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


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.  


Top 7 Acupressure Points for Strengthening Immune System


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

Using the Produce Aisle to Boost Immune Function

What We Eat Effects Our Immune System On Breast Cancer Authority BlogWhat we eat, or don’t eat, can affect our immune system. This study was conducted to determine the effect of the consumption of brightly colored vegetables on the immune system: the first two weeks basically no fruits and veggies, then two weeks drinking a cup-and-a-half of tomato juice every day, then carrot juice, then spinach powder. This is a graph of a marker of immune function over those eight weeks. Within just two weeks of a fruit and veggie deficient diet, immune function plummets. But just a cup-and-a-half of tomato juice can bring us back from the ashes. Not five servings a day, just that tall glass of tomato juice. But the carrot juice alone didn’t seem to work as well, nor did the powder equivalent of about one serving of spinach. This says to me two things—how remarkably we can affect our immune function with simple dietary decisions, and not all veggies are alike. Though this study was repeated looking at other immune markers and the tomato versus carrot appeared more evenly matched, there is one family of vegetables we definitely don’t want to miss out on. Inflammation, leaky gut, all because of an absence of AHR ligands; in other words an absence of cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

So, do people who eat healthier actually get sick less? Those who eat more fruits and vegetables appear to have a lower risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection, like the common cold, whether they’re vegetarian or not. Even just one added apple a day may help keep the doctor away. The common cold is so innocuous, though, why not test against something stronger?

One can also look at more serious respiratory infections like influenza. Looking at the relationship between various risk factors and influenza-related hospitalizations in the United States, researchers found that a 5% increase in the prevalence of obesity was bad, associated with a 6% increased hospitalization rate. But physical inactivity was worse: 7%. But just tiny bump in the rates of low fruit and vegetable consumption may increase flu-related hospitalization rates even more.

And the common cold isn’t always innocuous. A common cold during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with a number of birth defects, including one of the worst, anencephaly, a fatal malformation of the brain. More recent data suggest it’s the fever, as anti-fever drugs appear able to prevent the possible birth defects causing effect of the common cold, but even better, not to get sick in the first place.

A thousand women and their diets were followed before and during pregnancy, and women who consumed more fruits and vegetables had a moderate reduction in risk of upper respiratory tract infection during pregnancy, and this benefit appears to be derived from both fruits and vegetables instead of either alone.

Whole fruits and vegetables provide a natural balance of all sorts of things that may improve our immune function in a complementary, combined, or synergistic manner that could account for the protective effect observed from high consumption of both fruits and vegetables. Or maybe that’s the only way they got enough. The women who appeared protected in this study were eating nearly nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, compared with only five servings of fruits, or four of veggies. That may fulfill some arbitrary five or six a day minimum, but may be insufficient for effective immunity.

For example, in that famous study I profiled previously, elderly individuals randomized into a five-a-day group had an improved antibody response to their pneumonia vaccination, compared to just two servings of fruits and vegetables a day; an 80% increase. But only about 30% reached their target levels: 12 out of 40. Six times better than the two-a-day group, but maybe eight-, nine-, or ten-a-day would have worked better.

Doctor’s Note

Need a reminder about what those protective Ah receptors are? See The Broccoli Receptor: Our First Line of Defense and Counteracting the Effects of Dioxins Through Diet.

What’s the best way to prepare broccoli? See my Second Strategy to Cooking Broccoli video.

Women can overdo it, though, in late pregnancy. See Caution: Anti-inflammatory Foods in the Third Trimester.

What else can we do to lower our risk of upper respiratory tract infections? See:

Stay tuned for my upcoming video Are Happier People Actually Healthier? later this week that compares people’s resistance to having the common cold virus dripped into their nostrils.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.
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.

Dry skin brushing can strengthen immunity, spark detoxification and reverse the hands of time –

Dry skin brushing can strengthen immunity, spark detoxification and reverse the hands of time -

Dry skin brushing can strengthen immunity, spark detoxification and reverse the hands of time via


Long used in Ayurveda, dry skin brushing is a powerful — yet exceptionally economical — healing therapy. Upon first glance, the practice may not seem like much. We may question how a quick session of brushing the skin can provide such impressive results as heightened immunity, reduction of cellulite and overall detoxification. As unlikely as it may seen, dry skin brushing delivers all of the above and more.

With this straightforward technique, you are on your way to glowing health, smooth skin and a happy lymphatic system — this last perk is especially important to keep immunity buzzing and your constitution robust. But how does it work?

