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This section gives information about the complementary therapies most often used by people with cancer.
There are many reasons for using complementary therapies. They can be a good way of helping you cope with some of the stresses caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Many therapies are relaxing, and having an enjoyable experience may lift your spirits when you aren’t feeling your best. Some complementary therapies can also help to relieve specific symptoms or side effects caused by cancer or its treatments.
Many people regard using complementary therapies as a positive choice they can make for their health and well-being. You may be looking for ways to make positive lifestyle changes and see complementary therapies as one way of doing this. You may want to use them to try to boost your health before, during or after cancer treatment.
Some people say that the relationship they develop with their complementary therapist is an additional benefit. Complementary therapists usually work with the person as a whole, not just the part of the body where the cancer is. This is called a holistic approach and is something good healthcare practitioners also do. Many people say talking to their complementary therapist is a valued part of their complementary treatment. Someone who listens may help you cope with difficult feelings, which can be an effective way of getting back some control. If you use therapies as part of a group, you may also have an opportunity to meet others who share similar experiences in a positive environment.
Complementary therapies may help:
There are many different types of complementary therapy. You might find it helpful to see our information about choosing a complementary therapy|. They may also be used alongside conventional therapies|.
Content last reviewed: 1 October 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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