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Stress and immunity – What You Should Know and Do

Stress and immunity – What You Should Know and Do

How exactly does stress from the mind end up affecting the immune system?

“Some kinds of stress — very short-term, that last only a matter of minutes — actually redistribute cells in the bloodstream in a way that could be helpful,” says Suzanne Segerstrom, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky who has conducted studies on stress and the immune system. “But once stress starts to last a matter of days, there are changes in the immune system that aren’t so helpful. And the longer that stress lasts, the more potentially harmful those changes are.”

The fight-or-flight response (short-term stress) goes something like this: When a villager in Africa sees a lion charging at him, for example, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal gland to create hormones called cortisol and adrenaline, which have many different effects on the body, from increasing heart rate and breathing to dilating blood vessels so that blood can flow quickly to the muscles in the legs. Besides helping him run away, this type of acute stress also boosts the immune response for three to five days (presumably to help him heal after the lion takes a swipe at him).

When humans experience stress, our bodies react the same way that animals’ bodies do. Once the lion is gone, a zebra or gazelle’s stress level will return to normal, but humans have more trouble getting back to our routines after a stressful event, whether it’s a car accident or a divorce. We’ll think about it, dream about it, and worry about it for a long time, and that sets us up for long-term problems, says Robert M. Sapolsky, a Stanford University stress expert and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

Over time, continually activating the stress response may interfere with the immune system. How this affects your disease risk, Sapolsky suggests, depends partly on your risk factors and your lifestyle, including your degree of social support.

Was Grandma right?

immunity-boost-MINIAs we have seen, many studies show that stress can impact different facets of the immune system. Some suggest that stress slows recovery from illness or makes us more likely to catch colds. But can stress actually make us sick, or shorten our lifespans? Our immune systems are so complicated, and a person’s immune response affected by so many factors, it’s understandably a difficult area of study. In addition, it’s hard to find stressed-out volunteers willing to expose themselves to viruses to see if they’ll get sick or not.

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© POSITIVE reiki 2014 – 2015

In the meantime, there is enough evidence to convince us that we should find healthy ways to keep our stress levels down, which is advice we got from our grandmothers: Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Start boosting your immunity with this easy guide.  In addition, we now have ample evidence that methods of avoiding or decreasing stress promote cardiovascular health and wellness. Breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, socialization, Qi-gong and Tai-Chi are just a few of the methods that have been proven to enhance quantity of life by managing stress. Try alternative therapies such as Reiki to help you restore calmness into your life.  Create a positive energy space with this unique Healing Lavender Spray and be in harmony with the art of zen living.

“Stress is inevitable,” Spiegel says. “The trick is to learn to manage it, to find some aspect of our stress and do something about it. Don’t think in terms of ‘all or nothing’ but in terms of ‘more or less.’ ”

References

Full Article from Consumer Health Today

Immunity Boosting Guide

Mind Body Green

Interview with David Spiegel, MD, Stanford University

Interview with Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, University of Kentucky

Suzanne C. Segerstrom et al. “Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry.” Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 130, No. 4, 2004.

Ronald Glaser et al. “Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health,” Nature Reviews: Immunology, Vol. 5, March 2005.

Robert M. Sapolsky. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Third Edition. Owl Books, New York, NY. 2004.

Sephton SE, et al. “Diurnal Cortisol Rhythm as a Predictor of Breast Cancer Survival,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), Vol 92; No. 12. June 21, 2000.

Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser et al. “Chronic stress and age-related increases in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Vol. 100; No. 15. July 22, 2003.

Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser et al. “Hostile Marital Interactions, Proinflammatory Cytokine Production, and Wound Healing.” Archives of General Psychology, Vol. 62, Dec. 2005.

Ronald Glaser et al. “Chronic stress modulates the immune response to a pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine,” Psychosomatic Medicine, 62:804-807 (2000).

Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser et al. “Chronic stress alters the immune response to influenza virus vaccine in older adults,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Vol. 93. April 1996.

Julie M. Turner-Cobb et al. “Social Support and Salivary Cortisol in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer,” Psychosomatic Medicine, 62:337-345 (2000).

Bruce S. McEwen. “Protective and Damaging Effects of Stress Mediators.” The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 338:171-179.

S. Cohen, D.A. Tyrrell, and A.P. Smith. “Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold.” The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 325:606-612

Tim Lee, PhD and Angela McGibbon, MD. Immunology Bookcase: Immunology for Medical Students. Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Mayo Clinic. Stress: Constant stress puts your health at risk. September 11, 2010.

Graham JE, et al. Hostility and pain are related to inflammation in older adults. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2006 Jul;20(4):389-400.

Alzheimers Association. Fact sheet: Anti-inflammatory therapy.

© 2014 – 2015 POSITIVE reiki.  All Rights Reserved

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#HolidayStress ? Restore your Body and Mind with Reiki! 100% Holistic


Book Your future Session between December 28, 2014 to Jan 10, 2015,

And Receive

POSITIVE reiki’s Unique & Exclusive Reiki Healing Lavender Spray!

Offer applies to Reiki For Pets!


 

Is Holiday Stress dragging you down?  Do you feel fatigued and overwhelmed? Emotionally Drained?

It happens especially at this time of the year.  We accumulate and carry so much energy with us throughout the year but never have the opportunity to review and release it.  When the holiday season comes, our stress levels naturally doubles as we begin to prepare for the celebration into the New Years.  Stress can creep up on us in many different ways.

A holistic perspective sees health as a dynamic state of balance with considerable resilience in the overall system. A healthy person can withstand a certain amount of stress and bounce back. This is because the human body’s ability to heal includes various self-regulating mechanisms that maintain overall balance, which is known as homeostasis.

However, after experiencing sudden, intense stress or moderate stress that is constant over a period of time, the body’s ability to regulate itself becomes compromised and health declines, slowly or not so slowly. Stress causes the body to lose its ability to rebalance, to restore homeostasis.  This is why you are constantly recovering from that same flu repeatedly.

Unless they are addressed, the stresses of everyday life – environmental, emotional, physical, financial, social etc. – can combine with an individual’s genetic predispositions and result in declining health and wellbeing.

What Happens at Our Reiki Session

What Happens at Our Reiki Session

 

Reiki treatment helps lessen the impact of stress, releasing tension from the entire system. Not only does the person move toward his or her own unique balance in body, mind and spirit, but also, depending on the level of physical health when Reiki begins, the body’s own healing mechanisms often begin functioning more effectively.


What might I experience?

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“I feel very refreshed and seem to be thinking more clearly.” “I think I fell asleep.” “I can’t believe how hot your hands got!” “I feel more relaxed than even after a massage.” “My headache is gone.” These are some of the things people typically say after a Reiki session.

The experience of Reiki is subjective, changeable, and sometimes very subtle. People often experience heat in the practitioner’s hands, but sometimes the practitioner’s hands feel refreshingly cool. Other common experiences are subtle pulsations where the practitioner’s hands are placed or cascading waves of pulsations throughout the body.

People often comment how comforting they find the experience of Reiki to be. An interesting study reported that recipients frequently feel that they are hovering in a threshold state of consciousness, simultaneously aware of their surroundings and deeply indrawn. Some people fall into a deep, sleeplike meditative state. Sometimes the experience of Reiki is dramatic, while for other people, the first session in particular may be uneventful, although they feel somehow better afterward. The most common experience is an almost immediate release of stress and a feeling of deep relaxation.

Reiki is cumulative and even people who don’t notice much the first time usually have progressively deeper experiences if they continue. Besides the immediate experience of the Reiki, you may notice other changes that continue to unfold as the day goes on: perhaps stronger digestion, a sense of being more centered and poised and less reactive, and sleeping deeply that night.

Sources:

Excerpts from University of Minnesota – Spiritual and Healing

Excerpt from International Reiki

For additional information: “What Does the Research say about Reiki?”

Original story written by Dawn Fleming: NaturalNews)

Reiki News Magazine, Summer 2013, Article Reiki and the Miracle of a Human Life, Dr. Jennifer Caragol and Dawn Fleming

Reiki and Pregnancy: http://www.reiki.org

Miles P, True G. Reiki – review of a biofield therapy history, theory, practice, and research. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2003;9(2):62-72.

 

© POSITIVE reiki 2014


Book Your Session between December 28, 2014 to Jan 10, 2015,

And Receive

POSITIVE reiki’s Unique & Exclusive Reiki Healing Lavender Spray

Offer applies to Reiki For Pets!


 


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8 Herbal Teas You Should Know About

Herbal teas are known for their refreshing flavour and calming properties. They are prepared either by mixing herbs with tea or by simply brewing the herbs. Besides being gentle and readily available, they are also associated with number medicinal and therapeutic properties. Here is a list of top 8 herbal teas with great health benefits you can brew and enjoy.


Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is mild and is very refreshing. The main component of the tea is peppermint oil which contributes to all the therapeutic effects. The tea is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and contains very low calories. It is best known for its properties to soothe the stomach and promote digestion. A warm glass of peppermint tea can also help to effectively relieve nausea [1]. You can easily find dried peppermint leaves in ayurvedic stores and even in some drug store.

Steps to brew – For 1 cup peppermint tea:
In boiling water, put 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves
Let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then strain
You can add some sweetener according to your taste and enjoy your hot cup of tea


Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is mild and reviving. It is found very powerful to treat a number of maladies. It has sedative properties that can relieve both sleeplessness and anxiety. Here’s how you can deal with anxiety disorders. It has also been shown to be helpful in relieving skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema[2]. Dried chamomile flowers can be found in most grocery stores.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup chamomile tea:
In a cup of hot water, put 2-3 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers
Allow it to infuse for a few minutes
With the help of a strainer, strain the liquid into another cup
You can add some honey or lemon juice according to your taste


Lemon balm tea

This herb belongs to the mint family and has been used for centuries to treat indigestion, anxiety and sleep disorders. This herb is good for the digestive system and is helpful in reducing flatulence and indigestion. Being antispasmodic in nature, it is also effective in easing menstrual cramps. Lemon balm is a medicinal plant and can be found in any ayurvedic store and or healthy supermarkets like Wholefoods or Choices.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup lemon balm tea:
Add a teaspoon of the dried herb into boiling water
Now steep it for 10-15 minutes and remove the leaves using a strainer
You can sweeten the tea with honey


Ginger tea

Ginger tea is known for its prized medicinal benefits. It is best known for its ability to fight nausea. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve muscle soreness after exercise. Drinking ginger tea during periods can also be helpful in reducing menstrual pain.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup ginger tea:
Slice ginger into thin pieces
Now bring a cup of water to boil and add the ginger slices
Let it steep for 10 minutes, then strain the water to remove the ginger
Add honey or fresh lemon juice, as per preference
Alternately, you can also add some ginger to your tea leaves, steep for a few minutes and then strain.


Lavender tea

Lavender is known for its bright purple flowers and pleasant aroma. Lavender is an antidepressant, expectorant analgesic and an antiseptic. Lavender tea is primarily used to ease anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression. The tea is also good for relieving indigestion and nausea [3]. You can find Lavender tea in most health food stores like Finlandia or Wholefoods.

Steps to brew – For 1 cup lavender tea:
Bring a cup of water to boil and put 2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
Now allow it to steep for good 4-5 minutes
Strain and serve the lavender tea with honey or sliced lemon
Lavender tea bags are also a convenient way to enjoy lavender tea.


Lemongrass tea

Lemongrass tea has a strong lemony fragrance. Lemongrass contains a lot of volatile oils that are rich in antioxidants and can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce pain in conditions such as arthritis. Lemongrass tea leaves are easily available at grocery stores. Dried lemongrass can also be found in ready-to-use tea bags from stores.
How to brew – For 1 cup lemongrass tea:
Add 2 tablespoons of tea leaves in boiling water
Steep it for 10 minutes until the tea becomes golden-brown in colour
Strain and add honey to the tea if you have a sweet tooth


Rosehip Tea
Rosehip is the fruit of rose plant that is typically red or orange in colour. It not only has beauty benefits, but it can also ward off many diseases. Being rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, rosehip tea has good antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can play a role in preventing arthritis, heart diseases and cancer. It is also a rich source of vitamin A which is an immune system booster [4]. You can find rosehip fruit in stores. You can also directly brew the Lipton rosehip tea if you can’t find the fruit.
Steps to brew – For 1 cup rosehip tea:
Boil a cup of water in a bowl and place a handful of dried rosehips in the bowl of boiling water
Leave the rosehips in the boiled water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes
Strain the water and drink the tea immediately before it gets cold


Sources:
Original article
[1] Tate S. Peppermint oil: a treatment for postoperative nausea. J Adv Nurs. 1997Sep;26(3):543-9. PubMed PMID: 9378876.[2] Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with
[2] Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular Medicine Reports, 3(6), 895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377[3] Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender
[3] Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. Int J Neurosci. 2003 Jan;113(1):15-38. PubMed PMID: 12690999.
[4] Roman, I., Stănilă, A., & Stănilă, S. (2013). Bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity of Rosa canina L. biotypes from spontaneous flora of Transylvania. Chemistry Central Journal, 7, 73. doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-73



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Using Flash Photography || Check Children for Eye Cancer

Did You Know You Can Easily #Check #Children for #Eye #Cancer Using #Flash #Photography?

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A new ad campaign in the UK is using interactive posters to inform parents that they can easily check their child for eye cancer using flash photography.

Designed for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, each poster features a real child who survived retinoblastoma, an aggressive cancer that mainly affects young kids due to the fact that it develops from immature, light-detecting cells in the developing eye.

Read more.


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#Fashion #Astrology – Why Your Rising Sign Shapes Your Wardrobe

Why Your Rising Sign Shapes Your Wardrobe

What is your sign?
Aries, Taurus,  Gemini, Leo, Libra…or others?

image

Your Sun sign is the essence of who you are, but your ascendant, also known as yourrising sign, is how you portray yourself to the world. 

The sign of the zodiac that was coming up over the Eastern horizon when you were born is your rising sign, and it plays a major role in your natal horoscope, your personal chart. Your chart ascendant is the exact degree of that sign, but the terms “rising sign” and “ascendant” are often used interchangeably.

Aries: The “Warrior” archetype serves to project and protect the identity. These folks are here to develop courage, channel vitality into constructive challenges and take a proactive approach to life. Aries need to face the world with their inner confidence, so feeling powerful and comfortable regardless of the setting is essential. Sleek, sporty and sexy, or power suited for the office; your physical body has to feel and look strong to let your true-self shine. Aries’ ruler is confident Mars and the placement of planet Mars in the chart is important.

Taurus: An earthy, solid dependability serves to ground and channel the personality into methodical, practical action. Sensuality guides expression and purpose. Serenity, simplicity and music are your allies. Taurus appreciates classic looks and sensual fabrics. Generally conservative, you care about the quality of what you wear, and buy classic brands that outlast trends. You present a grounded, practical face to the world that looks beautiful as well as expensive, all of which helps you operate at your best. Taurus’ ruler is Sensual Venus and the position of Venus in the chart is important.

Gemini: An inquisitive, mentally sharp and conceptual approach to life serves to engage you in an active, outwardly focused relationship with the world. Objectivity, travel and education are your allies. Gemini needs to get out into the world and mix it up a bit, so a style that is up-beat and expressive, while letting you move and multi-task, helps you be who you were meant to be. Accessories and a touch of whimsy help your personality shine. Inventive Mercury is Gemini’s ruler and the position of Mercury in the chart is important.

Find out exactly how your astrology sign affects how you dress in the link below.

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/zodiac-fashion-personal-style?spr_id=1447_80088083&src=spr_TWITTER

Original article by Jennifer Angel from Harpers bazaar.


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Holistic Healing Team – helps Dying Dog

Healing can take many forms, from a physical cure to an emotional recovery to a step away from struggles and toward peace, wholeness, and freedom. Sometimes healing can also be about letting go.  The journey of letting go can be filled with support in various ways.  The key to healing is how accepting and willing you are.

I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun, and the moon and stars – Dogen

Take a look at the story below, “Jones’s Healing Team”, to see how medical and holistic care come together in healing the last month’s of a Dog’s journey in life.  Healing is not only for Jones the dog, but also for everyone that is involved.  While healing Jones, they have healed themselves too.

When you have done everything, it is because of hope.

The holistic healing team provides the best care possible for healing Jones, a 12 and a half year old cattle dog mix diagnosed with tumors attached to his spleen and at the base of his heart.

The healing Team consists of:

– His veterinarian

– a holistic veterinarian

– an acupuncturist

– an animal communicator

– a Reiki Practitioner

 

Holistic Team Helps Dog’s Last Month – Baltimore Area

By Kathleen Lester, Michelle Dana-Christian, DVM, Theresa Deramo, & Terri Diener

Jones’ Healing Team

Jones, a 12 ½ year old cattle dog mix, was diagnosed with tumors attached to his spleen and at the base of his heart by our veterinarian.  Jones’ only symptom was a cough, and an Xray revealed the terrible news. Knowing that all beings are healed on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, I tapped into his existing healing team of practitioners and reached out to new ones to create a healing team that would address all levels of his being at this particular stage of his life.  My goal was to provide the best care for Jones that I could, not knowing if the healing was going to turn the cancer around or help him on his journey. Jones’ team included his veterinarian, a holistic veterinarian, an acupuncturist, an animal communicator, and Reiki practitioners.

Biopuncture/ Homotoxicology

Dr. Michelle Danna Christian: During the first visit, I reviewed Jones’ Xrays, realizing the reason for the consistent deep cough was from many metastatic tumors wrapped around his main stem bronchi at the base of his trachea. My physical exam revealed internal bleeding within his abdomen, which indicated that that this was primary tumor,  most likely a hemangiosarcoma, with a risk of rupturing.  Jones also had tumors on his left front leg up to his shoulder.

The allopathic side of me imagined I would be back tomorrow to euthanize Jones; however the holistic side of me was hopeful. Heroics were not an option with Jones’ age and diagnosis, the goal was to give Jones a higher quality of life for a longer period of time. We charted out a treatment of Homotoxicology and Biopuncture, to support his immune system, stop the internal bleeding, and attempt to stop the growth of the tumors, hoping to reduce their size.

I saw Jones 72 hours after the first visit and what a different dog – the tumors on his left leg were 95% reduced, the fluid in his belly was significantly reduced, no longer bleeding, and the entire time I was there, he only coughed once. Jones continued to improve over the next few weeks, the only bad news was that once the fluid was gone from his belly, we could palpate the tumor confirming that it was attached to his spleen and the size of a small football. Regardless, we continued to treat Jones and see amazing results – the tumors on his legs had all but disappeared and the tumor in his abdomen also reduced. Unfortunately the tumor around his trachea was persistent and in week four, Jones’ cough started to get worse.

Acupuncture

Theresa Deramo: I had been treating Jones with acupuncture for his arthritis and general health and well being for over a  year. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles along an energy pathway or meridian to access and change the flow of qi (energy), increase the blood flow and energy as a way to help the body maintain homeostatic balance. After the diagnosis, I believe it was important to continue with acupuncture to help keep Jones moving, his energy high and his spirit connected.

During our treatments, I offered more palliative care to aid in reducing the cough and keep Jones comfortable. I treated the lung, heart and pericardium meridians to open his chest and calm the cough. I treated the kidney meridian to aid the lung meridian in treating the cough and I treated the pericardium meridian because of its connection to the chest, wanting to unbind the chest as a way to help keep Jones comfortable.  The heart meridian was treated from a spirit or constitutional level to calm the shen or the part of the heart and spirit that allows us to stay settled and connected to our hearts path or journey throughout our life. During my last visit, it was clear that Jones was running out of energy. During this session, I treated the heart one more time as a way to allow Jones to help figure out if he needed to stay or if it was getting near time to say goodbye.

Animal Communication

Terri Diener: I was new to Jones’ healing team, but it was very important to the family that they asked him what he knew about his health, how he was doing and what he wanted for treatment. I find it interesting that so often animals keep their illnesses from their pet parents, as was the case with Jones. During our conversations, Jones said he was very receptive to the biopuncture and homotoxicology and he mentioned that although he had pain now and then, the acupuncture and Reiki were managing his pain.

Jones knew that the cancer was going to cause his death, but as long as he still had joy in each day, he wanted to continue his life. As time went on, even though the tumors were reducing in size, the cancer was tiring him, his cough returned  and he was losing energy. I encouraged the family to do a life review with Jones to let him know how much he has meant to them, as a way of letting him know it was okay if he wanted to go. On the last day, Jones’ had communicated to his family and his team that he was ready, and I confirmed his wishes and said my good byes.

Reiki

Kathleen Lester: As a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher, I wanted to offer as much healing on all levels of his being. When I first heard the news, I put in a request to my healing team of Reiki practitioners, who lovingly sent Jones much Reiki over the last month of his life. In addition, I attuned my husband and stepdaughter to Reiki, so they too could be part of Jones’ healing team.

Jones left us on his own terms, in his own way, because we were willing to hear what he had to say and what he wanted – no machines, no poisons, just natural remedies and as much time to experience joy in every moment. On his last day, Jones went for a walk and played a few rounds of ball in the yard (his absolute favorite sport). As Jones chewed on his marrow bone, we all gathered around him to say our good bye’s, including our dog, Althea, who came over and offered Jones’ one of his “stuffies” and said good bye too.

Jone’s team worked together with our family to offer him the care that he sought, not the care we desperately wanted -a cure. Sometimes the healing we seek, is not the healing we receive. In the case of Jones, I know he affected each member of his healing team, and we are all grateful that he shared his “joy” with us and we in turn will find our own joy in each day.

The Team

Michelle Dana-Christian, DVM— Relief Veterinary Services  & Boston Street Animal Hospital. www.reliefveterinarianservices.com
Theresa Deramo, LAC— Human & Animal Acupuncturist. Essence of Wellness.www.essenceofwellness.net.
Terri Diener, M.S. Animal Communicator & Teacher —Pet Speak. www.petspeak.com.
Kathleen Lester, M.S. Animal Reiki Practitioner & Teacher. www.animalreikialliance.com
Featured image from: http://cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20110628/acid_picdump_07.jpg

*As published in the Animal Reiki Alliance News, Volume III, Issue 1, January 2013.


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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) & Cancer in British Columbia

love540Integrative medical practices are uniquely focused on every element of a patient’s life from emotional well-being and stress management to nutrition and mind-body connection.

Complementary and alternative medicine is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.” The term “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” is frequently referred to as “CAM”. (NCCAM definition)

Complementary treatments are used in combination with conventional medicine. Alternative treatments are used instead of conventional medicine.

For more on defining CAM, please see NCCAM, http://www.nccam.nih.gov


 

Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Biologics and Natural health products “Biologics” describes food and nutrition as a form of managing your health. This includes changes in diet and special diets and foods, as well as natural health products (NHPs). NHPs are defined as vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, probiotics, and other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Mind-body practices include meditation and prayer, relaxation therapies, visualization, and creative activities, such as art and music therapy.

Manipulative and body-based practices include therapies such as spinal manipulation and forms of massage.

Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields such as therapeutic touch, reiki, and acupuncture.

Whole Medical Systems are based on distinct theories about treatment and practice and include multiple products and/or practices. Examples are traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy.


 

Why People Use CAM

People living with cancer give many reasons for using CAM. Some of these reasons include:

•    Easing cancer symptoms or the side effects of conventional treatments

•    Dealing with the stress of cancer and its treatment

•    Restoring a sense of hope

•    Strengthening the body’s ability to heal

•    Offering a sense of control over their cancer experience

•    Seeing the treatments as natural and less toxic than medical treatments.


CAM Use in British Columbia (BC)

Surveys have shown that many people living with cancer in Canada use CAM. These surveys also show that CAM use in BC is higher than in any other province.

A recent survey of 412 people conducted by CAMEO at the BC Cancer Agency in November 2008 showed that:

•    49% have used CAM during their cancer experience

•    42% discussed CAM with their oncology health professional, but only 23% received enough information.


 

CAM Associations & Societies

These are the primary associations and societies for CAM more commonly used in by patients with cancer. They all have practice standards, codes of conduct and ethics, and disciplinary procedures.

Inclusion of the list below is for reference only and does not imply endorsement (therapies or members) by CAMEO or the BCCA.

Please see the list below in choosing to work with your health care practitioner.

 

HERBALISTS & NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS

MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS  REDUCTION FACILITATORS


B.C.’s Medical Services Plan provides $23 a visit to a maximum of ten visits a year only to low-income patients who use any of the following services: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, physical therapy and non-surgical podiatry.

Costs above this amount are the responsibility of the individuals receiving care. To find out if you qualify for MSP Premium Assistance Program visit: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/benefits.html

Original Sources cited:

Vancouver Sun Article on Alternative Care

BC Cancer Agency – Informational Guide for CAM