6 Complementary Therapies For Managing Breast Cancer Peripheral Neuropathy During Treatment & Recovery

Complementary Therapies For Managing Breast Cancer Peripheral Neuropathy During Treatment & RecoveryPeripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can cause numbness, tingling, pain, muscle weakness, and other changes. It can be caused or worsened by cancer and cancer treatment, as well as other conditions.

Neuropathy can be difficult to treat, there are some complementary therapies and lifestyle changes that may be helpful for reducing these symptoms and get patients through their cancer treatments more easily or improve their quality of life after treatment. Massage, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques may help decrease pain and reduce mental stress. These therapies can promote health, healing and symptom relief.

Massage: Studies have shown massage to be helpful for relieving pain (not specifically CIPN pain.) Massage may facilitate the healing of nerves by improving blood circulation to the affected tissues (increasing oxygen and nutrient flow.)

Amma Therapy: Aromatherapy massage studies also increases the production of natural pain-killing proteins (called, endorphins) in the tissues being massaged. Aromatherapy massage is a commonly used complementary therapy, and is employed in cancer and palliative care largely to improve quality of life and reduce psychological distress.

AcupunctureAcupuncture: Acupuncture has been reported to help restore nerve function in patients with CIPN. Studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood flow in the limbs (aiding in oxygenation and nutrient delivery to the affected tissues and nerves.)

Reiki: Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and keeps us healthy (mind and body.) Some studies have found that reiki provides reduction in CIPN symptoms.

Yoga For Managing Breast Cancer Peripheral NeuropathyYoga: Yoga uses movement and postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), 
and meditation to achieve a connection between mind, body, and spirit. Yoga has been studied and found to provide reduction in CIPN symptoms.

Meditation: Meditation is a practice in which an individual focuses their awareness away from the distractions of the fleeting thoughts racing through our mind and onto an activity free of distraction. Meditation has been studied and found to provide reduction in CIPN symptoms.

Managing neuropathy and relieving side effects is an important part of cancer care, treatment and recovery. Many people recover fully from the disorder over time, in a few months or a few years. Your health care provider can help eliminate the cause of your neuropathy and manage symptoms with complementary therapies.

Suggested Reading: Combination Therapy for Neuropathic Pain
Featured Photo: http://www.PositiveMed.com
Article Source: Integrative Oncology Essence

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn 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 info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

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  1. Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream is a topical cream that helps reduce the painful and uncomfortable symptoms of neuropathy.


  2. Thank you for sharing! In lymphedema groups I can see this problem very often, but apart from massage and a few people using aromatherapy, the other 4 seem to be unknown.

    I always had pain in my feet as a companion to lymphedema in my legs. About 7 weeks ago I introduced 4 simple changes, and the pain disappeared within a week or two and I don’t have it ever since! These are the things I am doing: 1. Drinking lots of water with a little Himalayan salt 2 Drinking a herbal tea blend 3. Dry brushing my skin 4. EFT tapping

    With these four steps, a dozen or so symptoms have improved! More details in my blog: https://lymphedemafree.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/progress-after-one-month



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