Navigating Cancer Survivorship
I’m honored to again this year to have been asked to be one of the speakers at this year’s Navigating Cancer Survivorship hosted by Cancer Pathways (formerly Gilda’s Club Seattle).
My topic is Stress, Relaxation and Self Care. As a Health Care Support Hypnotherapist, I’ve been teaching Medical Self-hypnosis to people living with cancer and other illnesses for the past 19 years.
Early on when I first started this work, I came to understand the level of stress and trauma that a diagnosis of cancer can cause. Just the big “C “word, can strike fear in the in the heart of the strongest and bravest among us.
Added to a cancer diagnosis are unending medical appointments, being poked, prodded, waiting for results of multiple lab results and then choosing the right doctor, clinic and course of treatment for you.
On top of all of this you layer in the insurance, financial, work, family and relationship challenges. And, you are physically feeling miserable, mentally exhausted and emotionally downright scared.
That’s a lot of stress!
What happens when you are stressed?
Feeling stressed makes your body become tense or strained, which significantly reduces your working stamina, patience, concentration and mental capacity.
During stress, cortisol is released. Cortisol is an important hormone in the body that is secreted by the adrenal glands. In proper amounts, it helps the body recharge, by offering a quick burst of energy for survival reasons. It enhances disease resistance with increased immunity, fights inflammation and improves memory.
Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that it doesn’t have a chance to return to normal, producing what is termed “chronic stress”. This is harmful, since too much cortisol promotes the accumulation of abdominal fat, which is associated with a greater amount of health problems than fat deposited in other areas of the body.
Some of the health problems associated with increased stomach fat are heart attacks, strokes, higher levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
We know that almost every system in your body can be damaged by stress. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not adversely affected by stress.
There is Hope!
Mindfulness hypnosis relaxation techniques are helpful for coping with stress and promoting long-term health by slowing down the body and quieting the mind. Such exercises generally entail refocusing attention, increasing body awareness, and exercises (such as meditation or deep breathing) to reconnect the mind and body. Used daily, these practices can over time lead to a healthier perspective on stressful circumstances and may help lower blood pressure, combat fatigue and promote regular sleeping patterns.
Similarly, regularly stretching your muscles improves flexibility, blood flow throughout your body, prevents muscle stiffness, strain and soreness and helps you to feel refreshed. In invoking relaxation techniques, you use your mind to change your physiology for the better, improving your health and your body’s response to stress.
You have the ability to relax
The founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute Dr. Herbert Benson, teaches that you have the ability to encourage your body to release chemicals and brain signals that make your muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain.
Dr. Benson’s research has shown that regular use of the Relaxation Response can help any health problem that is caused or exacerbated by chronic stress such as fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal ailments, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety disorders, and others. According to Benson’s team of researchers looked at how the relaxation response affected each of the body’s 40,000 genes and found that, compared with a control group, those who regularly used the relaxation response induced anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that counteracted the effects of stress on the body. (American Psychological Association)
Hypnosis Relaxation Response
As a Health Care Support Hypnotherapist, I teach a variety of hypnosis relaxation response techniques that help you to be better equipped to deal with life’s unexpected stressors like cancer, enhance your healing, and achieve better health.
Hypnosis relaxation can help with management of pain, nausea and anxiety and is being used clinically to manage the side effects of such medical procedures as cancer chemotherapy and radiation, kidney dialysis and gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, and insomnia, emphysema and skin disorders.
Medical self-hypnosis is proven to be extremely valuable in the treatment of cancer patients. Specific applications are control of pain, controlling symptoms, such as, nausea, anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, a diminished sense of self-esteem, visualization for health improvement and dealing with death anxiety and other related issues.
Hypnosis can help improve self-esteem, self-care, sense of control, and minimize unpleasant side effects.
If you are living with cancer or other illness, call or email me now and learn how medical self-hypnosis can benefit you.
Orange Blossom is a classic relaxation audio file (MP3) and is used in medical settings before, during and after surgeries. This FREE resource has been downloaded by thousands of people around the world for stress reduction and pain control.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I am at peace within myself.
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