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Intermittent Fasting For Cancer Patients

A lot of medical research have been made into the benefits of intermittent fasting benefits and various articles have been written about this topic and I have no intention to compete with them. This is a tale of my personal experience on how I have benefited from intermittent fasting for cancer patients.

Research

During the last 5 years I have been using intermittent fasting, also shortly referred to as IF, as one of the healing methods for my ovarian cancer, under the supervision of my medical doctor, who is a big believer in Ayurveda and several other natural methods of healing.

Fasting has helped me more than a lot of the chemical treatments, operations and medications have ever done. My story has inspired a lot of people I know to give it a go.

I hope my article will give you, the reader, as well a good overview of the benefits of intermittent fasting, not only for cancer. but a lot of other reasons as well!

If you have any questions, or need encouragement to get started or keep going, you can always write a comment or contact me privately as well. I am happy to help in any way I can.

What Is Intermittent Fasting

Everyone already fasts every single day! Surprised? You shouldn’t be, since you are not eating while you sleep! Even the term of BREAKFAST, the name for the first meal of the day indicated breaking our overnight fast!

Breakfast

Intermittent fasting simply takes the concept further and extends the fast for a longer one than the typical 8h sleep period. For instance people who skip the breakfast and first eat at noon, are in fact practicing intermittent fasting.

Despite what you may think, intermittent fasting is not dangerous and neither is skipping a breakfast, although a lot of people will try to convince you otherwise! It is easy to do and a lot of people state they feel better and have plenty more energy during and after a fast.

Some of the most popular methods are:

16:8 Method – You eat 8h, from noon until 8pm and fast for 16h, from 8pm until the noon next day. Popular with sports fanatics and body builders. Good for growing muscle and loose body fat fast.

4:3 Method – You eat 4 days out of each week and fast 3. You can choose any days you like depending on your schedule. Each of your fasts lasts 36h. This is a popular healing method, explained further in my article.

5:2 Method – Very popular and effective weight loss technique.. However most people who take this route do not do 0Kcal fasts, but rather eat 1/4 of their normal amount of daily calories, either in a single meal during the evening or in tiny meals throughout the day.

Ramadan – Muslims fast for religious reasons during the month of Ramadan. They don’t eat and some don’t drink from sunrise until the sunset.

Mahatma Gandhi Fasting
Mahatma Gandhi Fasting

Yoga Fast – Hinduism and many other eastern religions advocate regular fasting as  a way to supreme health and enlightenment, as well as to be used for peaceful protests.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has a lot of health  benefits and as mentioned in my introduction, there are plenty available on the Internet, you just need to google them. The National Center for Biotechnology Information also have a lot of studies listed into intermittent fasting methods. I am only going to mention few of the most common benefits.

Weigh Loss

5:2 Fast Diet BookAs mentioned before 5:2 and 4:3 are popular, very effective and fast weight loss methods. The reason for it’s popularity is in the human nature. A lot of people enjoy the 5:2 or 4:3 fasting methods, because it allows them to eat normally on other, non fasting days.

The same methods are popular with weightlifters and professional athletes, who need to control their body mass and fat percentage. It’s more natural and healthy way than to result to chemical supplements. It’s also easier for people to stick to it!

Improve Immune System

There are several conditions which are caused by the weakening of the over all immune system of the body, examples of such being frequent infections and system wide yeast infections.

Intermittent fasting strengthens the immune system and allows the body to rest and regenerate. I will be talking more about the exact process in my next topic, nearest to my heart.

Diabetes Control

Measuring Blood Sugar LevelsWhen done right with doctors approval and guidance, intermittent fasting has a very positive effect on blood sugar levels. It stabilities them and lowers fasting sugar, hence being a very effective method for controlling diabetes.

Diabetes type II is also often caused by access weight and since intermittent fasting can also lead to weight loss, this can be considered an additional benefit for diabetic care.

Improve Metabolic Health

A lot of people suffering from metabolic issues, such as IBS and food insensitivities have found relief from fasting, due to the fact that the metabolic system gets to rest and repair during the fasts.

Blood Pressure Control

Blood Pressure Measuring

High blood pressure is often caused by too much starchy carbohydrates in the diet and regularly follows diabetes type II, due to your body producing too much insulin and leptin as a response to your eating habits.

Intermittent Fasting limits the intake of carbohydrates on the fasting days, as it promotes your body to use energy in an efficient way. This lifestyle change can hence help to normalize blood pressure.

Intermittent Fasting For Cancer Patients

Intermittent fasting has been used for healing cancer in many traditional healing practices such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. A lot of the cancer clinics using natural healing methods advocate the use of fasting as one of their main healing methods.

Also more and more cancer clinics are realizing the benefits of incorporating intermittent fasting into the traditional cancer treatments. So how can intermittent fasting can help cancer patients? It can provide help in 6 different ways.

  1. Water Fasting 36h before chemotherapy sessions – Makes the patient less suspect for the side effects of these drastic treatments. Patients experience no nausea and feel more energetic after the treatments than without the fast.
  2. Kill Cancer Cells – That’s right, fasting actually kills cancer cells. When the patient fasts 36h, the body triggers a starvation mode and looks for places to cut the energy usage. It sends out seek and destroy teams. These specialized cells find the cancer cells, which are considered by the body sick cells and destroy them.
  3. Improve Immune System – The same starvation mode triggers the body to fight for survival, because bad times are ahead. As a response of this evolutionary survival mode in our DNA, the body itself strengthens it’s immune responses to fight infections and bacterial attacks helping cancer patients to stay healthy from common colds, yeast and bacterial infections.
  4. Starving The Cancer Cells – Sounds funny, right? The cancer cells feed on sugar and need it to reproduce. During the fasts we live of the fat and stored energy. This slows down the spread of the cancer cells.
  5. Pain Relief – The fasting also provides cancer patient relief from pain as the process of fasting numbs the bodies pain receptors.
  6. Detoxify – Fasting helps the body to rid itself of the toxins caused by the chemical cancer cancer treatments, diets and the environment. For stronger effects try infused water.

