Our Mind’s Are Always Racing
In our day to day lives, our minds tend to be always ‘on’. We are constantly replaying stories in our head of what’s to come and what’s going to happen to us in the future. Or we find ourselves in a spiral of rehashing conversations and situations from past events, whether they happened one day or 20 years ago.
Does this sound familiar?
Tuning Into The Present Moment
Stress and anxiety occurs when we are living either in the past or in the future. The present moment is all we ever have, yet we are never really being ‘present’ in our day to day lives. Instead we are worrying, overanalyzing, contemplating, and stressing over situations and events that are either long gone or haven’t even happened.
This is especially true if you receive a cancer diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis can immediately spring your thoughts into a false ‘story’ of future events that hasn’t even happened yet, or perhaps is not going to happen at all. We take ourselves out of the present moment or the ‘now’ and spring ourselves into a fearful story that our mind begins to weave and make up.
This is why it’s so important to have a meditation practice to bring your thoughts and awareness back to the present. And to also view the stories simply as what they are – just stories.
Meditation And Living In The Present
Meditation has assisted many cancer patients with restoring a feeling of calm by centering their thoughts, all while dissipating fears about the future and regrets about the past.
When you meditate, you learn how to become fully present in the here and the now. Meditation expands your senses and deepens your connection to life. It takes you out of living in the ‘past’ or ‘future’. You begin to learn how to be more open to the fullness and beauty in every single moment, even if you are going through cancer treatment. This alone helps free your mind from thoughts that can overwhelm or consume you.
Meditation expands your awareness beyond thought. You start to become aware of what is present in the moment without getting caught up in your thoughts. Meditation brings awareness without adding thought. You become more present and notice more sights, sounds, and sensations. Your connection to life is renewed. Meditation is not about stopping thoughts, but not stopping at them. We are human, thoughts will always arise. Thoughts are just something to observe, not get rid off. Anxiety, stress, and grief occurs when we identify with a particular thought.
Practices to live in the Present Moment:
• Mindful Walking
• Body Scan
• Morning Pages/Journaling
• Visualizing Daily Goals
• Boxed Breathing
• Pay attention to your breathing. Take a few moments throughout the day to focus on your inhales and exhales.
• During times of stress. Pause. Take a breather, a few moments to yourself in silence.
• Choose an activity during the day where you can practice Mindfulness. Doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, walking from your car to your office. Pay attention to each movement and sensation, not letting your mind wander off.
Begin Your Meditation Journey With OncoPower
If you are unsure how to kickstart your mindfulness journey, make sure to visit our OncoPower app to access our meditations for oncologists and meditations for cancer healing and cancer supoprt. Here you can also find additional resources and access to a large community of oncologists and cancer patients.
And if you are interested in a 1:1 consultation with a Meditation teacher, make sure to book a free consultationwith Natalie Thomas, our dedicated Meditation cancer care and oncologist specialist at OncoPower, who can assist you on your mindfulness journey. Utilize our cancer support services today.
The End of A Chapter
As we inch closer to the holiday’s and the end of December, it’s pretty hard to believe that 2022 is about to come to an end. For many, this proved to be a challenging year, as we integrated back into the ‘new normal’ after Covid, dealt with the rising demands in our day to day lives, and/or have been going through cancer treatment.
Celebrate The ‘Wins’ of 2022
While December can be a stressful time, it’s also a time for a personal celebration. It’s t time to reflect back on this year and to celebrate the small wins of 2022. Many times we put so much pressure on ourselves that we neglect the ‘small’ or ‘big’ moments of accomplishment and happiness in our lives. It can be as simple as feeling more at peace in your life. It’s through stepping into a state of gratitude where we are able to realign our energy and give thanks to where we are at, no matter what happened in 2022.
Mindfulness Tools & The New Year
As a mindfulness teacher and coach, it is so important to focus on a wellness routine as you enter into the new year, and a new chapter. Mindfulness practices assist you in releasing stress and anxiety that cancer can bring, healing your physical body, helping you live more in the present moment, improving sleep, and aiding in decreasing depression.
Instead of making new year’s resolutions, I encourage you to focus on meditation and your mindfulness tools. It’s through the practice of going inwards where you begin to shift your outer reality and move closer towards your goals. By cultivating a wellness routine, it’s scientifically proven that you will heal faster, both physically and emotionally.
