'Complementary therapies’ describes treatments that are used alongside conventional medical treatments. Sometimes people talk of ‘alternative therapies’. These are used instead of, or independently of medical treatments Knowing what they do helps you to decide for yourself.
Complementary therapies include:
Visit the Cancer Council NSW Complementary therapies webpage
Cancer Council website
Complementary therapies can be expensive. You may be able to access these services from your palliative care or local health service. Health professionals can help you to access these therapies. They may attract a small fee or be free of charge. Private health insurance, extras cover, may also cover some therapies, such as acupuncture. Complementary therapies are available from a range of private providers as well.
You may already use complementary therapies. Some have been shown to be helpful, but there may be little evidence that supports their use. Some therapies may have side effects or even be harmful. It is important to let your health professionals know if you are using any complementary or alternative therapies. They could also interact with your other medications or medical treatments. It is also important to let your complementary therapist know about your medical treatments and medications.
Complementary therapies may not be continued if you are admitted to hospital or a hospice. This is especially true if the doctors and nurses don’t know what you are taking. It is best to talk about this with them.
Visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration website: Complementary medicines
Visit Better Health Channel website: Complementary medicines
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Last updated 02 August 2021