Immune System

There are still a lot of people who doubt the medical studies about the benefits of the fasting in cancer treatments. However the overwhelming positive responses from the cancer patients themselves and the effectiveness of traditional treatments combined with fasting, are triggering more and more studies into this area, hopefully making it mainstream with the next few years!

What Are The Downsides of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is definitely not easy, in fact it’s one of the hardest things I have ever done. I have listed here some of the problems I know of, I am sure there are several others.

Some medical conditions

Sick Teddy BearThere are some illnesses might exclude you from doing intermittent fasting or only be able to fast under strict medical control. If you have issues with blood sugar or blood pressure, you have to do it with guidance of a doctor and be prepared for regular checkups.

Feeling of Hunger

Your mind will play tricks on your and convince you will die or faint unless you eat immediately! This couldn’t be further from the truth unless if you have blood sugar level or blood pressure problems, in which case you need to be extremely careful when attempting to fast.

During fasts, you are using reserve fat stores in your body and using them for energy. Your blood sugar levels will be stable.

Do not give into snacking, it will make you even more hungry to get a small amount of food into your system. Drinking hot drinks will help with hunger and the feeling will fade over the time.

Headaches

Some people experience headache during the fasts. Most of the time this is caused by nagging feeling of hunger. We are simple thought to listen to the signals of hunger and immediately obey. When not, we are mentally worried about starvation, even though we know this to be untrue.

Headache

Taking headache pills on fasting days is bad. Get some fresh air and gentle exercise, this will help to relieve the headache naturally! Take a nap and get refreshed!

Dizziness, Weakness And Nausea

Some people experience dizziness, weakness and nausea when they start to  fast. Some of it is mental dependency on food, but at some times during strenuous activity dizziness can get hold of the faster.

Also your body ridding is itself of the toxins and chemicals, which in it’s turn causes some detoxification symptoms! Some people experience them stronger than others.

Avoid going from cold to hot and other way around too fast. Avoid getting up too fast. Both dizziness and nausea will disappear  once you gain more experience with fasting. Avoid excessive strenuous physical activity during fasts.

Feeling Cold

You will feel cold, your feet and hands like ice due to temporary lowering of your metabolism during fast days. On some fasting days you will just want to sit in front of the fireplace under the blanket, sipping hot tea and reading a book.

Dress warmly and keep extra items of clothing, not forgetting gloves, scarfs and hats with you. Drink plenty of hot tea to keep warm and hydrated!

Green Tea

Social Life

It’s difficult to keep up with your social life when you are fasting. If it’s just a dinner outside with friends, you can often inform them that you can’t eat that particular day and suggest an other, but big meetings with a lot of people are often really hard for people who fast. You have to decide to either not to fast of be prepared to a lot of negative feedback about you ruining the mood.

Bad Blood

Some people simply will never believe you when you talk about the benefits of the fasting. They are absolutely convinced that you will DIE if you don’t eat every 3-5h and also think that cancer patients should eat well to keep healthy.

The fact they know nothing about fasting and are not willing to educate themselves, means they will be talking bad things about fasting and trying to convince you to give up all together.

Prepare for the fact that they will be eating things in front of your nose and even offering it to you to try to break your will. If you do, they congratulate you for being sensible! The will push emotionally guilt trip you into not ruining certain event for them.

Arguments

My Personal Intermittent Fasting Routine

Because fasting is part of my cancer treatments, I do 0Kcal 36h fast at the time. I eat nothing and only drink herbal teas and infused water. I try to keep to the following strict routine.

  • I fast Monday-Wednesday-Friday
  • I eat normally Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday

This means I stop eating Sunday evening at 8pm. I fast the whole Monday. No snacks, no food, only herbal or green tea and infused water.  No oral medications on these days. Tuesday morning at 8am I break my fast and have hence completed 36h fast!

Tuesday I eat normally between 8am and 8pm, being careful not to overeat, but making sure to get enough calories, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. I keep hydrated and keep the more strenuous exercise for the days I eat.

That’s my normal rhythm, also called 8:36 fasting, referring to hours I eat and fast or 4:3 fasting, referring to days of the week I eat and fast.

Keep Diary

My Fasting Problems

Allowing myself the weekends off helps me to enjoy some good home cooked meals together with my family. I used to fast every second day, but it was mentally very hard during the weekends and confusing for my loved ones, who were never able to keep track of my fasting days!

Can I always do it? No way! There are times when I give up and don’t fast for a day or even few weeks at the time. What causes me to lose track? Most of the time one of the following:

  • Extreme Stress – work work work
  • Emotional Imbalance – lots of it around for cancer patients
  • Illness – lowered immune system makes me prone and I have very little will power when poorly
  • Pain – extreme pain from my kidneys
  • Holiday Times – love tasting new foods and enjoying eating out
  • Special Occasions – birthdays, celebrations, camps, conferences, business dinners
  • Travel – difficult on the road, bored while driving
  • Weather – extreme cold weather

Cold Weather

As you see there are several reasons why I sometimes fail my fasts, food is after all considered as a comforter and emotional reward by most of us!

I would say from my experiences that there are times when I manage months at the time without once breaking the rhythm and then weeks when everything goes wrong and I struggle with every single one of my fasts.

Is this ideal? No, of course not, I should be able to do it 100% of the time, since it’s a question about my health, right? WRONG! Even my doctor tells me that managing 80% of the time is an amazing defeat of basic human instinct. He tells me to be proud of myself!

I normally give myself a permission to eat normally during holidays, but restarting fasting after 2 weeks of normal eating is a nightmare and the bad effects on my condition are immediate! So I try to keep to at least 1 fasting day a week during vacations.

My Recommendations  For IF Beginners

Getting started with fasting is not easy! Anyone who has ever tried it, knows it! In order to overcome some of the problems, I have put together some hints and tips, which will help you to get started!

doctor

  1. Seek Doctors Advice – Before you start with fasting, you should talk to your doctor. Not all doctors are happy with ideas of alternative cancer treatment methods, so you might need to look around before you find a good one willing to explore fasting as healing option together with you.
  2. Start Slowly – It will take a while before both your body and mind get used to fasting. Take it slowly and start with eating less few days a week, before moving to  fasting for longer periods of time.
  3. Keep Hydrated – It is important to drink enough when you are fasting. Herbal and green tea, together with water infusions will be your best friend.
  4. Keep a Fasting Diary – It will help you to note down your feelings and your problems, as well as your progress and healing. You will enjoy reading it later or sharing with others!
  5. Seek Support – Tell the friends and family what you are doing, their support will be a key for your success! It will be much easier to fast without someone constantly snacking next to you at home or work. There are also plenty of online groups that can help you on the days you struggle!

