This is a guest post written by Scott Sanders from CancerWell.org. In this post are tips and advice on how to best help a loved one who is going through cancer treatment.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing, earth-shattering experience. A person with a serious illness is filled with lots of emotions and feeling a lot of physical pain, too. Learn how to give your best self to your loved one and find ways to give them the support they need during this difficult time.
How to Talk to Your Loved One
The things you say to a cancer patient affect them in a lot of ways. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply listen and say nothing at all, according to Cancer Care. Don’t give advice or opinions unless you’re asked or make reassurances that everything is going to be OK.
Get Them to Talk to You
It’s not uncommon for terminally ill patients to attempt to downplay their pain or refuse to talk about it. Encourage your loved one to be open about when they’re in pain, what the pain is like and how much of it they’re experiencing. Physicians treating the cancer need to know about the physical discomfort of their patients so they can design effective treatment plans, and you need to know when they’re in pain so you can help them through it.
There are many physical things you can do to help a person who has a serious illness. Do their grocery shopping for them, run errands and do chores around the house. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, these things can be very helpful and provide the sick person with the support they need.
Get Mentally Prepared
The way you react to your loved one is going to affect them. That’s why it’s important for you to mentally prepare yourself for the changes that cancer may cause. People going through this often suffer from weight changes, all-over hair loss, extreme fatigue and pale skin. You will also notice many emotional changes. Cancer patients may have trouble staying focused, vomit frequently and suffer with insomnia, according to the American Cancer Society. Try your best not to have a visible reaction to these changes. Understand that these changes are normal and expected.
Create a Safe Space
People who have a terminal illness often feel as though they have lost control of their lives, because in many ways they have. Depression, anxiety, stress and other strong emotional states are common among people who have cancer. One way you can help them is by decluttering their homes. This may seem like a strange approach, but decluttering can decrease stress and increase that feeling of being in control and in charge that seriously ill people lack in their lives. Decluttering helps increase focus and improves mood, and that will always have a positive effect.
Encourage Positive Feelings
After you’ve decluttered for your loved one, give them a meditation space. Pick a room, or even just a corner of a room, and turn this into a tiny meditation retreat where they can let go of stress and learn how to focus their minds away from the pain. Some physicians use meditation as a treatment tool for this reason.
Create a meditation space by placing a comfortable chair or bed that your loved one can use, along with some candles or incense, in the space. Provide them with a focal point, a small piece of art or some beloved object, so they can use this to tune out the rest of the world. You may even include a book or a graphic picture that offers tips on how to meditate.
Stay supportive, stay prepared and stay active when you want to help a loved one with cancer. Keep doing the little things that you can do to make them more comfortable and make their environment more pleasant. Be a good listener, and when you aren’t sure what to say just don’t say anything. Stick to a few simple tips, and you’ll be the best friend you can possibly be to your loved one.
In episode Ten of the podcast, Simon your host, interviews the founder of the cancer charity ‘Yes To Life’, Robin Daly
In this episode we explore how Robin found his way to being the director of a cancer charity that gives advice on Integrative health care. We look at some of the fundamental steps you can take to ensuring your own health should you be in the position of having cancer and facing chemo therapy. Along with other findings on improving your chances to survive cancer.
We discuss the state of the mainstream medical establishment, what is holding it back from being more effective and patient centred, as well as the developments in the field that are changing the way the industry operates.
And we also discuss a number of other brilliant resources that will get you on the right path should you be diagnosed with cancer (or to recommend to anyone in your life who receives the diagnosis)
And as always, you can download the podcast episode from iTunes and Stitcher Radio or play right here in the browser
If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, share with your friends and colleagues and if you feel so inclined we’d really appreciate a review!
Links for the resources we talked about in this episode:
The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast is un-sponsored by you!
We’ve decided to keep the podcast sponsor and ad free by utilising Patreon as a way for our listeners to pledge their support to the project!
