Holistic Approaches to Lymphoma Treatment
Holistic treatments have become lumped in with alternative medicines and pseudoscience, with most medical professionals feeling that these types of treatments are making patients spend money on things that ultimately won't help their condition at all. We want to make it clear that we are NOT advocating anyone stopping any form of treatment that is prescribed or required by their doctor.
However, often there is so much focus on the physical effects and symptoms of cancer that other aspects of the patient's life are neglected. A holistic approach seeks to help the patient improve their physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. This article will focus on what cancer patients can do to help their mental, social, and spiritual lives.
The importance of mental health for lymphoma patients
Hearing that you are diagnosed with cancer is one of the most stressful experiences for anyone. There are a ton of emotions that can come with a cancer diagnosis including fear, anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, etc. These emotions can become very overwhelming and in some cases, the trauma of having cancer can lead to serious mental health issues like clinical depression or panic disorder. There are a lot of things you can do to help your mental health, but one that isn't often discussed is meditation.
We're going to give you a quick rundown of two different types of meditation that you can use when you are overcome with negative emotions:
Tapping meditation, also referred to as the "emotional freedom tool", is the process of lightly tapping certain pressure points on your body to reduce the feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, and a host of other unpleasant emotions. The idea is that most negative emotions stem from a disruption in the body's energy system, and these pressure points can relieve some of the disruption and calm the mind in the process.
The first step is to really think about what the negative emotion is and where it is coming from. You want to put a name to the emotion and the subject that produces that emotion ("Fear of how the cancer treatment will affect me" is one example). Once you do this, you will lightly tap each of 9 pressure areas while repeating a simple phrase that describes the emotion and where it stems from. For an explanation of the different pressure points and how to tap them, you can watch this video. Once you have done all of the tapping points, you should slowly take a couple of deep breaths before saying the phrase "Even though I am *insert the original tapping phrase here*, I deeply and profoundly accept and love myself". You can repeat this process up to 5 times to continue to ease your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. This routine takes no longer than 5 minutes even if you do multiple rounds.
Read on to learn more about different types of meditation, and how to preserve spirituality as a lymphoma patient.