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.

Spiritual Fighters: Faith And Hope

A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.

According to the WHO statistics cancers is listed among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide with approximately 14 million new cases and around 8.2 million deaths related to cancer following the year 2012. However, the numbers are improving each year and the survival rates of cancer patients are higher each year.

Still, these alarming statistics are behind hopelessness and fear in people diagnosed with cancer. But it is believed by most of the physicians that in reality, cancer fighters get best results from their treatments if they are determined and hopeful. Hopefulness provides a cancer patient with a framework for bringing to light the perspective and understanding via greater source than oneself. It builds a sense of emotional self-control and helplessness.

Researchers’ point of view:

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical Center, more than 90% cancer patients mentioned that it was their faith that had increased their ability to stay hopeful.

  • It enables them to cope actively with all the hurdles and difficult life situations.
  • It builds a high quality of life.
  • Patients adjust themselves in a better way in receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • It provides them the stamina and tenacity to face the anxiety of their illness and the treatment

Another group of studies published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004 reports that religious morals, activities, and beliefs are associated with:

  • A good immune function
  • Lower mortality (death) rates due to cancer
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Better cardiac outcomes
  • Improved health behavior i.e. (more exercise, good sleep, less cigarette smoking).

All this increases the lifespan of an individual fighting cancer.

Role Of Spiritual Mentors/Instructors:

The majority of cancer patients get anxious, stressed out, depressed and angry, thinking that “Why God is angry with me? Why am I the victim of this dreaded disease?” For such questions, spiritual counselors relax them with answers like: “It is not a punishment from God for you. It is your test of patience, and He knows you will be strong and fight this until you get better. He will help you through this. You need to have faith in Him and yourself.” It comes as a welcome relief to cancer patients and puts them in peace and serenity that is necessary for the healing process.

Spiritual mentors might not be able to change their thoughts, but they provide them that energy that assists them to fight cancer. It leads them to a state of tranquility by letting them share their feelings. They show them a bigger picture where faith, hope and medicine work together.

Role Of Family And Friends In Building Faith:

A cancer patient’s company has a high role in building confidence and faith to fight cancer with energy. A survey conducted by the researchers at John Hopkins University reported that successful coping with stress at the end stage of cancer was associated with two variables:

  • Caregivers or social contacts of cancer patients
  • Support that cancer patient receives from spiritual/religious faith

Religious teachings help the cancer patient to become a responsible and careful person. It is an important source providing long-term care. It helps to maintain a good quality of life.

Conclusion:

Although cancer challenges a cancer patient’s faith, still many people fundamentally seek their belief to be strengthened due to this experience. Learning new aspects of life restores faith in a better living and humanity. Faith and hope are equally significant in the healing process as other treatments for cancer.

References:

  1. Cancer and faith
  2. Coping with cancer (faith and cancer)
  3. Religion, Spirituality, and Medicine: Research Findings and Implications for Clinical Practice
  4. Supportive care:Rehabilitation

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.

Delegate

Delegate - Breast Cancer Stress ManagementAs a person affected by cancer in one way or another, your life as you have known it has changed. You did not get a vote about the change, but you do get a vote about how you are going to navigate your life. Today’s word is DELEGATE.

Don’t let your life become overwhelming, DELEGATE as much you can to someone else. DELEGATE household chores to your children, partner, or house partners. DELEGATE things that you don’t like doing or don’t want to do. For instance, if you hate ironing, DELEGATE it to another family member or pay someone else to do it for you. Most of the things that require your time and energy can be hired out and DELEGATED to someone else who needs to make a living doing the things that you hate to do. Rather than think about yourself as lazy or unmotivated realize that DELEGATING difficult or an unpleasant chore to others for hire is a way to keep the system moving. Get as much stuff off of your to to-do list as possible because you need all of your energy to recover and let the body return to optimum health.

What is that message in your head when you ask someone else to do something for you? Where did that message come from? If you allowed yourself to be gentle with your need to DELEGATE some of that stuff on your plate what is the worst that could happen? Would it be guilt, or your fear someone else won’t do it right or the way you want it done? Transitioning your attitude to be willing to DELEGATE as a management style may not be a smooth transition, but it can be helpful in lowering your levels of stress and chaos once you learn to DELEGATE.

