The brain is the most important organ in the body because it controls all complex actions including the ability to learn, speak, move, think, and control our emotions. The brain is made up of soft spongy tissue which means that when malignant cell growth occurs, it often invades surrounding healthy brain tissue quickly (brain tumours).
Although there have been many advances in technology and medicine over the decades, conventional therapeutic strategies generally remain unsuccessful and offer brain cancer patients a dismal outlook. Patients who undergo surgery and radiation treatment have an expected survival rate of only nine months. Only 10% of individuals who undergo chemotherapy for a brain tumour have an extended life expectancy.
While it is important to highlight Brain Tumour Awareness this month, focusing mostly on the primary symptoms and medical testing for brain cancer, more attention needs to be paid to nutrition, toxic exposures, and lifestyle factors and their contribution to the development of brain cancer. Read the rest of this entry
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has become an accepted complementary therapy for cancer patients, as they can provide support in the form of stress relief and emotional support.
Some essential oils, however, have been shown to act directly on cancer cells, , preventing growth or even promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death).
Every individual carries a minute amount of “cancer,” or malformed cells, in our bodies at all times. These cells do not cause any problems in healthy bodies where a balanced diet and robust lifestyle is practiced – the cells will generally be removed or healed and the body kept in balance.
In an unhealthy body which is not well-maintained or exercised and fed a constant diet of junk food, these malformed cells can continue to exist and can actually develop into cancer.
Some of the most effective oils against unhealthy irregular cells include Chamomile, Frankincense, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme. These oils are remarkable because they are able to selectively harm or disable cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact, whereas many conventional cancer medications and treatments are often poorly targeted and cause severe side effects.
While Gene Therapy has been around for a few years already, we don’t seem to be hearing much about it being used to treat cancer, especially paediatric cancer, and one cannot help but wonder why…
In most gene therapy studies, a “normal” gene is inserted into the genome to replace an “abnormal,” disease-causing gene. In cancer, some cells become diseased because certain genes have been permanently turned off. Using gene therapy, mutated genes that cause disease could be turned off so that they no longer promote disease, or healthy genes that help prevent disease could be turned on so that they can inhibit the disease.
Other cells may be missing certain genes. Researchers hope that replacing missing or defective genes can help treat certain diseases. For example, a common tumor suppressor gene called p53 normally prevents tumor growth in your body. Several types of cancer have been linked to a missing or inactive p53 gene. If doctors could replace p53 where it’s missing, that might trigger the cancer cells to die.
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – published on 12th January, 2017 – consolidated all evidence published since 1999 regarding the health impacts associated with cannabis and cannabis-derived products, such as marijuana.
In excess of 10,000 scientific abstracts were considered by the committee that carried out the study and wrote the report in order to reach its nearly 100 conclusions.
The growing accessibility of cannabis and acceptance of its use for recreational purposes have raised important public health concerns. Neither the level of therapeutic benefit offered by the drug nor the risks it carries for causing adverse health effects have been rigorously assessed.
“For years the landscape of marijuana use has been rapidly shifting as more and more states are legalizing cannabis for the treatment of medical conditions and recreational use,” said Marie McCormick, chair of the committee; the Sumner and Esther Feldberg Professor of Maternal and Child Health, department of social and behavioral sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass.
Laetrile is a partly man made (synthetic) form of the natural substance Amygdalin and has been used as a treatment for people with cancer worldwide. The term “laetrile” comes from 2 words (laevorotatory and mandelonitrile) and is used to describe a purified form of the chemical amygdalin. Amygdalin is a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide. Cyanide is believed to be the active cancer-killing ingredient in laetrile.
Amygdalin is a plant substance found naturally in raw nuts and the pips of many fruits, particularly apricot pips, or kernels. It is also present in plants such as lima beans, clover and sorghum.
Although laetrile is also often called Vitamin B17, it isn’t a vitamin. It is also known as Mandelonitrile beta D gentiobioside; Mandelonitrile beta glucuronide; Laevorotatory; Purasin; Amygdalina, and Nitriloside.
Jin Shin Jyutsu is the Art of releasing tensions which are the causes for various symptoms in the body. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art as opposed to a technique because a technique is a mechanical application, whereas an art is a skilful creation.
Our bodies contain several energy pathways that feed life into all of our cells. When one or more of these paths become blocked, this damming effect may lead to discomfort or even pain. This blockage or stagnation will not only disrupt the local area but will continue and eventually disharmonise the complete path or paths of the energy flow.
