Cancer Wellness Events Boston MA

Back in 2013 I wrote a short post on “Why Cancer Patients Seek Support Outside the Hospital Walls”. It was back then a way for me to acknowledge the growing trend of more and more cancer patients seeking complementary services to their medical care with practitioners not affiliated with their main care place. 

The need of both cancer patients and caregivers to seek support outside the hospital walls is still strong but patients face the challenge of sorting through an overwhelming amount of information in order to decide who is genuine and what may be beneficial.

In a world where every practitioner has a website, YouTube channel, and an arsenal of Social Media outlets available, how do you sort through this maze of resources, methods and titles?

It’s interesting (for me) to observe how many of my clients intuitively resolved this overwhelm of information. Yes, they will do their research online, but the defining factor in their decision making process is more personal. At least in my case, they found out about the work I do through the original form of solid marketing, to good-all method of word-of-mouth.

The human factor, the same one that prompted them to seek support outside of the hospital walls is THE guiding factor in their decision making process about complementary treatments. The bottom line is when you provide a valuable service people talk about it. They share their thoughts and experience with those connected to them through all those amazing points of online access I mentioned before.

I find the swinging of the ‘information’ pendulum fascinating. It gives me, as a practitioner hope that those who need the kind of support I offer will be able to find it.

The Problem with Free Cancer Support Resources

Would you attend a free cancer wellness event in your community? Having offered many such events over the past 10 years my conclusion is that for the most part patients and caregivers associate free events with little or no value.

For me, free resources/events were a way to give back to the community. Reach people that could not otherwise afford being a paid client. These events however are usually poorly attended. Many times no one showed up.

We’ve all been taught in one way or another that you can only get value when you’re paying for it but it’s sad really. There has to be a way for you to find support for a low or no cost at all. There has to be aa way for you to find help outside the hospital walls because, well, life happens outside these walls.

If you are a patient or a caregiver, you know the hospital environment can be isolating. You know that what takes place inside the Chemo Suite is quite different from outside everyday life.

My hope in offering support outside the hospital walls was to address one of the greatest challenges for anyone emerging from the cancer journey, which is to settle back into their daily living.

I am curious, as a practitioner to learn how to better support you and others during this period of time. Do you have a suggestion for me?

If you wish to find out more about events happening this month visit our Calendar.

cancer and mind

A Mind-Body Approach to Cancer Recovery – Part 2

cancer diagnosis shock

Overcoming the Shock of Cancer Diagnosis

According to the Washington Post, every day in the United States approximately 4,600 people are diagnosed with some form of cancer. 1 The most common initial reaction to those three dreaded words “you have cancer” is shock, fear and disbelief, which are followed by an intuitive sense that life as we’ve known them are forever changed. If you have “been there” yourself or know someone who has been impacted by cancer you know there’s some truth to it. You also know that today, more then any other time in history we have the means and tools to help patients survive and thrive.

Feelings Upon Diagnosis

Once diagnosed, most patients describe feeling disoriented. The pace of change and the life threatening nature of this illness often bring about anger, anxiety, fear, and depression, which take time to process. It’s hard to admit that despite of so many medical and technological advancements, and the fact that more and more patients do survive treatment, Cancer is still associated with a death sentence.

I’m not going to pretend things are perfect in any way, I do however want you to know even during this trying times you can learn how to cope with and successfully overcome all of these experiences. You can journey from feeling like a victim, to feeling and being a victor.

Taking Control

One successful strategy to taking control is to keep your gaze on the big picture. Yes, there is another tomorrow and the sun will rise again. This will help you place the information disseminated by your Medical team in the right context. Everything may sound very urgent, and it may very well be, but you have a voice and it’s the most important one. If you feel rushed, slow things down.

You may feel like your body has betrayed you and therefore you cannot trust yourself anymore, but you are so much more then just your body, you are a whole person with a rich life experience to draw from. As you learn about treatment options, conventional and alternative, and start to put together a treatment plan that is right for you it will be easier to adjust since you know what your next steps are. 2

In most cases, progression of illness is slow which means you have time. You have time to address not only your body but also yourself, the person within this body. Doing so will help you feel acknowledged, witnessed, heard and more in control.

If you read any of my previous blog posts you know that I view illness through a multidimensional lens. My belief is that illness must be addressed not only on the level of the body or physical symptoms but also on the level of the mind.

Imagine a boxer that eats well, lifts weights to gain muscle, and performs cardio to increase endurance. But leading up to the fight he keeps thinking there’s no way he can win. On the day of the fight he is unable to focus on the end result he wants to achieve, he gets hit and will likely lose because he has not realized this match requires mental and emotional endurance as much as physical one. Remember this quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.

Mental & Spiritual Wellness

The one takeaway I want you to remember today is that while your medical team is doing everything in their power to mend your body, it is up to you to tend to and mend your mind. Talk to your medical team about integrating complementary medicine into your cancer care, especially hypnotherapy. Why hypnotherapy? Well, hypnotherapy engages the part of your mind called the Subconscious Mind. This part of your mind harbors your beliefs and perceptions (responsible for stress, fear, helplessness). It’s also the part of your mind that governs many of your bodily functions like immune function for example.

Working in the realm of the Subconscious Mind to change the quality of your perceptions (of treatment/procedures) from negative and harmful to positive and supporting can have a transformative effect on your experience. Any medical provider will agree that getting into treatment in the right frame of mind can improve outcome. Furthermore, resolving the mental patterns inhibiting immune functions can allow your immune system to be restored to its full capacity thus make your body more resilient.

Final analogy

I will leave you with this final analogy for the need to treat illness on all of its dimensions:

Think of a person as a musical instrument. Say for example, someone hands you a beautiful guitar made of exquisite wood polished to a warm glow. You start to strum it, but it sounds horrible! So you use a pitch pipe to tune each and every string in order to get the best sound. You take the extra effort to get each string tuned to the correct note and once you start to play again the guitar produces the melodic sound you want. Now it is harmonious and balanced. Translate that into recovery and healing and it becomes clear these goals they can only be achieved when we address every single dimension. Then you can feel like you are in charge of your own destiny and can begin the journey toward a positive outcome.

If you have questions on where to go next or what hypnosis can do for your recovery, please contact me today. I’m happy to help.

1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/01/07/how-cancer-will-affect-americans-in-2016-in-xx-charts/

2) http://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2014/cancer-guide2014/at-diagnosis-dealing-with-emotions

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

Viktor Frankl

The Problem with Cancer Care #2

This is the second video in this series. It continues to explore the failure of researchers to identify the root cause of cancer, address illness as a multidimensional event and produce the “cure”.
If you have not seen the first video, CLICK HERE.

cancer patients online support

Hypnotherapy for Cancer Care Online

You can now supplement your medical cancer treatment from the comfort of your own home. This service is designed to help maximize the effectiveness of your medical treatment and your ability to recover.

This online service is the perfect solution for those who live far away or have limited mobility. It’s the next best thing to working with me one-on-one in my office.