Patreon is a bit like crowd funding for artistic projects, you can pledge as much or as little as you want, starting from as little as $1 per month or per episode and you can even decide to cap your contribution at a monthly max…
Dan Fries is a science writer and published author in the field of translational oncology. Dan’s work has been featured in journals such as Cancer Discovery and Cancer Research. His contribution is exploring the natural health approach to relieve social anxiety and panic attacks. Find out more about Dan’s mission at www.corpina.com
Have you ever felt a cramping sensation in your gut or beads of sweat forming on your forehead when you enter a room full of people? Clearly, anxiety is killing your professional as well as social life. Fear, stress and anxiety are in the driver’s seat and you end up being a passenger who is traveling into the depths of the unknown.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” – H.P. Lovecraft.
This quote tells us that it is normal to have slight fear, as it is in human nature to be afraid of unforeseen circumstances. But you need to be focused, disciplined and dynamic to overcome and fight this fear. The problem begins when this fear becomes intimidating and persistent, and starts to take control of your everyday life.
Slowly this leads toanxiety disorder, worry, a state of overly-uneasiness, etc. which if left unchecked can require medical treatment. That is where yoga and meditation can help. Of course, yoga and meditation alone are unlikely to be your only treatment options. Both of them should sync with each other and then only after consulting a specialist or a doctor. The medical practitioner can guide and help you to know what kind of anxiety disorder you are having – OCD, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to name a few.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety
Having obsessive and uncontrolled thoughts related to past traumatic experiences
The regular practice of yoga can assist you in staying relaxed and calm in your day-to-day life. It can give you the energy for facing events as and when they occur without being restless. The practice of yoga consists of a complete package of body postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayamas).
Yoga Postures for the relief of Social Anxiety
Yoga postures or asanas can help in getting a healthy body and mind. Stress and negativity are released from the system through the following postures –
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Janu Shirsasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)
Adhomukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Once you’ve finished the yoga postures, you need to lie down so that your body and mind can get a few minutes of relaxation. This flushes out the toxins in the body which are the major cause of stress for your biological system.
Breathing Exercises to relieve Social Anxiety
Proper breathing techniques can help free your mind from unwanted clutter and thoughts. This avoids the breeding of anxiety and keeps the mind fresh. You can try the following breathing methods –
Meditation is a great technique for relaxing a mind which is distracted. It provides a sense of peace and calm. You can observe that with daily practice your mind gets involved with petty and insignificant things. Plus, meditation can help you to avoid worrying or getting anxious about the unforeseen future.
You will most likely be familiar with the term ‘adrenalin rush’. This occurs when you are too anxious or scared about a potential threat. For example, at the time of an adventure ride, your adrenalin levels would be higher than usual, leading to a faster heartbeat. It could also make your muscles tense and your body sweat profusely.
Various scientific researchers have shown that regular practice of meditation can lower the stress hormones. Astudy was conducted by the Department of Psychology of the Standard University for the participants of social anxiety disorder. They underwent a two-month meditation training which resulted in reducing their anxiety and transforming their thoughts to a more positive outlook.
Supplements For Controlling Stress And Relieving Anxiety
Did you know supplements are one of the best options for taking control of your anxiety and stress? You could, for instance, try the nootropic supplement of Phenibut, which is available in tablet as well as powder form. This supplement is not only safe; it has already been used by people for several decades.Phenibut is a derivative of the brain chemical GABA but is able to pass the blood-brain barrier more effectively, it is one of the most significant neurotransmitters in the human body. It effectively calms the hormones related to anxiety and stress and brings a positive change to the mood and confidence of the user.
Summing It Up
Social anxieties and stress can be traumatic and create majorly off-putting experiences in your life. With the regular practice of yoga and meditation, you can minimise the negatives and hopefully kick them out of your life. However, if they are still persistent in your life, you can take mood and memory enhancing supplements to counter their ill-effects and reduce it safely and gradually. So go ahead and enjoy a stress-free life!
Thank you to Dan Fries for this guest blog post!
If you have suffered in the past or currently suffer from stress and social anxiety we would love to hear about how you’ve managed to relieve it. Have you been successful using meditation and yoga or other types of natural therapies, or have you been successful in taking supplements to cope?
