Complementary Therapies and Breast Cancer Recovery

Complementary Therapies for Breast Cancer Recovery
Complementary therapies are used alongside medical treatment(s) for breast cancer to support the patient’s recovery during their cancer journey. It should be noted that an integrated approach to cancer care would include the best of medical treatment and the best of evidence-based, supportive complementary standards. Complementary therapies would include such areas as botanicals, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage and reiki.

Aromatherapy Massage to Reduce Anxiety
Receiving an aromatherapy massage during and after recovery can have a positive influence on psychologic parameters of a patient. One evidence based study from Japan showed results that anxiety was reduced in just one, 30 minute aromatherapy massage. This study also showed a reduction in hospital anxiety and depression scale with aromatherapy massages for breast cancer patients.

Medicinal Herbal Teas to Reduce Stress
Botanical medicinals, include herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, and catnip. These teas are beneficial in supporting the physical and emotional needs of the patient. They help with relieving nausea, insomnia and assisting in soothing nerves. It is common knowledge that herbal teas, aromatherapy and massage oils are beneficial to help support the personal and emotional needs of the patient.

Yoga Therapy to Reduce Nervousness and Strengthen the Mind
Yoga is now being studied in great lengths because of it’s demonstration in improving the overall quality of life for those in recovery. Breathing, stretching and strengthening will tone and build the mind and body.  When the mind comes into a balance state, better choices are made.  When the body comes into nurtured with yoga the immune system is boosted to fight off disease and illness. In order to create this equanimity of the whole person, yoga, breathing and meditation can influence the recovery process for many.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Mar;6(1):123-8. Epub 2007 Jul 4.
Anxiolytic effect of aromatherapy massage in patients with breast cancer.
Imanishi J, Kuriyama H, Shigemori I, Watanabe S, Aihara Y, Kita M, Sawai K, Nakajima H, Yoshida N, Kunisawa M, Kawase M, Fukui K.

Department of Microbiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamikyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.

Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):114-40
Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep.
Head KA, Kelly GS.

National College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Hart, J.(2008). An Overview of Clinical Applications of Therapeutic Yoga. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 14(1), 29-32.

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  1. Complementary therapy and treatment for cancer and other degenerative diseases is so underrated. Not only can it help the mind and spirit be at ease (as Michelle stated in her comment), but it can also truly help the conditions themselves.

    So few people are aware of or ready to acknowledge the thousands of studies on PubMed about the medical benefits of natural compounds and their apoptosis-inducing effects on cancerous cells. They’re quick to write off the benefits of natural complementary healthcare as hocus pocus, without even giving the accredited studies documented by the U.S. National Library of Medicine a moment of their time!

    With that said, I still believe that natural treatment is best as a complimentary treatment. Cancer is such a powerful condition – you really need everything to fight against it. You need the positive attitude and outlook from yoga and therapeutic massages (and reiki!), you need the benefits of conventional therapy, and you certainly need the additional support where you can find it – especially when it comes from natural means that don’t have side effects that can further complicate a complicated condition like cancer.

    Overall, great post! I love reading people’s thoughts about how to combat cancer with an optimistic outlook and an open mind!


  2. Michelle L says:

    I received reiki during my treatment. It was definitely stress reducing and uplifting. I also participated in yoga and regular work out activities during all of my breast cancer treatments and without a doubt I know this reduced my symptoms and effects of treatment!


  3. Angela Strynkowski says:

    Hi! I was wondering how do I post these emails on FB? I have been cross posting BCY on AJITL from FB. Can I do it from the email?

    Who gets my response? Diana or Dawn? Hi ladies either way!!



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