Being diagnosed with cancer can significantly affect your life in many different ways. Aside from spending money for your treatments and medications, cancer can also cause pain to the body. When left untreated, cancer pain can worsen and take a toll on your daily activities.
Cancer pain is caused by different reasons, such as by the disease itself, surgeries, treatments, and tests. The amount of pain you’ll experience usually depends on the stage and type of cancer, other health conditions you might have, and your threshold for pain. Often, cancer pain causes constant or severe muscle strains, headaches, and other pains and aches.
Fortunately, there are many ways to ease cancer pain, such as the following:
- Use Cannabis
Gone are the days when the use of cannabis stirred controversy or raised eyebrows. Today, people worldwide are now using cannabis because of its health benefits, and one of these is alleviating different types of pain associated with cancer.
Cannabis can help with cancer pain because it contains compounds that create different actions in the human body. Also, cannabis may effectively treat vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy and neuropathic pain caused by damaged nerves. Cannabis may also prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body, preventing the disease from causing any more pain.
Cannabis can be taken in different ways for cancer pain relief. For instance, you can inhale cannabis by using hand pipes, water pipes, or hookahs. You can also consume cannabis in tinctures, edibles, or ingestible oil forms.
- Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy with the use of essential oils has been common in homes today. Many people have been using different kinds of scents for stress relief, but do you know that aromatherapy can also help ease cancer pain?
Aromatherapy can improve the quality of life of cancer patients because it may help reduce symptoms associated with the disease and the side effects of cancer treatments. Also, studies have shown that aromatherapy can treat insomnia, nausea, and vomiting caused by cancer treatments. Certain essential oils are also known to treat skin reactions caused by chemotherapy.
The effects of aromatherapy on the body are a result of the binding of chemicals found in essential oils to the receptors present in your olfactory bulb (responsible for your sense of smell). This can impact the emotional center of your brain, resulting in the production of pain-relieving and antibacterial effects in the body.
You can try using chamomile, frankincense, ginger, lavender, and rosemary to relieve cancer pain. Jasmine and lemon are also great options.
- Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly is essential to improve or maintain one’s health. In fact, exercising for at least 30 minutes every day can do wonders in your attempt to lose or maintain weight, helping you reach your fitness goals. Hence, you should strive to remain physically active even after being diagnosed with cancer.
Exercising regularly is another alternative that can effectively ease cancer pain because it can reduce fatigue and stress, which are common side effects of cancer treatments. Exercise can also reduce or prevent lymphedema or swelling in the arms and legs, bone density loss, and maintain bone density.
Cancer patients are encouraged to exercise before, during, and after their treatments but are expected to be cautious with their efforts. Ideally, cancer patients should only engage in flexibility exercises (stretching), aerobic exercises (walking and jogging), and resistance training (isometric exercise and weight lifting) to ease cancer pain.
- Get Massages
A lot of people get massages whenever they’re physically tired or experience too much stress. Getting massages is a great way to pamper yourself because it can help you relax. But only a very few people know that massages are also very beneficial in easing cancer pain.
More and more cancer centers are incorporating massage therapies as part of their treatment for cancer. Although massages can’t treat the disease like chemotherapy does, massages can help relieve the symptoms of cancer and the side effects one can experience from their treatments.
Massages can help with cancer pain because it promotes relaxation and reduces stress by boosting the body’s production of endorphins or ‘happy hormones.’ This can loosen aching and tense muscles and reduce swelling and pain levels.
When getting massages to ease cancer pain, make sure that the therapist is knowledgeable in providing integrative oncology. This treatment is one of the most common approaches cancer centers are developing as it combines traditional cancer treatments with alternative treatments to ease pain and other cancer-related symptoms.
- Follow Relaxation Techniques
Relieving yourself from cancer pain doesn’t always have to be expensive or daunting. There are actually certain strategies that’ll only require your time and focus. Following some relaxation techniques is a great example.
As the name suggests, relaxation techniques are meant to help you focus so you can quickly calm your mind and relax your muscles. Over time, practicing relaxation techniques regularly can ease the physiological effects of cancer treatments that often lead to nausea and vomiting. Studies also proved that relaxation techniques could improve the physical restfulness of cancer patients by reducing their anxiety.
Some of the most common relaxation techniques you can try to ease cancer pain are:
- Deep or relaxed breathing: This process involves taking deep breaths while concentrating on relaxing your muscles and filling your lungs with air.
- Visualization or mental imagery: This will require you to make mental pictures of relaxing and peaceful images or sceneries.
- Meditation: With this technique, you’ll learn how to concentrate and relax your mind to attain an inner sense of calmness.
- Yoga: Practicing yoga allows you to focus on your posture and breathing to reduce fatigue and promote relaxation.
Seek The Approval Of Your Doc
In your attempt to ease cancer pain, make sure to get the approval of your doctor first. Certain alternatives might interfere with your existing cancer treatments and medications, preventing you from recovering fast from the disease.
By talking to your doctor first, you’ll know which alternatives best suit your current health condition. Their recommendations will also ensure that you’ll experience relief from cancer pain while still being able to maximize your cancer treatments and medications.
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