Welcome to the Dawn Hastings Foundation. Charity Registration Number 1137102.
The Dawn Hastings Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the use Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM ) to help people affected by a diagnosis of cancer or other life-threatening illness.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical practices that are not part of standard medical care. “Complementary medicine” refers to treatments that are used with standard treatment. “Alternative medicine” refers to treatments that are used instead of standard treatment.
Complementary therapies can be a good way of helping you cope with some of the stresses caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Many therapies are relaxing and are an enjoyable experience .Some complementary therapies can also help to relieve specific symptoms or side effects caused by cancer or its treatments.
You can regard using complementary therapies as a positive, they make for positive health and well-being. You could want to use them to assist your health before, during or after cancer treatment. Use alternative cancer treatments as a supplement to treatments you receive from your doctor — not as a substitute for medical care. While alternative cancer treatments, such as acupuncture, may reduce nausea or pain, they generally aren’t powerful enough to replace medications from your doctor. Work closely with your doctor to determine the right balance between traditional medicines and alternative cancer treatments. For example the following therapies provide the following positive help with,
Anxiety: Hypnosis, massage, meditation, relaxation techniques.
Fatigue: Massage, relaxation techniques, yoga.
Nausea and vomiting: Acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, music therapy.
Pain: Acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, massage, music therapy.
Sleep problems: Relaxation techniques, yoga.
Stress: Aromatherapy, hypnosis, massage, meditation, tai chi, yoga
How are these therapies used??
Psychotherapy & Counselling – Talking therapies help clients and their loved ones to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Many people can get support by talking to close family members or friends. But it can sometimes be useful to talk to someone from outside your inner circle of family and friends, who has been trained to listen and help you explore your feelings.
Talking one-to-one with a trained counsellor in a more focused way is designed to help you understand your feelings and find ways of coping with them and also to manage stress, set new life goals and to find effective ways to talk with your family and friends. Counselling can also assist with depression, anxiety, grief, family or relationship problems, treatment side – effects and sexual problems
Hypnotherapy – Hypnosis can be used to reduce some of the side effects of cancer treatment, such as vomiting and nausea or to assist in managing various symptoms including pain.
The hypnotherapist leads you into a deeply relaxed state (trance) during which you remain conscious of your surroundings. It’s believed that being in this state helps you open your mind to beneficial suggestions made by the hypnotherapist and helps you use your imagination to make positive changes in your life.
Massage Therapy – Massage therapy encompasses many different techniques that works by stroking, kneading, tapping or pressing the soft tissues of the body – to relax you mentally and physically. A research study found that massage therapy assisted in reducing symptoms of pain anxiety, depression, nausea and fatigue.
Meditation – Meditation is a mind-body process that uses concentration or reflection to relax the body and calm the mind, thus assisting in reducing anxiety, pain, nausea, feelings of fear and high blood pressure.
Regular meditation practice can help people feel more in control of themselves and their lives. Many studies have shown that regular meditation lowers blood pressure and reduces the pulse rate, as well as anxiety and stress levels.
Healing- Healers believe that healing energy exists all around us, and that they act as a channel through which healing energy flows into the client. Some people find that healing provides important and valuable support and makes the individual feel more in control of their situation.
Healing is one of the most common types of complementary therapies that people with cancer use. Healers promote this type of therapy as a natural way to help you relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression and also control other symptoms and side effects of cancer such as pain, sickness and fatigue.
Yoga – Yoga involves putting the body into different positions or postures, breathing exercises and some form of meditation or relaxation.
Some people who have cancer find that practicing yoga helps them cope with their illness and feel better generally. It is a natural way to help relax the mind and body thus assisting the client to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Generally, it can help lift your mood and enhance wellbeing. Some people with cancer who have used yoga say that it helps calm their mind so that they can cope better with their cancer and its treatment. Others say that it helps to reduce symptoms and side effects such as pain, tiredness, sleep problems.
Herbal Medicine – Herbal medicine uses plants, or mixtures of plant extracts, to treat illness and promote health. It aims to restore your body’s ability to protect, regulate and heal itself. It is a whole body approach, so looks at your physical, mental and emotional well being assisting you cope with anxiety and depression.
Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is the use of natural oils extracted from plants. The oils are thought to have therapeutic properties. They may be used during massage but can also be used in baths and through diffusers.
Using aromatherapy during cancer treatment is a generally safe and excellent way to nurture the body, mind, heart, and spirit. Research with cancer patients has shown that aromatherapy may help relieve anxiety, depression, and nausea. There are many varieties of scented oils and incense from which to choose. Sandalwood, lavender, and patchouly are especially useful to foster relaxation and a sense of inner peace.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been around for more than 2,500 years,. It is based on the theory that there’s a system of life force (energy) channels in the body. The energy that’s believed to move along the channels is known as chi. The therapist inserts fine sterile needles just below the skin to affect the flow of energy in the body. They place the needles along points in the energy channels to help release the flow of chi and restore health and balance in the body.
Acupuncture can help lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the body, boost energy levels and enhance a sense of overall wellbeing. There’s some evidence that acupuncture may be helpful in treating other problems, including pain, breathlessness and a dry mouth. Acupuncture is also sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms, but it’s not yet clear how effective it is for this.
Homeopathy – Homeopathic remedies are made from plant, mineral and animal substances. They are diluted in water and shaken vigorously many times until there is little, if any, of the original substance left. The water is used to make homeopathic liquid (drops), pills or creams. Homeopaths believe that the original substance somehow leaves a molecular blueprint in the water that triggers your body’s healing mechanisms.
Homeopathy for people with cancer is promoted as a natural way to help you relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression Or to control other symptoms and side effects such as tiredness, pain and sickness. . Homeopaths believe it can treat a wide range of symptoms and conditions. Homeopathy is used alongside conventional medicine and should not be used instead of conventional cancer treatment.
Reflexology – This is a very good therapy to assist people to feel more at ease and relaxed. Thus helping to relieve stresses and anxiety while assisting clients to try to improve symptoms connected to cancer including feeling sick, tension, pain and fatigue.
Reflexology is a form of foot or hand massage and is related to the Chinese practice of acupressure. Reflexologists believe that different areas on the feet or hands represent, and are connected to, the body’s internal organs. Applying pressure to specific points in the feet or hands is thought to stimulate the flow of energy along channels in the body.
Osteopathy Some people who use osteopathy say it can help control pain, headaches and tension. They also say that it helps them relax, which improves their overall feeling of health and well being. There is no evidence to suggest that it will help treat or cure cancer.
Cancer and Osteopathy:
For people with cancer, gentle types of OMT help the body make healing changes from inside. OMT can ease pain and free up areas of tension; improve blood, lymph, nerve, and organ function; and calm the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system, which is often over-activated in times of stress and illness, such as dealing with cancer. OMT helps both with stress reduction and with strengthening the body’s natural healing mechanism.