Do you remember a time when you did not hear about cancer or any of the diseases that we now read about so frequently? If you would live on a remote island without access to the media and without supermarkets and drugstores, you would be an unlikely candidate for the modern diseases of our civilized world, which includes cancer.
Why? Because you would live without much stress and pollution, without harmful chemicals, and you would probably eat off the land and go to bed early; I often dream of a life like that, especially lately. Life has become complicated and stressful. The world seems to be in a state of chaotic upheaval where nobody knows anymore what will happen tomorrow. Uncertainty is a major stress factor.
We have gained much control over our lives and became accustomed to certain life styles, but the recent economical and political crisis has shaken us up. We need to pay attention and see where our lives are. I found the race for Presidency in the United States of America fascinating. In the last six months my nights had become occupied listening to debates on different TV channels. Although it took the place of my usual reading, I have found many metaphors that can be applied to our personal lives. Here are a few: We have to become clear in what we want and stay focused and relaxed even in the midst of chaos. We should never buy into fear or negativity. We have to make the right choice, not to be popular, but because of our conviction to create the best for ourselves and for the greater good.
We don’t know if the world is ready for a major shift, but change is coming and it looks as if it is “knocking hard” on every body’s door. If we resist or hide, the pressure will only increase. All of us have to look into our realities with a fresh attitude, evaluating our behaviors, our thinking and actions.
What does all of this have to do with cancer prevention? Stress management is a major factor in cancer prevention!
Do you agree that all of us got a serious wake up call? Unless you live in a remote and unspoiled land, you experienced a major “shake up” that may have triggered fear or confusion, anger or denial, or a mixture of all of these damaging feelings.
Even the best nutrition and supplements are only second to stress control. One of the many studies that have been done on the stress-cancer connection comes from the UK where 36,000 women were tracked for 15 years. Those who could not cope well with stress had a 30% increased breast cancer risk. Men seem to be able to take stress a bit better, and I think it attacks their hearts more…well the heart is in the same area. I often wonder why the heart is almost never afflicted with cancer. I have my theories, but will investigate it bit more before I express my views.
Ask yourself where in your body do you hold most of your stress. Is it your head? Do you get headaches or a feeling of overwhelm? Is it your heart? Do you get palpitations, rapid heartbeat, which prevents you from sleeping soundly? Is it your stomach or intestines? Do you get indigestion, acid reflux, or pressure throughout your abdomen?
All of these symptoms, and others, can be related to stress overload. There is nothing that suppresses your immune system as much as uncontrolled stress. What can you do about it? I am glad you ask, because there are many ways to relieve stress.
Don’t let stress build up! Try this (real or in your mind): In your hand, arm extended, hold a glass half full with water. For the first minute it feels like nothing. After about 2 minutes you feel the weight. After about 5 minutes your arm starts screaming at you, and there will come a time when your arm can not hold the glass up anymore, which is a total breakdown of it’s function. If you had lowered your arm every minute to release the tension, you may have been able to not only repeat the exercise, but your muscles would have responded with higher tolerance.
Can you see how this could relate to stress that is not released regularly?
First you need to identify what stresses you and see if you can make changes on your own accordingly. Secondly you want to make time for play and relaxation. Some people go for a walk on the beach with their cell phones…yes, I have seen it often and wondered what occupied their minds while walking in God’s beautiful Nature. Walking is great, but please leave your cell phone and your worries behind. Breathe! Breathing is a wonderful stress reliever; but so few of us know how to breathe for health.
If you want some guidance and encouragement, or find what works best for you, come and see me for suggestions. Here are some of the modalities I recommend and use regularly: Yoga and gentle stretching, meditation, prayer, and breathing. Other modalities that are very effective are EFT (emotional freedom technique), which can be learned in an hour or less, hypnotherapy, and Reiki, which is an ancient energy healing. There are also amazing new devices available that soothe and smooth out misaligned energy pathways, giving your body the chance to distress and heal itself. Don’t let stress ruin your health; take positive action!
I did not talk about natural cancer remedies in today’s issue because I feel that it is important to make you aware about stress relief as one of the most important cancer prevention.
Next week we will discuss natural remedies.
Call: Angelika Christie, ND at 242-352-1010