Support

Love and Peace,

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AromatherapyP.S. If you want to learn how to deepen your meditation experience, take a look at the Ayurveda aroma experience These essential oils have a subtle, yet extremely powerful influence on our mind and body.

 

 

Lessons Learned In Life From Dogs

This is a tale of everything my dog has thought me with his absolutely unconditional love and ability to live in this moment, without a worry for tomorrow. It talks about the lessons learned in life from a dog. And it will teach you without a doubt why our dog is happier than you!

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.”
Charles de Gaulle

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
Roger Caras

Dogs Truly Are Our Best Friends

Anyone who has ever had a dog can relate themselves with at least one of these famous sayings about dogs. I can with all of them. I have had many dogs in my life and they have both thought me so much more than I ever gave them a credit for.

Some time ago I saw this movie from bright side (one of my favourite websites, a place full of inspirational stories) in my Facebook feed.

I watched it and it touched me greatly with it’s message. I stopped to think about everything my dog means to me and why he is so incredibly happy most of the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_Tto7Z4TXY

I had a beautiful golden retriever. I loved her more than anything else in the whole world. I got her as a puppy when I was 20 years old and I did everything with her. She was always there for me when I needed her, she truly became part of me.

But years went by, I got older and so did she. I became one a mom and she was the most gentle dog you can imagine around the kids. They could poke her in the nose, pull her tail and she would just happily let them enjoying their annoying company.

Then came the sad day she was suddenly no longer with us, I was far away and could not get there in time. She died in my mothers arms. I cried and cried, there was no end for my sorrow. I thought I could never love any dog like I had loved her.

I couldn’t bear the thought of having an other dog, but we had several other pets. The children were particularly fond of our rabbits, but my daughter often spoke of a dog. But I closed off my heart and hardened my mind for her please, other pets would have to be enough!

Faith Decided Otherwise

Then one day I was visiting my best friend in Roskilde, Denmark. She is someone who has walked with me so many years in my life that she was more like a sister to me. Her beautiful female Stabij, rare Dutch dog breed, had just has had puppies 3 days earlier.

Stabij Puppies
Jojo, Muffits mother with her 4 male pups

They were the size of my hand and they were still blind! They had a short silky, white and black fur. I was sitting there, watching them, when one of them suddenly started crawling toward my outstretched hand.

When the puppy reached it, he sniffed my hand, licked it and crawled around trying to suckle. After a moment he came to the conclusion there was no milk on offer and fall asleep on my hand. My heart melted and although I knew it was not going to be easy, he belonged to me and me to him.

Muffit as baby
Muffit was 3 days old when I first met him

The first years we full of love and joy, but we knew nothing of taking care of hunting dog spices, which caused some misery and many problems related to our already complicated lifestyle, which now had yet an other part of the puzzle, which we had to somehow fit in.

However I could never ever imagine parting with our stubborn, wild, energetic, playful little monster, the most loving and loyal dog imaginable.

Why Is My Dog Happier Than Me?

Returning now to the few weeks ago when I saw the movie about why dogs are generally happier  than humans, I decided to not only write this story, but also make my own movie about our bundle of joy!

His name is Muffit, after my childhood hero Muffit The Daggit, a robotic pet from Battlestar Galactica a science fiction series from1980’s! I still remember the day he died due to a fire in the series after rescuing lot of the crew members. He was a true hero and I cried myself a sleep for a whole week 🙁

Muffit The Daggit
Muffit The Daggit from Battlestar Galactica!

However just like all beloved pets, Muffit has many names! He answers to the calls of at least the following:

Baby

Boy

Baby Boy

Baby Bear

Muffy

Muffi-bear

Muffi-fluffy

Muff-man

Curly Butt

Snooselie-Poes

Some of them are pretty funny, eh? Well how about this; We also made some songs about him. The most popular being song with the Batman tone:

NANA-NANA-NANA-NANA-NANA-NANA-NANA-MUFF-MAN!

Musical Notes

Beside of 1000 cute little stories I could tell about him, I will leave that for an other time, he has also thought us so many life lessons, showing me how our pets can truly show us the way!

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Takes Plenty Of Naps

Everyone knows that sleep is important. The rest, besides refreshing us, get rid of the toxins that accumulate in our brains. Without any sleep everyone will go crazy and it will finally lead to death.

Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder

Just a few badly slept nights and we all know the effects of sleep deprivation! We are irritable, have trouble of concentrating, experience memory problems and our reaction time, for instance in traffic, doubles.

So why do we always insist on sleeping too little? In the morning we can’t sleep in, because we need to go to work or take the kids to the school. In the evening we want to watch the late night movie and during the day there is always so much to do. Sleep simply has to wait!

Often even during our holidays we pack in so many activities, everything from meeting up with friends and taking early morning excursions that we go back to work just as exhausted as before.

Napping Puppy
Muffit as a puppy, taking a nap with me

Muffit, he knows sleep is important! He takes plenty of naps throughout the day, sleeping outside in the sun, soaking up the rays or snores loudly on the sofa. Besides this, he also sleeps at least 8h every night and 10h most nights!

Try to get him excited about the idea of going for a walk before 8am or after 10pm, no way! He will give you the look and just turn lazily around exposing his belly, inviting you to join him. An if you do, he happily cuddles next to you, excited for snoozing company.

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Gets Plenty Of Exercise

We all know exercise is good for us. It helps out bodies maintain a healthy body mass and keeps our muscles in good condition. It helps to improve blood circulation and increases lung capacity! It also releases endorphins which in return make us happy!

