Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alternative Medicine Therapies and Cancer: Emotional Freedom Technique

According to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, cancer in its various forms is the cause of 13.3% of deaths worldwide, 19.3% of deaths in the United States alone (1). Over 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed every year in the United States. Particularly prevalent in the United States is mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the protective lining of internal organs, predominantly the lining of the lungs, heart, abdominal cavity, and testes. Excessive use of asbestos in architecture during the 1970s and 80s has been linked to the high incidence of mesothelioma in the United States, with death rates increasing significantly each year (2). Despite various pharmacological, chemotherapeutic, and surgical therapies for cancerous growth, including mesothelioma, the prognosis of the disease is very poor.

In light of the low success rate for current medical treatments of cancer, much research in alternative medicine therapies has begun in recent years. The motivation for study in these alternative therapies is to find an effective combination of clinical and psychological treatments of cancer. Such combinations of alternative medicine with current medical treatments may lead to a better prognosis for mesothelioma and cancer overall. One particularly promising alternative medicine therapy is the Emotional Freedom Technique, abbreviated EFT. Developed by Gary Craig two decades ago, EFT is a psychotherapeutic method of relieving the psychological and emotional consequences of disease, such as fear and anxiety. In essence, EFT is a non-invasive manner of triggering and desensitizing acupressure points located all over the body, causing a holistic betterment of the psyche and emotional condition. Proponents of EFT emphasize the benefits of its “energy psychology” approach in aiding cancer recovery.

EFT, in conjunction with other drug or surgical therapies, can improve cancer prognosis by complementing biological treatment with psychological improvements. Cancer is an emotionally taxing ailment, and current chemotherapy and surgical procedures only exacerbate this emotional drain. Thus, it is plausible to claim that alternative medicine therapies like EFT can prove to be extremely effective in the future as a complementary cancer treatment option. The outlook for such combination therapies is promising in providing an all-encompassing treatment for one of the most malignant diseases on the planet.


1 comment:

  1. Gary and I go way back. I've sworn by EFT since my diagnosis of testicular cancer in the late 90's. Complementary therapies like these really took my mind of the disease and got me through those chemo sessions.

    Thanks for another great post, Em!