Your Loved One Has Cancer: Here’s How You Can Help

This is a guest post written by Scott Sanders from In this post are tips and advice on how to best help a loved one who is going through cancer treatment.

loved one cancer

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.

Get Physical

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.

Be Supportive

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.

Chronic Pain Can Be Improved with Simple Lifestyle Adjustments

This is a guest post written by Jackie Waters from She was diagnosed with a chronic illness and wants to help others who are living with chronic pain.

improve chronic pain



Suffering from chronic pain can be physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating. Those suffering from chronic pain may question how or why their bodies could turn on them. They feel frustrated, angry, and sometimes hopeless.

Through simple lifestyle adjustments, chronic pain can be improved.

These can make their pain more manageable and take back their lives and bodies without relying on potentially addictive medications.

Practicing Yoga and Yoga Techniques

Yoga reduces pain by gently stretching muscles, strengthening the body, improving posture, and relaxing the mind and body. In fact, yoga techniques can help minimize the brain’s acknowledgment of painful stimuli, reducing the perception of pain. The breathing techniques used in yoga reduce stress and improve willpower. Additionally, the relaxation and meditation techniques help you learn to relax the body at will and to tune into the inner source of strength and happiness. Undoubtedly, yoga and its techniques help reduce chronic pain on multiple levels.

Certain poses are especially great for chronic pain sufferers. Beginning and ending with the Savannah pose is helpful for people with chronic pain. Other positions include a supported back pose, inversion pose, figure 4 pose, and reclining bound angle pose.

Know How You Fuel Your Body

Certain chemicals, even those found naturally, in the foods you eat may trigger the release of neurotransmitters that heighten sensitivity to pain. For this reason, some experts believe certain foods should be avoided. First and foremost, eat fresh foods that are free of preservatives and additives and buy organic food when possible. While vegetables are a healthy option, avoid nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant.

Limit sugar, caffeine, pasteurized dairy, and aspartame. “If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you will also want to limit grains as much as possible as they are metabolized very similarly to sugars,” warns Mercola. Wheat and gluten grains are the biggest triggers of the grain group.

A Clean Home is a Happy Home

A study showed that women who described their homes as “cluttered” had higher levels of depression, fatigue, and cortisol (a hormone linked to stress) than women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” Coming home to piles of things (dishes, clothes, etc.) or a to-do list may prevent the natural decline in cortisol that should occur during the day, which has negative effects on your health, mood, sleep, and more. A clean home can help you feel happier and more relaxed.

Cleaning can be tiresome and cumbersome, especially when you have to tackle the entire house, but if you incorporate small tasks each day to tidy up, cleaning won’t seem like such a huge chore to tackle. Start each day by making your bed as soon as you wake up. After you get out of the shower, quickly spray, wipe, and rinse it. Reuse towels two to three times to lessen your laundry load. Just be sure to hang the towels to dry. Also, you should wash one load of laundry a day so it doesn’t pile up by the end of the week, and immediately rehang items you wore or place them in a hamper to be washed.

Keep a basket in each room in your house, and once a day, walk through each room and fill up the basket with accumulated clutter. Before bed, put the items back where they belong. It’s also helpful to keep a mail sorter near your door in which to place mail as soon as you come inside. Empty the mail sorter once a week.

Ensure the bathroom countertops remain free of clutter and make a nightly ritual of putting away every product that was used to get ready in the morning. Also, allow a toilet cleaner to work its magic while you brush your teeth and wash your face. Give it a quick scrub before you head off to bed, and use a wipe to quickly clean the countertop and toilet seat. Try to avoid going to bed with a dirty kitchen. Wipe down the stove and counters each night and make sure all dishes are completed.

Chronic pain doesn’t have to control your life. Manage pain more efficiently with a few lifestyle adjustments, such as practicing yoga, being careful about what you eat, and keeping a tidy home. These simple modifications can help you get your life back and help you enjoy what each day brings.

