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.

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Should You Use IV Vitamin C (Intravenous) As Part Of Your Cancer Treatment?

Should You Use I:V Vitamin C (Intravenous) As Part Of Your Cancer Treatment?Vitamin C therapy is proven to have positive effects in treating cancer. It can also be used to enhance the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Learn more about Vitamin C therapy in the article below.

What is i.v. Vitamin C Therapy?

Vitamin C therapy is a high dose of Vitamin C given intravenously (i.v.). Vitamin C therapy is not new; however prior studies focused on it being given orally. I/V vitamin C is way more different than the oral form in its application. High doses of I/V vitamin C have unique application as a therapeutic tool in cancer management as they can reach a higher concentration in blood than the oral form.[1] Studies suggest that vitamin C in higher doses can cause the death of cancer cells

How does i/v Vitamin C Work?

For Vitamin C to work effectively against cancer cells, it must be given through i.v. route. Additionally, it must be given in high doses for it to generate hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide forms on the interaction of vitamin C with iron and other metals.

Hydrogen peroxide is lethal to cancer cells, in increased amounts as it causes the damage to the DNA and the mitochondria of cancer cells. Thus destroying them by limiting their energy supply. The high doses have a pro-oxidant effect rather than an anti-oxidant one.It oxidizes the tissues by converting the free radicles into hydrogen peroxide that can destroy the cancer cells if not neutralized by an enzyme in the cells called catalase.

Current research suggests that vitamin C concentration above 1000micromol/l  reached after an I/V dose is toxic to some cancer cells. Experiments showed that lipoic acid further boost the anticancer activity of  high-dose I/V vitamin C. Researchers suggests that vitamin C also prevent the action of proteins that results in slow growth of the tumor along with decreased formation of new blood vessels(angiogenesis).

Physicians have the ability to provide i.v. Vitamin C treatments within a clinical setting.

Advantages of i.v. Vitamin C with Different Types of Cancer

Research shows that Vitamin C used intravenously may benefit patients with poor prognosis, those with minimal treatment options, or those whose cancer has reached an advanced status.

Vitamin C intravenously may reduce tumor size in some patients.

Patients with ovarian cancer may respond positively to Vitamin C when used in conjunction with other antioxidants.

Vitamin C intravenously may also be beneficial for patients with lung cancer, lymphomas or metastatic cancers.

Researchers at Kansas University have reported that Vitamin C injected directly into the ovarian cancer cells in humans and mouse helps in the death of these cells leaving intact the normal cells.

Laboratory studies have shown that I/V vitamin therapy is beneficial in the treatment of several different cancer types that include lung, brain, breast, colon, pancreatic and ovarian cancer.

What is the Effect of i.v. Vitamin C on Metastasis?

Some research suggests that Vitamin C in higher doses given intravenously may lead to tumor regression.

Does i/v Vitamin C Enhance the Effect of Chemotherapy?

It is suggested that I/V vitamin C therapy should be given in combination with other therapies such as chemotherapy due to its synergistic effects. Research has shown that antioxidants, including Vitamin C, may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Evidence proves that higher concentrations of vitamin C in the blood and tissues can reduce the toxicity or increase the efficacy of chemotherapy.[2]

Does i/v Vitamin C Enhance the Effects of Radiation?

Intravenous Vitamin C may cause improvement in the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

Can i.v. Vitamin C-Reduce the Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation?
Using Vitamin C intravenously has shown to result in a decrease of nausea, fatigue, depression, sleep disorders, loss of appetite and hemorrhagic diathesis.
What Influence does i/v vitamin c have on the Immune System?

Vitamin C has many benefits than cancer killing. It also works by stimulating the immune system and decreasing the risk of infections and other diseases. The immune system responds positively to Vitamin C, as it is a needed requirement to rebuild cells and restore depleted nutrients. High doses of Vitamin C also allow the body to absorb iron.

Does i/v? Vitamin C Increase Quality of life and Survival Rate?

The use of high dose I/V vitamin in increasing the life span of cancer patients was first proposed by Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron in 1976. [3]

Using Vitamin C intravenously can increase the quality of life by decreasing cancer treatment-related side-effects.Vitamin C may also increase the quality of life in late-stage cancer patients.

Terminally ill patients with cancer may experience prolonged life after treatment with intravenous Vitamin C.

Summary:

Vitamin C is imperative for the healthy functioning of the human body. There is a plethora of research that shows how using Vitamin C intravenously may or may not have positive impacts on patients with cancer.

Oral doses of Vitamin C have not been shown to have clinical significance in the treatment of cancer. Vitamin C  is given intravenously in higher doses to reduce tumor growth and enhance the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

It is noticed that some research has shown positive results from Vitamin C used intravenously in conjunction with other antioxidants in cancer care. Studies have also failed to show any negative side effects from using Vitamin C intravenously except mild tiredness and occasional gastric trouble with high doses.

There is continuous research going on to explore further about the role high dose I/V vitamin C therapy in cancer care. It is expected tat shortly I/V vitamin C therapy might emerge as a miraculous drug in the treatment of cancer. It is suggested to follow the recent recommendations and take I/V vitamin C therapy under the supervision of your doctor.

