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Alternative Cancer Treatment

Physical Exercise
Exercise can help lessen pain, strengthen weak muscles, restore balance, and decrease depression and fatigue. After getting approval from your doctor, you may want to begin by walking five to ten minutes twice a day and later increasing your activity.
Rhythmic Breathing
Get in a comfortable position and relax all of your muscles. If you keep your eyes open, focus on a distant object. If you close your eyes, imagine a peaceful scene, or simply clear your mind and focus on your breathing.
Breathe in and out slowly and comfortably through your nose. If you like it, you can keep the rhythm steady by saying to yourself, "In, one, two; out, one, two." Feel yourself relax and go limp each time you breathe out.
You can do this technique for just a few seconds or for up to ten minutes. End your rhythmic breathing by counting slowly and silently to three.
Visualization is similar to imagery. With visualization, you create an inner picture that represents your fight against cancer. Some people getting chemotherapy use images of rockets blasting away their cancer cells or of knights in armor battling their cancer cells. Others create an image of their white blood cells or their drugs attacking the cancer cells.
All you need is a quiet, comfortable place and some time each day to practice breathing, stretching, and meditation. To learn about yoga, you may want to take a class and review books, audiotapes, or videotapes or DVDs on yoga. Ask your social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist about yoga classes in your area.

Considering Alternative Cancer Treatments

People with cancer who are using or considering complementary or alternative therapy should discuss this decision with their doctor or nurse, as they would any treatment. You should not be afraid that your doctor won't understand or approve of the use of such treatments. Doctors know that people with cancer want to take an active part in their care. They want the best for their patients and are often willing to work with them.
Talk to your doctor to make sure that all of the aspects of your cancer care work together. This is important because things that seem safe, such as certain foods or pills, may interfere with your cancer treatment.
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