The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Fernando Cabo – Namikoshi Shiatsu and Research Projects

the shiatsu guy podcast - fernando cabo In episode Seven of the Shiatsu Guy Presents… podcast I interview Shiatsu therapist and Teacher at the Professional Shiatsu School, Fernando Cabo.

This is the longest episode to date, and follows the increasingly familiar rambling style of the other episodes, meandering through a range of topics including the differences between Namikoshi Shiatsu and Zen or Masunaga Shiatsu, as well as the lack of research across the field of Shiatsu and what is starting to be done about it…


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 book we discussed in this episode:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – by Robert Pirsig





How to find or get in touch with Fernando

The Professional Shiatsu School

iamYiam video

Fernando Shiatsushi on Facebook


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…

If you’d like to support The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast you can pledge your support at

Many thanks in advance!

Please leave any comments or suggestions below

Get Shiatsu on your Health Insurance!!

More and more people are coming to realise that Shiatsu is more that just a way to de-stress the body. For people who are suffering from joint and muscle pain, anxiety or depression and other related illnesses, Shiatsu is recognised as a highly-effective treatment. And because for some, it is considered to be medically necessary, it is increasingly becoming part of health care. And by becoming a part, we mean being more and more accepted by Health Insurance companies. That means someone else will be shouldering its cost provided that the shiatsu therapist is correctly licensed as a health care provider. Good news, right!

Health Shield is one of the Health Insurance companies who have this kind of service. The rule is if your practitioner is a Registered Member of the Shiatsu Society or MRSS* (in which case, I am) and Shiatsu treatments are included in your current membership plan, then worry no more, because as their tagline says… “We’ve got you covered”.

If you’re not a member yet, you may want to check out their services and how to make the most of their benefits. Well, not to be biased, but they do really have a lot to offer.  Here’s their website… 

MRSS Shiatsu treatments covered by Health Insurance*what MRSS means is that a Shiatsu therapist has studied and achieved their Shiatsu qualifications to the standards as set out by the Shiatsu Society UK (the governing body of the field of Shiatsu in the UK) and has maintained continuous membership for a minimum of 3 years, fulfilled all Continued Professional Developement requirements and in some cases have undergone postgraduate studies or assessment. It’s the equivalent of becoming a Chartered Psychologist (except that it’s for Shiatsu…)

And here’s some inspiration on the benefits of Shiatsu and how it can do wonders for your health (from my Pain Management Clinic page)


Shiatsu releases muscle tension, tight joints and trapped nerves through applying direct pressure throughout the body, leaving you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, relaxed and pain-free.

Shiatsu uses the same pressure points and meridians as acupuncture but without the needles, instead using a firm (but not painful) pressure to stimulate and balance the natural energies of the body.

Simon also practices a type of Shiatsu that uses the ‘Hirata Zones’ for releasing pain and inflammation, so you get even more benefit.

  • Shiatsu massage can help:
    Neck and back pain, lower back issues, scoliosis, lordosis, sciatica, slipped discs
  • Headaches, migraines, eye strain, facial neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, jaw issues, teeth clenching, bruxism and grinding
  • Shoulder pain, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff issues, frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), shoulder dislocation
  • Leg pain, knee and hip issues, muscle pain, adhesions and scar tissue, old injuries, misalignment, plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, sprained ankles
  • Arm and hand pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, RSI, tendinitis, tennis and golfers elbow,
  • Premenstrual pain and cramps

This is not an exhaustive list, if you are experiencing pain other than the symptoms listed above, feel free to contact me to find out how Shiatsu can help you.

And if you know of any other Health Insurance providers who also have a facility to cover shiatsu under their plans, please let us know in the comments below. We’ve scoured the net but not been able to find any other UK company that also covers your Shiatsu sessions…

If you’d like to book a Shiatsu session or find out more you can email or contact Simon on 07951 621 308

Shiatsu for mothers

Its tough being a Mum so try Shiatsu for all stages of motherhood – enhance your immune system, relax, take time out for yourself, get rid of that nagging back pain – all in as little as 60 minutes!