When we brush the skin in an upward motion, not only are we removing surface toxins and dead skin cells, but we’re also stimulating the movement of lymphatic fluids — a secondary circulatory system that assists immunity by transporting white blood cells and removing waste. Since the lymph system doesn’t have a mechanism like the heart to keep fluid flowing, it needs to be manually encouraged through dry brushing, exercise, rebounding or yoga.

Skin brushing is also known for firming cellulite, thereby smoothing lumpy problem areas of the skin. However, don’t be fooled. The taming of cellulite isn’t simply a cosmetic concern, it’s also linked with a lower toxic load. Since cellulite is comprised of fatty toxic buildup, when we brush the skin, we are essentially helping dissolve these formations so they can be removed by the eliminatory channels of the body.

Beyond detoxification and promoting youthful skin, the practice also increases blood flow, improves muscle tone and tightens up sagging bits. On top of that, the production of hydrating oils is stimulated, further enhancing a healthy dermal surface. Dry skin brushing aids digestion as well as kidney function too.

Brush well and often

If you’re sold on the idea of dry brushing, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Frequency — You should try to brush your skin at least once per day, with each session lasting between 2 and 20 minutes. Before your morning shower is ideal. Otherwise, a brushing session at night might prove to be too stimulating and interfere with sound sleep.
  • Brush type –– Look for a natural, stiff-bristled brush with a long, attachable handle for reaching tricky areas like the back. Avoid synthetic bristles, as they tend to be overly harsh and can damage the skin.
  • Method — Beginning with the feet, and moving up the legs, brush toward the heart. You want to use long, sweeping motions — not scrubbing or back and forth movements. And don’t brush so vigorously that the skin is red or irritated. You’re aiming for stimulation, not trauma. For the stomach area, brush counterclockwise. Next, focus on your backside with upward strokes. End the session with the hands, arms and chest. Avoid delicate areas like the face. Remember, both the skin and brush need to remain dry for the entire session. For maximum benefit, make sure to shower afterwards to remove dead skin cells and surface toxins.


About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.




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Cancer Prevention With Food, Thoughts and Botanicals

Cancer Prevention With Food Thoughts and Botanicals

By: Dr. Ellen Kamhi, The Natural Nurse.
CANCER- just hearing that word out of a doctors mouth sends fear through the listeners mind. Many people react with the thought- how could this happen to me? However, in most cases, cancer does not just HAPPEN. It can be traced to specific causes, and most of those causes are under the control of people themselves. Smoking is one behavior that directly increases the possibility of getting cancer.

Another is allowing oneself to be overweight. In fact, obesity 
increases the risk of getting three of the most common types of cancer — breast, prostate and colorectal, and also endometrial, gallbladder and kidney cancers.

Obese men are 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cancer than their lean counterparts, while obese women are 40 to 50 percent more likely.

Researchers are not certain how being overweight increases cancer risk, but they do know that excess fat changes the way the body uses glucose, forcing the pancreas to produce extra insulin, which appears to encourage tumor growth. Also, fat changes the way estrogen acts in the body, which may stimulate some cancers, such as those of the breast, prostate and uterus. Being significantly overweight may also makes it more difficult for doctors to find tumors before they grow dangerously large.

The exact program which leads to significant body fat reduction – increasing exercise and the consumption of vegetables, along with decreased consumption of junk food – is highly cancer protective as well. In addition to vitamins and minerals, vegetables have been shown to have other vital health-promoting substances. In one recent study, researchers at the University of Washington, in Seattle, have found that vegetable consumption, particularly intake of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, lowers the risk of prostate cancer in men.(Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000;92:61-68). Cruciferous vegetables in particular, may exhibit a more powerful effect against cancer than other vegetable due to their high isothiocyanate content. Isothiocyanates activate enzymes present in cells, which, in turn, neutralize carcinogens. It would be best to choose organic vegetables, because pesticide ingestion has also been linked to an increase in cancer.(Ardies, C. M.; Dees, C. Xenoestrogens significantly enhance risk for breast cancer during growth and adolescence. Medical Hypotheses, 50, 6 ,1998,457-464)

Overall detoxification aids the immune system to function at an optimum level. This is the bodys natural defense against the development of cancer. Organic fresh fruits and vegetables, raw, steamed and juiced, provide an excellent foundation. They are nourishing and easy to digest, with plenty of naturally occurring fiber. Skin brushing, jumping on a mini-trampoline, and using a sauna, are all part of the detoxification program, particularly aimed at keeping the lymphatic system flowing smoothly, which discourages the growth of cancer.
Cancer Prevention With Mind:Body Connection
A Mention of Mind/Body

It cannot be emphasized enough how important spiritual and emotional work is to the support of continued wellness. Taking some time to connect with the spiritual/emotional aspects of life is a supremely important aspect for preventing cancer. It is well known that cancer patients who attend support groups actually live longer.( Spiegel D, Bloom JR, Kraemer HC and Gottheil E. Effect of psychosocial treatment on survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Lancet. ii: 888-91. 1989). These results cannot yet be fully explained through science, but is well understood in the teachings of metaphysics as well as by indigenous shamanic healers throughout the ages.

