Lymphedema After Mastectomy: Learn About Breathing Exercises & Restorative Yoga

It is not unusual for a woman to develop lymphedema after a mastectomy. Lymphedema is a sometimes-painful swelling in the soft tissues.  This can be due to the removal of lymph nodes, scar tissue, strictures, and other factors.

Manual lymph drainage massage is the usual recommended technique to treat this swelling.  It may be surprising to know that another therapy that benefits lymphedema is yoga, especially restorative yoga. When the lymphatic system is at its optimum, it is like a free flowing river, running without obstacles.  However, when the lymph nodes are removed or damaged, that same river meets obstacles and begins to slow down and this creates a pooling of fluids.  This build up in the tissues can cause swelling and inflammation and reduce oxygen in the lymphatic tissues. The white blood cells, or immune soldiers of the body, can be impaired in their function in this situation.  This may increase the risk of infection and create a possible permanent disability.  Edema is often found in the arms and legs, but can be found in other parts of the body.

Knowing how important it is to keep this fluid running like a free flowing river, we need to foster relaxation and gentle movements that encourage its increased flow.  This is especially important after breast surgery or removal of nodes, when it is paramount to undertake new activities to increase impaired lymphatic function.

The need to develop a deeper state of relaxation to counter the mental and physical stress of illness and its treatment is critically important to our health and well-being.

Practicing yoga, especially Restorative Yoga which targets the pectoral area, keeps the fluid moving through the body rather than slowing down and creating a back up.  This benefits the breasts by promoting drainage and healing and creating a sense of safety when expanding the chest.

Practicing Restorative Yoga daily will undo the harmful effects of too much sitting or inactivity.  Starting yoga practice with a knowledgeable Restorative Yoga teacher is as important as wearing a bandage or support garment.

An important thing to understand in your practice of Restorative Yoga is that you must to slow down enough to listen to what your body is telling you.  Any time you overwork your muscles or strain your healing tissues,  you run the risk of fluid build up.

Let this be the yoga practice of self-understanding.

More Great Articles

  1. How Breathing Exercises Can Raise Energy Levels For Breast Cancer Patients
  2. Breathing, Yoga and Cancer
  3. Breast Cancer Breathing Guidelines & Techniques During Exercise
  4. Diaphragmatic Breathing for Cancer Survivors
  5. Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment
  6. Yoga Pose for Breast Cancer – Root Lock KRIYA Breathing
  7. 4 Benefits of Breathing Exercises For Breast Cancer Treatment
  8. Why Start A Breathing Practice For Breast Cancer Recovery? Good Health!

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Prevent Breast Cancer With These 5 Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Healthy Lifestyle Choices To Prevent CancerNecessary Lifestyle Choices for Optimum Health
An anti-cancer lifestyle will include a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy. It is important to cultivate an awareness of what feels and taste right going into your body. It is equally important to stop and take notice of bad choices. Ask yourself “Is this good or bad for me? “Will it make me feel better or worse?” We all want to feel alive and vital.

1. Exercise – Yoga
Practicing Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery has shown through studies to encourage and improve sleep and to enhance overall quality of life. (Reuters Health) – About one third of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that affects their quality of life. A new study found that doing yoga might help restore some lost vitality. (bit.ly/sSZeZZ)

There are some simple suggestions to start exploring a change in vitality:

2. Cancer Prevention Foods – Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
It is suggested to eat a plant base diet of fruits and vegetables: make your diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables that are full of micronutrients and bioflavonoids which are duly noted to help prevent breast cancer or other cancers. Five or more servings per day is recommended by the American Cancer Institute. Red and blue berries hold a significant amount of necessary cell builders and anti-cancinogens that are a necessity on our tables.

Here are some simple choices to select from to start improving your health:

3. Water Therapy – Alkaline Water
Alkaline water (referred to as ionized water) can neutralize or decrease the acidity of the body’s pH caused by stress, modern diet, and air pollution. We suggest trying this water and feeling the possible positive effects.