Please leave a comment below, we love to hear from our readers!
Looking for a natural treatment for anxiety and panic attacks, with no side effects? You can start to feel the benefits in as little as 60 minutes
Is there a natural cure for panic attacks and anxiety?
This is a good question and depends a lot on your definition of ‘cure’ and the cause of your anxiety and panic attacks.
The pharmaceutical companies may say the only real cure is to chemically alter your brain to make anxiety impossible to experience, but that doesn’t sound very natural to me… Surely the feelings of anxiety and panic are serving a purpose; to give us warnings and keep us safe in some ways. But it seems that due to a number of factors these signals are turned up too high or are triggered at the wrong times.
And what about the host of potential side effects from taking prescription medication? Often anti-anxiety drugs may make you feel worse in other ways, listed side effects of popular anti-anxiety medication Venlafaxine are blurred vision, headaches, high blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, mood changes, possible convulsions, swelling and changes to menstrual cycle. Who would want that? Who would risk feeling worse than they already do, with no real guarantee you’ll ever be free of the medication?
Natural anxiety relief
Whereas if we look at the causes of the anxiety and panic attacks, take a natural approach and try to rebalance the systems responsible for those feelings of panic and anxiety, we would be working towards a more balanced response to the anxiety triggers.
This may be the closest you’ll come to an actual ‘cure’ but it will be a natural one!
By focusing on releasing nervous tension, emotional anxiety and the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, you will be able to gain a greater degree of control over your life, eliminating the need for prescription medication and at the same time enhancing your overall health and wellbeing, instead of jeopardising it with side effects.
Shiatsu is an amazing natural massage technique that is especially effective when dealing with the connection between the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the body. Shiatsu is performed fully clothed on a futon on the floor or a traditional massage couch. A firm and steady pressure is applied with palms, thumbs and fingers to a series of energy lines and points throughout the body (meridians and pressure points, the same as acupuncture, but we don’t use needles). This pressure allows the body to release tension from the muscles, let go of stuck emotions, relax the mind and rebalance the central nervous system.
Shiatsu helps in many other ways below the radar: promoting the correct balance of hormones and chemistry in the body to enhance health and improve feelings of wellbeing. The only side effects are beneficial; such as reduced pain and tension, improved sleep, looser joints and muscles, improved concentration, enhanced immune system, improved mental clarity and much more…
Shiatsu sessions are generally 60 minutes in duration but can be 90 minutes or longer (by arrangement). A number of weekly or fortnightly sessions may be required to reduce the tension and anxiety levels to what feels manageable, then monthly maintenance sessions are advised to keep anxiety levels to a minimum. Extra sessions are recommended when experiencing greater levels of stress and pressure in life, to help you cope and carry on with your day-to-day life in as normal a way as possible.
Simon has four London clinics and makes house calls within London and Bromley.
My mother was diagnosed with a particularly agressive forms of Uterine cancer on her ovaries, which only 7 weeks after being removed by surgery had grown back to the same size (large grapefruit, or two fists held together). So in December of 2012 my wife and I made a fast dash to my native New Zealand for what we thought would be a last Christmas and a farewell to my mother. But first I loaded her up with information about Cancer…
Before leaving I compiled a list of the best alternative and complementary cancer advice I could find on the internet from my favourite sources. (Dr Mercola and Dr Lam were the main sites)
She didn’t follow even half of the advice, but she chose a few and really stuck to them. While we were with her we cooked her healthy vegetarian food from fresh produce, filled with yummy super foods.
The main things she chose to do where:
No sugar or alcohol (right through the festive season, not an easy feat)
She stopped microwaving her coffee and tea (a weird practice that people of a certain generation seem to do all the time?)
She added frozen and grated lemons to EVERYTHING she ate (something to do with getting all of the nutrients, this came from a friend, not me)
But I think the most important thing she decided, was that she wasn’t ready to die yet! That it was worth fighting to life, it was worth having goals and plans beyond the next Chemo session… To me this was the single most important factor in her survival thus far (it’s now April of 2013, and she is still fighting!)
