cancer health

Proven Strategies to Lessen Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Your medical regimen  and often time the side effects that follow will impact your quality of life. Some days are better than cancer healthothers but it’s worth being prepared and incorporate habits and activities that can support and increase your comfort and vitality. The age old wisdom that is outlined below is simple, yet effective. It states that we should be cognizant of everything we put into our body – including our thoughts.

Be Aware of What You Eat

When it comes to food the best thing to do is to prepare it ahead of time. Stock up on organic, healthy foods. You and your family can prepare and refrigerate or freeze healthy meals before you begin therapy. This way you’ll have a lot less work to do when you’re not feeling so great. Ensure the meals are nutrient-dense, and organic (whenever possible) to aid your body in its recovery. Choose a variety of fresh and colorful foods such as:

  • Fruits, vegetables, and legumes
  • Whole grains (Quinoa is a good one. It’s high in protein, gluten-free, easy to prepare and to digest.)
  • Low fat lean proteins: Greek yogurt 2% or 0%, eggs, seafood, lean meat, edamame (soybeans in the pod) and unsalted nuts and seeds.

Some foods to avoid or eat less of are:

  • Sodium (salt)
  • Added sugar
  • Simple sugars (white bread, white rice, candy)
  • Solid fat
  • Alcohol

Eat More Frequently

Good news. You can eat smaller, more frequent meals when you’re experiencing side effects. Try five small meals per day rather than three and see if it helps with any digestive issues. Eating this way can also give you sustained energy throughout your day.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Drink water or other liquids frequently. If you don’t like water, you can get your liquids through soup broths (low sodium, of course), fruit and green smoothies, flavored teas, and more. It’s important to drink a lot of water so you stay hydrated and flush unwanted substances from the body.

Mind Body Connection

Besides eating fresh, healthy, and organic foods, there are some really fun activities to try, whether you’ve attempted them in the past or not. All of these can help keep your mind on the positive healing track. Of course as with any treatment, be sure to verify with your doctor that you are cleared to take part in these treatments.

Exercise

Exercise is beneficial for everyone, but even more so for a patient receiving treatment. Cancer related fatigue is often the most troubling side effect of treatment according to patients. That’s right, even more than nausea, vomiting, pain, or sleep problems, because it affects the ability to perform every day tasks. By getting regular exercise, a patient can sleep better and feel less pain, anxiety, and depression. 1

But what kind of exercise am I talking about? No 5k’s or triathlons, but walking, biking, yoga, tai chi, and water aerobics. Those activities are varied enough that you should not get bored. Each type of exercise can be performed by novices or experts, and each one goes fairly easy on the body yet provides incredible calming and healing benefits.

Additional Alternatives 2

Other important treatments that can provide relief and healing are:

Hypnosis – to work on changing the subconscious so it can work with the body to bring about healing (I think you guessed I’d mention that!)

Massage – yes, please.

Meditation – can help quiet the mind.

Relaxation techniques – uses breath and visualization to calm body and mind

Acupuncture – reduces nausea, vomiting, pain and improves digestion

Aromatherapy – fights anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure 3

Music therapy – benefits patients of all ages and musical abilities. You don’t have to be Mozart or Chopin to reap the benefits. Music therapy promotes wellness, manages stress, reduces pain, and promotes physical rehabilitation. 4

Add these exercises and treatments into your overall healing arsenal to assist you in regaining better health and wellbeing. If you have questions on these treatments, how they are performed, and what they can do for you, please feel free to contact me right now.

1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647480/

2) http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-treatment/art-20047246?pg=1

3) http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/comp_med/types/aromatherapy

4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863265/

The Appleseed Project 2016

The Annie Appleseed Project

If you are interested in learning about Complementary Medicine for Cancer, there is no better place for you to do so then The Annie Appleseed Project website.

The Appleseed Project 2016

Ann Fonfa and Avinoam Lerner at The Appleseed Project 10th Evidence-Based Conference for Complementary Medicine for Cancer

The Annie Appleseed Project was founded in 1997 by Ann Fonfa, a breast cancer survivor herself. The purpose of the project was and still is to inform, educate, advocate and raise awareness around (Complementary Alternative Medicine) CAM for cancer. Through its annual conference on Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies the project offers patients, caregivers and medical providers the opportunity to join, share and learn from one another.

My acquaintance with Ann started back in 2011 when I was invited to place an article in the Conference magazine. This year (2016) I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters and share with the audience some of my case studies on hypnosis for cancer recovery.

Below, you can find the presentation in a PDF format. Since the conference was videotaped, I will post the video as soon as they’re done with the editing and I have the final version.

It was a real treat to be a part of the Appleseed community this year. I met some very courageous people and can only hope I have inspired few to take action and learn how to mobilize their mind and inner resources to promote wellness and advance recovery.

If you have any question with regard to the presentation below, please feel free to contact me.

Annie Appleseed Conference Presentation:

Hypnosis Intervention for Treatment of Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors

Mind-Body Treatments for the Pain-Fatigue-Sleep Disturbance Symptom Cluster in Persons with Cancer

TEDx 2015 Avinoam Lerner

TEDx Talk – Hypnosis for Cancer Recovery

TEDx 2015 Avinoam LernerLast week I had the privilege to speak at a TEDx event here in Boston. Few months of preparations and countless revisions of my talk boiled down to twelve minutes on stage. My initial thought to the invitation to speak at the event was it should be easy to talk about what I do day in and day out for a living, in theory Yes, in practice, oh boy, I was in for a surprise.

The challenge wasn’t being on stage or speaking in front of such a big audience, this I was comfortable with. The challenge presented itself when I thought about introducing the topic of utilizing hypnosis for Cancer recovery to an audience who knows little or nothing about the mind, its nature and relationship to the body. If I was to be successful of delivering this message it had to be done in a clear and interesting way. I had to avoid professional jargon and find a way to make this information accessible.

I was fortunate to have the support I needed, both from the organizers as well as from my wife. They helped me sift through the material and make this talk both accessible and meaningful. Now that the actual talk is behind me I can see how important it was for me to be able to distill the core message from the vast amount of information I wanted to share.

I wanted people to hear that the potential for recovery, from any illness but especially cancer, goes beyond simply submitting their body to treatment, and that their mind is their greatest ally in the recovery process. I wanted people to recognize that harnessing and mobilizing their inner resources through hypnosis can and will have transformative effect.

When I described Illness as a call for us to take action it resonated with many. Intuitively we know that illness, or for that matter symptoms in general are the tangible evidence of what really goes in our minds. They highlight the need to live more authentically, more in tune with ourselves, more aligned with our sincere and relevant core values.

If feedback from attendees is any form of measuring success, I am satisfied that my message was heard. Now, I can only hope my talk will somehow make its way to the TEDx mother-ship, that is the TED.COM platform so more people can learn their mind can and does intervene with their immune system and that there are ways for them to play a more active role in their recovery.