We invent ways to take us places without us having to move
We invent ways to take us places without us having to move

So why do so many of us get very little to no daily exercise? We have become a generation of true coach potatoes, who take a car instead of walking or bicycling couple of kilometers. We have learned to use the elevator instead of the stairs and avoid physical work in any ways we can!

Muffit loves exercise. He is at his happiest when he is allowed to run around free. When he gets to chase after the birds and swim in the sea or the pond. He is happy to climb mountains and go hunting for the rabbits in the forest!

Muffit swimming
Muffit swimming in the pond

He knows exercise will keep him healthy and happy. He doesn’t care if the weather is bad or if it’s too hot, he is still burning with desire to go for a good run, simply because it makes him happy 🙂

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Gives Plenty Of Love

Everyone knows that giving is receiving and the relationships are about give and take right? But somehow we have started to expect that we need to get love without giving anything back.

Mobile dating apps

We spend our whole lives looking for love in all sorts of ways and places, not realizing that that we push love away with our own attitudes and bitterness.

Even when we build our friendships or our relationships we are thought to hold back, not to show our feelings too eagerly, to play games and keep the other part uncertain and in the dark of our hearts desires.

Muffit knows it’s a too way street. He gives his love freely, unconditionally and without asking anything back. He wants you to know he loves you and only you.

Dogs give and get love
Muffit cuddling with my autistic son

He cannot speak, but he goes into great lengths of showing his love to us every single day. The way he greets us when we arrive home, he missed us and is genuinely joyful to see us. The way he cuddles next to us. The way he licks our faces in the morning to wake us up. Not to forget the way he protects us against the evil mailman!

The list goes on and on, it’s the small things that make all the difference in the world. There is never any doubt in my mind, nor any other dog owners mind, that their dogs love them. In return, we love them too, with all our hearts!

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Makes Plenty Of Discoveries

When we humans are born into this world, we start learning through discoveries. To our mom’s great annoyance we eat sand, we stick our fingers between the door hinges, we want to touch every animal and smell every flower.

Child Smelling a Flower
Children love to make discoveries and learn with all their senses

But when we grow up, things start to loose their interest. We learn not to touch things or taste them with out tongue because we might get hurt or because our mother told us not to.

We loose our exploring nature and our ability to  use all our senses to discover the world around us. Things become dull and our ability to sense things fades due to lack of practice.

Muffit is always eager to discover new places! He uses his sight, hearing, sense of smell, touch and taste to examine everything that he encounters!

Dog Digging On The BeachDog riding open roof
Muffit digging on the beach

He sees the world through the eyes of a child, the world is one big wonderful place for him and he is happily spending his time to discover it all!

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Enjoys Plenty Of New Sceneries

We humans tend nowadays to be too preoccupied with our gadgets, cameras, smart phones and laptops to really appreciate a beautiful scenery in front of us!

We sit on the beach, on top of the mountain or in the park, instead of looking at the beautiful scene in front of us, we take pictures to watch them later. Instead of enjoying the sunset by the lake, we concentrate on our social media messages.

When we go on vacation, we tell ourselves that the business cannot survive without us and we spend our days working instead of relaxing!

Working Outside
Instead of relaxing, we take our work to vacation

When we are driving in the car or travel in the train, we sit our faces glued to our e-book readers or game consoles, ignoring the beautiful fields and forests we are passing by.

Muffit doesn’t have any gadgets, well besides the mandatory ID chip he is carrying, nor does he care for any! When we drive with an open roof, he hangs his head out and looks at things passing by, enjoying the wind in his fur.

Dog Riding With Open Roof
Muffit loves to ride the cabrio

He stands at the beach staring at the play of the waves and the boats in the horizon. On top of the mountain he stares at the grazing cows and the beautiful clouds.

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Loves Plenty Of Play

Children spend a lot of time playing, alone, together with other kids and with us adults. They are encourages to do it as besides teaching them things, it excites them and makes them happy!

That’s until the school starts. Then little by little, we are told to be adults and everyone knows that adults don’t play. Latest as teenager we stop playing all together due to peer pressure.

Paintball
Paintball – adults playing war games

We are thought to be ashamed of our playful nature, but deep inside we miss the excitement of playing games! Some seek the excitement of play anyway and seek to escape in video and computer games. Role playing in all forms is popular part time for a lot of us.

It’s also common to find the excitement in sports. The enthusiasts enjoy the adrenaline rush and sense of achievement when they win and disappointment when they loose, either in individual or team activities.

Other seek the excitement in playing poker, casino games or sports gambling and unfortunately for the world peace, some seek out war games.

Dog In The Office
Muffit playing a silly game in the office meeting room

Muffit simply loves to play. He enjoys the thrill, the excitement, the adrenaline rush and is not afraid or ashamed to show it.  He wags his tail and barks in joy. He jumps, he catches, he pulls, he searches and he retrieves.

He play by himself, with other dogs and even other animals. He also specially love play with his humans, tolerating silly things we do to him. He makes every object he can get into his mouth his play thing for our great annoyance.

He invites others to play and is often rewarded by laughter and good mood from his whole pack. Sometimes when he is napping, he seem to be running, he lets our playful yelps and we are sure he’s dreaming of playing an awesome game.

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Explores Plenty Of New Places

Some of us like to travel, explore and experience new places. However most of us prefer to stay home, happy to be within the familiar surroundings, amongst the people we love.

Home Sweet Home
We are creatures of habit

If we travel for business, we keep ourselves occupied with our work and don’t venture out. If we go for holidays, we tend to go to a place where we can meet up with people from the same country and of course eat and drink what we are used to at home. We have become creatures of habit.

Muffit seeks and finds the most incredible things everywhere he goes! Going to new place is his favorite thing in the whole world! Imagine all the new sounds and smells.

Going to new places for him means meeting new people and other dogs! It is the most exciting things for him and he greets everyone eagerly, always happy for some company.

Puppy Meeting
Muffit meeting his brothers

He enjoys the leaves in the forest, the hedgehog he finds in the back of the garden, the bus stop on the walk, the ducks in the pond and the freshly fallen snow is always amazing!