Benefits of a Wellness Routine
Even by taking just five minutes a day to sit in silence, taking a walk outside, or practicing controlled breathing, you will start to embark on your mindfulness journey. Meditation especially will guide you into a deeper understanding of yourself and the environment around you. Meditation will assist you in calming the thoughts running through your mind, as you begin to cultivate a new found sense of awareness. Your relationships will change, your outer environment will change, and most importantly, YOU will change, all for the better.
If you are unsure where to begin as you enter 2023, OncoPower has some excellent resources to assist you in kickstarting your meditation practice. I am also available for 1:1 meditation sessions where you will practice breathing techniques, light stretches, and guided meditations to help you decrease stress, anxiety, and depression that cancer can bring. Whether you are a seasoned meditator or have never meditated before, our 1:1 sessions together are for all levels. You can book a meditation consultation with me using the link HERE.
Tools & Tips:
Below are also some helpful tools and tips that you can cultivate in your day to day life as you enter into a new year. By just setting the intention of practicing mindfulness, you have already embarked on your journey.
Mindfulness Practices For 2023:
- Boxed Breathing (see our Meditation Suite at OncoPower)
- Walks in nature
- Expressing gratitude
- Light stretches
- Setting a daily intention when you wake up
- Drawing or creating art
- Take a bath with epsom salt
- Practice Yoga
- Get at least eight hours of sleep
- Laugh with others
- Take a digital detox
- Declutter your home
Just by taking 10-15 minutes a day to practice mindfulness, you begin to fill your own cup. Refer back to the check-list and see which practices resonate most with you. All practices will help you while you go through cancer treatment.
Please know you are not alone and it is never too late for change. At OncoPower, we are here to assist you every step of the way.
“The process of healing begins when we mindfully breathe in.” – Thich Nhat Hahn
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness in simple terms refers to the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
Mindfulness is an overall mental state that is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment – away from the past and the future. Mindfulness has to do with acknowledging and accepting one’s thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations without judgment.
There are many forms of mindfulness practices such as meditation, breathing exercises, visualizations, journaling, sensory exercises, creativity (to name a few). By practicing mindfulness techniques you begin to focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation.
In fact, mindfulness practices serve as highly therapeutic and beneficial to one’s mental, physical, and emotional state, especially when going through your cancer journey.
Through the practice of mindfulness, you begin to fully relax the body and mind, in term helping you reduce stress. Mindfulness techniques are a great tool to use to help you cope with cancer treatment and a cancer diagnosis.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness can assist you with regaining your overall help. It helps you to become fully present in the moment, aware of where you are and where you are going. Many times we are operating on autopilot – and fear. Fear keeps us in a negative mental state, which can lead to increased anxiety and depression. Mindfulness exercises take us out of this emotional hijack to better cope with life’s stresses, such as cancer.
Mindfulness and Cancer
It is said that mindfulness practices for cancer can create better outcomes for patients by helping them focus on the present moment, taking them away from the worry of the unknown that cancer brings.
Stress and anxiety occurs when you are thinking of what has happened to you in the past, and/or what is going to happen in the future. Constantly thinking and worrying about your cancer diagnosis can lead to increased stress, depression, and deterioration of overall health.
By practicing mindfulness for cancer patients, you begin to not think about what is going to happen in the past or the future. And instead, can observe what is happening right here and right now in this moment.
Connecting Back To Yourself
Mindfulness for cancer patients can assist you in connecting within yourself – back to who you truly are. Many times we can abandon ourselves and forget to take care of our basic needs.
We tend to put others before ourselves, which can leave us feeling drained. It is very important to fill your own cup first before others. We cannot give to others which we do not have ourselves.
Through mindfulness practices, you begin to fill your own cup and self worth, even while going through cancer treatment. Just taking a few moments to yourself to practice meditation and to mindfully breathe, you begin to connect back to YOU. Your cup becomes more full and life tends to become more positive and bright.
Taking a moment to pause to practice mindfulness for just a few minutes at different times throughout the day can help you feel much better, and heal much faster, from cancer.
