Alternative Medicine: Hypnotherapy Can Help Relieve Symptoms
If you’re interested in trying an alternative health therapy to help you manage your side effects from cancer treatment, you may want to look into hypnosis, also called hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy has the added benefit of helping some people achieve goals that can help them live healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk of cancer—such as quitting smoking and losing weight.
Some patients have a better response to hypnotherapy than others. Older people, for example, may not do as well with the technique. But for cancer patients who do respond well, hypnotherapy can:
- Reduce anxiety before or after you’ve had surgery
- Help you reduce your stress level, which in turn helps you focus on recovering
- Teach meditation techniques that help you handle pain
- Help improve appetite
- In some cases, teach techniques that help you avoid the nausea that can accompany chemotherapy and radiation
There have not been any large-scale, definitive studies that have proven meditation works for cancer patients, but smaller-scale studies indicate that it can be helpful for some people. There are little if any side effects with hypnotherapy, so if you’re interested in trying it, you have little to lose, except of course the time and money you spend.
If you’d like to find out more about hypnotherapy, ask your doctor or other healthcare providers who are involved in your treatment. They are probably the best professionals to point you in the direction of a qualified hypnotherapist who has helped cancer patients.
European Journal of Cancer Care, June 2003: (5):374-83; National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Transcript, 7 October 2003, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Chat: Complementary and Alternative medicine: What You Should Know about Cancer.