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Takes Plenty Of Time To Do What He Enjoys Most

We humans don’t spend enough time caring for ourselves doing things we truly enjoy. We have to take care of our jobs, our families and all the other responsibilities we have.

Thinking Roman Statue
We spend most of our times worrying

We want to take time for ourselves, to do the things we grave to do, but at the same time we feel guilty for doing so. We feel that relaxing and doing what we really want to do is a waste of time and are afraid of the others judging us as self-indulgent.

Dog Riding Ferry
Muffit riding the ferry

Muffit, he spends plenty of time doing what ever he wants to do. Let it be playing, sleeping, eating, discovering new things of just chilling out, chasing birds or squirrels, hanging out around us or sitting alone and staring into nothing.

He listens to the commands, but has never surrendered his own free will and does let you know if he is not happy for you interrupting him at his favorite activity! He is in no hurry anywhere, well except to get going for a walk. After all, it’s his life and he knows it.

My Dog Is Happier Than Me Because He Spends Plenty Of Time Being Himself

People always worry about something. Maybe it’s bills that need to be paid, car that needs to be repaired, children who are not doing well at school. Worrying fills most of our lives.

Bills To Pay
We worry about our finances

We also spend most of our time to pretend to be something we are not, worried that if people get to know us, they won’t like or accept us. We build walls around ourself to protect ourselves from getting hurt. We only dare to be ourselves when we are alone.

Muffit, he is always being himself. He doesn’t pretend to be a perfect dog just to please you, neither does he hide his love, his hate or any of his other emotions. He wants us to accept him and love him the way he is.

Dog in Andorra
Muffit in Andorra during a forest walk

He has a way of balancing things which I admire, he lives in a moment, not worrying about tomorrow. He never seems to be too unhappy, even if he is upset for a moment, little attention gets him back to himself, a lovely and healthy, truly happy dog!

My Dog Shows Me The Way

How much happier will I be, if I learn to live my life according the same philosophy as my dog? I am willing to give it a go, the question is, are you?

Don’t Worry, Be Happy,

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Ayurvedic Haircare

How To Help A Cancer Patient – Are You Also Clueless?

I have been living with cancer, recovering from cancer, in fear of getting the cancer again, rinse and repeat cycle for the last 5 and half years. The chances are that you read this article right now, because you know someone who has cancer too, want to help, but don’t know how. Join me in my very personal story to teach you how to help cancer patients!

I have written many updates on my social media profiles about my cancer simply because it helps me to talk about it. People have reacted in different ways, some positive, but also often in some very negative ways.

Cancer Cells
Nasty cancer cells

I wanted to write down my thoughts how you can help someone who is living with cancer. This post originally appeared as a rant on my Facebook page, I have altered, updated and edited it for the purposes of making it into more of a guide for people who want to help a friend, relative, child or spouse living with cancer!

In order for people to help, the need to understand how it is to live with cancer, so here it is, my raw and very personal take into being a cancer patient!

Living With Cancer Day In, Day Out

How does one deal with impossible work deadlines, kids, household, friendships, upcoming holidays while trying to take care of oneself, get rid of the cancer and all the other health problems it causes and heal?

The answer is; you don’t

It’s just not possible

Nobody really understands

They all say they do, but they don’t

Deep inside they are just mad at you

Angry at you for not pulling your weight around

After All, the live goes one around you

It is only for you time stands still!

 

They don’t understand the guilt not being able to be there for your kids!

I am so tired all the time
I am so tired all the time!

Not to have the energy to clear the house, wash the laundry or sort out the garden!

Do the paperwork of running 2 companies and trying to concentrate working full time for third!

Do some exercise, yoga and meditation and of course train the dog, because I am the one who wanted to have him in the first place!

Take care of ones impossible diet and get some sleep.

Least of all, they will understand how tired you are ALL THE TIME!

They Tell You

They tell you to take it easy, not to work, but get mad if there is no cash to pay all the bills in time.

They tell you shouldn’t use your time and energy on traveling if you are feeling so poorly, but expect you to be present at every business meeting.

Still love skiing
I still love skiing, even if for just few hours!

They tell you to rest, but when you try to spend time alone, they tell you are never there for the family.

At Home

My every waking moment goes into either into working or sorting out the chaos inside the house or in the garden, running errands and doing paperwork.

The house is falling apart and the garden is a jungle. It feels like I get nothing done, ever and everyone is just mad at me 🙁

No energy for kids and even going out to walk the dog, something I always loved becomes a chore…

I start one thing but never have a chance to finish it, at night I fall on the bed dead exhausted but unable to sleep from the stress and often lay awake all night worrying.

On The Road

If I am on the road, I leave the kids to their father or grand-mum, I am a bad mum. It makes no difference if I am going away on business because I want to make a difference and actually care about our future or to the clinic to receive the treatments. I am not there and therefore I am not a good mum.

Me sitting in the office, fulfilling my CTO role
Me sitting in the office, fulfilling my CTO role

If I am work, people are blaming me for things that were happening when I was not there, things nobody bothered to discuss with me or even inform me about. Other people make technical decisions, changing plans without consulting me and causing a huge mess. I get blamed for not keeping to deadlines which would have been difficult even under the best of circumstances.

At The Clinic

Me at the mountain lake near my cancer clinic
Me at the mountain lake near my cancer clinic

If I am at the clinic, nobody understands how hard the days spent there are. People see pictures of me sitting by the lake or
on the mountain after the treatments, not hooked up to the machines at the clinic or having my body put through yet an other set of tests.

Everyone seems to think it’s just an other holiday that I didn’t deserve because after all I am not pulling my weight and and other people are working way harder that I am.

They don’t understand connectivity problems and times it takes to get to this remote location or how exhausted the treatments and the medication make me.

Where Is The Support From My Loved Ones?

Nobody even bothers to ask me anymore how I feel, nor cares when I almost faint from pain or cannot walk or drive the car properly. If I can do it on Monday, surely Friday cannot be any different?

They are all tired of hearing from my health problems, treatments and medication, it’s always the same. Better not to ask anything if what you will hear is unpleasant, right?

I know everything about cancer!
I know everything about cancer!

