Fighting cancer is a difficult prospect.  In addition to the side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatment, many cancer patients also fight fatigue, pain, depression and changes in appetite as routine symptoms of their illness.  Complimentary therapies can help alleviate some of these symptoms and help cancer patients cope more effectively.

Massage Therapy

According to the American Cancer Society, one of the best alternative or complimentary therapies for cancer patients is massage therapy. Whether a person has mesothelioma, colon cancer or lung cancer, massage therapy can help reduce fatigue, fight stress and improve symptoms of depression.

Massage is the process of manipulating and stroking muscles and skin, releasing tension throughout the body.  Deep tissue massage manipulates muscles and tendons deep below the surface of the skin.  Light touch massage involves gently stroking the surface of the skin and often induces feelings of relaxation.  Other massage techniques include Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, and neuromuscular therapy.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is provided by therapists with specialized training in this modality of complementary medicine.  Through the use of many different types of medium, patients are encouraged to explore and express the feelings and emotions that they are experiencing.  For many cancer patients, art therapy is an effective method to address feelings of anxiety and depression.

Art therapy is also an excellent way to document your journey and progress through cancer.  It is not necessary to be an exceptional artist. For some patients, this is a more accessible approach to exploring the source of depression and anxiety than words. By looking back over their art, they may gain insight into their own emotional process throughout the course of their illness.

Prayer and Spirituality

For many cancer patients, finding a spiritual practice is extremely important in their fight with cancer.  There are many forms of spirituality that are effective for cancer patients as a source of hope for the future.  For many people, finding a place where they turn to something larger than themselves provides prospective about their illness and their life.

Spirituality can take the form of joining a prayer group, attending regular services, or individual meditation.  What is important is a person’s connection to a sense of divine purpose and solace.  Frequently, cancer patients find that prayer and meditation help relieve feelings of depression and anxiety. They report feeling more relaxed and hopeful for the future after regular prayer or meditation. It can also be important in pain management and improving blood pressure.

Using complimentary therapies can make fighting cancer more manageable.  Many cancer patients find that using approaches such as massage therapy, art therapy, and meditation helps them fight fatigue, anxiety, and depression.  They may also find that they are better able to tolerate chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  Fighting cancer is a difficult thing.  If you are able, use every approach possible to  improve your quality of life for a positive outcome and to maintain hope for yourself and your family.

About the Author: 

Melanie Bowen joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Melanie also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness.

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  12. When CANCER strikes a person…
    it seems it’s the end of the world already.
    but thanks to these kind of inspirational therapies
    because they are being motivated to live and
    through constant massage, they feel relieved.

  13. Very insightful and moving post.

    Cancer patients go through a lot, from the devastation of learning of their affliction to going through theraphy, that can indeed not only wear one out physically but emotionally. It is commendable that there are people who advocates for natural theraphy to compliment those medical ones.

  14. massage compliments conventional cancer therapy and may improve a cancer patient’s outlook and tolerance to chemotherapy.

  15. This is a true humane kind of work… servicing those cancer-stricken fellows. Prayer and spiritual upbringing will surely wreak a miracle of happiness and feeling of divine love!

  16. Great tips for cancer patients, they must have these therapies to ease what they feel.

  17. I like the art therapy, i think that would be a great diversion from the pain, fear, anxiety and other negative things that they feel.

  18. This is a great post! Massage really helps our body. It relaxes our muscles and even our mind and helps blood circulation, what more for cancer patients. Way to go!

  19. Massage therapy is like a well-round treatment from simple headaches to alleviating pains from dreaded diseases. It says here “complimentary” which means “free”? what organization provides such services where people who need these kinds of services can go to?

  20. There nice post. Massage is not only good for cancer patients. It’s actually good for all of us. It helps our muscles (and minds) relax.

  21. The therapy is indeed helps a lot those cancer patients. Cancer is devastating ,by the therapy we somewhat give the patients something to look forward to.

  22. Massage not only helps us get relaxed. It’s good to know that it can also be therapeutic for persons with cancer.

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  24. that looks like it feels good and i think i read somewhere as well that someone found a cure for cancer or was it treatable or something. 🙂

  25. It’s good that there are therapies that are not invasive to the system and at the same time gives the patient some comfort and outlet for their emotions.

  26. great tips for all the cancer patient I know how it feels because my father was once a patient too

  27. This is really new to me. Its nice to know that there are some therapy which will be really helpful for our cancer patients.

  28. im from the health field, and as weird as this may sound, i haven’t encountered cancer patients. but based from kwentos, prayer pa din ang best solution 🙂


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  30. wow.. what I love the most is the art therapy. thank you for letting us know.. ^____^

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  32. I agree, prayer is one of the best weapon in fighting cancer. It could move mountains, only if you believe.

  33. this is true. more than medical treatment, patients need the love and encouragement of their loved ones. and of course faith 🙂
    Rovie, The Bargain Doll

  34. wooow. this post is very helpful sis! 🙂 thank you so much for sharing this. Our professor use to teach us the same thing… as an alternative to medical treatments.. 🙂

  35. Cancer is such a difficult experience so anything that would take your mind off the disease and promote a more positive outlook will definitely be helpful. 🙂

  36. Very informative! Armed with faith, I know these therapies can be very effective! Lots of patients, not only cancer patients should know these. Thanks!

  37. hey you have covered very important information. as an therapist i have got many more. i like your writing work and i know it’s not so easy. keep focusing on such topic we will take huge knowledge from you. thanks and keep it up.

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