Despite the many alternative natural options in the fight against cancer, many people still choose the mainstream route. And that’s going to be the case for a long time, considering the way the mainstream shuns natural medicine.
But it’s no secret that chemotherapy leaves the body ravaged.
For people who choose chemo, the new challenge becomes how to keep the side effects to a minimum–which often means MORE drugs and MORE side effects.
There are natural and alternative treatments for nearly all of the side effects associated with chemo (you can find many in the online archive at Nutrition and Healing and using the search bar here on Healthier Talk).
One area in which chemo does a great deal of damage is the brain. Many people who undergo chemotherapy end up with cognitive problems, including memory loss.
Researchers were surprised to find that there is an activity that can help overcome chemo-related cognitive problems. A small study at the University of Missouri found that practicing the Chinese martial art Tai Chi could be the key.
Tai Chi is known for its positive effect on both physical and emotional health, but there hasn’t been much research on how it impacts memory and cognitive health. This study aimed to fill that gap.
Women with a history of chemotherapy took a 60-minute Tai Chi class twice weekly for ten weeks. Before they started the 10-week class, the women took a test of memory, language, attention, stress, mood, and fatigue. They were tested again at the end of the 10 weeks.
Researchers found that in those 10 weeks, the Tai Chi practice brought about significant improvements in the women’s cognitive functioning (as well as in their psychological health).
This was a small pilot study, but considering there are no drugs involved and there are already numerous known benefits of Tai Chi, there’s absolutely no harm in trying–only major potential benefits!
Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.
Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.
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