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Holistic wellness therapies, known collectively as integrative health techniques, are aimed as symptom control and improvement of quality of life in order to ease distress during treatment.

Survivor Quote: “I would never have chosen this journey, for myself or for you. But it has helped me realize once again with gratitude and joy, that I have a body, I am a soul (Anonymous 1991)

The following steps will provide you with survivor tested and recommended wellness guidelines to help you along your journey.

  • Inform your oncologist of the use of any holistic wellness techniques being used so that he/she is aware of your active role in your own healing.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Live each day with purpose and resolve. Your immune system will provide you with evidence that this works!
  • Make a habit of using wellness techniques daily; after treatment you will have acquired a lifestyle that will help you maintain optimum wellness.
  • Practice deep, focused, relaxed breathing and meditation.
  • Use meditation to relax the mind, tapes may be helpful.
  • Practice yoga to relax the body. Attend a class or use a DVD guide.
  • Use guided imagery (simply imagine yourself in another place with or without the help of a tape); especially helpful during chemotherapy infusions.
  • Employ visualizations – use your imagination to create “fighters” inside your body at work for you; also useful during chemotherapy infusions.
  • Experience healing touch – many nurses and massage therapists are trained in this laying of hands technique.
  • Use quiet reflections and active prayer in the form of petition, intercession, confession, lamentation, adoration, invocation, and thanksgiving in conjunction with a sense of faith in a higher power.
  • Attend healing services at churches, synagogues, and spiritual centers.
  • Seek spiritual counsel from clergy or lay ministers.
  • Read positive and uplifting books.
  • Listen to relaxing and uplifting music.
  • Use humor and laugher to enhance your immune system.
  • Try massage therapy for ultimate relaxation.
  • Experience the ancient non-touch healing of Reiki to channel the energy from the universe to your body.
  • Keep a journal or diary every day to chart the course of your emotions and feelings.
  • Exercise by taking daily outdoor walk.
  • Use pharmacist-recommended multivitamins to protect against nutritional deficiency.
  • Schedule frequent periods of rest and relaxation to allow your body the best environment for healing.
  • Be good to yourself; pamper your body and learn to say no to stressful situations.
  • Learn something new. This will bolster your self-image and make you feel better about your life that lies ahead.
  • Help someone else; reaching out can make you feel stronger and more in control.
  • Be at peace with your diagnosis. Stop asking “why me?”…the answer is simply because.

A thought to consider, ‘remember it is not the size of the dog in the fight…it’s the size of the fight in the dog” – Anonymous

* References: “Survivor Tested and Recommended Wellness techniques”… from Donna Walbert MS RN, Breast Cancer survivor, 2001.

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