Herbs Can Help
In order for the body to properly detoxify, it is necessary to clean out the natural filters; the liver and kidneys. Dandelion, a common weed, is used both as a food and medicine everywhere in the world where it grows. It is a potassium sparing diuretic,that works to cleanse and support both the liver and kidneys. Herbs which contain berberine, such as Oregon Graperoot and Goldenseal support the liver, and Milk Thistle has been scientifically proven to be liver protective.(Gupta, O. P.; Banerjee, S. K.; et al, Anti- inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of silymarin acting through inhibition of 5- lipoxygenase. Phytomedicine 7:1, March, 2000, 21-24) Turmeric, the orange colored spice used in curry has additional benefits, and has been shown to have anti-tumor activities.( Navis I, Sriganth P, Premalatha B. Dietary curcumin with cisplatin administration modulates tumour marker indices in experimental fibrosarcoma. Pharmacol Res. 1999; 39(3):175-179). I keep some in a shaker and regularly add it to food right at the table.

Herbal combinations can be used as teas, capsules or tinctures. A well known combination which may give additional protection against cancer contains sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), burdock root (Arctium lappa), slippery elm inner bark (Ulmus fulva), turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and watercress (Nasturtium officinale). Most of these herbs grow wild on Long Island. Once you learn to identify them, you can grow and pick your own, use them fresh, or dry them for year round availability.

A specific kind of mushroom, Maitake mushroom(Grifolia frondosa), contains a specific polysaccharide, called beta-glucan . One component , 3-branched, B-1,6-glucan. increases white blood cell motility and overall function of the immune system. Perhaps the ancients were not so far off , when they concluded that these mushrooms increase “chi” , which is movement or energy!!

Ellen KamhiEllen Kamhi PhD RN, The Natural Nurse®,( is the author of The Natural Medicine Chest, Arthritis, The Alternative Medicine Guide, and Cycles of Life, Herbs and Energy Techniques for Women. Contact: , Facebook The Natural Nurse, 800-829-0918

Anti-Germ Warfare – The Natural Way

Natural Germ Warfare With Herbs For Breast CancerBy Ellen Kamhi PhD RN .

The media world is a-buz about ‘bugs’! However, the new threats of “swine flu”, bring us back to a basic discussion. Should be just sit around and wait until we become a victim, and then take an antibiotic or Tamiflu and hope that the illness goes away? Or would it be wiser to be a health advocate, and shore up our immune system- the body’s natural defense mechanism. (One interesting point to consider is that Tamiflu was developed by Gilead Sciences. Donald Rumsfeld was Chairman of the Board of Gilead from 1997-2001, when he became Secretary of Defense under Bush. )

The immune system is made up of a combination of specialized cells, chemicals, tissues, and organs. These include the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow and tonsils as well as specialized white blood cells, which recognize and engulf invading microorganisms and cellular debris.

The ability of the immune system to function optimally is influenced by many factors. These include inherent genetic makeup, environmental influences, (such as pollution, pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring/colorings in food), obesity and stress levels; not only exposure to infective agents, whether they are natural or man-made. We can aid our immune system by eating a high amount of organic green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while cutting down on ‘junk food’ consumption. Stress reduction, through prayer, meditation, yoga and moderate exercise, such as a daily walk around Century Village’s great walkway- is more important than ever when we are under sustained stress.

Herbs may be used in several ways to aid in our Anti-Germ Warfare personal campaigns. Tonic herbs strengthen the immune system over time, while strong immune system stimulants have a more immediate action, and are used during an acute infection. Many herbs have been scientifically proven to have strong broad spectrum anti-microbial properties.

Herbal tonics work to help maintain a dynamic balance in the body and usually need to be taken long-term. Astragalus is said to build Wei chi. “Chi” is the Chinese concept of life energy force. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated Astragalus’ ability to help strengthen the immune system’s resistance, especially to viral infections. Reishi has been called the “mushroom of immortality”, and has been used for centuries as an overall tonic. Ligustrum berries are used by Chinese physicians specifically for their immune enhancing activities. Codonopsis is a Chinese herb that contains the bitter yellow compound, berberine, that helps the immune system prevent infections. Other immune system tonic herbs include Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra. Schisandra has been shown to build non-specific resistance, improve brain function, increase work capacity and build strength.