Everyone has their own opinions of cancer treatments, which their learned from Internet or their friends and for sure offer them freely. If I don’t want to listen with a lot of attention and care, I am a fool for not keeping all my options open. After all their cousins mother-in-laws brother got well by using this or that method!

When my body swells as my kidneys refuse to function and my missing lymph nodes are not making things any better, people think I am fat and disgusting. Other females look at my swollen legs smugly and claim I have cellulite, my own son tells me to do some exercise and men remark how much weight I have put on.

Swollen with water retention, in pain at company event
Swollen with water retention, in pain at company event

When I don’t fit into my trousers they tell me to wear looser clothing so they don’t have to look at my disgusting body. When I am not able to wear bra from my scars, which hurt from swelling, I am provoking and slutty. When my stomach, deformed from the operation scars, protrudes trough my clothing, people stare with disgust.

When I cannot eat what others do, they still wave stuff in front of my nose, because it tastes good and they want to make me feel excluded. Who cares if the smells of food drives me nuts when I am fasting?

How Do I Get The Strength To Carry On?

My favorite moments are me sitting in my car, driving somewhere, because I can play loud rock music and pretend for just a moment that I am not ill and it is all just a nightmare.

On the good days when the sun is out, I love to take walks with my dog and think about my life. On bad days I like soaking in a hot bath tub or taking a sauna. I love spending time on my own.

I keep on telling myself that I am beautiful despite the scars and the swelling and worthy of peoples love. That it’s worth fighting for to get healthy again. I avoid looking into the mirror and buying clothes.

Me at summer festival
Me at summer festival

Those are the moments I live for, that give me power to continue my fight. And of course for the few rock concerts I have lined up  and look forward to.

That and the support of the few amazing people who are always there for me, ready to listen or just hold me when it all gets too much.

What Can I Do To Help?

If you got this far, it’s because you actually wanted to understand how it is to live with a cancer. You should be able to related better to the reason which got you started reading this article in the first place!

So next time you see your loved one, either me or someone you care about, try to remember the following:

  1. DO NOT MAKE EMPTY COMPLIMENTS! If someone has just lost their hair as a results of cancer treatments, they do NOT want to hear they look OK, trust me on this one! If they complain about it or want to go shopping for hats or wig, offer help and your opinions, but DO NOT TELL THEM THEY LOOK JUST FINE!
  2. DO NOT COMMENT ON CANCER PATIENTS WEIGHT! Cancer can cause you both LOSE & GAIN weight. Just because someone you once knew lost a lot of weight due to cancer, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t suffer from excess water swelling due to cancer!
  3. DO NOT TELL THEM THAT THEIR CANCER POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ATTENTION SEEKING! When people talk about their cancer, it is not because they are just seeking attention and pity posting on social media or by taking up cancer related issues in a conversation. It HELPS to talk about it and this is what your doctors and therapists teach you to do!
  4. DO NOT OFFER YOUR INSIGHTS INTO ALL SORTS OF NEW CANCER TREATMENTS YOU HAVE HEARD ABOUT! She does NOT want to hear about, it, TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! She has spent thousands of hours reading about it, researching the topic, if she wants to discuss it with you, she will ask you of your opinion!
  5. DO NOT TELL HER WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO SPEND HER TIME! If she likes to travel or party, let her, it gives her something, energy perhaps, or just a moment without worries.
    Me enjoying a Metal concert.
    Me enjoying a Metal concert.

    Maybe she is just filling her bucket list. If she wants to be alone and listen to sad music, let her, maybe it helps her mentally. Let her find out what helps HER and be supportive!

  6. DO NOT TELL HER TO KEEP TO HER DIET! Cancer diets are often very difficult, they require enormous amount of strength and will power. If she decides to let go one day or for a duration of the holiday, DO NOT JUDGE HER!
  7. DO LET HER BE THE ONE TO START TALKING ABOUT CANCER! There are times when we just don’t want to go here and often those times we are suffering the most! Be patient, be attentive and follow our lead!
  8. DO FIND TIME JUST TO BE THERE FOR HER! Talk to her, check on her once in a while, do silly things with her
    Me and my mum at carneval in Sitges
    Me and my mum at carneval in Sitges

    Ask her how she is doing, send her flowers, take her out,  go to the rock concert with her, spend the day with her or what ever she wants to do! Don’t wait until one day she is no longer  with you to tell and show her you care!

  9. DO ASK HER HOW YOU CAN HELP! There are so many ways you can do small favors for cancer sufferers, just ask, we do appreciate it. She might be too tired to clean the house, walk the dog, wash the car or she might just enjoy a break from cooking. Respect her answer and know if it was: ‘I am OK thnx’ on Monday, it might be different on Friday.
  10. DO OFFER HER HEALTHY CHOICES! If you bring her chocolate, make it dark chocolate, if you invite her over for dinner, make sure you prepare a nice and healthy meal. DOT NOT EAT UNHEALTHY STUFF IN FRONT OF HER AND TELL HER YOU ADMIRE HER WILL POWER! Take her to that new juice bar or ask her to join you in gym or a walk. She often struggles to make those choices on her own!
  11. DO DEFEND HER IN FRONT OF OTHERS WHO ARE UNAWARE OF HER ILLNESS! She might not want to tell everyone herself, but if someone is wondering why she has her ups and downs and criticize her in front of you, let them know so they stop judging her. It is not a state secret, that is unless she explicitly asked you not to tell someone or anyone for that matter.
  12. DO INFORM OTHERS TO READ THIS POST! If they are making the same mistakes you were or not understanding what the cancer patient is going through, ask them to read my post with thought.
My alter ego Xena, fighting cancer
My alter ego Xena, fighting cancer

Am I asking too much? Actually all I ask is for you to THINK and just take a moment to CARE or talk to me next time you see me!

This post is not a rant, but rather a tribute for the ones who have been there from the moment I got diagnosed and the ones who just shared the last month of my fight. I don’t care if I have known you all my life or know you only from the Internet:

YOUR SUPPORT MEANS A WORLD TO ME AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT!

Winne The Pooh about love
Winne The Pooh about love

With All My Love,

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P.S. If you want to learn how to deepen your meditation experience, take a look at the Ayurveda aroma experience These essential oils have a subtle, yet extremely powerful influence on our mind and body.