Shiatsu for Fertility

When you’re getting ready to have a child Shiatsu can help prepare you for fertility; by encouraging the right balance of hormones, reducing stress, relaxing the mum-to-be and reducing anxiety about conceiving. Shiatsu will also help you get in the best shape of your life in order to support the baby’s future development and give the best start in life.


Shiatsu for Mums

Shiatsu in the First trimester

Having conceived its important to use shiatsu to support mums health and energy, as well as early foetal development. Job stress and life’s pressures can have a negative effect on the young foetus, so it’s important to utilise shiatsu at this stage to support your health by de-stressing regularly and taking some time out of your busy schedule. There are certain pressure points that its important to avoid during the first trimester: top of the shoulder, above the ankle bone on the inside of the leg, and the web of the hand between the thumb and forefinger (though all of these are very useful later in pregnancy… Read on)


Shiatsu in the second trimester

Now the baby is established and starting  to grow/show… so its time to support the growth of the baby and the changes in future-mums body. You can expect the beginning id back ache, swelling feet, difficulty sleeping, increased frequency of urination… Fun times!

So it’s really important to slow down, look after yourself and make sure it’s as easy as possible from here on out


Shiatsu in the third trimester

By now you may well have ballooned with baby and baby weight, so you need support with the extra weight you’re carrying. You’ll be feeling it in your feet, lower back and inside your pelvis. Your energy levels may well be at an all time low, so regular shiatsu will be supporting your body as all these changes take place


Shiatsu around the Due Date

Remember those points we were avoiding in the first trimester? They’re about to come into their own! Those points encourage uterine contractions, not good when you’ve got a tiny teeny foetus holding on but great to encourage the birth! Shiatsu around the due date includes a series of points which relaxes mum and baby ready for delivery.


Shiatsu for late term mothers

Shiatsu master Kensen Saito helped mothers as late as 43 conceive naturally using only shiatsu (having already miscarried) (p92)

Shiatsu can also be used in conjunction with IVF treatment as will have only positive interactions. supporting mum to relax, boosting the immune system, promoting the right mix of hormones to produce healthy eggs… Generally bringing balance to the system, optimum to fertility!


Post natal Shiatsu

Support mum to recover from the ordeal of birth, recoup her energy, adjust to the new role of being a mother (or a mother of multiple little people). Can also give mum much needed space and emotional support post birth, as well as helping with post-natal depression and the baby blues.


Shiatsu for Mums in action

For Mums it’s all go looking after the little ones, and can contribute to back pain, low energy levels, a feeling of overwhelm… Take the time to switch off, nurture and invest in yourself, boost your immune system, give yourself quality time, and support your sleep cycle all with a simple shiatsu treatment!

So for future mums, expecting mums, active mums… Shiatsu is a one-stop shop to make you feel like super mum again!

Treatments are available in Liverpool street, London Bridge and Forest Hill clinics as well as in the comfort of your own home (travel may charges apply)

Contact Simon on 07951-621-308 or email to find out more and to book your Shiatsu session in

Natural Treatment for Anxiety

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.

Natural Treatment for Anxiety

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.

Natural anxiety treatment

Simon has four London clinics and makes house calls within London and Bromley.


Reduced rate/subsidised treatments are available if your anxiety levels impact on your ability to work or study. Please contact Simon on 07951 621 308 or


Remember a natural treatment for anxiety and panic attacks is available, with no side effects. You can start to feel the benefits in as little as 60 minutes!

Onsite Massage and Moshi Monsters

I recently attended an Evening Standard Business Connections event where Michael Acton-Smith of Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters was the guest speaker.

Moshi Monsters is one of the most successful UK startup companies, with 75 million registered users. Moshi Monsters is an online playground for children and their adopted Moshlings, cute and scary cartoon monsters.

Moshi Monster at Evening Standard Business Connections
Moshi Monster at Evening Standard Business Connections

Michael Acton-Smith first found success with university friend Tom Boardman when they launched, and particularly with their shot-glass chess set!

Between and Moshi Monsters Michael Acton-Smith founded Mind Candy and the locational puzzle game Perplex City, which by all accounts was a great learning experience but not a commercial success.

