It is becoming increasingly common for people with cancer to look into natural treatments that can help them feel better and fight their illness. One of the biggest challenges of cancer is that it can make you feel like you don’t have very much control over your health or how you feel.

In this respect, complementary and alternative treatments can be extremely helpful in offering a sense of control and increased agency. That being said, not all of these alternatives are safe or helpful. Here is a list of 5 complementary treatments that are generally considered safe and have also been proven to provide some concrete benefits.

1. Exercise

This may seem obvious, as of course exercise is beneficial for overall good health. When facing cancer treatment though, exercise can be especially helpful in managing signs or symptoms. Maintaining a regular regime of gentle exercise can help relieve fatigue and stress and can also increase quality of sleep.

There are also many studies now that confirm how a regular and appropriate exercise program can actually assist people living with cancer to have an increased quality of life and live much longer. It is important to consult a doctor if starting a program for the first time, and make sure to start slowly, increasing length and intensity over time.

2. Massage

Like exercise, massage is a safe and non-invasive way to help decrease the severity of unpleasant symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment. During a massage, the trained practitioner will work into skin, muscles and tendons in an effort to reduce muscle tension and stress, in order to promote relaxation.

There are a variety of methods that exist, but they have all been found to be helpful in relieving pain and helping to manage anxiety, fatigue and stress. If pursuing massages as a means of natural cancer treatment, make sure you find a masseuse who has experience working with cancer patients.

3. Juicing

When it comes to making dietary changes that can help patients with cancer, juicing is a very powerful tool. Juicing allows many nutrient-dense foods to be consumed in a comfortable and safe way, while filling the body with powerful antioxidants and cancer fighting tools to boost the immune system and improve health.

When deciding what to juice, consider cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, and their sprouts in particular, contain phytochemicals which have profound anti-aging, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties.

4. Fermented foods

Fermented founds are also a wonderful addition to any healthy diet and offer many cancer fighting benefits. Bacteroidetes are a main type of bacteria found in fermented foods which produce a substance known as butyrate. Butyrate possesses its own cancer-fighting properties and is involved in enzymatic processes associated with breaking down starch.

Some of the most common fermented foods are yogurt and kefir, as well as fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut and kimchi. These are all great sources of good bacteria and are also delicious.

5. Meditation and relaxation techniques

Meditation is wonderful because, if done regularly, it allows the practitioner to get into a state of deep concentration when the mind is focused on one single image, sound, idea, or positive thought. Meditation is safe and provides great relief potential from anxiety and stress.

If meditation is too challenging at first, there are also many relaxation techniques which can be more accessible to someone who is having a hard time calming the mind. These could include activities such as visualization exercises or progressive muscle relaxation. It is usually best to start learning relaxation techniques with the help of a therapist, eventually learning to do them on your own or with the assistance of a guided relaxation recording.