Complementary Therapies and Breast Cancer Recovery

Complementary Therapies for Breast Cancer Recovery
Complementary therapies are used alongside medical treatment(s) for breast cancer to support the patient’s recovery during their cancer journey. It should be noted that an integrated approach to cancer care would include the best of medical treatment and the best of evidence-based, supportive complementary standards. Complementary therapies would include such areas as botanicals, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage and reiki.

Aromatherapy Massage to Reduce Anxiety
Receiving an aromatherapy massage during and after recovery can have a positive influence on psychologic parameters of a patient. One evidence based study from Japan showed results that anxiety was reduced in just one, 30 minute aromatherapy massage. This study also showed a reduction in hospital anxiety and depression scale with aromatherapy massages for breast cancer patients.

Medicinal Herbal Teas to Reduce Stress
Botanical medicinals, include herbal teas like chamomile, peppermint, and catnip. These teas are beneficial in supporting the physical and emotional needs of the patient. They help with relieving nausea, insomnia and assisting in soothing nerves. It is common knowledge that herbal teas, aromatherapy and massage oils are beneficial to help support the personal and emotional needs of the patient.

Yoga Therapy to Reduce Nervousness and Strengthen the Mind
Yoga is now being studied in great lengths because of it’s demonstration in improving the overall quality of life for those in recovery. Breathing, stretching and strengthening will tone and build the mind and body.  When the mind comes into a balance state, better choices are made.  When the body comes into nurtured with yoga the immune system is boosted to fight off disease and illness. In order to create this equanimity of the whole person, yoga, breathing and meditation can influence the recovery process for many.

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 if you have questions.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Mar;6(1):123-8. Epub 2007 Jul 4.
Anxiolytic effect of aromatherapy massage in patients with breast cancer.
Imanishi J, Kuriyama H, Shigemori I, Watanabe S, Aihara Y, Kita M, Sawai K, Nakajima H, Yoshida N, Kunisawa M, Kawase M, Fukui K.

Department of Microbiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamikyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.

Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):114-40
Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep.
Head KA, Kelly GS.

National College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Hart, J.(2008). An Overview of Clinical Applications of Therapeutic Yoga. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 14(1), 29-32.

How To Use Lavender & Peppermint Essential Oils

Breast Cancer Essential OilsBy: Cynthia Shankman, Young Living Oil Consultant

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy.
In my first blog post I discussed where essential oils come from; the place essential oils hold in history dating back to early Egyptian times; and the different grades of essential oils.  To clear up any confusion, the term aromatherapy is the use of essential oils.

The essential oils I use exclusively are Young Living Oils.  I use this brand exclusively because they have been registered as safe for internal use as supplements by the USDA.  Now I am not a girl who believes everything the USDA says, (I am very much an alternative health girl), but because there is zero regulation on the production and distilling of essential oils, I take the USDA approval as a vote of confidence in the purity of these oils.

Labels on essential oils in grocery stores and health food stores will often say, ‘do not place on skin’ or ‘for aroma only’ or ‘do not ingest.’  This is not the case with Young Living Oils.  The quality of Young Living Oils have a proven 20 year history of being used topically and internally with great success.  I would never suggest using an oil of inferior quality as a therapeutic health alternative.

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy only on those days.  Each individual has a unique situation, a unique body, a unique plan for wellness.  What you read here is a general recommendation.  Please check with your doctor when using alternative modalities.

Today we discuss 3 therapeutic grade Young Living essential oils and how to use them.

  • Lavender for calming and natural mood therapy
  • Peppermint for nausea and stomach upset
  • Aroma Life for lymphatic health, circulation, reduce stress, hemorrhoids, may reduce blood pressure.

Lavender Essential Oil For Breast Cancer
Lavender is a universal oil and the most widely used of all essential oils. It has a traditional history for calming and balancing the mind and body.  Just a short inhale of Lavender can turn emotions to calm and peaceful.

How will Lavender help me?
Support confidence and good thoughts. Improve brain clarity and dispel brain fog.
Ease anxiety, exhaustion, and nervousness.  Improve sleep and mood.  Stop allergic reactions.

How do I use Lavender?
Topical: Place 1 – 2 drops on wrists, back of neck, temples, massage on soles of feet, place over heart.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.  Before getting into bed, place a few drops into your palms, rub your hands together and apply over pillow for a peaceful sleep.  Place 2 drops in hand, rub together, place over nose and inhale consistently for 20 seconds.
Internal: Place 1 drop into tea as a flavoring to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Peppermint is the second most widely used essential oil.  It has multiple uses and supports the body on every level, mental, emotional and physical.  Just a short inhale of Peppermint will invigorate and uplift the mood and mind.

