How Can You Use Non Medical Treatments to Treat Mesothelioma Pain?

The use of medical methods of treatment to treat mesothelioma pain might not be sufficient to treat the pain effectively, so you might need to try out some other non medical modes of treating mesothelioma pain.

These non-medical treatments are now widely used to help manage cancer pain. Many techniques are used along with pain medicine, though they can also be used alone. Some people find they can take a lower dose of medicine when using these techniques. These methods include: relaxation, biofeedback, imagery, distraction, hypnosis, skin stimulation, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, exercise or physical therapy, and emotional support and counseling.

You may need the help of health professionals, social workers, physical therapists, psychologists, nurses, or others .To learn to use these techniques. Family and friends can also help. To find out who specializes in these techniques and which organizations know about them:

* Talk with your doctor or nurse.
* Contact a local hospice, cancer treatment center, or pain clinic.
* Visit your local bookstores or library.

Pain may be a sign that the cancer has spread, an infection has started, or there are problems caused by the cancer treatment. Because of this, you should report any new pain problems to the doctor or nurse before trying any non-medical treatments to relieve the pain.

These non medical treatment methods include:


Relaxation helps relieve pain or keep it from getting worse by reducing tension in the muscles. It can help you fall asleep, give you more energy, make you less tired, reduce your anxiety, and help other pain relief methods work better. Some people, for instance, find that taking pain medicine or using a cold or hot pack works faster and better when they relax at the same time.

How to use relaxation

Relaxation may be done sitting up or lying down. Choose a quiet place whenever possible. Close your eyes. Do not cross your arms and legs because that may cut off circulation and cause numbness or tingling. If you are lying down, be sure you are comfortable. Put a small pillow under your neck and under your knees or use a low stool to support your lower legs.


Learning this technique requires the help of a licensed biofeedback technician. With the help of special machines that give you instant feedback on the state of your body, people can learn to control certain body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Biofeedback is sometimes used to help people learn to relax. You can use biofeedback to help you relax and cope with pain. This technique is usually used with other pain relief methods.


Imagery is using your imagination to create mental pictures or situations. The way imagery relieves pain is not fully understood. Imagery can be thought of as a deliberate daydream that uses all of your senses -- sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Some people believe that imagery is a form of self-hypnosis. Certain images may reduce your pain both during imagery and for hours afterward. If you must stay in bed or can't leave the house, you may find that imagery helps you feel less closed in -- you can imagine and revisit your favorite spots in your mind. Imagery can help you relax, relieve boredom, decrease anxiety, and help you sleep.

How to use imagery

Imagery usually works best with your eyes closed. You may want to use one of the above relaxation techniques before you try imagery. The image can be something like a ball of healing energy moving through your body, or a picture drawn in your mind of yourself as a person without pain. (For example, imagine that you are cutting the wires that send pain signals from each part of your body to your brain.) Or think of a pleasant, safe, relaxing place or activity that has made you happy. Exploring this place or activity in your mind can help you feel calm.


Distraction means turning your attention to something other than the pain. People use this method without realizing it when they watch television or listen to the radio to take their minds off a worry or their pain.

Distraction may be used alone to manage mild pain or used with medicine to manage brief episodes of severe pain, such as pain related to procedures. Distraction is useful when you are waiting for pain medicine to start working. If the pain is mild, you may be able to distract yourself for hours. Distraction can be a powerful way of relieving even the most intense pain for awhile.


Hypnosis is the trance-like state of high concentration in which you are awake but calm and still. In this relaxed state, a person becomes more open to suggestion. Hypnosis can be used to block the awareness of pain, to substitute another feeling for the pain, and to change the sensation to one that is not painful. You can be hypnotized by a person trained in hypnosis, often a psychologist or psychiatrist. You can also be trained to hypnotize yourself.

During hypnosis, many people feel much like we do when we begin to awaken in the morning. We can't quite open our eyes, but are very aware. We can hear sounds inside or outside our house. Our eyes remain closed, and we feel as though we either can't or don't want to wake up and open our eyes.

A trained hypnotherapist can teach people to put themselves in a hypnotic state, make positive suggestions to themselves, and to leave the hypnotic state.

Choose a hypnotherapist who is licensed in the healing arts or who works under the supervision of someone who is licensed. To find a therapist skilled in hypnosis, contact the behavioral medicine department at a cancer center near you.

-Skin stimulation

This method of treatment uses, pressure, warmth, or cold on the skin to lessen or block the feeling of pain. Massage, pressure, vibration, heat, cold, and menthol preparations can also be used to stimulate the skin. These techniques also alter the flow of blood to the area that is stimulated. Sometimes skin stimulation will get rid of pain or lessen pain during the stimulation and for hours after it is finished.

Skin stimulation is done either on or near the area of pain. You can also use skin stimulation on the side of the body opposite the pain. For example, you might stimulate the left knee to decrease the pain in the right knee. Stimulating the skin in areas away from the pain can be used to increase relaxation and may relieve pain.


In acupuncture, thin needles are put into the body at certain points and at various depths and angles. Each point is thought to control the feeling of pain in a different part of the body. When the needle is inserted, some people feel a slight ache, dull pain, tingling, or electrical sensation for a few seconds. Once the needles are in place, they should not hurt any more. The needles are usually left in place for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition treated. It does not hurt when the needles are removed. Acupuncture is now a widely accepted method to help with pain, but it should only be done by a licensed acupuncturist. Ask your doctor, nurse, or social worker where to get acupuncture.

Precaution: If you are getting chemotherapy, talk to your doctor before starting acupuncture.

Emotional support and counseling

If you feel anxious or depressed, your pain may feel worse. Pain also can make you feel worried, depressed, or easily discouraged. Some people feel hopeless or helpless. Others may feel embarrassed, inadequate, angry, frightened, lonely, or frantic. These are all normal feelings.

Finding support

Try to talk about your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with -- doctors, nurses, social workers, family or friends, a member of the clergy, or other people with cancer. You may also wish to talk to a counselor or a mental health professional. Your doctor, nurse, or the social services department at your local hospital can help you find a counselor who is specially trained to help people with chronic illnesses.

You may want to try a support group where people with cancer meet and share their feelings about how they have coped with cancer. Support groups can be face-to-face meetings or you can meet in a group online. For information about support groups in your community and online, ask your doctor, nurse, or hospital social worker or call us at 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345). Also, many newspapers carry a special health supplement with information about where to find support groups.


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