According to Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 86% of the patients turn to therapies like acupuncture, dietary supplements, meditation, and yoga especially since breast cancer treatments can cause depression (Reports 2017). Here, I want to list a few possible ways a cancer patient might try to help alleviate depression without pharmaceuticals.
Acupressure is an ancient Asian therapy that requires pressure to be applied to specific parts of the body (Reports 2017). In electro-acupuncture, needles are placed on the body and an electric pulse is passed through the needles. According, to research these therapies ease nausea and vomiting while the patient is going through chemotherapy (Reports 2017). Likewise, acupuncture and electro-acupuncture were recommended by the researchers (Reports 2017). Massage and mediation are also recommended for patients going through chemotherapy because they release tension in the muscles, foster calmness, and reduce distress. All these activities can help with anxiety, depression and can help foster a sense of control over a person’s care.
For any non-medical therapies--especially supplements and electro-acupuncture, please consult your oncologist or oncology pharmacist as some are contra-indicated with chemo therapies. Regardless, if at any time you are feeling depressed or despondent, talk to your oncologist, social worker, an oncology nurse. You are not alone--many cancer patients feel depressed during treatments--and many people can help and many different ways to alleviate depression.