Osha Root has been used traditionally by both the Chinese and Native Americans, (who called it Chuchupate), for increased immune function. Echinacea is a well researched and respected immune system stimulant. It helps increase the activity of white blood cells, which engulf invading microorganisms. Thuja is an herbal extract from the Northern White Cedar tree. It is a strong immune stimulant that Native Americans used for colds, coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Possibly the mushroom with the greatest capability of stimulating the immune system is the Maitake. Maitake contains specific chemical components that have been scientifically studied for their strong immune enhancing effects.

Oil Of Oregano(Origanum vulgare) is rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A and C, Niacin, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Boron, and Manganese. In addition, the herb contains many active chemical constituents that provide beneficial support to our bodies, such as thymol and carvacrol. These components strongly discourage the growth of microorganisms, an action recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano oil is exceptional in its ability to destroy many different kinds of microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to actively inhibit and destroy E. Coli, candida albacans and the bacterias that cause strep and staff infections. Unlike pharmaceutical drug antibiotics, oregano oil does not cause the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Although it is always possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to any substance, there are no known adverse effects to oil of oregano.

The bitter compound, oleuropein, extracted from the olive leaf, has the capacity to destroy and inhibit the growth of an incredible array of pathogenic organisms, including bacteria , yeasts and viruses, such as the cold and flu virus, herpes, and even retro-viruses. Bacteria and parasites destroyed by oleuropein include planterum, E. coli and malariae, to name a few. Apparently, the old anti-malarial olive leaf and wine remedy had some merit! No toxic effects have been reported, even at high doses.

Rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis)has been used as an anti-infective agent since ancient times. Rosemary was regularly burned in hospitals and sick-rooms to purify the air and prevent infection. It was also used in courts to keep the judge and jurors from contracting plagues and fevers that the prisoners brought up from the dungeon. A sprig of Rosemary was also often carried at funerals. The aromatic oils of rosemary contain active essential oils, rosmarinic acid, phenolic acids and tannins with antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

Thyme (Thymus) was used by the Greeks to keep venomous creatures away from the home. The Egyptians used it to mummify their dead, due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. The thymus gland got its name from thyme, due to its similar structure to the thyme flower; interesting because both thyme and the thymus gland promote immune function. The principle components consist of phenol, thymol and carvacrol. An article in Chemical Abstracts in 1977 revealed that thymol’s antimicrobial activity is 20 times stronger than phenol.

Ellen KamhiEllen Kamhi PhD RN, The Natural Nurse®, can be heard on radio daily. She is the author of several books, including THE NATURAL MEDICINE CHEST. Dr. Kamhi has been involved in natural health care for over 4 decades. She answers consumer questions at, and does private consultations. 800-829-0918


What To Do About The Flu And You?

A portrait of a young woman blowing her noseBy Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA Specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness.


Life is busy, going at 160 miles per hour! Deadlines at work for the end of 2013, social commitments, Holiday preparations, shopping, staying more indoors because of the cold outside, not getting enough sleep, more sugary treats at home and the office – all will lead to a weakened immune system and that sets up the terrain for viral and bacterial infections. Oh, and by the way, trying to recover from breast cancer surgery and/or cancer treatments of various kinds?

It is within the above landscape that health, detoxification and strength of the immune system need to be addressed and supported. This is not medical advice and I do recommend discussing the information with your health practitioner or holistic-minded physician before embarking on a supplement program.

As a Holistic practitioner, I believe in supporting health while also using anti-viral and anti-microbial protection. I use specific nutritional and herbal supplements plus homeopathic remedies, but I wanted to address some easy immune-supporting  ‘DIY-at-home’ tips.

I am not in favor of the Flu-shot for multiple reasons including the harmful ingredients and preservatives used in the ‘vaccine’. I do believe everyone must make their own choice regarding what they put into their body. It is worth knowing what is in a Flu shot, esp. as it injected directly into the bloodstream.

‘Natural Flu Protection’ Measures?
(This is not medical advice. Please check in with a Health Practitioner if on medications.)
Optimal nutrition with seasonal whole foods including free range / wild sourced protein, healthy fats and complex carbs go a long way to boost overall immune health at any time. Consider eating multiple different colored organic vegetables and some seasonal fruit daily to assimilate a variety of protective anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. With toxic cancer treatments, the body has a higher need for food-based anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Did You Know This About Probiotics?
70-80% of the immune system is in the gut! This is why probiotics play such an important role in supporting your immune system. There are multiple strains, various dosages and multiple companies available.