Pain Management With Meditation

This article deals with pain management with meditation. It will introduce you to the techniques and the practice of using meditation as a form of natural pain relief.

Pain Management With Meditation
Pain Management With Meditation

In medicine pain relates to a sensation that hurts. If you feel pain it hurts, you feel discomfort, distress and perhaps agony, depending on the severity of it.

Pain can be steady and constant, in which case it may be an ache. It might be a throbbing pain – a pulsating pain. The pain could have a pinching sensation, or a stabbing one.

Meditation Techniques For Pain Management

Meditation has countless usages and general health benefits, if you are interested in them,  please read my article:

10 Benefits From Meditation – Ready To Make a Change?

This is a very personal topic for me as for the last 5 years I have lived with the cancer and had to learn to deal with pain being part of my every day life.

Constant pulsing pain caused by my advanced cancer made me irritated and impatient. I have tried everything from opiates to cannabis oil.

The opiates, I have been offered Tradomal, take away the pain, but make me very sick and dizzy leaving me unable to drive or consume my favorite glass of red wine.

I also worry about the side effects such as dependency and all those harmful chemicals in my body!

The medicinal cannabis oil works in taking the edge of the pain, but does not help when I am really struggling. I also cannot carry it with me everywhere despite my prescription as it’s illegal in some countries.

Since I started to meditate daily, my life has turned around and I have learned the techniques to control my pain, so it no longer controls me and my actions.

I also use several Ayurvedic herbs and techniques to help me with pain management. You can read about my experiences here:

Are you also imprisoned by your pain?
Are you also imprisoned by your pain?

If you, just like me live with pain, join in my personal journey to learn to do pain management with meditation.

Living With Pain

There are many people in the world who like me live in constant pain. Living with daily pain is frustrating and causes a lot of mental problems such as irritability, anciently and depression.

The psychological effects caused by lack of pain relief can be so severe that they lead individuals into desperate actions, such as suicide and even murders in sudden violent bursts of anger.

Chronic Back Pain
Chronic Back Pain

Reasons can vary from back pain, migraines, old injuries, inherited conditions such as cystic fibrosis to auto immune diseases like multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

Besides chronic pain, there is also acute pain, which can be caused by an injury to nerves, muscles, bones or tendons, medical condition such as cancer or kidney infection and child birth.

Pain is also very individual and can be only truly explained by the person who is experiencing it. Every individual has a different pain threshold, or in other words tolerance for pain, which means that the same cause for pain can experienced in totally different way by two different individuals.

Western medicine spends millions of dollars in developing new medications to provide pain relief for the sufferers. However most of the times the stronger the numbing effect, more serious the side effects, such as drowsiness, vision and coordination problems.

Opiates have an affect on Central Nervous System
Opiates have an affect on Central Nervous System

The most effective pain medications are opiates, derivatives of the opium plant, most known being Morphine and it’s synthetic forms. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain. Opiates are also highly addictive and cause both physical and mental dependency.

So how can Meditation bring Pain Relief? There are several different ways the meditation can bring you relief from pain. I will introduce you to the these methods and provide my own guided meditations that you can use to help you along!

By Distracting Yourself From The Pain

Me in severe pain during my birthday dinner
Me in severe pain during my birthday dinner

This approach is a very good one, when the pain hits suddenly and without warning. You could be at work, shopping in town or having a fancy dinner somewhere. The pain can catch up with you anywhere and there is no escaping.

Depending on the situation there are several different techniques you can use. I will introduce you to 2 of them that I have personally found most effective:

  1. Quick Pain Meditation – Can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any preparation or special positions
  2. Daily Pain Meditation – Learn how to distance yourself from the pain and draw your concentration on other things.
  3. Mantra Meditation – Has  to be learned, but after wards can be done anywhere and doesn’t necessarily require any preparation or special positions

The two techniques above are best when used together. My article

Meditation For Chronic Pain Relief

will take you through both and you can listen to my personal guides meditation to learn the technique I was thought by my yoga master.

The third technique takes some time to master and I will be posting a video about it in  later on in my meditation series. Mantras are very powerful in clearing the mind and releasing the pain. They can be sited out loud or inside the head.

By Learning Deep Relaxation techniques

An other method, which will help you in fact feel less pain. You learn how to relax your body, paying special attention the parts that cause you pain.

My Deep Relaxation Meditation teaches you a technique that is especially good when you are failing to fall asleep from the pain or if you are suffering pain caused by tension and stress, such as lower back or neck pains.

In the long term, you will notice that your pain is not as sharp as it used to be and you can slowly start to combine the deep relaxation meditation with gentle exercise for maximum effect. Read about the benefits of Yoga in my article:

Starting Yoga Practice – Beginners Guide

By Practicing Breathing Techniques

Pranayamas, the ancient breathing techniques are very important part of both yoga and meditation! The correct way of breathing can bring you a lot of relief from the pain and certain methods can substantially reduce acute pain!

I will be posting my own videos into some of these powerful secrets later on in my yoga series, stay tuned!

My Guided Pain Meditation

These meditations are provided for learning purpose and they provide you the techniques to use for each 3 types of meditation I have mentioned in my article!

The idea is that you learn to use the method I teach you in order to relax yourself in the situations where the pain wave hits and you feel like drowning. You of course can still continue to use my guided meditation if you feel you benefit from it.

The Environment

In order to use either of my meditation below, you need to make yourself comfortable. I do not recommend doing this meditation in bed for the first time, but you can certainly use it later on in the evenings to help you fall asleep!

Some of my personal meditation aids
Some of my personal meditation aids

If you have a yoga or exercise mat, roll it on the floor. If not, you can also use a blanket to soften the floor. I often lay on my bare cork floor, it’s warm and comfortable.

You will need a light blanket, as your body temperature tends to drop as you enter a deeper stages of relaxation. You also want to dim the lights and if your intention is to fall asleep, you should meditate in dark.

Me meditating together with my dog
Me meditating together with my dog

Make sure there are no distractions, no kids, no phones and no TV. It helps to set the mood to use an incense, a scented candle, or a essential oil infuser.

