Hi I'm hoping to get some information about using natural therapies to help help with the side effects of chemotherapy. My Mum has non Hodgkins lymphoma and starts chemo in a little while. Has anyone had a good experience with using werstern or eastern herbs and/or acupuncture. I'd also like a recommendation on a good practictioner in Sydney's north or north west areas. thanks Di
I have Multiple Myeloma and have had several courses of chemo, an autologous stem cell transplant and am on maintenance drugs now - 3.5 years after diagnosis. I was too caught up in the momentum of my initial chemo and treatment to consider anything outside that but in the recovery period after my stem cell transplant I was desperately depleted and beset by woes similar to chemo side effects. A close friend suggested a traditional chinese medicine practitioner that specialises in cancer patients. I kept on with the western medicine of course, and have taken care that the trad chinese (TCM) herbs did not interfere with my western drugs, but I have to say that the TCM treatment which has included herbs and acupuncture has been very helpful and supportive to me in managing my symptoms and more importantly, my energy levels and stamina. I am the kind of person that asks a lot of questions of my practitioners, and I've really found that the TCM interpretations on how the body works have helped me a lot. They are definitely complementary to my western treatment and I would encourage anyone dealing with cancer to try it for themselves. I am based in Melbourne Di, so I don't know of anyone in Sydney but I do think it's worth finding out if there is anyone that has experience with cancer patients because you can then benefit from their understanding of our specific needs. I guess it's also worth being cautious of unscrupulous or fraudulent people with wild claims about wonder cures etc. Proper accredited TCM practitioners are the way to go in my opinion.
Oh - I mustn't forget to mention my secret weapon - meditation. I meditate at least once a day, and have found that to be the single most helpful and supportive complementary practice that I do. I use a mix of mantra and breathing based meditation, but guided meditations are just as beneficial I think. If you are wanting to start out with meditation, you may find that it's difficult to find a peaceful place, your mind busy with thoughts, and feel like "it isn't working". I would encourage you to persist - even with the thoughts, it does work and as your mind and body get used to meditating, the peaceful places you will find can be quite exquisite. - cheers - Peter (tjebi).
I completely agree with the meditation. I try to meditate for about 3 hours a day and it really brings a lot of peace into your life and some perspective. It gives you some time out to be thankful and try to put all of that worrying aside. A positive attitude is a very strong weapon!
I also believe that there are many things you can do to assist your body during this time. Keeping your body strong through a healthy, fresh plant-based diet can help to strengthen the immune system and reduce any side effects.
I have lymphoma as well and I did a 6 week course of intravenous vitamin C (60grams twice a week), which reduced the size of the lumps in my neck so perhaps that is something to consider also.
I hope your Mum is well Di!
Di - my husband and I had never used any Chinese Herbal medicines before. I was never really exposed to it growing up and never had much information. We travelled to Taiwan recently to enjoy their natural hot springs - my husband has bowel cancer and we were surprised at how relaxation (hot water and the minerals helped his mood). We also found something suprising. In Taiwan they use a herb called Solanum Incanum - to treat some cancers and help patients recover from Chemotherapy. Have you ever heard of this before. We bought some online when we got back, after one month my husband mood is significantly better and his doctor is quite suprised (he was in a bad way before) Not many people have heard of it but go and research that - I'll report back on how he is going. Di I wish you and your Mum the best of luck! x
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