In honor of Asbestos Awareness Week it’s important to know that it’s still a prevalent toxic mineral affecting many people in this day and age, in spite of the toxin’s use being essentially halted about forty five years ago in the US. Unfortunately, the mining of it is still prevalent in other countries. Not to mention Asbestos may take its time to adversely affect someone’s health, and new exposure is still possible in the U.S. as its presence is not eradicated, so many people continue to develop symptoms and illnesses due to the exposure. No amount of asbestos exposure is safe. The longer and more intense the exposure, the more likely an individual is to develop mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos disease, so it’s important to be aware of this fact if you are exposed to it, or believe you have been in the past.
Because many people rely on statistics about mesothelioma and asbestos to inform personal medical and legal decisions, you can find these statistics Here.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring microscopic minerals that are durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns, making it very useful in commercial and industrial capacities from the 1930s to the 1970s. The use of Asbestos drastically declined in the late 1970s when it became apparent that it posed a threat to human health and safety.
Although the use has been declined greatly over the last 35 years, it still poses a threat to those exposed either previously or currently in remaining products and locations that contain the toxin. If you believe you have been exposed to the toxin, or have developed mesothelioma, it is important to know your options to bringing back your health and dealing with the health ailments it causes.
People with mesothelioma usually turn to their doctors for conventional relief, but it is important to know that there are other alternatives to bring back your health in a more holistic and full way. It’s important to work with your doctor, but also to be aware of all the options you have at your disposal to return to health in addition to what is available at your doctor’s office. Many people will turn to complementary and alternative therapies to help treat the cancer and its effects on their body and mind. There are great advantages in incorporating nutritional therapies, and body/mind therapies such as incorporating yoga as methods of balancing the body and mind to increase their survival rates.
Outside of mainstream medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a more holistic method of dealing with illnesses. In this context the word “complementary” refers to approaches used in combination with mainstream medicine, and “alternative” refers to approaches used in place of mainstream medicine.
It is important to treat the whole person when dealing with a disease, so enters Integrative Programs.
Integrative oncology programs have sprung up throughout the U.S. in recent years. These programs unite clinically proven complementary therapies with conventional medicine to treat the whole person, not just the disease.
Although complementary and alternative treatments don't promise a cure for mesothelioma, in some cases they can increase survival rates while alleviating some of the pain and suffering associated with the cancer.
Body-based therapies use various techniques to heal pain and discomfort throughout the body. The primary body-based therapies used in cancer care include TENS therapy, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage and acupuncture.
Treatment Centers Incorporating Complementary Therapies
A number of cancer centers that specialize in mesothelioma treatment offer complementary therapies through integrative oncology programs. Now that integrative health care is increasing in popularity, these centers are found throughout the country. The programs offer a variety of complementary therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, meditation and nutritional counseling. The goal is to offer therapies that treat the whole person — not just the disease — to boost quality of life and overall health
Complete Healing Systems
The most commonly used complete healing systems in CAM include Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda.
The Chinese developed TCM, and practitioners have used it for thousands of years to help treat cancer.
Ayurveda originated in India, and for thousands of years it too has helped people with cancer feel better. Ayurvedic doctors treat cancer with surgery, herbal medicine, dietary changes, bodily-cleansing therapies and lifestyle changes.
Emotional Effects Therapies
Emotional effects therapies include techniques that positively impact the emotional health and well-being of a person. This category includes meditation, counseling and pet therapy. It’s easy to overlook the importance of a healthy and positively focused mind when dealing with any devastating disease, but in my opinion it is the single most important factor in healing the physical body.
Meditation techniques can help people cope with anxiety, depression and pain caused by cancer. Whether spiritually-focused or not, meditation may help people attain a better outlook, and this can greatly reduce stress.
Pet Therapy is also very effective in improving the patient’s outlook and state of mind when dealing with a road to recovery from an illness.
Homeopathy, from the Greek words "homeo" (similar) and "pathos" (suffering), is a system of medicine that relies on two ideologies: the principle of similars and the principle of dilution. This therapeutic method was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago and has been offered in the United States since the early 19th century. According to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 4.8 million Americans used homeopathy in the previous year.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances that come from plants, minerals or animals. They are generally considered safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions or interfere with conventional drugs. Although this method is not conventionally accepted as effected by many, if it helps patients who choose to use it, it can be a great asset to recovery, and should not be overlooked by all.
Mind-body Therapies are practices designed to facilitate the union of body and mind. The most commonly studied types of mind-body therapies in cancer treatment include yoga, qigong and tai chi.
Yoga’s origins trace back thousands of years to ancient India. The practice is designed to enhance mindfulness through meditation and movement.
Qigong and tai chi are similar practices that unite movement with mindfulness and breathing. The disciplines originated in China and have been widely used for centuries.
Naturopathic and Osteopathic medicines are two different holistic approaches to health care that offer complementary therapies to mainstream cancer care. The two disciplines are similar in their natural and holistic approach to treating the patient, not just the ailment.
Naturopathic medicine focuses on disease prevention and whole-body health through natural treatments and teaching good health habits to patients.
Osteopathic medicine takes an approach to health care that emphasizes the integrated nature of the human body.
Adequate and Balanced Nutrition is important before, during and after cancer treatment.
Herbal medicine is a complementary therapy that may lessen cancer symptoms and enhance certain cancer treatments.
Before choosing any CAM therapy, a mesothelioma patient should consult with his or her medical practitioner or health care provider and fully explore the pros and cons of each method for relief in question.