Update: As of October 2017 my mum is still alive and well, she has had over 100 chemo treatments, but went on to a drug trial working with Immunotherapy… Her tumour is much smaller than it was and has shrunk dramatically over the course of the immunotherapy treatments 🙂
My original email to her with information about Cancer is below:
Nutrition and diet advice for you to beat the beastie!
Hello Mumbo, I hope you’re feeling ok after the treatment…
So here is my quick digest of do’s and don’ts and also a bunch of links for further reading at the bottom…
These are taken from Dr Mercola (mercola.com) and Dr Lam (drlam.com) If I find more I will send it through to you, but for now this should keep you going for quite a while. I wouldn’t change anything you’re doing with the doctors, but
Cut out GMO foods
Eat Organic wherever possible
Cut out Sugars, artificial sweeteners and preservatives etc in food – or basically eat a natural whole-food diet
Cut out instant coffee (I know you love your coffee, but who knows what process they put that stuff through to get it to dissolve like that… drink organic ground coffee if you have to)
replace black/english tea with green tea, Matcha Green tea if it’s available – high in antioxidants!
Start taking Vitamin D3 supplements – oral spray is the best way to get it into your body quickly – can take with calcium too (don’t take D2 or cod liver oil)
Safe sun exposure over large parts of your body is the best way to get Vit D, but only until the skin turns the lightest pink
Might not be helpful at the moment, but keeping strong muscles is a good way to reduce the risk… a little late info perhaps…
Another important supplement is curcumin, which effectively addresses inflammation and has potent anti-cancer properties.
Apparently you should get your home checked for Radon gas (which comes from underground…) it’s easy to block it out…
Avoid non-stick cookware and stain resistant fabrics…
Check out your personal products (skin care, soaps and cosmetics) – Some of the most common culprits to avoid include SLS, parabens, phthalates, antibacterials, musks, 1,4-dioxane, mineral oil and petrolatum, hydroquinone, nano particles, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-producing ingredients.
Avoid canned foods and foods in plastic package and containers – they contain a chemical called BPA, which isn’t good for us. Eat traditionally fermented foods to help break the BPA down and lower absorption in the intestines, as well as containing health bacteria.
Get rid of all of the chemical cleaners, use soap and water or 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
Use Green building materials… there are lots of harmful chemicals in paint, varnish etc, get low or no VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Don’t put chemicals on your garden if you’re going to eat the produce…
Sleep in complete darkness, or wear an eye shade – get rid of night lights, block street lights getting in through the window, cover clock radios with lights, don’t turn the light on when you go to the toilet in the night etc
Eat Onions and Garlic! Often!
Take Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium (30-60 minutes before meals or 60-120 minutes after, so as not to reduce effectiveness of digestion)
Proper exercise is important! See the link below
Take mega doses of Vitamin C daily!
Over 5,000 studies have been conducted on vitamin C, and here is the general parameter on a daily intake basis:
· High Dose – 2,000 – 10,000 mg (where cancer cells are killed and normal cells are spared)
· Very High Dose – for Active cancer treatment alone or as adjunct to conventional treatment: 5 gram to 50 grams (by mouth and IV)
· Toxic Dose – where cancer calls and normal cells are both killed. There is no established toxic dose.
(Recommend to take 2000 to 10,000 mg per day… Dr Lam offers a consultation via email depending on your particular case: http://www.drlam.com/askme.asp)
Build your Immune system: Take cats claw, Oliver leaf extract, Fish Oils, Mstletoe (aka Iscador treatment – involved subcutaneous injections, do more research on this yourself perhaps?), Miatake, Shitaki and Reishi Mushroom extracts, and super mushroom Agaricus Blazei Murill(ABM). Also take Gotu Kola (a herb that has anti-inflamatory benefits amongst others)
When the Treatment is Worse than the Disease…
Perhaps more importantly, most conventional cancer treatments tend to add insult to injury by doing more harm than good — a fact that has been largely swept under the rug by the medical industry.