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness:
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
- Improves sleep
- Reduces chronic pain
- Improves concentration
- Assists with weight loss
- Restores emotional balance
- Increases resiliency
How to Practice Mindfulness:
- Take three deep breaths
- Practice Meditation and/or Yoga
- Give gratitude
- Observe your thoughts and feelings
- Take a mindful walk
To kick start your mindfulness journey, make sure to check out the OncoPower App for guided meditations, affirmations, and deep breathing exercises.
On the app you can also find cancer care specialists, treatment recommendations, and a cancer support community.
Our Mindfulness coach and Meditation teacher, Natalie Thomas, is also available for 1:1 support. CLICK HERE to sign up for your free meditation class with Natalie.
Stress on the Rise
In our day to day world we are constantly being bombarded with external influences. Work deadlines, paying bills, pressure to keep the family together – the list is endless. Naturally, as individuals our stress levels are at an all time high. It seems almost impossible to keep up with day to day life, let alone make time for ourselves.
Just from the pandemic alone, stress has skyrocketed around the world, and our mental health has taken a toll for the worse. Add the pressures of day to day life on top of receiving a cancer diagnosis – stress from cancer can wreak havoc on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
This is why it’s extremely important to cultivate a mindfulness routine to better cope with life’s stresses.
How Does Mindfulness Help?
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.
Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress, especially when dealing with cancer treatment.
Mindfulness will help you with being present. When you practice mindfulness, you begin to rewire the subconscious mind. You become more aware of what is happening around you without feeling overwhelmed or reactive. Cancer and stress go hand in hand, mindfulness can help you find relief from your cancer diagnosis.
Mindfulness helps you connect back to yourself. We tend to put the needs of others before our own needs. Mindfulness helps you take a moment to yourself. It is very important to fill up your own cup before the cup of others.
Mindfulness can also take you out of a place of stress from cancer and into a state of joy. You begin to express yourself fully and focus on a life where your cup feels full, even while going through your cancer healing journey.
Pausing to practice mindfulness for just a few minutes at different times during the day can help your days be better, more in line with how you’d like them to be.
Where To Begin?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis, as well as going through cancer treatment, can definitely pile on massive amounts of anxiety on top of the pressures of day to day life.
At OncoPower, we understand the stresses that one goes through with going through a cancer journey, and realize how important a mindfulness routine can be. It’s our priority to make sure that each patient receives the top care they deserve.
OncoPower serves as a comprehensive source of support for those who have been diagnosed with cancer through the entire cycle of care.
Patients can use the platform to ask specific questions related to their cancer diagnosis, as well as, utilize the resources such as video content, guided meditations, and other tools to assist them on their healing journey.
If you would like to receive additional one on one support, make sure to contact Meditation Teacher and Expert, Natalie Thomas, to assist you in kickstarting your mindfulness journey and combating cancer and stress today. You can also check out our Meditation Suite on the OncoPower App to try our guided meditations.
What is an Oncologist?
An Oncologist, also known as an cancer specialist, is a doctor who
assists in treating cancer while providing medical care for someone diagnosed with cancer.
With a focus on three major areas based on treatment for cancer patients: medical
oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology, the role of an oncologist is by no means
an easy feat.
Stress & Oncology
With long working hours, around the clock patient care, and dealing with the stress &
anxiety that a cancer diagnosis can naturally bring, many oncologists are tired, anxious, and
riddled with stress. Left untreated or not looked after, burning the candle at both ends can
lead many oncologists on the path of depression and additional ailments/disease within the
With mental health conditions on the rise across the globe, this is not an exception to
oncologists. Burnout is one of the leading causes of medical error and decreased quality of
patient care, along with compassion fatigue and overall physical, mental, and emotional
exhaustion. Constant worry and stress, coupled with a heavy workload, can leave havoc on
both the body and the mind for any oncologist.
Taking Care of Your Health
The role of an oncologist is one to be admired. Dedicating their time
to helping cancer patients heal, all while providing emotional support, is a role that is not
easy. Oncologists are true life savers and healers in this world, which is why it is extremely
important that they, too, take care of their overall health and wellbeing in order to thrive
both personally and professionally.
Here at OncoPower, we know how difficult it can be for oncologists to
manage their schedule, provide emotional support, all while maintaining balance in their
personal lives. We have developed a Daily Check-In on the app where you can keep track of
your mental health and see which areas of your life need improvement in order to achieve
optimal wellness. Along with the daily check in, we have dedicated a section to our
Mindfulness Suite, where we have specific meditations and breathing
exercises to assist oncologists with stress relief.
