How Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and Medication Complement Conventional Therapy

Recent reports suggest that the use of alternative treatments has been very useful as a complement or addition to conventional therapies such as cancer treatments, IVF (in vitro fertilization) and even knee surgery.

Alternative treatments for cancer

Alternative treatments for cancer patients are increasingly being used particularly for palliative care to help counter the pain and discomfort caused not just by the cancer but also by the conventional therapies themselves.

Alternative TreatmentsChemotherapy, radiation and surgery, the conventional three pronged attack on most cancers can be quite grueling for the patient. There is also the fear engendered by the disease itself that alternative therapies help to soothe.

Therapies such as massage and meditation not only help patients deal with chemotherapy but also help them cope well with their fears.

Clinicians report that when these alternative treatments are integrated into medical treatments they can offer some very positive results.

Acupuncture for IVF

A recent review of earlier studies shows that acupuncture could help boost chances of IVF success. Clinicians admit that they do not clearly understand how and why acupuncture seems to have the positive impact that it does, but have observed that it does help some women conceive.

Dr. Frederick Licciardi, from the New York University Fertility Center’s mind/body program where yoga and other alternative treatments are offered, is of the view that acupuncture could enhance overall health and wellness rather than actually impacting IVF outcomes.

So it is likely that lowering stress and enhancing wellbeing is what gave women a better chance at conception than would have been the case otherwise.

Massage therapy after knee surgery

There is some evidence to suggest that massage therapy can help aid recovery after knee surgery. It is suggested that orthopedic surgery and massage therapy are not mutually exclusive but can actually be used together to greater effect.

Massage therapists can help a person who has undergone knee surgery – whereas surgery will help repair the damaged knee tissue, the massage therapy can help the tissue recover more effectively after surgery.

The massage therapy can help in many ways: it can reduce pain after the surgery and also reduce the patient’s postoperative discomfort and distress. The person may have to rely less on analgesics and other pain killers. They may also experience greater feelings of calmness and wellbeing.

The massage therapist can gently unlock the musculature, improve lymph circulation around the knee, drain local swelling (edema) and prevent formation of scar tissue.