Find a water store and get alkaline water by the gallon (it usually stays charged with negative ions for up to 48hours)
Purchase if possible a home alkaline water system that filters pollutants as well as charging the water with negative ions and anti oxidants

  • Benefit from the many ways to use alkaline water like necessary hydration for the body’s cells

4. Manage Stress – Learn to breathe
Deep breathing is vital in that it encourages the release of body toxins, rebuild healthy tissue which consequently increases overall energy. This true oxygen exchange stimulates digestion, assimilation and elimination. A very important function of breathing fully and slowly is that the body’s natural relaxation response is prompted. This relaxation response results in decreased tension, anxiety and fatigue.

A great place to start is with our single down-loadable breathing exercises or you could do the following.

5. Laugh Often – Emotional Balancing
It has been shown that even when manipulated to smile people in truth feel happier and joyful. Laughter can stop depression right in its tracks and boosts our immunity.

We suggest the following to bring on happiness.

  • Have a daily joke sent to your e-mail
  • Watch funny YouTube videos
  • Listen to the comedy channel on the radio
  • Download comedians from iTunes
Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us atinfo@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Restorative Yoga

Quickest & Easiest Way To Decrease Depression Symptoms For Breast Cancer Patients

exercise-for-depression-cancer-treatment-protocolWe’ve known for decades that even a single bout of exercise can elevate our mood, but could it be enough to be used as a treatment for major depression?

We’ve known that physical activity has been associated with decreased symptoms of depression. For example, if you look at a cross-section of 8,000 people across the country, those that exercised regularly were less likely to have a major depression diagnosis. That’s just a snapshot in time, though. In that study, the researcher openly acknowledges this may be a case of reverse causation. Maybe exercise didn’t cut down on depression, maybe depression cut down on exercise. The reason depression may be associated with low physical activity is that people may feel too lousy to get out of bed. What we’ve needed was an interventional study where you take people who are already depressed and randomize them into an exercise intervention.

That is what researchers from Duke University Medical Center did. They randomized men and women over age 50 with major depression to two groups: one who did an aerobic exercise program for four months and another that took an antidepressant drug called Zoloft. In my video Exercise vs. Drugs for Depression you can see a graph of their changes. Before exercise, their Hamilton Depression scores were up around 18 (anything over seven is considered depressed). Within four months, the drug group came down to normal, which are exactly what the drugs are supposed to do. What about the exercise-only group, though? Exercise had the same powerful effect.

The researchers concluded that an exercise training program may be considered an alternative to antidepressants for treatment of depression in older persons, given that they’ve shown that a group program of aerobic exercise is a feasible and effective treatment for depression, at least for older people.

Not so fast, though.

A “group program?” They had the exercise group folks come in three times a week for a group class. Maybe the only reason the exercise group got better is because they were forced to get out of bed and interact with people—maybe it was the social stimulation and had nothing to do with the actual exercise? Before you could definitively say that exercise can work as well as drugs, what we would need to see is the same study, but with an additional group who exercised alone with no extra social interaction. And those same Duke researchers did just that,

They created the largest exercise trial of patients with major depression conducted to date, and not just including older folks, but other adults as well with three different treatment groups this time: a home exercise group in addition to the supervised group exercise and the drug group as before.

And they all worked about just as well in terms of forcing the depression into remission. So we can say with confidence that exercise is comparable to antidepressant medication in the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder.

Putting all the best studies together, researchers indicate that exercise at least has a moderate antidepressant effect, and at best, exercise has a large effect on reductions in depression symptoms and could be categorized as a very useful and powerful intervention. Unfortunately, while studies support the use of exercise as a treatment for depression, exercise is rarely prescribed as a treatment for this common and debilitating problem.

Exercise may compare favorably to antidepressant medications as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression, but how much is that really saying? How effective are antidepressant drugs in the first place? Check out my video Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work?

For dietary interventions that may improve mood, see:

Exercise can also help with ADHD (Treating ADHD Without Stimulants) and improve immunity (Preserving Immune Function in Athletes With Nutritional Yeast), not to mention extend our lives (Longer Life Within Walking Distance). But what we eat matters: Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

Learn How Breast Cancer Patients Benefit From Forest Bathing

forest-bathing-for-breast-cancer-patients

Try forest bathing to support your immune system

In 1982, the Forest Agency of Japan first proposed that ‘forest bathing,’ was good for your health. No, forest bathing is not dragging a bathtub into the woods and having a soak – although that does sound good! Rather it is visiting a forest or wood for relaxation, and gentle recreation, and breathing in the volatile substances from the trees. When did you last forest bathe?

