“As one of the oldest medical procedures in the world, dating back 2500 years ago in China, Acupuncture is now established as an essential component in an integrative medicine approach to health and wellness”.
Complimentary medicine includes treatments such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Herbal Therapies, Homeopathy, special diets and dietary supplements to name but a few. Whilst science cannot give us a definitive answer on whether complimentary medicine can aid in illnesses such as Cancer there is evidence that working alongside conventional medicine they can help support you and your treatment.
About a year ago I developed an itch on my right forearm which was not like a ‘normal’ itch but one that didnt stop, and it was uncontrollable – I couldnt stop myself from scratching – literally! It felt like sharp electric shocks at times and at others like there were creepy crawlies under my skin. It was awful. I have ended up with scars on my arms due to scratching and rubbing them. There was no relief. I tried literally everything – steroid creams and tablets, antihistamines, aqueous creams, lavender oil, Aloe Vera, daily exfolilators, and a cream from the GP which was made with chilli which was meant to deaden your nerve endings! Nothing worked! The only relief I got was from using an ice pack. When I sought advice from the GP, a locum doctor told me that one of the main reasons for itching on the skin could be to do with problems or disease of the liver and because I had liver cancer there wasn’ t much I could do and it was to be expected. Really not helpful so I did some further research into complimentary medicine to see if there was anything that may help and I came across acupuncture. I didn’t really know much about it except it involved lots of tiny needles stuck in your skin! I hate needles but I was willing to give it a go – at this point I would have done anything to give me some relief. After asking for recommendations on Facebook one lady’s name came up a few times so I phoned and made an appointment. It has taken time and my itch moved from my right arm to my left arm, to my left shin, to my shoulders, but she has definitely helped. It hasnt completely gone but it is much more manageable and isn’t continuous. She does much more than just treating the ‘condition’ but does whole body treatment that will help you at the time – supporting your nervous system, your emotional state, your immune system, your core energy – whatever you need. I feel so much better from seeing her and I not only feel the benefit from the itch but also mentally and physically.
Since my secondary journey began I have started looking at many other aspects of support and I am becoming more spiritual and looking after my body, mind and spirit. I have looked at the art of Buddhism, using meditation and relaxation techniques, positive attitude and tuning in to myself, who I am and feeling at ease and at peace with myself. It won’t cure me but I believe that it will help make my life better and hopefully live longer. I am not living in a dream world or being unrealistic, but I believe that your mental attitude and belief has a definite benefit.
I am back on oral chemo for the tumour in my liver and have now had three cycles – so far I seem to be doing pretty well and not suffering from any bad side effects. I am feeling well and am told I look well! So I am definitely following the conventional medical route and will continue to do so but I believe that using both side by side has a place in treating illnesses even if it only makes you feel better in yourself. That is why it is called complimentary as it compliments your medicine. Surely that is just as important – to live better with Cancer. And we can. And I will.