How Does Meditation Help Oncologists?
Meditation is one of the leading tools to assist people with handling life’s pressures and
finding balance and equilibrium in everyday life. Not only is it scientifically and clinically proven that meditation alleviates physical and psychological suffering in cancer patients, but
it has the same results for oncologists as well.
Through finding silence and stillness, oncologists can use meditation to calm their
sympathetic nervous systems, while decreasing cortisol levels within the body. With a never-
ending ‘to do’ list, caring for many patients at once, and an over thinking mind, the practice
of meditation will assist oncologists in lowering their heart rate and blood pressure, regulate
emotions, reduce stress, improve self-awareness, and enhance concentration and mental
clarity (to name a few).
Meditation and breathing exercises shift your awareness into a
new way of thinking and be-ing. You begin to view the world from a different lens. Little
things that would once trigger you seem to disappear. The heaviness of work seems to
dissipate. With consistent practice, meditation increases memory, cognition, and attention
for oncologists as well. It is also scientifically proven to help with symptoms of PTSD and aid
Practicing Meditation on OncoPower
As mentioned above, we have a Meditation Suite dedicated to assisting Oncologists with
relieving stress and anxiety from their day to day lives. The easy to use guided meditations
are also a great resource for oncologists to share with cancer patients who are looking to
relieve the stresses that a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment can bring.
Make sure to visit our OncoPower app to access our meditations for
oncologists and meditations for cancer healing. Here you can also find additional resources and access to a large community of oncologists and cancer patients.
And if you are interested in a 1:1 consultation with a Meditation teacher, make sure to reach
out to Natalie Thomas, our dedicated Meditation cancer care and oncologist specialist at
OncoPower, who can assist you on your mindfulness journey.
Meditation For Cancer Patients
Meditation is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. Meditation consists of quieting your thoughts to bring the mind, body, and soul into equilibrium. Even though Meditation has been around for thousands of years, it is only recently that it is gaining popularity and recognition in the western countries, particularly the United States.
While there are many connotations to assume that Meditation can be “woo-woo” or overly religious, please know this is certainly not the case. Meditation comes in many different forms, for it is, in fact, the art of essentially doing nothing. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? In a society where we are expected to work over time and are praised for being “busy”, quieting the mind, let alone spending time in silence, seems foreign, uncomfortable, and counter intuitive.
However, with mental illness on the rise, and cancer diagnoses continuing to grow, what is going on in our day to day lives that is bringing us to a place of ill health? The answer lies in stress from our external environment. This is why Meditation for cancer patients is extremely important.
Healing Through Meditation
There are now many studies showing that by practicing Meditation for cancer, you begin to heal – both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, Meditation lowers your blood pressure, decreases your heart rate and metabolism, improves your cardiovascular health and immune system, and much more. Mentally, you are better able to manage pain, can recover from depression and negative thinking, and helps with insomnia. Emotionally, Meditation guides you to a deeper connection within yourself, helps you manage your emotions, and prompts you to cultivate a deeper sense of love for yourself and others (to name a few). All of these benefits from Meditation go hand in hand with assisting you on your cancer healing journey.
Getting To The Root Cause
There is much belief and research that cancer can be caused by aberrant mental processes. This is why it is very important to get to the root cause of stress, anxiety and depression when treating cancer. When used along with standard medical treatment, Meditation for cancer patients assists you in gaining balance and equilibrium in the body.
Without Meditation and/or mindfulness practices, the stressors you might have once endured before being diagnosed with cancer (whether it be a trauma, emotional pain, mental illness, etc.) will still be present within the body. This is why it is extremely important to address the core wound, whether physical, mental, or emotional, in order to fully heal from cancer. Standard medical treatment is crucial and extremely important, but it is also highly beneficial to train the body and mind to release stress, and in turn, allow the root cause to be released from the body.
Decreasing Stress-Causing Hormones
Through practicing Meditation, you begin to merge your left brain with your right brain. Naturally, cortisol and other stress causing hormones that are being pumped into the bloodstream start to decrease after consistent practice of Meditation for cancer healing. Many people do not even realize they are living in fight-or-flight mode, which leads to extreme havoc on the body. Cortisol and additional stress hormones in the body can also lead to physical illness, which includes cancer.