Since 1982, forest bathing (aka ‘forest therapy’ and ‘Shinrin yoku’) has become a cornerstone of preventive health and healing in Japanese medicine. Many research studies, mainly from Japan and South Korea, have looked at how forest bathing creates positive effects. One of the key benefits is that it is seen to improve our immune function by increasing the number and activity of natural killer cells.

Natural Killer Cells

Natural killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cells that provide a rapid response to viral-infected cells and cancer cells. These immune cells don’t rely on antibodies so are able to produce a much faster immune reaction than other immune cells. They have a tumor immunosurveillance role, directly killing tumor cells. Take a look at this brief video which shows you how they work:

Natural killer cells are therefore of prime importance to destroying cancer cells in our body. Thus we can see that using lifestyle approaches like forest bathing to improve our natural killer cell activity can help in both prevention of cancer – by killing those rogue tumor cells formed everyday – and in the prevention of metastasis of tumors.

Phytoncides

One of the factors that has been identified as causing these immune improvements is our breathing-in of phytoncides – the natural chemicals secreted by evergreen trees, such as a-pinen and limonene. The levels of phytoncide in the air seem to correlate with the improvements in immune functioning. If we look back in history, these health effects were recognized then; in the 1800s, many tuberculosis clinics were set up in pine forests. Patients’ outcomes were reported as them having a “forest cure.”

Health benefits of Forest Bathing

In addition to the benefits of increased NK cells and their activity, bathing ourselves in the forest environment has been shown to also:

  • reduce blood pressure
  • reduce stress
  • improve mood
  • increase energy
  • improve sleep
  • support deeper and clearer intuition
  • decrease adrenaline levels
  • reduce pain
  • ease mental fatigue

Image of the concept of forest bathing – immersing in the forest environment for immune support, from CALMERme.com

Incorporating forest bathing into your life

Trees, sunshine, grass, and wildlife all too frequently take a backseat in our busy city or urban lives.

Think back to the last time you were surrounded by nature – maybe a walk when you noticed the fresh, vibrant green of a new leaf, or an insect, or the color of the bark of a tree, or saw a rabbit hop past. These moments of discovery and fascination are spontaneous and effortless kinds of attention, not like the attention we have to use at work or during most of our day. As we follow our curiosity from the leaf to a flower to a butterfly, we relax in an exploration of nature which gives our attention-driven brain a break. The sounds of nature are also important, for example, the calming sound of water helps to balance our hormones. Forest bathing doesn’t involve going for a strenuous hike in the woods; rather, it has a gentleness and awareness to it – a sensory experience.

So consider giving yourself a break, and find some time this week to be in nature. Let that effortless attention and fascination take over. And if you aren’t up for that, try bringing some nature indoors to you – open the windows, look at the trees, listen to the sound of a waterfall on your computer, put a nature screensaver on your computer screen, watch a nature DVD…. Yes, even looking at a scene of a forest has been found to reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) 13% compared to looking at an urban scene.

Resources

For more information on forest bathing, take a look at this Shinrin-yoku website and the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Many of the research studies are shown on the Association website too. These resources also include information about guides, local walks, and training to become a forest therapist. The walks are short in distance and focus on breathing, relaxing, listening, healing, wandering, and touch.

Ruth BaillieRuth Baillie is originally from the UK and now lives most of the year in Northern California. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in Personalized Nutrition (distinction), and another in Health Psychology. She is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Certified Professional Cancer Coach, and Cancer Guide, and has undertaken considerable post-graduate studies in integrative naturopathic oncology. She is the author of “Choices in mind-body medicine for cancer patients in Sonoma County, California” and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients

Massage Therapy For Breast Cancer PatientsWhat is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a manual method of working on body’s soft tissues, deep muscles, various pressure points, tendons and ligaments using several techniques and applying fixed and movable pressure, to help relieve stress, promote healing and relaxation. The massage is performed by a professional who uses their hands and fingers to handle different muscles by making various movements like pressing and rubbing. All of these techniques are quite advantageous for the muscular, circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems of the body. Owing to these great benefits, massage therapy for cancer patients is now becoming common.