 

References:

  1. [1]  Riordan NH, Riordan HD, Meng X, Li Y, Jackson JA. Intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent. Med Hypotheses. 1995;44(3):207-213.
  2. [2] Park JH, Davis KR, Lee G, Jung M, Jung Y, Park J, Yi SY, Lee MA, Lee S, Yeom CH, Kim J. Ascorbic acid alleviates toxicity of paclitaxel without interfering with the anticancer efficacy in mice.Nutr Res. 2012 Nov; 32(11):873-83.
  3. [3] Cameron E, Pauling L (October 1976).“Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer”. PNAS 73 (10): 3685-3689. Bibcode:1976PNAS…73.3685C. doi:10.1073/pnas.73.10.3685.  PMC 431183.PMID 1068480.
  4. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq
  5. http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20140205/intravenous-vitamin-c-may-boost-chemos-cancer-fighting-power
  6. http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=470
  7. http://naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2014-02/intravenous-vitamin-c-cancer

Featured Photo: Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine

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.

Reflexology in Cancer

Advantages of Reflexology for Breast CancerWhat is Reflexology?

Reflexology is the appositeness of appropriate pressure to specific points on the feet, hands and the ear. A reflexologist is of the opinion that these areas and reflex points harmonize to various organs of the human body as well as the systems and that applying pressure over them has a beneficial effect on the persons’ general health.

How does reflexology work?

The primary mechanism behind reflexology is that it helps in reducing the stress that in turn increases the potential for healing and help body cell in re-growth.

Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington performed a research and according to their study, there is a relationship between the skin and the central nervous system. That’s the theory behind the healing mechanism of reflexology, which is, by applying pressure at a certain point, the body starts healing or reducing pain.

Where can you find reflexology?

Universally, practitioners who are licensed by the American Reflexology Certification Board can be found in certain therapeutic settings around the world.

Advantages of reflexology with different types of cancers:

People with cancer gain benefit from reflexology as it helps in reducing their anxiety, their levels of stress, and contributes in relieving their pain. It also aids in elevating their mood and gives the state of being well.

Some other benefits of this therapy are:

  • Its ability to support nerve stimulation
  • increase energy
  • boosts circulation
  • induce a deep state of relaxation
  • eliminate toxins
  • stimulate the central nervous system
  • prevent migraine
  • clean up urinary tract condition
  • speed recovery from trauma or surgery
  • helps relieve sleep disorder
  • reduce depression
  • relieves pain

What is the effect of reflexology on metastasis?

Massage has shown to be beneficial in reducing one’s anxiety

Does reflexology enhance the effect of chemotherapy?

As our body ages, the peripheral nerve endings become less sensitive in various parts of our body system, particularly in the extremities. By applying pressure on a single point, nerve function starts stimulating around on more than 7000 nerve endings which increase its sensitivity and keeps it in a healthy state. People who are having chemo with reflexology experience fewer episodes of shortness of breath, which is a common side effect faced by patients with chemotherapy. Patients with reflexology can perform their daily task quickly like climbing the stairs, getting dressed, going grocery, etc. as compared to patients who are having chemo session alone.

However, certain research studies still claim that reflexology does not seem to be effective in reducing emotional problems that one faces due to chemotherapy, such as anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems. It also does not aid in reducing nausea, which is a very common side effect of chemotherapy. Hence, the role of this therapy for cancer treatment is still controversial.

Does reflexology enhance the effect of radiation therapy?

Cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy often complain about early fatigue. Reflexology for cancer treatment has shown to relieve these symptoms of easy fatigue, sickness, anxiety and nausea in such individuals. Studies have reported better experiences of patients with breast cancer, who undergo radiotherapy with reflexology for cancer treatment. They are observed to have an improved quality of sleep and lesser fatigue during and after their radiation sessions.

Can reflexology reduce the side effects of radiation and chemo drugs?

Wyatt said that “These supportive measures are intended to create hard link for the patient to the treatment center,”

Reflexology reduces the side effect of chemotherapy because it enhances the function of peripheral nerve endings, along with improving the use of the central nervous system. It is also beneficial because it helps in alleviating the mood symptoms and in decreasing nausea

Wyatt said that “We see things like a decline in depression and anxiety, and improvements in spirituality and emotional quality of life,”

According to research at MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, patients who are having chemotherapy face a lot of problems with anxiety, stress, nausea, and pain. Reflexology is the treatment which helps them cope with these side effects.

What is the influence of reflexology on the immune system?

The most suitable way to boost your body’s defense mechanism is by undertaking reasonable measures such as reflexology and acupuncture.

Stress, lack of sleep, obesity and poor diet: these are some features which reduce immunity whereas reflexology is the treatment which deals with all these predisposing agents. It supports and enhances the peripheral nerve ending which in turn helps in reducing the stress and sleep disorder. All these factors eventually contribute towards and improved immune system.

Does reflexology increase the quality of life and the survival rate?

Reflex therapy increases the quality of life because it aids in reducing stress, anxiety, pain, reduce depression, lack of sleep; aces recovery from surgery, prevents a migraine, enhances central nervous system function and much more.

There are seven important sites in our body which help in increasing our immune system which indirectly boost the quality of life. These points are mentioned as follows:

  • great ravine
  • great rushing
  • three yin crossing
  • Three-mile points
  • she mansion
  • crooked pond
  • upper si of qi

SUMMARY:

Reflexology is the art of applying pressure on different parts of body to enhance nerve functioning in the body. It aids in reducing pain, stress, and nausea which arise as a consequence of various cancer therapies. It also boosts the immune system of our body.

If you want a personalized recommendation on your case, Contact Dr. Adem for online cancer consultation.  

References:

Top 7 Acupressure Points for Strengthening Immune System

reflexology

How Does Reflexology Work?

Reflexology popular amongst women receiving chemotherapy

benefits of reflexology

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

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