Chose three things to DELEGATE this week. Look at the things in your life that are irritating you, stealing your energy, or are just too hard for you to do right now. Three may seem like a lot but through this process, you will choose the number one priority to DELEGATE. Reflect over the past few days or weeks about your thoughts. How many times have you wished someone else would do the laundry but you didn’t ask or delegate? You probably didn’t ask or delegate because you minimized the task. Perhaps you said something like, “How hard is it to throw a load of laundry in the machine and transfer it to the dryer? Come on, it is no big deal, just do it.” But then when the dryer finished, you just wanted to crawl into those warm clothes and go to sleep rather than fold them. Your body needs rest. Your cells need to be strong and capable of fighting off those mutant cells that want to build tumors. Give yourself permission to rest.

Thus, back to your list of three. Choose one from the list as a practice DELEGATE task. Create a plan on how you are going to DELEGATE and to whom. Write specific instructions on how you want this task to be done and make arrangements for a finish task time. DELEGATE it and see how it goes. Then move on to the other two items on your list. As you become a pro at DELEGATION, the goal is to have time and energy for the top five things on your list that matter most for your healing; rest, sleep, healthy eating, yoga and time to enjoy your favorite people in your life.

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Guide To Healthy Lifestyle Choices For Breast Cancer

Guide To Healthy Lifestyle Choices For Breast Cancer

Featured Yoga Model Angela Strynkowsk, E-RYT 500

By: Breast Cancer Yoga Staff.
An anti-cancer lifestyle is a lifestyle that includes a variety of exercise, organic foods and clean pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy. Cultivate awareness of what goes into your body; stop and take notice of habits. 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.

Exercise – Yoga
Practicing restorative yoga has shown to improve sleep and overall quality of life. (Reuters Health) – About one third of breast cancer survivors experience fatigue that can affect their quality of life, but a small new study finds that doing yoga might help restore some lost vitality.

Cancer Prevention Foods – Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
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 blueberries hold a significant amount of the necessary cell builders and anti-cancerangetic properties that are a necessity on our tables.

  • Look for free recipes on the internet
  • Start by adding healthy food choices to diet
  • Begin transition to a healthy diet with Meatless Monday
  • Begin to eliminate cancer causing foods from your diet

Water Therapy – Alkaline Water
Alkaline water (also referred to as ionized water) can neutralize the acidity of the body caused by stress, modern diet, air pollution, and many bottled waters.

Manage Stress – Learn to Breathe
Deep breathing will encourage the release of body toxins, rebuild healthy tissue and increase energy. It will also stimulate digestion, assimilation and elimination for better health. The most important function of all is how this special birthright breath can stimulate the body’s natural response that results in less tension and an overall sense of well being.

  • Purchase single down-loadable breathing exercises
  • Purchase a therapeutic breathing CD
  • Read books on how to breathe correctly

Laugh Often
It has been shown that even when manipulated to smile people in truth feel happier. Laughter stops depression right in its tracks and boosts our immunity.

  • 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 at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

10 Ways to Navigate Through Stressful Times

How To Navigate Stressful TimesBy: Dr. Christina Grant, Author of The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing.

Life has stressful times as a norm, but right now some of us are feeling a more intense squeeze. Feelings of discomfort, unease, and vague anxiety can be constant. Some are feeling great intensity while others are simply riding the waves of expansion and growth, excited to see where they’re going but longing for guidance to navigate the new terrain.

The underlying theme of the day is we’re being forced to change from within by letting go of old, outdated, now-useless ways of being and allowing something new to emerge. Allowing a more creative, self-responsible, and I’d like to believe wiser part of us to come forth.

There are many things we can do to manage stressful times (without numbing out). If you are in a state of self-excavation where extreme personal inner evolution is happening, if you’re in a let go or be dragged phase or your life, welcome fellow traveler!

Always treat yourself like you’re a whole human being with a body that is interrelated, interconnected, and not at all separate from your thoughts, emotions, and soul. Today people are quite disconnected from their emotions and thoughts, not to mention nature, the natural rhythm of the earth and sky, and their own soul energy. If this sounds like you, navigate more powerfully and successfully through unknown territory by paying attention to the needs of your physical body, your mind, your emotions, and your true soul essence.

How?

It’s not that complicated, really. I’ve tried all kinds of convoluted ways and experience has shown me to simply return to the basics. Any links with the following will direct you to my previous posts on that topic.

