10 Things to Look for From Integrative Therapies


1.  It’s not a simple replacement for allopathic medicine.  Complementary medicine is designed to help with the symptoms around cancer, not necessarily to treat cancer.  While it may be possible to treat cancer with other forms of medicine (Chinese Medicine, etc), therapy here is not designed for that.

2.  You are a participant in the process.  Asking questions, paying attention, giving feedback and being curious are generally encouraged.

3.  If your practitioner tells you that your Doctor benefits from you having cancer and that there is a vast conspiracy to keep you sick – that there is research but if they showed it to you, the FDA would shut them down – or that they can cure cancer and it only costs $99 a month and they have a special program if you sign up now – RUN AWAY!  Don’t buy the fear-based stories.

4. Research – this can be tricky.  Evaluating research can be difficult, even when you understand it. 

              a.  Ask for help from the research librarians

              b.  Integrative therapies have an inherent problem with classic double blind studies because no two people are treated exactly alike.

              c.   The research results may be influenced by the people funding the research.

5. Asking questions – asking questions will tell you a lot about the practitioner.  If asking for their qualifications and experience makes them defensive, take note.  Trust your guts!

6.  Because some of these therapies are subtle, you may not feel a huge difference after one treatment.  It is alright to ask how long before you will notice a difference.  Because the treatments are generally out of pocket expenses, this will also give you an idea of cost over time.  Many people find it helpful to set up a sort of treatment plan so you know what to expect and can track results.  This will also help you be clear on what it is you are looking for in seeking complementary therapies.  Obviously, some therapies will lend themselves to this better than others.

7.  Do you feel comfortable and listened to?  Feeling listened to is a part of the healing process, you have the right to choose the practitioner you feel comfortable with.

8.  Most complementary therapies are about supporting you in connecting to a deeper part of yourself so that you can become aware of ways in which you can help yourself to heal.

9.  Seek a specialist.  Find someone who has helped people with a situation similar to yours.  If their card says they do a little bit of everything – use caution. 

10.   Don’t let your fear direct you to use everything that is out there.  Find one or two things to try and stick to them for a while.  Jumping from thing to thing and appointment to appointment can create more stress.  This is about making your life better, healthier and happier!




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