One of the oldest method of healing, massage therapy, is a clinically oriented health care option, now used widely as a complementary treatment for cancer patients. Massage therapy helps people suffering from cancer by eliminating anxiety, boosting the immunity, and diminishing tiredness and pain. Various modalities of massage therapy are employed for cancer care. Some of them are Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, acupressure, and reflexology.

How Does Massage Therapy Work?

There are various varieties of massage therapies available, and the therapy offered will depend upon the patient’s individual needs and conditions.

In Swedish massage multiple strokes and moments are used to relax the muscles of the body while lubricating the skin with massage oil. While aromatherapy focuses on the physical, and mental well-being of the person. Various fragrant oils and scents are used to complement and naturally enhance the benefits of massage. Acupressure simply thought as acupuncture without needles, involves applying pressure to acupoints on the body. This Chinese technique is used to treat many diseases.  Reflexology, another modality of massage therapy, is the application of appropriate pressure, to the specific points on the hands, feet or ears that are linked to other parts of the body.

All these approaches and various massage methods emphasize on specific goals by restoring and calming the body and mind, muscles and soft tissues. When a massage therapist massages a particular area of the body, positive electrical activity is generated and transmitted from that region, which leads to increased blood circulation, low levels of pain, better capability to fight diseases, and an increased lymphatic drainage. Massage therapy helps in lowering stress levels and improves quality of life.

Advantages of Massage Therapy with Different Types of Cancer

As per above discussions, there are many different kinds of massage therapy and these have various effects on the body. There are different types of cancer, and their stages and treatment are also variable. All forms of cancer cause pain, it is very prevalent amongst cancer patients and often neglected by physicians. Massage therapy for cancer patients is used increasingly to relieve cancer-related pain and is considered useful and beneficial for their well-being, leading to decreased pain scores in cancer patients. It also helps in relieving other symptoms of cancer such tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, reducing stress and anxiety, decreasing lymphedema and several other side effects, providing healing and relaxation to the cancer patients. A research conducted with 230 cancer patients concluded that healing touch of massage relieves pain and anxiety levels and decreases the need to take painkillers. Massage therapy is also of great advantage in breast cancer patients. The therapeutic process elevates the level of brain chemical  “dopamine “in the brain,  which leads to elevated mood and feeling to goodness and wellbeing, a number of protective white blood cells also increase and help boost the immune system of these patients.

Does Massage Therapy Cause Metastasis?

Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one part of the body to other parts. Although there are various debates and myths present, linking massage to metastasis of cancer, there is no real evidence present to support, that massage therapy in cancer patients leads to or promotes metastasis. Massage therapy for cancer patients is considered safe and rather helpful for the those suffering from cancer. However, any modality of massage therapy, which the patient may plan to undertake, should be properly discussed with the doctor, as there might be potential risk involved for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

However, it is the subject of debate that deep pressure massage therapy might be responsible for the spread of tumor and metastasis of cancer in various body organs. It is, therefore, crucial that one should not directly massage over the tumor area, and it’s surrounding soft tissues and muscles. Deep massage therapy should be avoided in people with bone cancer as deep massage and application of pressure applied over the affected area might cause a bone fracture.

Does Massage Therapy Decrease the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is used to treat a wide variety of cancer. Chemotherapy, in addition to the killing of cancer cells, causes severe side effects like anxiety, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, problems with muscle and nerves, muscle pain, kidney and bladder problems. Massage therapy for cancer patients not only helps in dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy but also enhances the positive impact of chemo. The relaxation response caused by massage therapy helps relieve nausea and decreases muscle pain. In 2005, a research stated that acupressure, a type of massage therapy, reduces vomiting and nausea, induced by chemotherapy. Another research study conducted in 2007 stipulated that post- chemotherapy fatigue, physical fatigue, and anemia is reduced after massage therapy in cancer patients.

Does Massage Therapy Decrease the Side Effects of Radiation?