The good news is that you can begin your Meditation for cancer journey anywhere and at any time. I also recommend checking out the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay for some additional affirmations and information about how illness is connected to the mind.
Mind Shifts Through Meditation
Please know that the benefits of even five minutes of Meditation are life-changing. Like working a muscle, you will begin to see over time improvements on your overall mood, health, and wellbeing. You will notice little shifts in your day to day life that will inspire you and give you the hope and strength to keep moving forward when dealing with your cancer treatment.
Meditations For Cancer Patients: Resources
Make sure to check out our Meditation Suite on the OncoPower app to begin the Meditation Course: Meditations for cancer healing, and for additional cancer support. With each meditation and breathing exercise, you will become one step closer to healing from cancer and feeling your absolute best.
If you are interested in a 1:1 consultation with a Meditation teacher, make sure to reach out to Natalie Thomas, our Meditation cancer care specialist at OncoPower, who can assist you every step of the way. Healing IS possible. And it all starts with taking a deep breath and going within.
What Is Grounding?
Grounding or ‘Earthing’ is a term that has now gained popularity in the mindfulness space. Grounding is a therapeutic technique that includes activities and/or practices that ‘ground’ or reconnect you to the earth. This theory connects back to science and physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have a positive and healing effect on your body, essentially aiding in cancer treatment.
Grounding your energy is one of the fastest and simplest ways of releasing anxiety caused from cancer, bringing yourself back to a calm, centered, and balanced state. Grounding or ‘Earthing’ can be practiced anywhere and at any time. In fact, the more you practice grounding the better you will become at managing your mental and emotional states.
Through meditation techniques, visualization, walking in nature, or gardening outside (to name a few) you can begin to ground your energy. By learning and practicing to direct your own energy to connect with the Earth, it guides you towards a sense of balance and serenity. This is a great method that goes hand in hand with cancer treatment.
Five Ways to Ground:
- SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Spending time in nature to connect to the Earth rejuvenates the mind, body and soul. Taking time to visit the beach, go on a walk/hike, garden, or simply put your bare feet onto the earth will work wonders. A mere 20 minutes will leave you feeling more refreshed, calm, and clear minded.
Stretching and practicing Yoga on your mat helps to relieve any stiffness in the body while clearing your mind from thoughts and worries. The practice of Yoga grounds your energy while also detoxifying the body and organs. Emotions get released through Yoga which allows healing energy to flow more freely through you.
If you are interested in learning more about Yoga, make sure to try our yoga stretches on the OncoPower App. Your number one app for cancer support.
If you do not have access to going outside, you can use meditation and visualization to ground. Through meditation and breathing exercises, you train your mind to become more still. Start by visualizing yourself in the middle of a beautiful place. See the imagery around you and feel the ground beneath you. What does it feel like to be in this lovely place? Can you feel the nature around you?
Make sure to try our meditations located in the OncoPower app. On the app you can also be connected with Natalie, our Meditation teacher and cancer care specialist.
Journaling / writing is a fantastic way to ground and assist with cancer treatment. Through journaling, see if you can let your emotions flow onto the power. Any top of journaling will allow your creativity to flow. Sometimes a single thought can turn into a few pages of expressing and releasing. This all aids in grounding your energy.
- EPSOM SALT BATH
Epsom salt baths assist you in dissolving negative emotions that are being held in the body – from your own experiences to interactions with other people. Epsom salt baths not only ground you, but leaves you feeling more calm, lighter, and balanced.
Grounding helps with cancer treatment, chronic fatigue, anxiety & depression, sleep disturbances, and cardiovascular disease.
Make sure to download the OncoPower App for guided meditations, affirmations, and deep breathing exercises. On the app you can also find cancer care specialists, treatment recommendations, and a cancer support community. Our Mindfulness coach and Meditation teacher, Natalie Thomas, is also available for 1:1 support.
What is metastatic cancer?