Since then Mind Candy hit it’s stride and Michael Acton-Smith has become a leading spokesman for the UK startup scene and one of it’s leading Entrepreneurs.

[pbp_pinit mediaurl=”” mediatype=”image” count=”none” description=”I met Michael Acton-Smith of Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters recently and got my Wired magazine signed :o)”]

Michael’s talk at the Evening Standard Business Connections event covered the development of his various businesses and what he sees as the future of the tech scene in London and the UK. The talk was followed by a Q and A session with a range of questions from the audience generally revolving around how to be successful in the UK startup scene.

Michael Acton-Smith at Evening Standard Business Connections
Michael Acton-Smith at Evening Standard Business Connections

After the presentation and Q & A Michael was swamped by people asking 1 to 1 questions, so my friend and I went off to eat cheese and drink wine at the buffet tables (it’s only natural).

Later having chatted so several of the other attendees and enjoyed the complementary snacks and drinks, Michael Acton-Smith appeared in the bar area with only 5 or so people around him.

This was my chance, I approached, was somehow standing in front of him very quickly… I pulled the Wired Magazine out of my back pocket (showing off my geek credentials) and got it signed. I then produced my business card and suggested to Michael that his growing staff team at Mind Candy might appreciate and benefit from Onsite Massage 🙂  Michael seemed to appreciate the novelty of my approach and the idea of treating his team to some massage.

[pbp_pinit mediaurl=”” mediatype=”image” count=”none” description=”I met Michael Acton Smith at the Evening Standard Business Connections event and got my UK Wired Magazine Signed!”]

He now had my card but the deal was not yet on the table…  I still had work to do…

At the time of writing this blog post I haven’t landed the sweet gig of working with Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters, but for me the action of going beyond my shy and reserved self was a big move and felt great.

I also made a pitch to a former Dragon of Dragons Den, which I’ve written about in this blog post. (coming soon)

The benefits of this sort of thing:

For me, it’s about going beyond my comfort zone, to actively promote my services (rather than letting my treatments, website and clients speak for me) and to make connections in real time and space.

My first Moshling
My first Moshling

For the new High Tech and Startup companies: A great way to look after your staff when wages and salaries may not be as high as the industry standard, when there is a lot of pressure on the team to produce the next release of software or launch a new product. It may even stop your best people being poached by another company who can offer them more money.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… So by looking after your staff now you can save on future recruitment costs, lost productivity, sick leave, low morale and hangover days (just book me in for a day of onsite massage after a big social event and count how many more of the team turn up for work!)

[pbp_pinit mediaurl=”” mediatype=”image” count=”none” description=”My first Moshling! I might be a bit old for them but I think they’re really cool :)”]

So for example, for a regular booking of 5 hours per week, you could give 80 staff a massage per month, at a cost of around £1000, or £12.50 per head (for 15 minutes each) which is much cheaper than either a pay rise, recruiting a new team member or even in the lost productivity from a sick day, hangover or disgruntled and disenchanted member of the team…

It’s more of a positive contribution than a day of paint-balling (not to mention cheaper) and 5 minutes after their massage session has ended they’re back at their desk getting on with their tasks with a renewed enthusiasm and vigour!

Onsite Massage Chair
Onsite Massage Chair

I’m a low tech geek available for the high tech and Startup industry. I deliver an excellent massage, targeting the most important areas and getting real results in a short time.  I come to you with my specially designed massage chair and can deliver anything from 2 hours of chair massage right up to 7 hours of massage in a day. So anywhere from 8 staff up to 28 can receive a massage in a single day!

There are of course a range of massage lengths and regular bookings will receive a preferential rate…

[pbp_pinit mediaurl=”” mediatype=”image” count=”none” description=”Onsite Massage in my special massage chair, in Businesses and at Events throughout London. Contact me on to find out more”]

Get in touch now for some complementary sessions in your office*: or call Simon on 07951 621 308

Stay tuned for updates on my mission to massage the Moshi Monsters!

*Ts & Cs apply, but get in touch anyway, it’s always good to talk 🙂

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