Radiation therapy, also known as radiation or radio, is another form of cancer treatment that relies on radio waves to treat the tumor and decrease its size. However its side effects are also massive and troublesome, they can include, for instance, insomnia, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, swelling, urinary and bladder changes, and sexual changes. There is an established role of massage therapy in fighting the side effects of radiotherapy. It counters the damaging effects of heat and radiation by healing and soothing through touch. In 2009, a pilot study that included 14 cancer patients receiving acupuncture for four weeks, concluded that massage therapy in these patients relieved Xerostomia, a condition caused by radiation in which salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva that can in turn lead to severe dryness of mouth.

Does Massage Therapy Stimulate the Immune System?

Massage therapy boosts the immune system by increasing the circulation of blood throughout the body. The enhanced circulation of blood leads to delivery of nutrients throughout the body, along with the circulation of lymph, which promotes movement of fighter cells of immune system. The extra boost in immune system through massage helps body fighting potential and speeds up recovery from infection and injury.

Does Massage Therapy Increase Quality of Life?

Massage therapy for cancer patients enhances the quality of life. Massage therapy increases circulation of blood and metabolism, hence activating every cell of the body, increasing immunity, and in the rejuvenation of body and mind. It was proven in 2003 by Department of Mental health science in the UK.

Does Massage Therapy Increase the Survival Rate?

Physical symptoms of cancer are quite distressing for the patients battling cancer. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, pain and increased fatigue levels. Proper massage therapy along with exercise and change in diet positively affects up to 75 to 95% of cancer patients. Massage therapy for cancer patients leads to improved fatigue levels. The research was conducted by cancer rehabilitation institute at the University of North Colorado.

Featured Photo Source: American Massage Therapy Association

References:

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

How Many Minutes of Daily Meditation to Combat Stress?

How Many Minutes of Daily Meditation to Combat Stress?

Breast Cancer Yoga Model Angela Strynkowski RYT 500

In the film The Holiday, Cameron Diaz exclaims “Severe stress … causes the DNA in our cells to shrink until they can no longer replicate.” Did Hollywood get the science right?

The enzyme that builds and maintains the caps at the tips of our chromosomes (called telomeres) appear to slow the aging of our cells. Do people who are stressed have shorter telomeres? To answer that question, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco measured the telomere lengths in mothers of chronically ill children—what could be more stressful than that? The longer a woman had spent being the main caretaker of her ill child, the shorter her telomeres. The extra telomere shortening in the most stressed mothers was equivalent to that caused by at least a decade of aging. We see the same thing in caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients and those suffering severe work-related exhaustion. Even those abused as children may grow up with shorter telomeres.

There’s not much we can do about our past, but if we manage our stress now, can we grow some telomeres back? If we go on a meditation retreat and meditate for 500 hours, we can indeed boost our telomerase activity (the enzyme that restores our telomeres)—but there’s got to be a quicker fix.

In an exciting study from UCLA and UC San Francisco (highlighted in my video, Does Meditation Affect Cellular Aging?, caregivers of family members with dementia were randomized to just 12 minutes of daily meditation for eight weeks, or just about ten hours in total. The meditators experienced significant benefit, including better mental and psychological function accompanied by an increase in telomerase activity, suggesting an improvement in stress-induced cellular aging.

Here’s a link to the backgrounder video that presents the original Ornish study: Research Into Reversing Aging. I cover the comparable effects of diet and exercise in my video Telomeres – Cap It All Off with Diet.

I have a few videos on using aromatherapy and other modalities to help deal with stress:

For life extension in general, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Radiotherapy Associated Fatigue: Causes And Management

How To Manage Fatigue During Breast Cancer Radiation TherapyWhat is fatigue?

Fatigue is the feeling of mental and physical exhaustion, commonly experienced as a symptom of cancer and a side effect of its treatment, especially radiation therapy. Unlike the normal fatigue you encounter in everyday life, this fatigue is long-lasting and might not be cured with the rest.

Radiotherapy fatigue related to cancer can seriously interrupt your daily routine by making you feel lethargic and unwell in general. The degree of fatigue can vary day to day; it may get better one day only to worsen in the next. It is hard to predict how long fatigue will last. Also, fatigue can make it difficult for you to follow your treatment plan. For these reasons, managing fatigue is a vital part of the care of a cancer patient.

