Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Non-Traditional Therapies

If you are faced with a life-threatening situation, you are often desperately "grabbing at straws" for a remedy or a reversal.

Maybe that's why American Cancer Society published a section on manual healing and physical touch in its "Making Treatment Decisions." Herbs, vitamins and minerals are discussed. So are pharmacological and biological treatment, diet and nutrition and mind, body and spirit.

Each procedure is clearly described with an emphasis on whether available scientific evidence supports the claims. For instance, one Danish study of 220 people suffering from migraine or tension headaches reported that the patients were helped or cured by reflexology (however, too many other factors were involved for accuracy) and "there are many individual reports about Reiki's power to increase feelings of well-being and refresh the spirit."

Scientific studies to date on each of the non-traditional therapies, it appears, have not supported their value. But that doesn't mean that the individual therapy might not work to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue. ACS recommends that patients let their physicians know that they are considering using Complementary and Alternative medicine as an additional healing method in order to discuss treatment options.

For more on alternative therapies, check out

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