Findings just published in the Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, September/October edition reveals that yoga has the ability to ease stress in children with cancer as well as their parents.
Researchers discovered that parents and adolescents showed a decline in anxiety and increased sense of well being after yoga sessions. The study was conducted at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
According to the researchers yoga is on the raise as an effective complementary therapy in adult oncology. Yoga is showing encouraging benefits for lessening symptoms of discomfort including fatigue, insomnia and mood. The researchers investigated a new area which concentrated on childhood cancer patients and their families. Acknowledging that parents also experience stress and anxiety to due to the changeableness of the disease and the agony of their children.
In this study children were between the ages of seven and twelve and did not present any alternations in their anxiety or sense of well being. However, those between the ages of thirteen and eight-teen including the parents of hospitalized children showed compelling improvement.
Teenagers did state that they felt relaxed and calmer along with the fact yoga was fun. Parents revealed even greater benefits. Parents had found the yoga sessions to be relaxing, which allowed them to stretch their muscles, strengthen bodies and relieve stress. In general they felt better about themselves and those parents who had sessions with their children had felt it aiding in bonding with their children.
Yoga provides benefits of lowering heart rate and blood pressure, improvement in circulation and oxygenation. It also provides improvement in muscle tone, pulmonary function, coordination and flexibility.
The researchers have stated that larger studies are required in order to examine the effect of yoga on other distressing patient symptoms including fatigue, sleep disturbance, nausea and pain.
Many parents seek out alternative treatments for their children suffering from symptoms of childhood cancer due to the fact they are natural, most effective and have minimal side effects if any. Here are some of the more popular ones used today.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure are both parts of Chinese medicine. Acupressure is done by an amount of applied pressure through touch whereas acupuncture uses tiny thin needles which stimulate certain points on the body.
Acupuncture and acupressure aides in fatigue, insomnia, pain, nausea and vomiting along with other numerous side effects from cancer treatments.
The practitioner usually demonstrates on the parent first so the child can observe and not only hear from the parent it does not hurt but actually see what is going to happen. The practitioners prefer the child tells them what symptoms they are feeling this way the child feels they have more control and encourages the session further.
Literature has strongly supported the use of chiropractic care for cancer patients. Musculoskeletal complaints show very favorable response along with symptoms from radiation, chemotherapy or post surgical trauma related to connective tissues and joints. Chiropractic treatments also improve physical and emotional well being of the patient along with quality of life.
If a patient has been referred from a oncologist it is almost certain that diagnostic testing such as radio graphs, imaging, bones scans have been done. If they are recent it could be enough for the chiropractor to determine if the treatments are advisable for the patient. Please note most patients with cancer seek out chiropractors on their own.
Treatment plans are determined on an individual basis. Some treatments include spinal manipulations, however in some cases non-force techniques may be used instead. Most of the time manipulations are performed manually, however in some instances adjusting instruments can be used to deliver less forceful manipulations. Soft tissue manipulation, massage, stretching and myofascial release are some other techniques that may be used.
Exercises such as walking and stretching may be given by the practitioner, these will be tailored to the individual. Physio-therapeutic modalities for pain are used by many chiropractors. These include the use of cold, heat, electric stimulation. Nutritional and supplemental counseling may also be given.
Chiropractic offers an holistic approach to care for the cancer patient by adding new types of treatments. Chiropractic care offers a wide range of treatment options which include high velocity, low force manipulation, soft tissue techniques, physical modalities, exercise and recommendations on ergonomics and ADL.
Massage will provide relief of muscle tension and stress. Studies have shown it can relieve pain in cancer patients and possibly can help with fatigue and anxiety. If you have low blood counts do not get a massage. Also, if having a massage as therapist to avoid massaging near surgical scars or radiation treatment areas. If cancer is present in the bones ask therapist to use light massage.
Tia Chi employs gentle movements and deep breathing. The slow movements do not require any physical strength and the exercises can be altered to your abilities.
Fragrant oils can provide a calming effect. Aromatherapy massage can be provided by a massage therapist. The oils can also be heated and released into the air. They can be applied to skin but need to be mixed with carrier oil or allergic reactions can occur. Aromatherapy may be helpful in relieving nausea, pain and stress.
Stress relieving fragrances include:
Sleeplessness and Insomnia:
Some ways to use essential oils:
One to four drops added to cold or hot water. Saturate a small cloth and dab areas of body in pain or feeling stressed.
Use one drop of the following, Roman Camomile, Geranium, Lavender and Mandarin. One half cup Epsom salts or bath salts. Stir essentials oils into salt and pour under running water.
Put a few drops on tissue or cotton ball or few drops on palm of hand then cup over the nose and mouth and inhale.
Carrier oils of olive oil, sweet almond or grape-seed are good choices. Use ten drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil.Sources:
Medical News Today
Wl Natural Health