STRESS AND CANCER
Stress and cancer are tied together. Chronic stress can set the stage for cancer to grow in the presence of a weakened immune system.
The body is designed to handle short periods of stress and still remain healthy. The balance starts to shift when the stress is constant with no relief. This is called Sympathetic Overdrive.
The autonomic nervous system is divided in to two parts.
- Sympathetic- “Fight, Fright or Flight” Reaction.
- Parasympathetic- Immune system, digestive system, breathing, heartbeat, etc.
Sympathetic overdrive suppresses the parasympathetic system. This is not a problem if that suppression is offset by periods of relaxation.
Add to the stress of daily life, a cancer prognosis, and you have an even greater need to manage the balance of anxiety with relaxation. A focused state of mind, that everyone is capable of achieving, is needed throughout the day.
Stop, breathe and re-group; This trio of simple actions can have a cumulative effect over time. Blood pressure can be lowered and heart rate reduced. This allows for an optimal environment for healing rather than reacting.
Healing requires top efficiency of the digestive and immune systems to accomplish the goal of recovery.
There are many tools and techniques designed to aid in stress reduction. At Reno Integrative Medical Center we implement the following in to our overall treatment protocol.
Along with relaxation, enhanced oxygenation of tissues, through deep breathing and moderate exercise, promotes elevated mood along with increased lymphatic flow. Muscular activity is required to remove toxins from the body. This can be a challenge for patients with reduced energy and strength.
We use the Chi Machine to provide “passive” exercise to help meet this need.
Patients often have low total body voltage levels. Voltage = energy and energy = healing.
How do we increase a patient’s energy levels when they are low? There are tools designed to contribute energy to the body. They are called “Electron Donors”.
- Aqua Chi
- TENS Unit (Transdermal Electrical Nerve Stimulator)
Stress management is an often overlooked aspect of cancer treatment. Our patients often ask, “What can I do for myself?” We recommend de-stress and relax as much as possible.