YogaYoga can help cancer patients and survivors manage treatment side effects and cancer recovery. Evidence indicates that yoga can strengthen the immune system, increase strength and flexibility, improve balance and mobility, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, support a healthy weight, improve psychological well-being, reduce fatigue, improve sleep and help manage stress and anxiety (https://y4c.com/research/). All yoga is not the same. For more information about the yoga4cancer methodology developed specifically to address the needs of cancer patients and survivors and to find an oncology trained yoga teacher near you please visit www.y4c.com (yoga4cancer). See also https://y4c.com/books/ should you want to purchase Tari Prinster’s book Yoga for Cancer: A Guide to Managing Side Effects, Boosting Immunity, and Improving Recovery for Cancer Survivors.
I embraced a meditation/mindfulness practice long before I received my cancer diagnosis and it has helped me tremendously with stress management, staying positive and working through difficult moments. There are a number of practices available and the best practice is the one that most serves you. No matter which method of meditation/mindfulness you choose, the most important thing is consistency in the practice. As with all things in life, practice makes perfect.Please see below links to more information about meditation/mindfulness practices.
Many research studies support the idea that exercising during cancer treatment helps you feel better. Exercise programs can help improve strength and endurance, reduce stress and promote relaxation. I personally walk as much as I can on a daily basis and have found it to be extremely helpful in strengthening the bones that have been weakened by cancer. See www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-walking to learn more about the benefits of walking.
In the course of my treatment there have been times when I was not able to walk as well as times when I had to use poles to support myself. You just have to do the best you can. In the months when I was not able to walk I would get in a local pool with a waste belt to keep me afloat and try to move my body as much as I could. See https://powerfulpatients.org/2018/05/02/take-the-plunge-how-swimming-is-empowering-cancer-patients/ for more information on the benefits of swimming for cancer patients.See also the following links regarding the benefits of exercise.
Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment and staying healthy generally. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger.
Since my diagnosis I have added certain herbs and spices to my diet including turmeric and curcumin and ginger to help reduce inflammation in my body. See https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric. I start every morning with a concoction of 1/2 table spoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon mix of back pepper and cayenne. This mixture has really helped me manage the acid reflux that is a side effect of my targeted therapy. I also found the following books helpful: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell and How to Starve Cancer by Jane McLelland.See also
- It’s important to tell all your health care providers about all dietary supplements and drugs you take. That way, they can help you avoid harmful interactions.
Integrative medicine refers to combining complementary treatments with conventional care to treat the whole person rather than one organ system. It emphasizes a holistic, patient-focused approach to wellness, and can include mind and body practices. Integrative medicine weaves natural treatments such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga into your overall care plan.
For more information about how integrative medicine can compliment your treatment see:
- I started seeing an integrative medicine practitioner several years before I was diagnosed with cancer and have continued to see her throughout my cancer treatment. Integrative medicine has help me tremendously in dealing with the side effects of my treatments by teaching me ways in which I can support my immune system through herbal supplements, diet, acupuncture and mind body stress relief. I have also taken advantage of the healing traditions offered by shaman healers and other energy healers who focus on restoring energy equilibrium. To find a practitioner near you see https://www.ifm.org.