Cancer becomes metastatic by process called Metastasis. It is when cancer cells start moving
from the original affected area of your body to another region, where they will form another
abnormal growth. The movement occurs after the cell breaks away from the primary tumor due
to suitable growth. By this process an early-stage breast cancer or lung cancer can become
metastatic breast cancer or metastatic lung cancer. After breakage, the cells then move through
your body’s blood or lymphatic system to other organs, where they would manifest and start
forming another duplicate tumor known as the metastatic tumor. When observed under a
microscope and tested in other ways, features of the original cancer would be found. These
features are very different from tumors that would develop on the secondary cancer site. An
example is given, if cancer cells from breast cancer move to the lungs, the metastatic tumor
formed in the lungs would be from breast cancer cells and not lung cancer cells. Cancer care
specialist determines whether your cancer has metastasized by a combination of clinical,
laboratory and imaging tools.
Cancer metastasis occurs during the fourth stage of cancer. When diagnosed with metastasized
cancer, the oncologist would always tell them where the cancer started and refer to it as cancer of
unknown primary origin (CUP). Therefore, cancer treatment for metastasized cancer is usually
similar as that for primary cancer, even though tumor markers would be located in a different
How Does Metastatic Cancer Develop?
Cancer metastasis develops in a series of numerous steps, which start from the invasion of
nearby body cells. As the cancer cells grow in the primary tumor, they get into the cells of the
neighboring organs; for instance, if the cells were originally in the trachea, there are high
chances that the cells would start infecting the esophagus since they are so close. Upon invasion,
the cells would then move through the walls of blood vessels or lymph nodes close to the
primary tumor. In our example of tracheal cancer, the cells would move through neck lymph
nodes. When the cells have attached to the walls of the various lymphatic or blood vessels, the
cells would automatically get into your body’s lymphatic system or circulatory system. These
systems travel all around the body, from the toes to the skull. As the blood moves to carry the
cancer cells, the cells might stop in a small blood vessel like the capillaries in a distant organ.
Since the cells no longer move, they would invade the surrounding tissue the same way it had
done to the blood vessel at the primary tumor site. Growth and cell division would continue until
it forms small tumors that cannot be detected easily. The tumor grows just like other organs in
the body. This means that blood vessels would develop around the abnormal tumor in the
secondary site. This tumor would get nutrients and grow into a bigger tumor which would
require cancer treatment like a newly diagnosed primary cancer. In most situations, especially for
people with a strong immune system, the cancer cells often die along the journey. However, if
the cells get favorable conditions, they will always grow on the secondary site.
What are the Signs of Cancer Metastasis?
Metastatic cancer will not always show you symptoms, so you won’t feel it happening. In cases
where the symptoms occur, the nature and severity of the symptoms largely depend on the size
of the growing tumor as well as the location it has affected. For example, metastasis to the
appendix would be less notable than metastasis to the lungs or the limbs. Some of the commonly
observed metastatic cancer symptoms include pain and fragmentation when the metastasized
tumor is on the bone. If the cells spread to the brain, the victim would have seizures,
convulsions, severe headaches, and dizziness which might be associated with a loss of
consciousness. The most notable metastasis is of the lung since one would face difficulty in
breathing and shortness of breath which would always force you to seek treatment. In addition, if
your cancer has spread to the liver, you would develop jaundice and other symptoms of liver
damage like hepatomegaly. Cancer care specialists very carefully differentiates signs of
metastasis from those symptoms associated with other health conditions such as arthritis or acid
reflux. You watch a video on the signs and symptoms of metastatic cancer in OncoPower app.
Are Metastatic Cancers Curable?
The prognosis for patients with metastatic cancer depends on the individual and type of cancer. Some metastatic cancer types e.g., breast cancer have better treatment options than other like metastatic pancreatic cancer. Metastatic cancer treatment basically involves slowing its growth. With help from a cancer support community, one can survive with metastasized cancer for many years since the symptoms are well relived. Many cancer patients with metastatic cancers join can support groups for social and emotional support. patients opt for palliative care when they believe that they can no longer fight the metastasis. You can also consult an oncologist and other specialists 24/7 with OncoPower Ask-A-Doc service to get guidance on how monitor and manage metastatic cancer.
Mindful Breathing and Meditation
What are the benefits of meditation? When you begin to meditate, the stress response counters the relaxation response. You begin to enter into a state of peace, no matter what is happening externally. Through the feeling of relaxation you can achieve from meditation, you begin to decrease blood pressure, lower your heart rate, and reduce oxygen consumption. Thus, enhancing your entire physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The practice of meditation / mindful breathing creates a gradual change in the brain. You might begin to perceive stress differently, or feel like you have more control over your emotions.
