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CAM: 2 reasons to consider using Complementary and Alternative therapies (CAM) as part of your overall treatment plan.

November 17, 2017

“WELL, THAT’S WOO-WOO!”

We have all heard it, or said it “WELL, THAT’S WOO-WOO!” or “They are a little, you know, woo-woo”.  Since entering massage school in 2001 I have heard the term “woo-woo” and experienced the eye-roll that goes with the statement.  Those of us involved in “woo-woo” or Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM) such as Reiki, Massage, music therapy, and many others, have witnessed and experienced the benefits these therapies offer.

1 - They Work Alongside Medical Treatments

Complimentary therapies are services or products that work alongside medical treatments, and help to alleviate side effects and improve the patients sense of wellbeing.  These therapies are not considered part of conventional medicine, and skeptics often tag them with labels such as “WOO-WOO” and anti-science, and CAM benefits are often down played as placebo effect.  However, these therapies are used by over 60% of cancer patients, in part because these therapies give patients a degree of control over their treatments, help reduce many side effects of medical treatment, and appeal to their beliefs about health and life.  (http://bit.ly/MJcamutd)

 

2 - Real Life Examples

A recent article from WVLT, local8now.com, gives rea-life examples of how a few of these therapies are being incorporated into palliative care at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.  Massage therapy is providing therapeutic and nurturing touch to a child patient.  He states that it relieves pain, reduces nausea, and allows him to anticipate something other than his chemo treatment.  Another young patient receives visits from a music therapist who sings, and plays with the patient which naturally raises endorphins, and distracts him from his pain.  

 

It goes without saying the patient is the center of the therapies.  Giving access to as many tools as the patient needs is allowing them to get the most out of their recovery which improves their quality of life during and after medical interventions. (http://bit.ly/MJetennchild)

 

3 Steps To Take

Here are 3 steps you can take if you are thinking about including alternative therapies in your treatment plan.

  • Research different therapies:  There are lots of possibilities, so start with the well known modalities like massage therapy, Reiki, reflexology, EMT and then see where your research takes you.  Not all therapies will resonate with you so pick the one or two that seem appropriate. 
  • Find skilled therapists:  A skilled therapist will inquire about medical devices, fatigue levels, time intervals with medication or surgery, to name a few considerations.  They will be able to adapt the treatment to your environment, so they can provide you with the best experience possible.  
  • Talk to your medical team:  If at all possible, let your doctor know what you are doing.  Not only does this keep your team up on your decisions, but if the alternative treatment provides relief it may encourage the medical team to open up to the therapies you use.

 

Seek out CAM therapies to ease symptoms associated with injury, chronic illness, cancer, or mental illness.  You will be amazed at how much better you can feel. 

 

Marie Jahne is a licensed Massage Therapist and Clinical Herbalist in the Aurora/Denver CO area.  She has been providing Massage Therapy since 2001, and Herbal Consultations since 2012.  As a massage therapist she spent 7 years with Hospice of St. John, and participated in the University of Colorado REST Study.  Currently she is contracted with Medical Massage of the Rockies providing treatment for Workman’s Compensation, and Prime Health for auto accident patients, and is as student with NUSocial Marketing offered through Coursera (@NUsocialmktg).  She has been in private practice since 2001 at her company Massage Aurora.  You can contact Marie through her website www.massageaurora.com, call or text her at 303-349-5196, or Facebook at Massage Aurora. 

 

 

 

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