Here are a few of the complementary therapies things that Jo explored alongside more traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Yes To Life
Yes To Life’s mission is to help to make integrative medicine available to everyone in the UK. They aim to change culture and attitude to make integrative cancer care an approach which utilises and combines the best of both orthodox and complementary medicines readily available throughout the UK.
They provide a point of contact for support as well as information on integrative medicine, practitioners and suppliers. They have a help line that provides advice and an online directory of both orthodox and integrative treatments on their website. Yes to Life also run wellbeing workshops, offering a platform for open discussion and an opportunity to meet others with shared experiences in a relaxed environment. In addition they work closely with Cancer Options, a private cancer consultancy, to provide one-to-one consultations and guidance for all the different cancer treatments and therapies.
The Magic Box
Jo wrote in her blog:
“There is some anecdotal evidence that this magic box has helped (even cured) some cancer patients by killing the bad bacteria in the blood and slowing tumour growth. Obviously no one with my type of cancer has ever used it before but no one really has my type of cancer so I can’t really afford to be picky! Anyhow, needless to say, it has become my magic box.
I can’t really explain why I have come to believe in the powers of my magic box. I am an intelligent girl, logical, who normally researches to the n’th degree before buying into anything. But not this time. Three times every day I take off my socks, put my feet on a rubber mat and run 35 volts of electricity through my body for 25 minutes. I would not contemplate missing a session for anything. It’s become a non-negotiable part of my daily routine.
I am blindly putting my faith in what is essentially a battery pack. Just because I take my “zapping”, as we refer affectionately to my time on the box as, seriously, that is not to say I am not blind to just how bloody ridiculous I look. It’s become a spectator sport. I know this but I am not in the slightest bit self-conscious.
I believe, and it gives me hope, and that is all that really matters.”
Neuro Linguistic Programming
Jo tried some sessions of Neuro Linguistic Training:
People who use acupuncture often say that it helps them to feel relaxed and improves their overall feeling of wellbeing. One of the main reasons people with cancer use acupuncture is to help relieve sickness (nausea) caused by chemotherapy.
Jo wrote in her blog:
“In typical Jo Bryant style I did some research on reflexology before I went as I really had no idea what to expect. The below is what I found for those who are foot virgins like myself:
Reflexology is a complementary therapy that involves the application of pressure to specific points, known as reflexes, on the feet and hands to encourage the body to heal from within. The therapy is based on the principle that the feet and hands contain ‘mini-maps’ of the whole body and that by applying pressure using the fingers or thumbs a reflexologist can have a positive effect on the corresponding parts of the body.”
Maggie’s have 13 purpose-built cancer care Centre’s across the UK, located next to major cancer treatment hospitals. All Centre’s are staffed by cancer care professionals and include a centre head, psychologists, nutritionists and benefits advisor. All activities are delivered free of charge and they receive no NHS or government funding. Staff are trained to help people find their own ways of coping with the disease and support can include one-to-one and group counseling, stress management, relaxation classes, clear information on treatment and managing side effects, nutrition advice (including cooking lessons) and peer support groups which bring together people with a particular form of cancer or a shared situation. Some of their centres have specific Young Persons support groups.
Penny Brohn Cancer Care
Supports men and women affected by cancer at any stage of their illness, as well as families and supporters. Offer a unique combination of physical, emotional and spiritual support designed to help people live well with the impact of cancer. From treatment support centres in Bristol and London they offer advice on nutrition, counselling, complementary therapies (acupuncture, homeopathy, healing, massage, reflexology, meditation, mindfulness). Options to do both residential and on residential courses.
Breast Cancer Haven
Breast Cancer Haven provide a wide range of support and therapies to improve wellbeing for people suffering from Breast Cancer. Specialists nurses are experts in nutrition, exercise, emotional support and complementary therapies. Centres in Leeds, London and Hereford provide in depth programmes to help with the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment. Haven at Home is resource for people not close to a centre. They have specific support groups for young people and also provide a wide range of complementary therapies including acupuncture, aromatherapy, counselling, nutrition advice, reflexology etc (courses of 10x treatments offered initially)
Hollistic Cancer Care Centre
Hollistic Cancer Care Centre operate our of their base at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough. They provide a range of supportive therapies to complement orthodox treatments and trained practitioners provide them free of charge. Therapies include acupuncture, aromatherapy, counselling, homeopathy, reflexology, and reiki.
Wessex Cancer Trust
Wessex Cancer Trust provides free counselling and complementary therapies for cancer patients and their families from their centres in Southampton, Hampshire, Hythe and the Isle of Wight. Patients get 6 free sessions and each support centre also has a drop-in advice service. They also provide small financial grants to help people suffering from cancer and have 2 holiday homes available for use by patients and their families.
Wirral Holistic Care Services
Wirral Holistic Care Services provide complementary therapies and ongoing care to help cancer patients cope with their diagnosis and also offer input into improving quality of life. All patient care and ongoing support is offered free of charge and treatments include acupuncture, aromatherapy, counselling, healing, hypnotherapy, massage, meditation, reflexology and reiki. They operate out of a drop-in centre in the Wirral with advice and therapy rooms as well as having a helping.
CANCERactive aim to empower people to increase their personal odds of beating cancer by making more informed, personal choices about their treatment options. Their website has an extensive knowledge bank covering cancer drugs, complementary therapies and alternative therapies with details of cancer centres. The Activ8 programme is their cancer support programme to help patients develop their own holistic programme around their Doctor’s orthodox therapies. Also have Catherine Corner’s, which are local support centres that give access to the website, libraries, offers various therapies, lectures and other event all over the UK. Publish ‘Icon magazine’ which is distributed at cancer centres, hospitals and libraries across the country.
Shine Cancer Support
Shine’s vision is that every adult in the UK diagnosed with cancer in their 20s, 30s or 40s can access the help and support that they need in a way that suits their lifestyle, and are part of a confident, supportive and empowered community of young adults with cancer. Their mission is to provide tailored information and peer support through a range of activities including lunches and drinks evenings, beach walks, multi-day getaways, workshops, online networking and mentoring.