  1. Eat well. Quality protein with vegetables is my staple of choice. Fresh fruit. Plenty of water.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Preferably at night, all night.
  3. Move your body and exercise.
  4. Go out in nature for a little bit and spend time on the earth.
  5. Seek out people who are trained to help you heal what’s nagging you. We need others to help us who have already seen this part of the journey.
  6. Have some body work (a massage is ideal) which helps settle tension and calm your mind.
  7. Have energy healing (or see a respected counselor) if you are emotionally or mentally stuck. Don’t feel as if something can’t get better. It can and it will if you want it to.
  8. Take time away from electronics and tech devices. Turn everything off and then feel what you feel. Get in touch with the discomfort and be okay with it.
  9. Breathe in and breathe out fully. Breathe in again. Release the breath completely as you breathe out and let go of all that is ready to go.
  10. Sit through the storms without having to self-medicate, get distracted, or otherwise foil the attempts of your soul to have this incredible life experience. Because the number of medicated, distracted, soul-detached people is so high that we’ve become a zombie civilization. Numbing out might feel like the way to get through, but the noise inside will only get louder.

Dr. Christina Grant Contributor For Breast Cancer Authority BlogDr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer, intuitive counselor, teacher, and author of The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing. With a PhD in Human Science, she blends meaningful, intuitive life guidance with energy healing and balancing, both by phone and in person, to help people attain physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Her book can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions, as well as B&N, and other retailers.

To learn more about Dr. Christina Grant or to contact her, please visit her website at http://www.christinagrant.com.

Embrace the Gift of Holiday Love During Crisis: 6 “Tried & True” Ways

Embrace The Holidays By: Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos, International Bestselling Author of Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing.

Trouble does not take time off for celebrations or holidays and neither should you. Every day of life is a special gift. Celebrating the holidays is a wonderful way to distract us from our treatments, illness and crisis. When we embrace and celebrate a gift of love, we automatically give back as much as we received. Accepting love is also a gift to the giver.

“But how can I celebrate when I feel so poorly?” you may ask. I asked the same question while I battled three breast cancers over ten years. So the solutions shared here with you are tried and true.

  1. Embrace the gift of love during the holidays as a first step in enjoying life during times of strife. Disaster is temporary. Love is eternal. Focus on the love and joy will happen. It is part of the miracle of life.
  2. Take time to love the simple things in life. Celebration is not measured by how many things you do, how much money you spend, or how lavishly you entertain. It is measured by how much you share the gift of love and how deeply that gift is felt. Celebration comes from accomplishments. Celebration does not come from your mental “to do list.” It comes from your heart’s, “I did it list.”
  3. Start your “I did it list” by writing down your victories in life, no matter how small. Size is a concept and state of mind. Diamonds come in very small packages yet they are a very big commodity. What diamonds do you have to share with yourself that exemplify your life’s accomplishments? Honor them by keeping them with you. When you feel the weight of treatment, illness or life-in- general bearing down upon you, take out your list and re-read it. If you are having an exceptionally bad day, read it to your reflection in a mirror until you believe it. Mirror therapy can be very effective.
  4. Define your limits and know your limitations while in crisis, treatment or recovery. When faced with an emotional or physical decision that is taxing or vexing, ask yourself, “Will life continue to exist if I do not do this?” If the answer is, Yes!” choose to not do it. Remember that the choice is always yours to accept or reject any request or demand. The word “No” does not require an explanation. Just like the word “Because” “No” is its own complete statement. If you feel compelled to soften the blow add, “But thank you so much for asking.” Embracing this concept is a big step in defining your limits and limitations during the holidays that can become a New Year Resolution.
  5. Sit back and let others show their devotion to you during this challenging time in your life. Receiving affection, compliments or gifts is not always easy for many people. You become so accustomed to giving that you overlook the importance of getting. Look at receiving from a different perspective. Allowing others the opportunity to display their love to you may be the best gift you ever gave to them. It can become the memory of a lifetime. Give them the gift of pampering you.
  6. The holidays are filled with miracles. Some are as small as a newborn baby. Some as big as a second chance at life. Watch for miracles during holiday family gatherings, and remember to give thanks for the small things in life.

During a personal crisis it can be difficult to relinquish control of things that were considered “your job.” Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and shift power into the hands of others can be daunting. Trusting in your Higher Power to lead family members can be a big leap of faith, and that may be a good thing. Agree to let others help you with cores or cherished jobs like trimming the tree or cooking the holiday meal. It may be a way of seeing how much you have influenced their life in a positive way and a wonderful opportunity to tweak family traditions so that you have more energy to enjoy the festivities. Think of this change as a temporary respite from past frenzies, no matter how enjoyable they may have seemed at the time.

