Complementary Care Tips
Your family and friends may have little knowledge of complementary care or hold negative opinions of different modalities. You may find the plan you designed and believe in meets with resistance. You may begin to question yourself and be unsettled by the claims of infomercials and conventional thinking based on narrower and ultimately less beneficial approaches.
Be confident and comfortable with your decision. Your intuition is your best guide.
You are the best investigator, information analyst, and ultimate decision maker. Ask family and friends to work with and support you.
The biggest challenge is overcoming fear, both inside and outside. Take some time to fully digest your next steps. Then listen to your gut. Allow others to feel your resolve.
Your doctor or a team member might know of forums or groups of patients who are using or have used complementary care. They can be a source of support for you and your family.
Include family in your meditation or movement regime.
Conventional breast cancer treatments, like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, require a great deal of Qi or energy for recovery. Because they can leave the immune system weakened, it’s vital to take preventive measures even before treatment begins.
- Reduce your work schedule and commitments as far in advance as possible. Even if you feel you have plenty of energy, save it for yourself.
- Avoid people and situations that drain your energy or cause emotional distress.
- Avoid strenuous activities or exercise.
- Ask for help with or delegate day-to-day chores.
- Use the power of your mind to see yourself completely cured and strong and healthy.
- Set aside time each day to rest. Close your eyes, sit quietly, even if it’s only for several minutes. Try this Om relaxation technique.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of resting—before, during, and after treatment. Most women are completely exhausted even before cancer treatment begins—not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Living in a constant state of exhaustion makes it more difficult to heal.
- Practice Qigong or other soft forms of exercise to promote the smooth flow of Qi. Try Qigong, taiji, yoga, swimming, or a casual walk in the park.
- Avoid strenuous or aerobic exercise.
- Eat fresh foods.
- Start your day with a warm drink or warm cereal. Never eat anything cold the first thing in the morning. Experiment with soup recipes.
- Eat more seafood, especially shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, and mussels.
- Avoid chemically processed foods (generally food packaged in cans, boxes, or bags and with more than one item on the ingredients).
- Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy, meats, and refined breads.
- Eat mostly fresh fruit and lightly-cooked vegetables. Pears, almonds, kiwis, dandelion greens, and all leafy green veggies are especially good to detoxify the body.
- At least two weeks before surgery, eat more green leafy vegetables like spinach and dandelion. Include more red beets and bone broth soups.
- Reducing your intake of certain foods may take time. Allow your body and mind to slowly adjust to your new eating style.
- Visit your herbalist.
Feel confident in knowing that herbs are plants from the earth. Each contains not just a special property but also a unique message we refer to as essence. A skilled herbalist knows how to use and combine herbs to support you while undergoing treatment especially to reduce the side effects common during chemotherapy and radiation.
On the day of your breast surgery, take some quiet time to simply breathe and be as peaceful as possible. Try the visualization below or this Reverse Breathing technique.
Do this Visualization on the Day of Treatment
Imagine you are underwater and the moon is shining above your head. Imagine the cool, healing light of the moon flowing through your entire body. Immediately after treatment, imagine the sun is beaming healing energy deep into your body. Feel this loving presence.
By focusing on these alternating healing energies, you are summoning Nature’s powerful healing vibrations.
If possible, take several weeks off to recover from surgery before beginning chemotherapy or radiation. This will give your body time to regain some strength and return to balance. You may be tempted to start working again, but if possible, take some time to recover. Resting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to preserve and build up healing energy.
Rest … rest … rest … and rest some more!