An Ayurvedic Approach To Cancer
November is Lung Cancer Month and makes us all aware of the growing epidemic, cancer prevention and options available if someone close to you is diagnosed with the disease.
When diagnosed with cancer a patient has the option of traditional methods to fight the disease such as chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and alternative treatments such as a healthy diet, herbs, meditation, lifestyle changes and the Ayurveda approach.1
In Ayurveda, cancer is referred to as ‘Granthi’ (minor neoplasm) or ‘Arbuda‘ (major neoplasm).2 The basics of Ayurveda, the three doshas for each one of us (Vata-air, Pitta-fire, and Kapha-water) are key to the proper functioning of the body. Cancer is related to an imbalance of the doshas. For example, cancers occurring in the chest like lung and breast are known as Kapha cancers.3 Certain tumors can develop with improper functioning of the body, when the doshas are interrupted.
An Ayurveda approach to cancer provides holistic treatments to help cancer patients. As a complement to traditional medical treatments there are several ways specifically cancer patients can apply the practices of Ayurveda to try to combat the disease and feel better. Ayurveda does not conflict with western medicine, depending on the type of cancer. Focusing on mind, body and nutrition therapy can compliment traditional medicine.
A Strong Immune System
A Healthy Diet
The importance of a healthy digestive system and a diet packed with fresh fruits and vegetables helps in the prevention of cancer. Cancer patients should avoid processed foods, refined sugars and foods with additives.4
When the imbalance of the doshas causes cancer in different parts of the body diet plays a role in healing the body. Specific foods and nutrition can help balance the doshas.
Cancer experts agree that cancer is caused by genes and toxins. Triphala is one of the most common herbs and can detoxify and cleanse the body5. Ayurvedic medicine recommends this herb for all doshas. Ginger tea helps cancer patients who experience nausea from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Shatvari is recommended for use as an antacid especially for American patients struggling with symptoms of acid reflux. Cats claw has been known to decrease cancer cell growth6. Cancer patients also use Cat’s Claw to ease pain.
Meditation, long walks outdoors and exercise help to boost the immune system by promoting positive thinking and powerful thoughts. Meditating and reflecting on lifestyle changes brings peace of mind necessary to fight cancer.
Ayurvedic Treatments and Oils
Svedana (Ayurvedic steam bath) cleanses and releases the body from toxins while purifying with Ayurvedic herbs. Heat therapy helps raise the temperature of the body increases circulation and brings oxygen to the cancer site. The head is always kept cool in the Ayurvedic steam bath which helps to withstand prolonged high temperatures.Research suggests that sesame oil may have benefits to combat cancer particularly anti-skin cancer, and more. Sesame oil is capable of penetrating the body through the skin. This occurs during an Ayurvedic massage. Sesame oil has antioxidant qualities to help protect against free radicals free radicals.7
Abhyanga oil massage which builds self love and stability8 is one of the most popular massage techniques at Renu Day Spa. Renu also offers Shirodhara combination of oils.
The organic skin care line at Renu is also based on Ayurvedic principles. For patients going through chemotherapy and radiation and for months after it is very important to use only organic food, herbs and skin care.
Renu Day Spa Massage Therapy
All Renu Day Spa technicians participated in Day Spa Magazine’s Cancer for Wellness Campaign and passed the wellness for cancer test. Our technicians want to stand by their clients who have cancer and are skilled at helping them during and after therapy and for years to come. For fifteen years Renu Day Spa has incorporated Ayurveda in healing therapies.