Meanwhile, the real culprits—the underlying causes—are completely ignored, and that is, I believe, the root of the problem. The cancer industry has become a massive for-profit business that is doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo. It is, quite simply, not interested in truly reducing cancer rates; it’s interested in treating cancer. From that perspective, the more cancer cases the better…
Information about Cancer – Winning the War Against Cancer Begins with Your Personal Choices
You can do a lot, right now, to significantly decrease your cancer risk. Even the conservative American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. So making the following healthy lifestyle changes can go a very long way toward ending the failure-streak and becoming one less statistic in this war against cancer:
4. Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
5. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
6. Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Some things to look out for when choosing the right Complementary Therapist for you. How to find the best solution to your particular situation.
Finding the right therapist for you is an important process and needs to be considered carefully. You will be entering into a relationship with your therapist that in some ways is more intimate than with anyone else, you will potentially be dealing directly with physical, mental, emotion and even spiritual energies, and ideally transforming them into a healthier state. We all have our individual tastes and different needs when looking for the right massage therapist or CAM practitioner to work with. Here we will look at some common considerations when choosing your complementary therapist.
Most importantly for me to look at is
What do you hope to achieve from the treatments?
This will depend on your particular situation in regards to your health, stress levels and other reasons for wanting to have treatments. If you have a long-term condition you may simply want to gain some on-going relief and will therefore be looking for a long-term relationship that suits you and your therapist. Alternatively you may be dealing with some acute stress, recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, or looking for a performance boost before a special sporting event, perhaps trying to deal with nerves before a big business meeting or conference or maybe you’re wanting to feel better in other areas of your life. In these cases you would need to consider what would be most effective to deal with the situation.
Male or Female therapist?
This can simply be a question of who you are more comfortable with, or could come down to what is more appropriate for personal or religious reasons. Or you might choose your therapist based on the qualities of the gender in regards to the style of therapy you choose, depending on the energy involved (you would expect the big, hulking guy to provide the best Thai Yoga Massage, but it seems the tiny Thai lady is uniquely suited to inflicting the most pain). This is very much down to personal taste and will vary from individual to individual and situation to situation.
Home visits or clinic?
Which you choose will generally depend on your situation in regards to time, location, space and money. This really comes down to cost or convenience; if you’re busy and can afford it, you might decide to have someone come to your house or business, you’ll pay more but the time saved will surely be worth much more. Alternatively visiting a regular clinic may keep the costs down, as the therapist can see more people in a day, making their practice more efficient.
Which therapy Style you choose?
This will be a mix of personal preference and your intended results. If you are mainly seeking therapy for enjoyment, or experience, you may choose the style that you like the best, simply because it is pleasant or interesting. Or you may have very specific goals in mind, to rehabilitate a bad back or other damaged body part, to deal with stress, to gain flexibility and mobility, to improve sleep… there are a huge and growing list of ailments and conditions that can be helped with different complementary therapies and forms of body work, so you may have to do some research into the various styles to find out what works best for your condition and what you personally resonate with the most. If you have the opportunity I’d recommend trying the different styles that appeal, even if you’re not familiar with them, and even trying different therapists within a style, to make sure you really find the best person to treat your particular situation.
Your Personal preference?
Sometimes there is just a connection you feel when being treated by the right therapist, it’s indescribable, except to say that they can find every point that needs their attention… those places you didn’t know hurt until just that moment when they touched there… and already the pain is easing…
That is the X factor…
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when looking for a therapist, sometimes logical, sometimes on a feeling. I hope this post will help you get more from your massage therapy sessions
Ever wondered about ways to stay healthy without needing to reach for the antibiotics? Protect your immune system naturally.
Antibiotics may have saved many lives and killed an unimaginable number of harmful bacteria, but they also indiscriminately kill the beneficial bacteria as well, not to mention surviving strands can become resistant over time forming SuperBugs. The less we have to use antibiotics for everyday illnesses, that our own bodies immune system should easily handle, the better.