Jin Shin Jyutsu literally translated is:
JYUTSU – Art
SHIN – Creator
JIN – Man of Knowing and Compassion
(Art of the Creator through Man of Knowing and Compassion)
Through Jin Shin Jyutsu, our awareness is awakened to the simple fact that we are endowed with the ability to harmonise and balance ourselves (in rhythm with the universe) physically, mentally and spiritually. Read the rest of this entry
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate) is a nutrient we must get from food or dietary supplements since the body cannot make it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant – it helps prevent oxidative stress and works with enzymes to play a key role in making collagen.
A severe lack of vitamin C in the diet causes scurvy, a disease with symptoms of extreme weakness, dry skin, lethargy, easy bruising, and bleeding.
High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for patients with cancer since the 1970s. A Scottish surgeon named Ewan Cameron worked with Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling to study the possible benefits of Vitamin C Therapy in clinical trials of cancer patients in the late 1970s and early 1980’s.
Surveys of healthcare practitioners at United States CAM conferences in recent years have shown that high-dose IV vitamin C is frequently given to patients as a treatment for infections, fatigue, and various cancers, including breast cancer. Read the rest of this entry
Herbal medicine uses plants, or mixtures of plant extracts, to treat illness and promote health. It aims to restore your body’s ability to protect, regulate and heal itself. It is a whole body approach, so looks at your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is sometimes called phytomedicine, phytotherapy or botanical medicine.
Many modern drugs are made from plants. But herbalists don’t extract plant substances in the way the drug industry does. Herbalists believe that the remedy works due to the delicate chemical balance of the whole plant, or mixtures of plants, not one particular active ingredient.
The two most common types of herbal medicine used are Western Herbal Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine; some herbalists practice less common types of Herbal Medicine such as Tibetan or Ayurvedic Medicine (Indian).
Western Herbal Medicine
Western Herbal Medicine, also known as Herbalism or Botanical Medicine, is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant extracts that may either be applied to the skin or eaten, and focuses on the whole person rather than their illness.
Western Herbalism dates back to ancient Egypt, where records of garlic and juniper used for medicinal purposes were found from as early as 1700 B.C. By 100 B.C., the Greeks had developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine that related different herbs to different temperaments, seasons and elements such as earth, air, fire and water. The Romans took the Greek theories of medicine and added to them, creating a wealth of medical practices, some of which are still used today.
Herbalists use remedies made from whole plants, or plant parts, to help your body heal itself or reduce the side effects of medical treatments. Read the rest of this entry
Guided Imagery is also often referred to as Imagery or Visualisation, and is the use of images to assist one to imagine and attain a specific goal.
Guided Imagery is based on the premise that the mind and body are connected, and that one can use one’s imagination to influence one’s physical health and sense of well-being.
Guided Imagery involves far more than just the visual sense though, which is a good thing as only around 55% of people are strongly wired visually. Guided imagery techniques therefore involve all of the senses.
Advocates have long contended that the imagination is a potent healer that has long been overlooked by practitioners of Western medicine, and believe that Imagery can relieve pain, speed healing and help the body subdue hundreds of ailments, including depression, impotence, allergies and asthma.
The power of the mind to influence the body is quite remarkable. Although it isn’t always curative, imagery can be helpful in 90% of the problems that people normally visit their primary care physician for.
From the famous healing temples of ancient Greece to present-day pilgrims traveling to Mecca and Lourdes, from the Hermetic rites to help a person visualise himself in perfect health to modern-day Christian Science; visualisation has been employed as a powerful tool for inner change.
Cartilage is a type of tough, flexible connective tissue that forms parts of the skeleton in many animals.
Cartilage contains cells called chondrocytes, which are surrounded by collagen (a fibrous protein) and proteoglycans, which are made of protein and carbohydrate.
It was once believed that sharks, whose skeletons are made mostly from cartilage, do not develop cancer.
This caused interest in cartilage as a possible treatment for cancer. Although malignant tumours are rare in sharks, cancers have been found in these animals.
A History of the Medical Use of Bovine and Shark Cartilage
- It was first reported that bovine cartilage decreased inflammation (redness, swelling, pain, and feeling of heat) in the 1960s;
- In the 1970s, it was found that bovine cartilage contains a substance that blocks angiogenesis (the forming of new blood vessels). If blood vessel growth into a tumour can be blocked, the tumour will stop growing or shrink.
- By the 1980s, laboratory and animal studies as well as clinical trials (research studies in people) testing bovine cartilage as a treatment for cancer were being conducted.
Yoga is an ancient lifestyle practice that uses a series of movements and poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation to allow a deeper connection to Self. The word yoga means “to join” or “union.”
Yoga focuses on joining the Body, Mind, Breath and Spirit together in harmony and focus, without mental distractions.
Yoga has been practised for thousands of years. Strict followers of the discipline observe a number of beliefs and practices, including ethics, dietary guidelines and spirituality.
Yoga can help people living with cancer relieve their anxiety and depression. It’s also been shown to increase a sense of spiritual well-being and may also potentially help with fatigue or sleeping problems.
Yoga is great for children with cancer because it is one of the integrative therapies that could involve both patients and their loved ones in a more hands-on approach.
Yoga also allows the Child with Cancer around 45 minutes away from their illness; time to once again be the child they are meant to be, and not a cancer patient. Yoga can also benefit the mother/caregiver as they are also given the freedom to be a playful and carefree for a while and to enjoy being with the child in almost normal circumstances, as opposed to being a full-time carer.
Music therapy is the use of music by trained professionals to encourage relaxation and enhance quality of life in people receiving health care. The hope is to relieve stress and promote well-being.
Some people experience reduction of symptoms and improved healing. If you love listening to music, this therapy might be right for you.
During music therapy, you listen to music or use musical instruments under the guidance of a music therapist.
Other types of music therapy include singing and writing songs. Music therapy may be used along with other therapies, such as art therapy.
Music therapy uses music and sound to help one express one’s emotions; cope with symptoms of a disease and its treatment; improve one’s emotional and physical well-being; develop self confidence and self esteem; develop or re-kindle a sense of creativity; and help one to relax and feel comfortable.
You don’t need to have any musical ability or experience to benefit from music therapy. It is thought that our brain and body respond naturally to sound, including the rhythm and beat of music.
Music therapy is one of the best types of therapy for children with cancer, because who does not like music? Music therapy allows them to have fun and forget about the pain, nausea and other problems they are facing in their fight against cancer, if only for a little while.
Meditation is a type of mind-body therapy based on the connection between the mind and the body and how the health of one affects the health of the other.
Meditation is a state of deep concentration when you focus your mind on one image, sound or idea, such as a positive thought in order to increase mental awareness and calm your mind and body.
The aim is to be aware of thoughts that normally occupy your mind or to experience the sensations that flow through your body and mind.
One of the most important parts of meditation is conscious breathing, or being aware of the way that you breathe. Taking regular, slow, deep and quiet breaths helps to calm your body and mind.
It’s believed that this type of breathing will help lower blood pressure and help reduce stress and anxiety. There are many different types of meditation and most people try different kinds of meditation to see what works best for them.
Many individuals with cancer feel that meditation has been beneficial to them in various ways. Meditation can be done by individuals of any age and many children with cancer have profited from the benefits of meditation.
Massage Therapy is a system of treatment that works by stroking, kneading, tapping or pressing the soft tissues of the body. It aims to relax you mentally and physically. It has been used for centuries. Massage may concentrate on the muscles, the soft tissues, or on the acupuncture points.
Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, studios, and sport and fitness facilities. Some also travel to patients’ homes or workplaces. They usually try to provide a calm, soothing environment.
Considering the long history of massage, its incorporation into Western medicine is only in its infancy. The potential for growth and research of the healing properties of therapeutic massage and body work has gained great momentum over the last fifty years, and the public demand for massage therapy is at an all-time high.
As a preventative practice, therapeutic massage is used in spas, gyms and work places all over the country. Using massage therapy to promote balance and maintain internal and external health is something that is now a standard part of the North American lifestyle.
In the health care industry, massage is commonly used in hospitals, nursing homes and birthing centers. It is also used in physical therapy and in chiropractic clinics to treat pain, increase circulation and expedite the healing of injured muscles.
Massage therapy is one of the most popular complementary therapies used by people living with cancer.
Labyrinth walking involves a meditative walk along a set circular pathway that goes to the centre and comes back out. Labyrinths can also be “walked” online or on a grooved board following the curved path with a finger.
Life is not always easy, and our dreams are not always fulfilled in the manner we first anticipated.
Yet, like on a labyrinth, each step along the path leads us closer to our destined goal, even when that goal is unexpectedly different that we once imagined.
Life happens. People change. Illness, injury or even death occurs when we are least prepared and are most vulnerable.
Meditation is often recommended for those diagnosed with cancer to help reduce stress, to gain perspective, and to work through emotions. Walking a labyrinth is helpful for those who have trouble with conventional meditation and is very easy and can be done by anyone, which makes it perfect for children with cancer.
Labyrinth Walking: A Journey of the Body, Mind, and Soul