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How Holistic Care Can Improve Our Current Cancer Care System


To date, cancer still remains extremely prevalent in the world. Currently, it's the leading cause of death, accounting for around one in six deaths, or 10 million fatalities in 2020 alone. Despite this, new developments have made it easier to manage and treat the illness – especially if it is detected early on. Surgery, chemotherapy, and palliative care are all being used to address the symptoms that come with a cancer diagnosis. But these treatments often only treat the physical aspect of the condition.
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Being affected by such a serious illness as cancer can take a mental toll on a person. It can lead them to feel hopeless and alone, causing stress and anxiety. This toll can also make their physical symptoms worse as their body is not only trying to fight off the disease, but also trying to manage these feelings. One solution to this problem is integrating holistic treatments to provide a more well-rounded approach to cancer treatment. This is not a new approach, but rather one that is not mainstream, making it less accessible to the public. Holistic care will not only benefit patients physically but mentally as well, safeguarding their quality of life despite their diagnosis.

How holistic treatments can work alongside cancer care

It promotes inner healing
The pain and stress that come with a cancer diagnosis can lead to dejection – especially for individuals that have more serious cases. Since holistic treatments like reiki encourage healing from the inside out, patients will be able to find strength within themselves to continue on their journey to recovery. The connection between body and soul can be strengthened, helping alleviate some of the doubts individuals may have when it comes to their capabilities of overcoming cancer. To get the full healing benefits that practices such as reiki can provide, it is important to find a master or teacher that is knowledgeable in their craft and listens to the needs of clients. While this can be difficult at times, our services provide a great avenue of low-cost resources readily available for clients who are seeking holistic care.

It addresses health concerns naturally

It’s no secret that the amount of treatment that cancer patients undergo can negatively affect their bodies as well. It can lead to pain, fatigue, and even skin issues. Holistic treatments encompass lifestyle changes that help people use wellness to continue thriving. This includes proper diet, exercise, and good sleep. They can serve as a way to address the side effects of disease management. Fruits and vegetables are known to host a wide range of vitamins that promote better skin, while exercise is beneficial in fighting fatigue. The organic nature of holistic treatments provides a non-medical alternative to addressing the health concerns of those with cancer. In the past, many clients undergoing cancer treatment sought out the help of healthcare professionals like dietitians for this aspect of wellness, as holistic care professionals were harder to come by. But with the growing industry of holistic care, we can provide them with practitioners that will offer well-researched and effective lifestyle changes they can make to create a more holistic wellness plan.

It aids in pain management
Other popular treatments when it comes to holistic care are yoga and acupuncture. The former refers to the practice of stretching and breathwork to promote mind-body awareness, while the latter is used to promote better circulation to target aches and pains. Since people with cancer often experience these as a side effect of their treatment plans, holistic care can provide patients with alleviation in this regard. In comparison to medication, holistic care can also be more cost-efficient since it often targets the root cause of pain. Instead of having to undergo different treatments, clients can instead seek the help of a holistic practitioner to address their concerns. Here at You Can Thrive!, for example, we connect patients with professionals that provide services at cheaper rates in comparison to medication. This makes their treatment plan more attainable and accessible financially.

Can the landscape of cancer care really change?

The healthcare industry continues to change with time, especially as more medical professionals are becoming increasingly aware of holistic care and alternative medicine. As such, many healthcare professionals are now committed to integrating knowledge of holistic care into their arsenal. Case in point, the scope of degrees in healthcare management includes education on understanding the latest trends and developments within the medical field, how to present practical solutions, and how the industry can be improved. The need for these proponents for change is expected to grow by 32% between 2019 and 2029, showing just how ready the healthcare industry is to implement new developments such as holistic care integration. In the US, research has shown that complementary forms of treatment – such as holistic care – are continuously being adopted by physicians. Oncologists are more open to recommending these methods of treatment for patients to use alongside their medical plan in order to ease their symptoms. But it is important to note that due to the lack of research regarding holistic treatments, its complete adoption may take a bit longer. Though holistic treatment options have been around for decades, they have only gained more traction over the past few years. They were previously less accessible as there was not enough mainstream information and support to help interested parties know who to turn to and where to start. But today's boom in the holistic care industry can lead to greater acceptance, better accessibility, and an increase in industry professionals recommending it.

How can holistic care be integrated until then?

Those with cancer can present what forms of holistic treatment they want to try out – whether it be through lifestyle changes, trying out reiki, or getting acupuncture done – and raise how they believe it can be beneficial for them. A good doctor will listen to what their patients want while still making recommendations to personalize their treatment plan. Bringing more awareness to the benefits of holistic treatment can be just the thing that allows it to more easily break into the mainstream healthcare industry.

Article by Eliana Quincey
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