Benefits of deep breathing is not so much about eliminating stress, but managing it. Meditation and mindful breathing is excellent for cancer patients’ care, for it begins to heal the mind and body. For many centuries yogis have used deep breathing techniques, also known as pranayama breathing, to improve vitality and promote concentration. Deep breathing and meditation are also excellent treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAF), and depression. All of these diagnoses can stem from a cancer diagnosis and/or cancer treatment.
Make sure to check out the OncoPower App for guided meditations and support for cancer patients.
Letting Go Through The Breath
Through deep breathing / meditation, you train your mind to be aware of your thoughts, not controlled by them. A lot of times dwelling on a thought is a lot like holding your breath. The longer you hold your breath, the more tense you might feel due to the lack of oxygen in your lungs. When you continue to hold your breath you might become red in the face and have to exhale, or else you’d pass out.
Our thoughts work in the same way. When you hold onto your thoughts, they can drown out your intuition and cause more stress. You might even feel suffocated from overwhelming thoughts on a day to day basis. However, when you allow your thoughts to come and go during meditation you learn how to let go and ease the stresses that cancer might bring.
Benefits of Meditation/ Deep Breathing:
- Reduce stress levels in your body.
- Lower your heart rate.
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Improve diabetic symptoms.
- Reduce depression.
- Better manage chronic pain.
- Better regulate your body’s reaction to stress and fatigue.
- Reduce the possibility of burnout.
Where to begin!? As mentioned above, make sure to check out the OncoPower App for guided meditations, affirmations, and deep breathing exercises. On the app you can also find cancer care specialists, treatment recommendations, and a cancer support community. Our Mindfulness coach and Meditation teacher, Natalie Thomas, is also available for 1:1 support. Remember, healing is possible through each inhale and exhale that you take.
Why Deep Breathing Is Important
How to mediate? Start by taking in a nice, deep inhale through your nose. Filling your entire belly up with air. Pause. Now as you exhale, allow the breath to leave through the mouth, nice and slow. Very good. You just practiced a deep breathing technique.
While breathing is second nature for us, we have to breathe in order to survive, for it plays a crucial role in regulating our physical, mental, and emotional health. The way we breathe is extremely important, and how we breathe is something we must focus on, especially while going through cancer treatment.
As humans, we normally operate by taking short, shallow breaths. We are subconsciously breathing rapidly without even realizing it. We tend to operate in ‘fight or flight’ mode on a daily basis. Fight or flight mode is an automatic physiological response to a situation and/or event that appears to be stressful or frightening. The sympathetic nervous system becomes activated by the perceived threat and triggers a stress response in the body. This can occur just by reading a work email or from living with cancer.
Breathing Is Your Life Force
Receiving a cancer diagnosis or going through cancer treatment can easily cause stress, anxiety, and havoc on the body. When you enter into this state of fight or flight, cortisol and other stress causing hormones are released into the bloodstream. When this happens, blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels rise, all of which can disrupt your immune system, sleep, and energy levels. This reaction makes recovering from cancer even more challenging.
Coming back to why breathing is important. Breathing is your life force, your anchor. It’s otherwise known as your “Prana”. Practicing meditation and deep breathing techniques regulates the nervous system, allowing you to control your body and mind. Through long inhales and exhales, you can slow your heart rate, stabilize your blood pressure, and lower stress.
Breathing is the connecting link between the subconscious and conscious mind. And practicing mindful breathing is similar to training a muscle. You begin to train the body to breathe slowly throughout the day. Thus, when a stressful situation presents itself, you enter that particular event feeling more calm and at ease. By regulating your emotions and anxiety through the breath, you are able to not get absorbed into stressful situations.
Why meditation is important? It helps you manage cancer-related stress and anxiety. Make sure to visit the OncoPower App for guided meditations, affirmations, and deep breathing exercises. On the app you can also find cancer care specialists, treatment recommendations, and a cancer support community. Our Mindfulness coach and Meditation teacher, Natalie Thomas, is also available for 1:1 support.
Click here to read The Power of Breathing Pt.2.