Someone in my qigong class recently gave me a handout from John Hopkins stating the latest findings on cancer. One of the more interesting statements was that every person has cancer cells in their body, which only becomes apparent on tests after the cells have multiplied to a few billion. A person’s immune system is vital for preventing cancer cells from multiplying and forming tumors.
When cancer is detected, it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors. Consequently, the immune system can be strengthened by improving nutrition through dietary changes. This can also include nutritional supplementation.
An effective way to combat cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding them the foods they like. These include sugar, sugar substitutes, milk which produces mucus, meat which produces an acidic environment and is difficult to digest, distilled water which also produces an acidic environment, and highly caffeinated drinks.
It is much better to eat a diet made up of 80% fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts and a little fruit to put the body into an alkaline environment. Eating some raw vegetables provides live enzymes that are easily absorbed and enhance the growth of healthy cells.
Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment so daily physical exercise and deep breathing can help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Aerobic exercise is one way to improve the oxygen flow to the whole body. There are specific qigong exercises designed to improve lung function and whole body oxygenation.
Nutritional supplementation to help build the immune system is also recommended. Vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and tonics that bolster the body’s nutrition help to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Some specific antioxidants are helpful in reducing damage to blood vessels as well as strengthening blood vessels to bring more oxygen flow to the entire body.
Limiting one’s exposure to toxic chemicals is also very important. Microwaving food in plastic containers is especially poisonous.
Mental attitudes and emotions can also contribute to cancer. Anger, resentment and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. So it is important to cultivate positive attitudes, which leads to stress reduction and greater enjoyment of life.
There are many routes to improving your health. Take a step on any of these paths to begin your program for improving your health and reducing your cancer risk.
About 13 years ago, my father had bypass surgery for his heart and it was a real learning experience in dealing with hospitals, insurance and hospital personnel. Unfortunately, like most hospitalizations and illnesses, it was a “learn as you go” experience. Certainly, I would not recommend this approach as once you are in the system, it is oftentimes hard to make changes. Prepare yourself for the possibility of hospitalization before you have to do it by reading, asking questions and doing your consumer research.
Here are some tips:
Q: Where should I start?
A: Find out about the hospitals in your area. Find out what services are offered, which doctors are on staff, what insurance plans are generally accepted, what success ratings they have for particular surgeries and what their nursing personnel is like. Try to find the hospital that best fits your needs and goals.
Q: How do I choose a hospital?
A: Mostly it depends on where your doctor is on staff and these days with managed care, it depends on your insurance coverage.
Q: Don’t all hospitals provide the same care?
A: In my father’s particular case, no. He had a 5 graft bypass heart surgery in Visalia and was discharged three days after his surgery. His HMO plan stated that this was the normal course of a hospital stay. Unfortunately, after he came to Southern California to stay with me about 2 weeks after his surgery, he had to be readmitted to another local hospital. I have since found out that this hospital kept a 5 graft bypass heart surgery patient in for a minimum of 1 week.
Q: Why did your father have to be readmitted to the hospital?
A: Apparently, he was dehydrated and malnourished from not eating after his surgery. His appetite and ability to eat diminished to almost nothing and forcing him to eat only made him throw up. I have since found out that anesthesia and medication will decrease appetite and taste so it is helpful to continue the intravenous nutrition for a while following surgery. Other friends of mine have related similar stories regarding being discharged from the hospital in a short period of time then having to be readmitted to rehydrate.
Q: Is your father okay now?
A: No. His heart did not hold up well and he passed away soon after coming home. The lack of adequate nutrition for those initial two weeks led to a starvation condition, causing the body to break down. His condition was further complicated by internal bleeding which was hard to control since his clotting ability stopped functioning normally due to significant blood loss and break down caused by the starvation.
Q: Couldn’t you tell if he was bleeding?
A: Not while he was at home. His bowel movements had slowed down to a crawl. His first bowel movement following the surgery was about 10 days later and was black. Because he was on iron supplements, I assumed this caused the black color of his fecal matter even though old blood can do the same. He was sleeping a lot and did not want to do much of anything, but this was explained by the hospital staff to be normal following major heart surgery.
Q: What finally led to getting him back to a hospital?
A: Although his eating was getting better and he was taking in more food, he was getting weaker and finally collapsed while walking complaining of stomach pain. It turns out he had internal bleeding which became very hard to control. The ulcers he had turned out to be quite deep and it was estimated that he probably had these ulcers for a long time.
Q: Since he has been in the hospital, what are some of your recommendations for a better experience?
A: Find a doctor with whom you can communicate easily and makes things understandable to you. It is helpful to have the doctor line up a team in the anticipation of future needs, particularly for a critical care patient. Coordination of the entire team, including family visits, spiritual counseling and nursing care, is important to establish. Focusing only on the clinical, bodily functions is not enough. Be sure that the team is aware of the human side of nurturing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand. See if there are written materials available to help you. There are books available to the general public explaining medical conditions in easy to understand terms and pictures. Don’t let medical personnel create a hopeless picture. Insist that they talk in hopeful terms even if death is imminent. Norman Cousins describes this well in his book, Head First: The Biology of Hope.
As we age, we tend to lose about 5-10% of our muscle mass every decade of life.
Raymond Francis, author of “Never Be Sick Again,” states exercise prevents disease by promoting efficient nutrient delivery to the cells and stimulates the lymphatic system, which is vital for removing toxins from cells.
One study shows inactive people are twice as likely to die prematurely as fit people. Also, evidence shows lack of exercise may be a greater health risk than smoking. People who exercise regularly and smoke typically live longer and healthier lives than those who do not smoke but also do not exercise.
Regular exercise has been shown to:
Improves heart, lung and the circulatory system. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, spinning, step aerobics, jump rope or any other sustained, low resistance exercise done for at least 8 minutes fits into this category. Because aerobic exercise utilizes oxygen and burns more fat as an energy fuel, it is used for weight reduction. Since it promotes circulation, it brings more oxygen and nutrients to the entire body as well as removes waste material from cells. When doing aerobic exercise for maximum benefit, make sure you can talk comfortably while exercising, as this indicates oxygen is being used.
Increases the muscle mass of the body and communication between the nervous system and muscle. Muscle uses more energy than other tissue, so building up muscle mass increases calories used in a day. When combined with aerobic exercise, this is a very efficient way to lose weight. Also, as we age, we tend to lose about 5-10% of our muscle mass every decade of life. To maintain a stable strength level, we must increase the demands we place on the muscle to stimulate growth. Typical strengthening programs are done every other day to allow for muscle building. Some advocates for prevention of Alzheimer’s believe doing maximum strengthening, i.e. using heavy enough weight or resistance so you can only do 5-6 repetitions before exhausting the stored energy in the muscle, will stimulate the production of neurotransmitters which improve memory.
Stretching and flexibility exercise
Done to prevent injury to muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as to improve the ability to produce force and increase function. Often these are done as warm ups or cool down exercises.
Designed to improve coordination, power, energy flow, stamina, lymphatic flow, breathing, eye function, sensory-motor integration and athletic performance. To improve lymphatic flow and boost immune function, try trampoline exercise.
The best success for doing exercise regularly is to find a program you enjoy. Making exercise a regular habit, like brushing your teeth daily or taking regular showers, is one of the keys to staying young and vibrant. Life is movement. Blood has to keep flowing in order to maintain life.
Get moving with a qigong exercise class.
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