Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients

Breast Cancer Authority

Massage Therapy For Breast Cancer PatientsWhat is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a manual method of working on body’s soft tissues, deep muscles, various pressure points, tendons and ligaments using several techniques and applying fixed and movable pressure, to help relieve stress, promote healing and relaxation. The massage is performed by a professional who uses their hands and fingers to handle different muscles by making various movements like pressing and rubbing. All of these techniques are quite advantageous for the muscular, circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems of the body. Owing to these great benefits, massage therapy for cancer patients is now becoming common.

One of the oldest method of healing, massage therapy, is a clinically oriented health care option, now used widely as a complementary treatment for cancer patients. Massage therapy helps people suffering from cancer by eliminating anxiety, boosting the immunity, and diminishing tiredness and pain. Various modalities of massage therapy are employed for…

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Herbal Tonic Smoothie Recipes

Herbal SmoothieWhat is an herbal tonic?

Wikipedia says this: In herbal medicine, an herbal tonic is used to help restore, tone and invigorate systems in the body or to promote general health and well-being. An herbal tonic is a solution or other preparation made from a specially selected assortment of the kinds of plants known as herbs.

Why did I start doing herbal tonics?

After cancer treatment, I wanted a gentle food/plant based method for detoxing and rebuilding my body on a cellular level.

Who are herbal tonics good for?

Anyone who wants to heal their body in a gentle and natural way. Find someone in your area who understands herbal medicine. If you are taking prescription medications, I would talk to your doctor about possible interactions. I am not an herbalist. I created these recipes based on the herbs and foods that were recommended to me by my practitioner.

I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes that I have created over the last year. They continually evolve and change as I try new ingredients. But many of the basics stay the same. You can try mine or create your own by using herbs that are suitable for your needs.

Balance My Hormones Smoothie

1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp passion flower powder
1 tsp oat straw powder
1 tsp raw cacao powder

1/2 ripe banana

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp goji berries

6-8oz of horsetail tea

1. Blend all together. I use an 8oz cup from Magic Bullet. Perfect size for one serving.

2. Pour into small stainless steel sauce pan and warm over low heat.

While its warming, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil

1 tablespoon of black-strap molasses

 A splash of vanilla extract.

Sprinkle some cayenne. .

Mix slowly as it warms. Don’t let it get too hot!

3. Pour into your favorite mug and drink it up while its warm. Herbs metabolize better warm.

Maca has gained a reputation for helping balance hormones and reverse hypothyroidism. It is an endocrine adaptogen, meaning that it does not contain any hormones, but rather it contains the nutrients necessary to support normal hormone production.

Passion flower is a natural aromatase inhibitor which helps to remove excessive xenoestrogens.

Oat straw is high in silica which aids in the production of healthy cells of your skin, hair and nails.

Raw cacao is for taste and is very high in antioxidants.

Hemp seeds are amazing. According to Dr Axe they are:

  • Excellent 3:1 balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote cardiovascular health.
  • High in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and egg yolks that has been proven to naturally balance hormones.
  • “Perfect protein” not only containing all 20 amino acids, but also each of the 9essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce.
  • Rich in soluble and un-soluble fiber which naturally cleanses the colon and reduces sugar cravings

Goji berries are amazing little superfruits that contain natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.

Extra virgin coconut oil has a lot of hormone precursors like pregnenolone. You can take coconut and convert it to cholesterol and then convert it to pregnenolone.

Horsetail tea high in silica and tastes good.

You can also try some adaptogenic teas like gynostemma, reishi mushroom, chaga mushroom.

I will add more recipes when I can. Let me know if you have any questions!

Namaste,

Julie

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

 

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I have been absolutely amazed by Lymphatic Drainage Therapy! There is way more to it then I’ve even come close to realizing. The intricate details of it all is so fascinating!

Why is Lymphatic Drainage Therapy important? ~ The lymphatic system is basically the center of our immune system. The immune system is our body’s defense system against infectious pathogenic viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxins and waste.  The immune system works to keep these harmful agents out of the body and attacks those that manage to enter. The lymphatic system also circulates fluid including immune cells, proteins and hormones that are vital to maintaining physiological well-being and balance.

Lymph accumulates wherever there has been physical trauma, to clear away dead cells, bacteria, and bring white blood cells to fight infection. A good application of lymph drainage therapy is beneficial prior to and after surgery. Before surgery, LDT cleans out any old debris and sets the stage for optimal healing by increasing blood flow and good lymph flow. After surgery, it does the same, which allows the body to heal up to twice as fast because the lymph carries away the surgical debris and detoxifies the area, and more oxygen is brought in by increased blood flow. When the patient is happy, so is the doctor.

Regular drainage stimulates the immune system to release over four times as many disease fighting white blood cells that can effectively fight off flus and other transmittable diseases. In fact, lymph drainage can be performed on every organ of the body to help it do its job better.

Joints of the body also contain lymph, which can get trapped there and cause pressure to build up and cause pain. Tight joints can be released by small, precise movements that allow fluid to escape, release muscles, increase mobility and decrease pain immediately. This technique can work for joint pain, a sprained ankle, or can enhance an athlete’s sports performance by allowing more freedom of joint movement.

Lymphatic fluid and its proper movement is vital to every part of the body, and LDT is a powerful therapy to manage lymphatic movement. LDT is a powerful tool to enhance everyone’s path to optimal health.

What is the process of LDT? ~ The LDT process involves the use of gentle manual techniques to aid in the re-circulation of body fluids. The pressure is generally very light with a specific rhythm, direction and depth. Mapping is used to help areas of stagnation find alternate pathways for draining lymph and other body fluids.

How does it feel?~ The process activates the para-sympathetic system which creates a space of deep relaxation, which is very healing.

You Could Benefit From LDT if you…

~ need to boost your immune system… do you get recurring colds, infections or viruses?

~ are suffering from low energy, lack of vitality, sluggishness or depression

~ have chronic pain

~ are suffering from allergies or chronic sinus conditions

~ need surgery, required or elective

~ are experiencing edema or lymphedema due to lumpectomy, mastectomy or lymph node removal

~ are pregnant with swollen hands or feet

Session treatments are generally 30, 60 or 90 minutes depending on your goals for healing and the nature of the condition. One or two sessions may be all you need for a tune-up, or multiple consecutive treatments may be needed to treat more complex conditions.

As a body-worker for 14 years, learning LDT brought me to a new awareness of the functionality of our bodies. How everything works together in such a way that not much thought is put into it.  For instance, have you thought about the relationship been two bones. Every bone in your body is attached to another bone. How is that relationship doing? Is it oscillating happily? Or is it stuck? Flow is key. Literally! Keep the bones happy, keeps the body pain-free.

I want to thank and acknowledge my training through the Chikly Health Institute and Bruno Chikly for educating and training because this work is very much needed in this world.

PS: If you live in my area and are interested in a session, see my “contact me” page:)

With Peace in my Heart,

Julie

Lymphatic system
Lymphatic system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Probiotics

What is a probiotic? Why are they so important?

 

Did you know that your gut is the center of your immune system? Your gut is also filled with millions and billions of bacteria that are constantly working to help break down the nutrients in the food you eat. Without these guys your nutrient absorption will be affected and so will your immune system. Do you think its important to have a strong immune system? I sure do!!!
We all know that antibiotics kill bacteria, good and bad ones, so especially after a course is it very important to replenish the good guys!!!

 

So how do I replenish good bacteria?

 

Well you have many options! There are a lot of probiotic supplements.  Just google it and you will find many. There are a wide selection and prices.
How do you know which one to choose? And how do you know if they are even working?
Well I’m not really going to be much help there because I’ve tried a few in varying prices and never felt much of a difference. Some even made my stomach hurt.

 

It wasn’t until I tried cultured/fermented foods that I realized that my digestive system wasn’t up to par. That’s the seg-way to cultured/fermented foods!

 

So all fresh organic fruits and vegetables contain beneficial bacteria on their skin. When foods are cultured or fermented, these bacteria are allowed to proliferate. Sounds funky huh? Well I thought so too, but when I tried them… “OH MY GOD!!!” My world was changed!!! I never realized what I was missing! Or what it meant to feel good.

 

Our health is dependent on beneficial bacteria for our survival. Healthy flora keeps bad bacteria in-check!!! We NEED good bacteria to feel good:) Who doesn’t like to feel good? I think that is what we are always looking for.

 

So what exactly are these cultured/fermented foods you ask? Well here is a list of a few with a link to a recipe on how to make it yourself.

 

kombucha

 

~ sauerkraut

 

kimchi

 

lacto-fermented veggies

Cover of "Nourishing Traditions:  The Coo...
Cover via Amazon

 

 

~ gingered carrots

 

pickles

 

beet kvass

 

water kefir

 

~ raw milk yogurt 

 

There are many wonderful books and blogs out there all about cultured vegetables. My first introduction to many of these was a book called “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. She has a website called WestonAPrice.org. There is a quote in her book that always stayed with me. I’ll share it with you here: “Professor Zabel observed that sick people always lack digestive juices, not only during the acute phase of their illness but also for a longtime afterward. In addition, he never saw a cancer victim that had a healthy intestinal flora…. Thus, the different lacto-fermented foods are a valuable aid to the cancer patient. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain enzymes as well that cancer patients lack. Of particular value are lacto-fermented beets, which have a very favorable effect on disturbed cellular function. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that beets have a regenerating effect on the body.” ~Annelies Shoneck Des Crudites Toute L’Annee

 

Here is a great blog on the health benefits of fermented foods:)

 

Learning about all of this can be overwhelming at first, but take it one step at a time. I started with kombucha. I first started buying it at the store, until I found myself buying it almost daily and realizing I couldn’t keep spending so much, so I started making it myself. Then a while later, I wanted to make beet kvass. That’s what really opened up my world! Delightful:) Then I made my own yogurt with raw milk, delicious! Then I made gingered carrots and sauerkraut.

 

Lucky for you, you can actually find a lot of these already made for you at Whole Foods or Soothe Your Soul or your local health food store.

 

Happy fermenting!!!

 

🙂 Julie

 

 

 

 

My story

I want to share my journey through breast cancer in respects to what I’ve learned and how it has awakened me to my true self!
So much to say and where to begin. My true healing didn’t begin until I was at the bottom and at the end of my cancer treatments. Just to mention, this was after my second breast cancer diagnosis that was 9 years apart and 2 kids later. Originally going through lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and herceptin. So here goes…

After chemo I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders. That’s a mouthful! Unfortunately this term is becoming more popular. So here I thought, “OK! It won’t be so bad! Just got to get through the next 6 months and I’ll have my new boobies and all will be behind me!” I really did believe this! But the universe had a different plan in mind.

After almost 6 months of expanding, I was ready for my new boobs! Well I got them and within the first week of healing I got an infection on one side. That put a damper on things. I spent a week in the hospital on iv antibiotics. “Ok! Great! We got this! I’ll be home soon.” Not so. Doc wanted to do a “wash” where they take out the infected implant and clean the infection out real good and put in back in. So I did that and was happy to have both my implants intact when I woke up from surgery. Well the next day I got devastating news. Doc was able to culture the bacteria and said with this type of bacteria the infection won’t heal with the implant in and I had to make the decision if I wanted the other implant out because he couldn’t put it back I’m for a minimum of 9 months. So this roller coaster ride wasn’t gonna end happy after all. I was so heart-broken. I couldn’t bear to just have one, so I told him to take them both. I cried really hard. I thought I wasn’t going to have to deal with losing my breasts because they were being replaced. But I was wrong. I had to feel it all. Bit by bit and accept myself where I was at. A breast less woman.

It was really hard at first. Dealing with trying to find prosthesis’ and a bra that was comfortable was very challenging. I struggled with it for a while. Time really does help. For me, accepting came in waves. For the first year it was rocky, but now I’m feeling good in my skin. I’ve even been exploring the local Korean women’s spas and have been totally OK with being nude in front of other women. I was thinking that so many women are unhappy with their body and why should I? So my scars are not beautiful, but they are real and they are me. So this is me, right now:) That’s been really BIG for me.

So after I was in the hospital with the infection and all, the infectious disease doc said this type of infection requires 6 month of antibiotics. “WHAT!!! You got to be kidding me!” They wanted me on iv antibiotics. I just couldn’t imagine how that was going to work. Doc said we had to wait for the cultures to tell us what kind of antibiotics would be the best for long term. Well thank God I was able to have oral antibiotics instead, but the thought of that long of time made me crawl out of my skin.

That’s when I thought I should look into some hard-core probiotics. I had remembered coming across an article about cultured vegetables and how amazing they are for your intestinal flora! Previously, I hadn’t been up for putting that amount of effort into my health. Well now I felt that it was really very important if I was going to maintain my health through 6 months of multiple antibiotics. So I ordered “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and the love affair begin. Now before the book even arrived, I started buying kombucha and drinking a little bit daily. I noticed a difference immediately. I felt clearer and more energized.

I had always had a little bit of a yeast imbalance in my body since my early 20’s. I had been on antibiotics before and also the birth control pill for many years. I never felt really good. Never could pin point what was wrong either. Even after my first cancer diagnosis, I didn’t think about the food I ingested. I was young.

But since I’ve started eating more fermented foods, I’ve noticed a difference in how my body feels and also my mental clarity.

I’ve also been eliminating foods that my body doesn’t agree with, like cheese. I believe in evolving changes, not drastic ones. It took me 5 years to remove cheese from my diet knowing that it cause my intestines to inflame. When I cheat and have a piece of cheese, it takes me a week to recover. So I really don’t do that very often anymore.

The fermented foods that I’ve been eating the most are raw sauerkraut, beet kvass, kombucha and miso. I eat and drink all of these on a regular basis. Lately, I have also been making herbal tonics with adaptogenic herbs like reishi mushroom and gynostemma. Here’s a woman who has a lot of great info about this, her name is Kibby’s Blended Life. My specific recipe was recommened by my chirpractor Dr. Wendy Norman, but Kibby’s are very similar. I also have a different outlook on life. I am really trying to focus and think about MORE of what I want and LESS of what I don’t want! Louise Hay books have been very healing for me. There is always so much more I’d like to share, so stay tuned for more.

Thanks for listening.

Humbly yours,

Julie

Running with the Trees

Tree

How I fell in LOVE with Chlorophyll!

I wanted to share this experience because it has been one of the turning points in my healing journey.

A few weeks ago I started drinking chlorophyll. World Organic Chlorophyll that is. I started with just a teaspoon in the morning in my kombucha and was like “WOW! That’s some GREEN stuff alright!”

What is chlorophyll you ask? Well its essentially the plants red blood cells. Chlorophyll has the power to regenerate our bodies at the molecular and cellular level.

Chlorophyll Elixir
Chlorophyll Elixir (Photo credit: im elsewhere)

Why do I feel so sure that it’s helpful to our body? Because it’s indisputable that GREEN FOODS are incredible for our health and all green foods contain an abundance of chlorophyll!

So after ingesting a teaspoon of this liquid stuff every morning for about a week or so, I then I decided to take another dose in the evening. That was twice in one day. I usually go for a 30 minute run after the kids go to sleep, so I had my chlorophyll and went running.  That night, I had the most AMAZING running experience ever! I felt so CONNECTED with the trees, the sky, the stars and the world. As I listened to my music, I felt as though I was running with the trees, effortlessly. The park I live in has a marsh in the middle of it and I run around it and back again. These trees have been growing here for almost 50 years and are so humbling with stature and strength. That night I felt as though I was one with the earth. I felt one with the trees.

The next day my urine had a strong odor. Like a hospital smell. I think I was definitely detoxing.

I know this is powerful stuff and would recommend it to anyone!  I feel there is definitely more clarity and a sense of connection in my life then there was before this event:)

Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and...
Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and absorbs light that is used in photosynthesis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chlorophyll has many health benefits including:

  1. Anti-carcinogenic
  2. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  3. Chelation of heavy metals
  4. Promotes a healthy digestive tract
  5. Contains vitamins and minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, K, C ) that are essential for the building and repairing of red blood cells and boosting our immune system

I’ve been taking liquid chlorophyll for 6 weeks now and am loving it!

My goal is to keep feeling good and sharing it with everyone too!

Peace out,

Julie

What is Pink Therapy?

What is Pink Therapy you ask?

Well basically, I wanted to create a place where I could share my knowledge and experiences about the things I’ve learned going through breast cancer, twice, in the last 11 years. I have also been a massage therapist for 14 years, so I wanted to learn how I could help others with what I know. I am currently in a Lymph Drainage Therapy program through the Chikly Institute to become Lymphadema Certified. I will also be getting my Oncology Certification through Greet The Day soon. One step at a time.

Back in 2002, when I was first diagnosed, I was 27 years old. Not really understanding what I was up against, I did everything my oncologist wanted me to do. Lumpectomy, radiation, chemo and Herceptin. Done. I wanted cancer to be OUT of my life and I wanted to move on to the next chapter! So I decided I wanted to have children. Lucky for me, my girls are truly a gift.

Fast forward 9 years, at 36 years of age, I was diagnosed again with breast cancer! What the heck! Same spot, under the scar tissue of the lumpectomy. Who’d of thought? So this time I opted for bilateral mastectomy and had to do chemo once again. Poopy:( I also opted for immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders. Oh what fun! How uncomfortable are those things. So for almost 6 months, I had these hard foobs that I just couldn’t wait to have exchanged for softer foobies.

The pain of the mastectomy was quite unbearable. I have not taken as many pain killers for anything else. Childbirth was far easier! The healing processes is even slower after chemo! Cancer treatment is quite horrific if I might say so! The space where the breast tissue was has to heal and the expanders have to adjust to your body. Sleeping was never very comfortable, to say the least. So I really wanted a massage. Try to find someone that works with breast reconstruction women. Not so easy. I went to a couple of places and I would tell them what I’ve been through and what I needed. They all tried to help, but not so sure. So I went to Earthlite’s website and bought a comfort pillow with breast cut outs, so I could lay face down. My back would spasm quite frequently from all the scar tissue healing in the front and my pectoral muscles being stretched out.  I would bring this pillow with me to my massage and chiropractor appointments. It helped so much in my healing!

bolster-comfort-web

So that brings me to now. I am wanting to share my comfort breast pillow

with other women who are under going breast reconstruction and are needing a massage.

I am also into health and nutrition. I have been making my own fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, beet kvass and kombucha. I’ve been running and rebounding almost daily. In addition to having fun with my girls!

My goal is to be healthier then before cancer! And to feel GOOD all the time:)

So Pink Therapy is basically me sharing my breast cancer experience with you. Been there, done that twice. I am at your service.

Also, I am not limited to just breast cancer patients. My knowledge could benefit many others! Whether it be through therapy or support!

Thanks for reading:)

Humbly Yours,

Julie