Identify fatigue:

Firstly, inform your medical team of your level of fatigue, because fatigue is simply a feeling, and there are no diagnostic tests to assess it. You can use a scale of 0 to 10 (0 mean none and 10 mean the most severe), or just words like ‘none’, ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe’. Doctors will help you deal with the fatigue and reduce it, if possible.

Causes of fatigue:

The reasons for radiotherapy fatigue are often not evident. The usual culprits are:

  • Your Cancer: Some cancers often release proteins called cytokines that are believed to cause fatigue. Cancer basically enhances body’s energy needs, weakens your muscles causing the destruction of body’s cells or organs leading to fatigue.
  • Cancer treatment: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bone marrow therapy, etc. all destroy healthy body cells along with targeted cancer cells causing fatigue in the whole body. It may also be due to side effects of drugs.
  • Anemia: Anemia develops as a result of cancer treatment as it destroys red blood cells or cancer spreads to the bone marrow that produce red blood cells.
  • Emotion: Stress, depression and anxiety are the result of cancer diagnosis and lead to fatigue.  
  • Infection: Skin infections generate as a result of radiotherapy in the form of skin ulcers or skin wounds. They may lead to dizziness and tiredness
  • Insomnia: Interrupted sleep may cause fatigue and tiredness the whole day
  • Inactivity: If you are a regular exercise person, then inactivity due to radiotherapy leads to fatigue.
  • Medication: Medications such as painkillers or drugs used to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment like nausea and anxiety lead to fatigue
  • Poor nutrition: To perform activities or any work efficiently, energy is required for a healthy. Due to cancer the ability to process nutrients is disturbed and that in turn leads to anorexia (loss of appetite). Hence, cause fatigue.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Changes to the hormonal glands like thyroid gland, adrenal gland, ovaries or testes may all cause fatigue

If the cause is known, treatment can focus on that cause. However, most of the time, the cause remains unknown, so a more fruitful approach to the problem is to learn ways to manage fatigue.

Prevention and Treatment:

Given below are some suggestions on how to manage fatigue in your day-to-day life.

  • Sleep at least 8 hours every day. It may be more than you’re used to, so look for ways that will help you sleep longer. A good deal of physical activity during the day can work wonders for your sleep. Also, find ways to relax before going to bed, such as listening to music or reading a book.
  • Working out for 15-30 minutes each day might help you feel better. Stick to light activity such as walking and stretches, nothing too strenuous. Consult your nurse or doctor on the amount of exercise that is appropriate for you.
  • Try your best to remain active, but don’t waste your precious energy by trying to do everything you want to. Too much effort might worsen your fatigue. Prioritized the things you need to do, and try to do the most important things first.
  • Keep your regular necessities within reach so that you don’t have to exert too much effort to get them.
  • Stress is one of the causes of fatigue, so find ways to keep it at bay. Good suggestions for such activities are listening to music, reading, meditation, prayer and socializing. Any activity that makes you feel relaxed will do.
  • Set aside some time for rest during the day. Taking a short nap might help you feel better. 10 to 15 minutes of rest is usually enough, but try not to make it over an hour.
  • Arrange your work schedule to suit you. Depending on your level of fatigue, you may be capable of working normally, or for not more than a few hours. Working from home is an option to consider. So is taking sick leave for the duration of the treatment.
  • Plan a schedule for radiation therapy sessions that best suits you, keeping in mind your activities for the day.
  • If you find it hard to cope with fatigue, talk to your doctor. Drugs called psychostimulants can ease your fatigue and help you feel better. Also, your doctor will help treat other problems such as depression, insomnia, and anemia.

Conclusion:

Fatigue is usually caused by cancer therapies, in particular radiotherapy. Fatigue can affect the quality of life more than pain or any other symptom. It may be caused due to many reasons. Your doctor may advise you strategies to cope with fatigue related to radiotherapy that might include medications or self-care interventions.

References:

  1. Cancer fatigue; why it occurs and how to cope
  2. Fatigue and Radiotherapy
  3. Radiotherapy tiredness
  4. General information on fatigue
  5. Cancer related fatigue and simple fatigue
  6. Radiotherapy related fatigue

Photo Source: GoodNewsNetwook.Org

Dr. Adem GunesDr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Breast Cancer & Fear: A Few Things You Can Do!

Breast Cancer & Fear- A Few Things You Can Do!