How do I use Peppermint?
Topical:  Place 2 drops on forehead and back of neck to relieve a headache in minutes.  Place 2 drops on stomach to improve a stomach ache and improve digestion. Place 2 drops on an ache or pain to ease pain within minutes.
Diffuse:  To dispel nausea, dispel brain fog and invigorate mood, place 2 drops in hand, rub hands together, then cup over nose, inhale for 20 seconds.  Repeat as often as needed.  You cannot overdo essential oils. Do this every 5 minutes if needed. Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so all healing components are kept in integrity.
Internal:  For quick stomach ache relief, place 2 drops Peppermint in ½ cup of water, and drink down.  Can place 1 drop Peppermint oil in tea to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Aroma Life is a blend of essential oils exclusive to Young Living.  When essential oils are blended together, the components equal more than their individual qualities alone.  Aroma Life is a blend of Cypress, Marjoram, Helichrysum, Ylang Ylang.

How do I use Aroma Life?
Topically:  To improve the lymphatic and circulatory systems place 2 drops over lymphatic areas such as side of neck/chest, upper arms, behind knees, groin area. Place 2 drops over heart to improve circulation and reduce stress. Place 2 drops in palm with ¼ tsp coconut or olive oil, apply directly to hemorrhoid.  Apply 1 drop to under the left ring finger or left ring toe to ease anxiety and improve circulation.  Can add 1 drop of grapefruit or orange oil to improve circulation and lymphatic flow even further.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse to improve lung circulation.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.
Internal:  No internal use for Aroma Life

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these beautiful essential oils.  I view them as gifts from nature that help me at ever juncture of my life.  They are truly a gift to the senses and the body.  In my next post we will discuss two more beautiful and healing oils:  Frankincense and Joy Oil.

If you have questions or comments, please use the space below and I will respond to you.

If you would like to speak with me for a free 15 minutes consultation, please:
Leave a comment below
Contact me
Call or text me @ 631-241-1496

Blessings, Love, and Oils,

What is Essential Oils?

Lavender Essential Oil For Breast Cancer– Cynthia Shankman‏

Essential oils, also known as Aromatherapy, has grown in popularity in the breast cancer community over the past several years.  Along with other alternative therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, and energy healing, essential oils are now easily available for personal use.   There was a time when essential oils were only available from a professional Aromatherapist.  Today they can be purchased in stores, online, and at farmer’s markets.

Essential oils have a long history of use for health, wellness and beauty.  They used by the Egyptians for beauty and spiritual ceremonies.  In biblical times, oils were brought to the Christ Child as the most valued gifts of the times.

You may have interest in experiencing essential oils for yourself as they contain hundreds of healing compounds in just a single drop.  They smell great and contain antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, anticancer, and antiseptic qualities.

Is important to understand that not all essential oils are created equal.  95% of all essential oils are created for the food and cosmetic industries; these oils do not contain the healing power of nature; they do not contain the hundreds of healing compounds in a single drop.   Let’s review the 4 different standards of essential oils so that you may get the best quality available.

Fragrance Grade:  These oils are used for perfumes, candles, and cleaning products.  Most often these fragrances are made from synthetic ingredients in a laboratory.  They do not contain healing compounds.

Food Grade: These oils are created for the food industry for use in mouthwash, chewing gum, mints, and candy, etc.  These oils are most often created in a laboratory of synthetic ingredients.

Health Food Store Quality:  These oils are an improvement over the other two previous synthetic categories.  They smell great and do contain some benefit, but they cannot be placed directly on the body or taken internally as supplements because they do contains some fillers, extenders, or are processed through low quality distilling practices.

Therapeutic Grade: These oils contain hundreds of healing compounds in each drop. They are properly distilled and properly packaged.  They are pure and contain no fillers.  They can affect the body for change through oxygenation, cleansing, calming, and focus.

Once you have secured high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils, there are many ways to use them on a daily basis for improving body, mind, and spirit.

Daily Uses For Essential Oils:

Improves flexibility
Improves sleep
Reduces aches and pains
Relieves nausea
Enhances beautiful skin
Improves eyesight
Diminishes scars
Cleanses mouth and teeth naturally
Replaces some over the counter medication
Relieves earaches
Reduces stress
Increases weight loss
Improves moods
Eases earaches
Soothes lung and respiratory issues
Treats foot problems
Heals cuts and scrapes
Repels bugs
Relieves allergies
Detoxs liver
Moves lymph

There is so much more that essential oils can do.

In coming months we will discuss the specific uses for all the varieties of therapeutic grade essential oils.

Cynthia ShanCynthia Shankmankman has spent the past 11 years on a personal journey of health and wellness. She recovered from acute heavy metal poisoning after having 13 amalgams removed from her teeth. She continued to recover her health by initiating lifestyle changes such as real food, exercise, cleansing her body, and using Essential Oils for all skin, body, and health care needs.  Cynthia is a true believer in growing younger each year and fully intends to be hiking trails at the age 100++ as a Total Lover of Life.  Cynthia is available for Young Living Oil consultations.  She assists and directs clients to the best and most proper use of pure therapeutic grade essential oils for health, wellness and beauty.

You can contact her by phone at 631-241-1496 or by email at

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