What if cancer patients are given maps toward their optimal health and healing ? When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1998 when I was 24 years old, I wish that I knew so much more compared to my knowledge now. My journey includes two awake brain surgeries in 1998 and 2011, four major integrative cancer care protocols, and countless other therapies and providers. From the inside out and my extensive research, I know that people with cancer need whole person cancer care.
In the quest for improved quality of life and cancer survival, the answer is integrative cancer care. Tending to more than the cancer diagnosis, integrative cancer care addresses the totality of body, mind, and spirit, including social and environmental health. Everything is connected. All of these aspects of your health and life are constantly interacting together, influencing one another, and interdependently shaping who you are.
1. Body. The physical body functions as one whole integrated system. All of the parts create the whole. Cancer care must support the cells, organs, tissues, and other components throughout the body. The internal environment or terrain of the body (think of it as your zone within) impacts cancer cells in each person. A healthy internal zone strengthens vitality and anti-cancer effects. Improved foods, healthy immune function, decreased inflammation, necessary supplements, exercise, as well as other treatments, approaches, and lifestyle strategies optimize the body.
2. Mind. People with cancer need healthy support mentally and emotionally related to their cancer experience and other life factors. Along with providing self-care, mind-body tools and practices are necessary for healing on many levels. As the state of the mind and emotions affect health due to the mind-body connection, mental and emotional balance also improves biological functioning. Supporting the mind strengthens the body.
3. Spirit. Each human being is spiritual by nature. Negotiating uncertainty, people with cancer feel support and strength through spirituality. New spiritual understandings and connections nurture mind-body-spirit wellness and wholeness.
4. Social. Cancer is a social issue impacting community with roots through each and every cancer patient. People with cancer endure a range of social challenges and opportunities. Further clarities emerge about who they are and who they are with. Since people cannot go through cancer alone, relationships either become stronger or weaker. Each person’s community with self and others enhances quality of life with deeper health and healing.
5. Environmental. People with cancer must take steps to protect themselves against environmental carcinogens. This includes using clean, green products in your body, on your body, and around your body in your environment inside and outside your home.
To feel better and live longer, cancer patients need whole person cancer care. With quality providers, other guides, and resources, cancer patients can create their own integrative cancer care plans. The maps to optimal health and healing develop and evolve over time.
How can you better optimize your health and healing? Empower yourself into greater vitality with integrative cancer care for the whole person.