By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Breast Cancer & Fear
The diagnosis of breast cancer or other illness can produce fear, stress and other extreme emotions, often interrupting normal sleep patterns. When there is excessive tension in our physical body, the muscles tighten and the breath becomes erratic, preventing us from relaxing and allowing for much needed sleep.

Suggested Relaxation Articles:

Supported Bridge For Breast CancerYoga Postures For Rest
There are a few things we can do to prepare for rest and maintain it. Doing reclined asana (yoga posture) if needed, right in the bed, helps. While in the yoga posture, become conscious of the breath by focusing on the “in and out breath”. If we can build a regular asana practice with conscious breathing, we release muscular tension and consequently our nerves relax. Restorative yoga postures are most helpful in this situation. Supported Bridge, Savasana, and, Supported Child’s Pose are a few of the best poses for producing a restful state.

Suggested Yoga Articles:

Breathing For Breast Cancer RecoveryYoga Breaths To Calm The Mind
When the breath is brought under control, the physical body functions better, since oxygen is absorbed efficiently and carbon dioxide is eliminated. This results in improved mental and emotional functioning, allowing for sleep. If thoughts takes over the mind try breathing deeply with your eyes focusing on an object. The mind and breath will then focus on a single point and the “monkey mind” will stop jumping around. This requires practice. It just doesn’t happen so please be determined and patient. You can do it.

Suggested Breathing Articles:

The deeper the commitment to a Mindful Yoga and Breathing practice, the deeper the relaxation response will manifest, healing the trauma of worry, anxiety and fear associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer. It is challenging to start a yoga practice when this fear, stress, anxiety and depression surface. It is precisely when we need support, not only from our doctors, families and friends, but most importantly from other women who have breast cancer or even another type of cancer. These personal connections help us to feel “part of” a community who understands our emotions and experiences. Unconditional love creates miracles! Creating a strong support system and a safe place to be (oneself) are paramount to alleviating the stress that derives from breast cancer. A clear mind, a full breath and a body in motion are paramount for recovery. YOU are responsible for your healing process and progress so breathe deeply and move freely.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Learn How Yoga Offers Relief From Cancer-Related Fatigue

Breast Cancer Yoga Pose

Angela Strynkowski, E-RYT 500 Happily Doing “Legs Over Bolster” Yoga Pose

Author: Diana Ross, E-RYT 500, Posted By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.

Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is very common. Fatigue can often be confused with tiredness, but there are differences between the two conditions. For one, tiredness happens to everyone, especially after certain activities or chemo – but  fatigue is less common and an excessive whole-body tiredness that is not relieved with sleep.   This debilitating condition can impact your quality of life.  It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from one month to six months or longer). The precise reason for this intensive tiredness is unknown, but practitioners believe it may be related to the process of cancer itself or chemotherapies and radiation treatments. (CRF) is one of the most common side effects of cancer and its associated treatments. Usually, it comes on suddenly, and does not result from activity or exertion. It is often described as “paralyzing.” It may continue even after treatment is complete.

If you’re a cancer survivor and feeling tired or even worse, even long after treatment, you are not alone. But you can do something about it.

About one-third of breast cancer survivors experience CRF for anywhere from a year to several years post-treatment. While there’s no conventional therapy to resolve it, studies are increasingly showing yoga can help.  Patients with different cancers report relief with exercise, specifically yoga.

Yoga designed especially for breast cancer survivors is helping women to catch a second wind.

In fact, a recent UCLA study found that three months after beginning this practice, women with post-treatment fatigue were still feeling more invigorated than before they began the exercise program. Not only do women become more energized, but they see improvement in mood and sleep; they are typically more relaxed, more aware, and more accepting of what life brings to them. All these attributes are so critical as we work toward continued mental and physical well being, and ultimately, our healing.

How does Breast Cancer Yoga target physical and emotional fatigue?

Breast Cancer Yoga helps relieve taxing fatigue by encouraging deep breathing, which increases oxygen consumption.  This deep breathing is then tied into each gentle flowing yoga movement.  Each pose is supported with props to allow for comfort and support.

Begin a yoga practice, slowly, and before long you will begin to experience positive energy, increased flexibility, and less pain.

