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New Delhi, Feb 6 – It is estimated that nearly 1 million new cases of cancer are reported in India every year. Overall, approximately half a million deaths occur in India every year from cancer. To bring cancer under control, frequent treatments like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are used, nevertheless, the underlying cause is never treated. Additionally, these treatments exhaust the patients and degrade their quality of life. This is where naturopathy and yoga can make a difference by relieving the “body-racking” side effects of cancer and restoring the patient’s general health.
Naturopathy happens to be a complementary branch of medicine which employs safe and natural therapies and upholds detoxification as a crucial step to recovery from cancer. The best part is that naturopathic treatment can be integrated with the ongoing treatment of cancer to offer comfort to patients.
What do studies suggest?
A study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences and Research investigating how naturopathy and yoga might support chemotherapy for cancer, revealed that yoga and naturopathy can lead to long-term improvements in the mental well-being and quality of life of cancer patients. These findings suggest that empowering cancer patients with alternative therapies like naturopathy and yoga and encouraging them to actively participate in their own care can have long-term positive effects on quality of life.
According to another study involving 116 adult patients who underwent surgery for Adenocarcinoma of the Colon, yoga and naturopathy interventions in addition to chemotherapy showed improvements in overall functional life index along with improvement in haemoglobin levels.
How naturopathy and yoga help in cancer
Cancer patients must receive radiation or chemotherapy, which has a number of adverse consequences, including:
- Diarrhoea or mouth sores
- Joint pain
- Radiation-induced dermatitis
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hot flashes
- Immune system modulation
These are only a few of the several side effects that are caused by radiation or chemotherapy. As a result of that many cancer patients would prefer to avoid receiving chemotherapy or radiation. However, there may be no alternative choice in some severe cases of cancer. In order to give cancer patients much-needed relief, naturopathy and yoga can prove to be extremely useful. Here’s how:
Dietary changes: Several chemotherapy drugs make the mouth and digestive system lining peel off and become sensitive. Moreover, it causes diarrhoea. By changing the food, one may boost and rebuild the immune system. Including spinach, kale, zucchini, celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, parsley, and tomatoes in a cancer patient’s diet can help them get the electrolytes their bodies need.
Including black beans and dark green leafy vegetables in the regular diet also helps to fight lethargy and exhaustion. During chemotherapy, one should drink ginger root tea every day to improve regular digestive functioning.
Yoga: Cancer is a condition that impairs a patient’s mental capacity in addition to their physical strength. Patients lose hope even before their treatment begins since this illness has been portrayed as being incurable. They get consumed by awful ideas, which further deteriorate their health. When this happens, yoga can help! Cancer patients who practise yoga find relief from their anxiety, stress and tension. Additionally, it improves circulation and fortifies the body and mind to withstand lengthy cancer treatments. Yoga helps cancer survivors maintain their health and cope with the numerous adverse effects of chemotherapy. One of the best ways to return to regular life and resume all of the activities one was engaged in before receiving cancer treatment is yoga.
Acupuncture: Both cancer patients and cancer survivors can benefit from the potent restorative and therapeutic effects of acupuncture. Pain, hot flashes, inflammation, immune system regulation, sleeplessness, dry mouth, anxiety, vomiting and nausea can all be effectively treated with acupuncture. It is well known that acupuncture is an effective treatment for improving a cancer patient’s overall quality of life. In reality, acupuncture is now commonly used in cancer treatment and recovery programmes at many medical institutions.
For patients with any type of cancer, naturopathy therapy can be used in addition to existing cancer treatment. Natural treatments can be extremely helpful, even for cancer survivors. Before making any dietary adjustments or beginning a yoga practice, it is usually preferable to speak with a trained naturopath because each person’s body type responds differently to naturopathic treatments.
(Babina NM, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore)