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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

 

 


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Reiki Benefits for Cancer Patients

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) Oncology Unit at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary has become the first NHS hospital in South Lancashire to start a Reiki complementary therapy service for the benefit of cancer patients, family members and staff.

Offered alongside conventional medical treatment, Reiki complementary therapies are provided by a team of 12 volunteer therapists who give cancer patients a chance to take control, feel better, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and nausea.

“Offering Reiki therapy is a fantastic addition to the services we provide here at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and improves the patient experience,” says WWL Oncology Unit Manager, Leo Anson. “Reiki has a real benefit for patients who are living with cancer and I would like to thank the volunteers for giving their free time and skills to our patients and staff.”

Reiki is the Japanese healing art and can help with physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as being a very useful way to relax. Research has demonstrated how Reiki can help combat depression, anxiety and stress.

“Patients say they feel better after Reiki because it helps them cope with their cancer and its treatment. After the stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very comforting when a therapist gives you attention in a relaxed setting,” says WWL Lead Cancer Nurse, Janet Irvine.

Further research shows in 2008, a review looked at 24 studies using therapeutic touch to treat pain. 3 trials used Reiki. Overall, the review found that people who had the touch therapies had less pain than people who did not have the therapies. Trials carried out by more experienced touch practitioners seemed to give better results in pain reduction. Reiki also seemed to give greater benefit than other types of touch therapy. The researchers suggested that more research should be done into whether experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy can give better pain reduction. 2 of 5 studies looking at painkiller use supported the claim that touch therapies lowered painkiller use. You can read about this touch therapy review on the Cochrane Library website.

 

Is Reiki Safe?

There are no reports of harmful side effects.

Reiki is considered to be safe. There is nothing invasive about reiki therapy. Be sure to always talk to your doctor prior to having any alternative or complementary treatment.

Most practitioners will advise you to rest and drink plenty of water after treatment.

Average cost of Reiki:  $30 – 100 per session depending on session length.
In the Photo: Volunteer reiki therapists and WWL cancer care staff with patient Angela Hunter

Sources:

www.nhl.com

Cancer Research UK


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Amazing Extreme Rescue of dog from brink of death!

Social media has become an extremely important tool for animal welfare advocates.
A part of our daily routine, is a means to make a difference in the lives of many, human and pets together.

I came across this article and thought it was amazing on what we can do for our animal friends.  A dog rescued from the brink of death, an extreme rescue that is.

The abandoned dog was found living in a makeshift home. He had cardboard, newspaper, a tarp above him, and some food left in plastic containers. Someone was apparently trying to care for him, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

WARNING: the pictures show extreme gore and are not for the squeamish

Link to Story

Thoughts of the day:

Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible – Dalai Lama