This holiday season choose to embrace the opportunity to sit back, relax and share the gift of love by allowing loved ones, family and friends to pamper you like you’ve never been pampered before.
You deserve it. They deserve it. Eat it up!

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos Breast Cancer Authority ContributorABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos is the International Bestselling author of Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing, & 3x Breast Cancer Survivor whose dreams diagnosed cancer. Kat believes dreams diagnose your life. “Did you have a déjà- vu or did your dream come true?” Kat’s interpretations are in American Express Open Forum. She’s a TV & Radio Host for Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod, Coach, Keynote Speaker, “go-to authority” on Beauty, Health, Wealth & Relationships, Panelist/Presenter at IASD (International Association for the Study of Dreams), columnist, & blogs on sites like DreamCloud, Breast Cancer Yoga. Kat taught Special Education and Psychology at USF. http://survivingcancerland.com/

Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment

Yogic Breathing For Breast Cancer

By; Diana Ross E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Learning breath exercises will aide in the recovery process from breast cancer. First it is important to learn to breath correctly. Breathing correctly is done by taking in air deeply through the nostrils so that the lungs expand. Second, learn to use breath exercises so that they are used as treatments for specific situations, such as stress reduction or increase energy.

Natural Breath is used for stress management because it has the most calming effect of all the breaths. This breath reduces stress and tension by turning off the sympathetic “fight or flight” autonomic response.

Positions for breathing exercises during breast cancer therapy can be done in either a seated, laying down, or even in a standing position. However, you must be in a comfortable position so that the mind stays focused. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing.

Benefits

  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Promotes diaphragmatic breathing
  • Supports expansion and relaxation of thoracic cavity
  • Reduces lumbar spasm and pain
  • Massages digestive organs and increases peristalsis
  • Relieves constipation
  • Stimulates flow of bile
  • Increases venous return and lymphatic drainage
  • Turns off sympathetic “fight or flight autonomic response”
  • Has one of the most calming effect of all the breaths

Instructions

  1. INHALE, drawing breath in through the nostrils, down deep into lower lungs; lower lungs expand and belly extends out.
  2. EXHALE, gently draw naval back towards the backbone releasing air from lower lungs through the nostrils.
  3. Let there be a natural pause of transition before you inhale again.
  4. Continue to lengthen and balance natural breath for up to five minutes.
  5. Continue and then begin to lengthen exhale; moving the breath into a 1 to 2 ratio.

Breathing exercise program aides in breast cancer recovery along with other benefits that a person gets by practicing it. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing. Along with daily breathing techniques we encourage an anti-cancer lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that includes a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean, pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy on your road to recovery from breast cancer. Cultivate awareness of what goes into your body; stop and take notice of habits.

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.

 

Breath Importance Breathing Exercise CD's From Breast Cancer Yog

Rain Barrels – Watering Remedies

By Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Therapist and Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

Can you believe that we keep reaching back in the past to bring our gardening tips and techniques forward? It is the new age thing to do, to capture your own rain water in rain barrels. Just like canning your garden vegetables and making your own berry jams ~ now collecting your water is back and it is great.

Conservation of our water consumption during the hot or dry summer months could decrease 40 percent if we were to use rain barrels. We lose this much when we water just lawns and gardens. Did you know that just an inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof will accumulate over 600 gallons of fresh water? Now this is motivation for using a rain barrel as part of your lawn and gardening system.

You could be the first in your neighborhood to show your rain barrel off. Encourage others to take charge and be inventive just like our grandparents and their parents. Water is such a valuable resource to waste.

I have included this great garden, compost and rain barrel system video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWI5EAaOl-o  This should get you excited. I also have some watering tips for you to use along with incorporating a rain barrel system. First always water early in the morning or late at night. This will help reduce water loss through evaporation. Secondly, use a drip hose so that the roots get a good wetting. Next, recycle water from your kitchen. Washing veggies, boiling eggs or excess water from the dehumidifier would do nicely on your plants. Conserve water whenever possible and compost and mulch. My beds are so rich with nutrients that you can practically put a saddle on the worms, they are so big.

Other suggestions for having healthy and colorful gardens are in the use of native plants and herbs. They typically use less water and are adapt at the environment so they stay hardy. This means that you do not need to use chemicals. They will also attract seasonal birds and butterflies. Who knows you may even attract humming birds. Growing native indigenous plants can save 50 percent of the water used to maintain other plants, and choosing drought tolerant natives is even better.

You got to love it. Taking charge of your own gardens and lawn whereby you help the planet is a pretty cool thing to do. I think so.

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.

%d bloggers like this: