When F.A.C.T. was established in 1971, the idea that stress had anything to do with the disease process was regarded by the conventional medical community as pretty much a wacko New Age notion. Today, thanks to the work of pioneers like Hans Selye, Ph.D., Bernie Siegel, M.D., Herbert Bensen, M.D. and others, who have demonstrated measurable scientific benefits with patients, in orthodox circles there is now a certain grudging appreciation, if not total embrace, of the mind/body connection. Even some insurance companies are realizing the money saving potential in supporting treatments like visualization, meditation, biofeedback, yoga, cognitive therapy, etc.
Chronic stress plays havoc with body function! In our film, Rethinking Cancer, as well as all the material on this website about the metabolic/Biorepair program, a key component in regaining and maintaining health is a take charge attitude and a relaxed frame of mind. In our experience, the psychological aspect to healing cannot be ignored!
There are many stress management strategies afoot today. We’d like to dedicate this edition of the newsletter to just a few ways you might enhance your mental well-being and, while you’re at it, do your body a huge favor.
Check out the new video on our Video Presentation page: Ruth Sackman on “Making Sense of Alternative Cancer Therapies.” This is vital information for anyone trying to navigate the mishmash of alternative, as well as conventional therapies.
To Your Health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)
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Are You Over-Tense?
We live in an increasingly fast-paced world or, more aptly, whirl! Chronic stress and tension have become problems for many of us and can lead to serious physical ailments. While, in some cases, professional help may be called for, there’s a lot we can do to help ourselves. Here are some self-help measures recommended by the National Association for Mental Health: Read More
Meditation Made Easy
By Sally Kempton
“For 20 years, I’ve meditated before stressful meetings, when I’m slammed by deadlines and during all kinds of domestic crises,” reports one successful lawyer. “In the middle of a tough day or any time I feel like I’m about to lose it, I’ve learned that if I close my eyes for two minutes, and find that inner place of calm, it will give me the strength to deal with just about anything.”
A string of clinical studies since the 1970’s supports meditators’ claims that the activity works to counteract the negative effects of both acute and chronic stress. Research from Herbert Benson’s Mind-Body Institute and other studies shows that meditation can turn a natural stress response into a natural relaxation response. Instead of the body becoming flooded with chemicals that prepare us to fight or take flight or freeze, meditation releases a flood of calming neurotransmitters and hormones that soothe the system and stimulate immune functions. Meditating helps to bring the body back into balance. Read More
Gelotology (from the Greek gelos meaning laugh, laughing) is the study of the psychological and physiological effects of laughter on the body — proponents of which recommend a daily dose of laughter for its therapeutic value based on scientific grounds:
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart and the brain. Because laughing acts on the inner lining of blood vessels, called endothelium, it causes vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. This helps protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. It’s also good for your brain, another organ that requires the steady flow of oxygen via the blood vessels.
Most gelotologists suggest at least 15 minutes of laughter a day (along with good diet, regular exercise, etc.). If this exceeds your current laugh proficiency, here are some simple steps to get you up to speed: Read More
A Few De-Stressing Drinks
If you’re having a busy day and feeling hot and bothered, try this soothing drink. All the ingredients have cooling properties and are very hydrating.
- 2 cups watermelon, chopped and seeded
- 1 small cucumber, unpeeled if organic and cut in chunks
- a few drops rosewater to taste (optional)
Process the watermelon and cucumber in a juicer. Add rosewater to taste, if desired and stir. Makes 1 serving.
Valerian is a sedative herb that calms the nerves and induces sleep. Because it is a medicinal herb, it should be taken occasionally rather than on a daily basis. Lettuce also has calming properties.
- 1 valerian tea bag
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 cup fresh, or thawed frozen, strawberries
- 1 1/3 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
Put the tea bag in a cup and add the boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes, then remove the tea bag and refrigerate the tea until cold, about 20 minutes. Process the strawberries and lettuce in a juice. Pour into the tea and stir. Makes 1 serving.
Chamomile tea is a relaxant and helps to reduce anxiety. Like valerian, it is a medicinal tea and is most effective when taken occasionally so the body doesn’t become too accustomed to it. Honey is also known for its soporific qualities, while apple and vanilla add a delicious twist.
- 1 chamomile tea bag
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 apples, unpeeled if organic, cut in chunks
- 3 drops vanilla extract
- raw honey, to taste
Put the tea bag in a cup and add boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bag. In a juicer, process the apples. Stir in apple juice, vanilla, honey to taste and sip. Makes 1 serving.