the alternative treatments that seem to be gaining popularity when used in conjunction with traditional therapies, have their significant benefits to a patient's health.

Whereas traditional therapies focus on the treatment of the physical conditions directly, most alternative methods look much more holistically at illness which in turn, can create not only an improvement to physical wellness, but mental as well. 

A technique such as guided imagery has been known to relax patients, calm anxiety, and even help improve sleep patterns, all of which can lead to better physical health.

Massage therapy is another technique that can serve as both a physical and mental relaxation method.

Nutrition and exercise as they pertain to a certain illness can also have an enormous benefit to overall health in conjunction with the right treatments and medications. 

Personally speaking, I have spent a lot of time educating myself on many of these alternative techniques and used them as a part of integrative or complementary methods to the medications that I already take.  Some of these have been a good fit for me and I continue to practice them, some simply were not right for me.  However, this alone can be a very powerful tool in focusing in on your wellness.  In a world where medications and treatment regimens that we might not know much about are presented to us as something that we must partake in, I find that learning and choosing from these alternative techniques helps me to regain control of my health in ways that make me feel confident; as if I am having a say in what happens to me.  It is oftentimes difficult for a survivor to feel this way

Of course, any new kind of treatment whether it is traditional or non-traditional, should be discussed with members of your healthcare team to make sure that it is appropriate for you. However, working together to find that right fit might be a positive boost to you or your loved one's everyday health.

For more detailed information about different complimentary therapies, the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine website has some very useful information: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/ .  

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