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How to cope with cancer the naturopathy way

If you or your loved one is suffering from cancer, here is a guide on speeding up the healing process, naturally.

Naturopathy for cancerAccording to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine and The National Institute of Health[1] the projected number of cancer cases in India is likely to rise to over one million cases by the year 2020. With the national load of cancer steadily rising, alternate forms of medicine have stepped in to make the journey of cancer diagnosis and treatment easier for patients. Systems like Naturopathy have devised improved methods to cater to this growing population of people in extreme pain and suffering. We spoke to Dr Anjali Sharma, Senior Consultant, Naturopathy, Action Group of Hospitals, who talks to us about how naturopathy helps people with cancer cope with their illness and ways to prevent the onset of the disease. Here are excerpts from the interview.

How does naturopathy work on the body?

Naturopathy works by helping improve the natural healing and regenerative properties of the human body. This not only helps to keep cancers at bay, it also helps a patient fight against the cancer more efficiently. By strengthening the healing system Naturopathy aims at combating the disease ravaging the body.

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Naturopathic treatment includes specific diet care as per the rules of naturopathy, following a strict daily routine, including yoga, pranayam, relaxation, meditation, rehabilitative exercises, psycho-spiritual counseling, hydrotherapy, magnetotherapy, heliotherapy, massage therapy, acupressure and acupuncture into one's lifestyle. Read about the health benefits of pranayam.

How does naturopathy help people with cancer?

Naturopathy is simply a way to strengthen the treatment (allopathic) a cancer patient would be undergoing. You can think of it as an adjuvant therapy. It helps by augmenting the positive effects of the allopathic treatment and helps reduce the intensity of the common side effects of the treatment, facilitates faster rehabilitation after the treatment is over and helps the patient tide over the emotional and mental stress that comes with the diagnosis. There is a common belief that fighting cancer is a mind game. The stronger one feels about beating the disease the more likely they are to recover; Naturopathy helps with just that by soothing the mind and senses of the patient. Read more about dealing with incureable cancer.

What kind of lifestyle will a person have to follow once they are on naturopathic treatment?

While Naturopathic treatment is customized to a patient's needs, body type and the type of cancer he/she is suffering from, there are some general lifestyle guidelines that all people on Naturopathic treatments should follow:

  • They should get some form of cardio vascular exercises like walking, swimming, aerobics, cycling, yoga etc. on a daily basis.
  • Ideally a patients meals should be based on a strict schedule that clearly outlines when he/she should eat, what they should eat and how much. They should ideally eat foods that are rich in antioxidants like fruits and juices.
  • And the third and most important factor is that the patient should remember to keep themselves sufficiently hydrated, throughout the day.

Read more about the right kind of diet one should follow during and after cancer treatment.

What kind of yoga, pranayam and meditation exercises are recommended to people with cancer?

A person on naturopathic treatment should ideally practice one hour of yoga everyday. This session should ideally have 30 minutes of asanas, 15 minutes of pranayam and 15 minutes of relaxation exercises.

How long do the effects of this treatment last?

Naturopathy is about bringing a change in one's lifestyle, and is supposed to be an ongoing process. When a person follows the principles of naturopathy he/she achieves a balance in all the aspects of the body the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects leading to an all-round healthy and happy life. Moreover by following Naturopathy a person takes charge of his/her own health and makes the right choices every day.

What general rules would you suggest for a person suffering from cancer and for his/her family?

The general rules for a person with cancer are to

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids to keep themselves well hydrated.
  • Eat small but multiple meals with variety of dals and vegetables. Their meals must include all the vitamins and nutrients.
  • Most importantly, the family of the patient should provide him/her with immense emotional support and understand that he/she would be in considerable pain and discomfort. Adequate and special family care gives the patient the required strength to deal with the disease and facilitates a faster recovery process.

Does naturopathy help with preventing cancer as well?

Yes, it definitely does. This system of healing is based on living a clean and healthy lifestyle, free of unhealthy food and stress which are the major causes for the onset of cancer.

Following Naturopathy prescribed lifestyle helps combat these problems by increasing the healing power of the body and enhancing a person's immunity and the body's healing powers. Read more about lifestyle changes you should make to prevent cancer.

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