Living with cancer

Complementary therapies

Some people find complementary therapies helpful. They can offer emotional as well as physical benefits and are sometimes available on the NHS. Ask your doctors, nurses or cancer information staff to establish if there are any near you.

There are many types of complementary therapies including: acupuncture, aromatherapy, healing, herbal medicine, homeopathy, massage, meditation, reflexology, relaxation, shiatsu and yoga.

Choosing a complementary therapy

Some key points about choosing a complementary therapy are outlined below.

  • If you decide to try complementary therapies, you should find a qualified practitioner who has worked with people with cancer and is aware of any conventional treatment you have had or have planned.
  • It is important to tell your doctors and nurses before you start using complementary therapies.
  • Some complementary therapies or remedies may be harmful or reduce the effect of treatment when mixed with other medication or used during or after certain cancer treatments. It is important that your hospital team know of any vitmains, supplements, herbal, homeopathic or other medications you are taking.

If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.