With chemo and radiation, the micro flora in the gut becomes disrupted. This weakens the immune system, resilience and absorption of nutrients. Opportunistic ‘bad bugs’ and fungal infections can gain a foothold in a compromised environment resulting in additional physiological stress.

General info: In today’s world, probiotics are an imperative part of our daily maintenance program. Why? Consider the amount of antibiotics used in commercial foods. These alter the healthy flora in your gut, “they destroy the good guys.” As such, it is great to consider a high quality probiotic for your daily wellness.

Rotation? Rather than choosing one probiotic, do rotate your probiotic to assimilate different strains besides acidophilus. lactobacillus, bifidia. The healthy yeasts, saccaromyces boulardii, are very helpful in various gastro-intestinal challenges and yeast infections.

I would use a high dosage of probiotics when feeling immune-compromised, ‘under the weather’ or recovering from surgery. (Also, It has been shown that probiotics will shorten the duration and severity of a cold.)

Health Fats And Your Immune System?
Healthy fats, esp. coconut oil, are terrific immune boosters. This saturated fat will keep your metabolism humming by supporting thyroid function. The thyroid is adversely affected by chronic stress, radiation and chemotherapy. Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids that are antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal. Adding it to the creamed buckwheat, or over steamed dark green veggies or adding it to your chicken curry, it will go a long way to support your health!

Cod Liver Oil will support with vitamin A and vitamin D – both are needed for immune support, gut-lining support, plus the DHA supports brain health and memory! (Do check-in with your physician before any surgery!!!!!)

What About Supplementing With Vitamins?
When you feel that you are getting sick, I do recommend increasing complex vitamin C, E, vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, calcium and zinc. It is during this preliminary time, that you have a chance to ‘put a brake on the Flu infection pedal’.

Taking higher doses of nutrients for a few days can be very supportive in fighting off a viral infection. If you are on medications esp. heart or blood thinning meds, you do want consult with your physician before going on a short term, therapeutic and higher dose regimen.

What About Synthetic Vitamins?
I strongly discourage use of any synthetic ‘natural’ vitamins, which are made from cheap ingredients. Even though promoted as ‘natural’, these synthetic supplements often non-food based, plus they contain harmful fillers, colors and toxic additives. Quality matters!

Look for only ‘whole food supplements’ that contain complexes and phytonutrients, not isolated and fractionated compounds. Synthetic vitamins have a long shelf life and are not bioavailable, e.g. Synthetic vitamin B is made from coal tar, ammonia, acetone and hydrochloric acid……
BTW, synthetic vitamins are used in clinical studies – no wonder the outcome is not favorable….esp. regarding vitamin A and vitamin E…It is important to stay with organic and whole food supplements.

Minerals: Which minerals have good anti-viral properties?
Selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, All are immune boosters and are helpful. When you feel you are coming down with a viral infection, I would suggest using doses in small increments regularly throughout a few days – Just using one mega dose in the morning will not be effective.
Iodine supplementation is also very helpful regarding infections and this is best discussed with a practitioner.

What else?
Herbal Teas: There are great teas at the Health store that will support mucous membranes in the sinuses and bronchioles. Check for teas that include herbs such as Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root (not with statins), Nettles, Golden Seal, Licorice Root (avoid if high blood pressure), Choose from a great selection of herbal teas that will soothe inflamed membranes and support drainage. Arnica and Boswellia will provide inflammatory relief. Saline nasal sprays or use of the netti pot is helpful too.

A Few Additional Tips?

  • Avoiding of sugar: One teaspoon of sugar depresses the immune system by 4 hours. (This is important not just for the Flu Season.)
  • Hydration: With the heated buildings, being dehydrated poses a risk, as the he boy is not flushing efficiently.
  • Sleep: Getting enough sleep is so helpful for immune support.
  • The obvious: Washing of hands, not touching eyes, nose or mouth to avoid viral transfer via mucous membranes
  • Put up your feet; listen to some nice music while you are enjoying a cup of tea!
  • Meditation, Yoga – any form of stress reduction that resonates with you will support your immune system during the Winter months.
  • Dry skin brushing helps lymphatic flow and it is supportive during cancer treatment too.

Find joy and laughter – the best ‘medicine’!

Rika_KechAbout Rika Keck: Find Rika at
 . Rika specializes in Nutrition, Fitness and  Women’s Wellness. Rika is Certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, also a CMTA Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant and Holistic Life Coach.
Rika Keck, FDN, ACN, CMTA
646 285-8588
646 285-8588

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