Special word about pets. Often they are a distraction, but some people prefer to include their pets into the meditation. My dog is used to me meditation since he was a puppy and often joins me in my sessions.

Just make sure what ever you are using has a relaxing and calming effect. My top pick for pain meditation is the soothing Sandalwood essential oil quit smoking pills zyban.

It might also be relaxing to listen to some music, you hear me play it during my meditation, some beautiful blue whale songs.

However for some people it is distracting and they prefer to meditate in silence. You will learn your personal preference soon enough and can take action accordingly.

I have also provided mp3 files, which you can download if you want to store me meditation into your smart phone to listen to it for instance in the evening or after a yoga session.

The Guided Deep Relaxation Meditation  For Pain Management

For this relaxation we are going to use the yoga position Sawasana, also called a corpse pose, a position where the person lays on the yoga mat, back against the floor.

The feet are spread hip wide apart and arms are separated from the body, hands being placed about 10cm from the body. The position is demonstrated below.

Sawasana - the corpse pose
Sawasana – the corpse pose

You should cover yourself with the light blanket, leaving the feet and the fingers free for movement.

My meditation is taking you to the depths of the ocean, join me in my dive with the blue whales!

I hope you have enjoyed my guided meditation! I would love to hear from you and your experiences in living with pain and how mediation has changed things for you.

Please also take a look about my article about using Ayurveda to help your with pain management. I would also appreciate it greatly if you give me a follow on my new YouTube channel and leave me a comment about your favorite alternative pain management techniques!

I you want to learn more about the roots of meditation, you can read my article about Yoga Sutras.

Love and Peace,

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AromatherapyP.S. If you want to learn how to deepen your meditation experience, take a look at the Ayurveda aroma experience These essential oils have a subtle, yet extremely powerful influence on our mind and body.

 

Health and Fitness Christmas Gifts That Shine

You ended up on this page, because you are looking for gifts for someone who is living a healthy lifestyle. Maybe it’s your spouse or an other family member or perhaps a good friend! You will surely find it in my collection of health and fitness Christmas gifts!

You want to buy a gift to someone who simply loves everything healthy. They do sports, not only one kind, but you see them trying everything from Yoga and Pilates to spinning, or they might even participate in triathlons! They all have one thing in common and that is they just can’t get enough of healthy food and cooks everything fresh from bio ingredients, in fact going eating out with them is a nightmare!

You understand that they wants to keep up the healthy lifestyle and appreciate what it does for their looks and health, but even though you love healthy living too, you are not at the same level.

What comes to gifts, you simply have no clue what to give! They certainly have all the sports clothing and equipment they can possibly desire and membership to the best gym.

Mission impossible, you are thinking, right? Not so, I have just the perfect something! Why not give them the gift of ancient health and beauty? Ayurveda is the answer to their prayers and below you can find my top 3 picks!

1. Organifi Green Juice $57.95 

Would you agree that healthy nutrition is very important for those living a healthy lifestyle? I bet their cupboard is full of all kind of nutrients and superfoods!

Organifi Green Juice

But you want to she them there is an easier way than taking all those different supplements. There is no better general supplement than the certified organic green juice superfood supplement from Organifi. This amazing product will help the body to detoxify, loose unattractive belly fat and the amazing nutrient it contains improving the overall health fast!

This superfood tastes amazing and helps the body to get all the nutrients it needs in a simple and no hassle way! It’s a real time saver and replaces all the hunting for ingredients and the messy juicing.

Take a look at this video, which explains you how this amazing product works redusing belly fat! Organifi Green Juice Video

2. Ayurveda Aroma Experience $162.80 $198.60

Aromas have a subtle, yet extremely powerful influence on our mind and body. The vapor of essential oils stimulates our brain, it connects to the area that controls emotions, desires and memories, this is why we often associate a certain memory or a person with a scent.

The aromas are distilled directly from plants and combined with an oil base, creating what is called the essential oil. Fragrances will have a calming, relaxing, energizing or soothing effect on you. They can help you to fall sleep, or wake up you up gently.

Wonderful health benefits of these fragrances help regulate hormone levels completely naturally.

Aromatherapy Wonderful health benefits of these fragrances help regulate hormone levels completely naturally.

This pack contains an aroma diffuser, replacement pads and delightful essential oils collection including blissful heart aroma oil, slumber time aroma oil and worry free aroma oil.

If you want something that also doubles as a centre piece, take a look at these wonderful handmade nebulizing diffusers.

HOT TIP! Add to this gift a book:
Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing

They can learn more about aromatherapy and it’s healing powers! They are for ure interested to know everything about natural ways of healthy living and you know it!

The Christmas offer is simply amazing offer with 20% REDUCTION in price.

3. Ayurveda & The Paleo Diet – DVD Set $67

 I bet they has tried every health diet there is, they want to keep their weight is check as they are well aware of the consequences of overweight and excess body fat!
Why not give them this DVD set with unique way of combining Ayurveda and Paleo diets! They will simply love the way of eating it introduces!

Ayurvedic Paleo DietAyurveda and the Paleo Diet shows you sustainable, long-term solution to a super healthy life. 

The Paleovedic Diet shares health-promoting secrets of long-lived societies.

  • It addresses the questions about nutrition and dispels myths about grains and gluten, protein, good and bad fats, and exactly which fruits and vegetables to eat.
  • It includes an impressive evidence-based review of spices, which are an incredible source of nutrients, phytochemicals and other healing compounds.
  • Additionally, it discusses the importance of a daily routine, intermittent fasting, physical activity, optimal sleep, stress reduction, and balance of your mind-body connection.

Just watch this short movie, which explains how Ayurvedic paleo diets work! I bet you can hear it speak to any health freak loud and clear!

HOT TIP! Why not get together with relatives and friends and buy them all the items on my list? The effective combination of knowledge and Ayurveda herbal products will make her healthy life style even better one.

They will be exited and thank you for your thoughtful gift and for sure cannot stop telling all their friends about the wonderful gift you gave. They will find some lovely ways to thank you all for sure!

Love and Light,

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