Studies show that breast cancer survivors who practice restorative yoga poses regularly, sleep better, have less joint pain, more energy, mental clarity, increased range of motion (ROM), strength, increased resistance, and lower stress.

Exercising to gain energy and strength can be a catch all; it’s hard to exercise if you’re tired and weak but what’s nice about yoga, particularly restorative yoga, is that it doesn’t take the strength and stamina required to go out for a run or bike ride. Restorative poses can be done either in a reclined position or a supported seated position.

Technique and pacing are important.

Please don’t over do it, especially when you get started. Rather, gradually implement a daily yoga practice. Work to maintain a positive attitude and know through time and practice you will see improvement. You will actually find that recovery can be a positive, “feel good” experience. Please speak to your health care provider before starting an exercise program of any kind. For more on restorative yoga and to see more poses demonstrated, visit http://www.breastcanceryoga.com/

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Specialized Restorative Yoga Therapy For Breast Cancer Recovery Book

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery Book By: Dawn Bradford-Lange, Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery Gentle Flowing Yoga For Breast Health, Breast Cancer Related Fatigue & Lymphedema Management is a restorative yoga book created for a therapeutic breast cancer healing experience while being affordable to allRestorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery is a unique restorative yoga therapy book for you or a loved one who has been recently diagnosed, is in treatment, or in recovery.

Book Includes:

      • 275+ Yoga Poses Images
      • 70+ Easy To Learn Yoga Poses
      • Illustrated Step By Step Instructions
      • Benefits Included For Each Pose
      • Use of Yoga Props Introduced
      • Breath Instructions For Each Pose
      • Valuable Tool For Yoga Teachers
      • Great For Beginners

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery BookBook Description:
This is a unique restorative yoga therapy book for breast health, lymphedema management and breast cancer recovery. This book contains a wide variety of supported restorative yoga poses that use different yoga props. The breath is also introduced with each flowing pose so that the mind as well as the muscles “let go” and relax allowing for the healing to begin and then to grow. Yoga poses are done either in a relaxed, reclined, seated, twisting and standing position.

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery:

  1. A great beginning to build a yoga practice for strength and flexibility.
  2. Includes yoga poses for aiding in lymphedema management.
  3. With a variety of easy to learn restorative yoga poses which can emotionally and physically improve the recovery process from breast cancer surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
  4. Explore the invaluable knowledge for maintaining breast health, reducing cancer related fatigue (CRF), and managing lymphedema.
  5. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed, is in treatment or in recovery, this yoga is the perfect place to start.
  6. Discover how a consistent practice of Restorative Yoga can provide inner peace and healing for your mind, body and spirit.

About the Author
Diana loves sharing her knowledge on the empowering benefits of restorative yoga flow. Her credentials as a yoga therapist are:

  • E-RYT 500 (Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher)
  • CYT (Certified Yoga Therapist)
  • Certified KaliRayTriYoga

Her Restorative Yoga Flow teachings are designed and focused for women in recovery, either from breast cancer or from injury and illness.

She also loves sharing her excitement for native american plants and their usefulness as complementary herbal medicines. Diana credentials in herbal medicines are: Certificates of Completion in: Therapeutic Botanicals in Medicinal Herbalism, Native American Herbs, Herbalism 5 Phase Theory, Medicine Making in Native American Herbs, and TCM-Traditional Chinese Medicines. The knowledge of Native American plants is expressed on her website, authority blog and to her students.

Book Details
Like Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 book? You can have one, too! Find Diana’s book at  Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery: Gentle Flowing Yoga For Breast Health, Breast Cancer Related Fatigue & Lymphedema Management ($35.95 value). Follow us on our Breast Cancer Authority Blog and on our Breast Cancer Yoga Facebook page.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: An expert in the field of yoga, and complementary herbal medicines. She has dedicated the last 30 years studying yoga philosophy and Native American herbs. Her credentials are as an E-RYT 500 (Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher) and CYT (Certified Yoga Therapist).  Diana’s system of yoga is KaliRay TriYoga. She has studied with Yogini Kali Ray “Kaliji” for 18 years is certified from Basics to Level 2. As founder of Breast Cancer Yoga, and as a survivor Diana wants to make a difference and offer hope, health and support.Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery Book

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