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Health & Healing

Health is the free flow of energy through the body and can be achieved through an ever evolving mind, body, spirit balance or equilibrium.

Your body has incredible untapped potential to heal, that potential lies in a place of peace, deep inside you. It is always there, always accessible. Silence unlocks the body's innate capacity to heal and helps you move towards greater inner peace, guidance and well-being.

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Power to Change Interview

I recently wrote a chapter in a book called Power to Change.  It includes my chapter - 5 P's to Making Life Enhancing Changes as well as chapters from 18 other experts in various modalities of creating change. 

In addition to outlining how to facilitate change, I answer the question - 'why do people often wait until they have a life-threatening diagnosis, like cancer, to make life-enhancing changes?'. The 5 P's are: Pain, Power, Permission, Passion and Purpose.  Please use this link to listen to my interview: http://www.thepowertochangetelesummit.com/audioseries.htm

 

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The CancerShift Blog

Helping you achieve fear-free living.

Stories of hope and tips on shifting from fear and confusion to greater courage, love and deep healing.

Thursday
Mar302017

Anti-cancer Tip #2 Less than 8 is not enough!

How many hours of sleep are you getting per night on a regular basis? If it is less than 8 to 9 hours in total darkness, then you are likely paying the price. Research on sleep deprivation consistently shows a negative impact on mood, mental sharpness and physical dexterity, with mood being the most affected of the three. Sleep loss has also been shown to affect your metabolism and can increase the risk of obesity as it changes how your body processes and stores carbohydrates, and it alters levels of hormones that affect your appetite.

Rest Time is Healing Time!

It is during deep sleep (and meditation) that your body's natural intelligence can take over and do the healing, cleansing, restoring, rebuilding and rejuvenating work the body desperately needs to create or maintain a healthy state - so proper sleep is even more important for cancer patients and thrivers.

Impact on the immune system

Importantly, studies have also shown the impact of partial sleep deprivation (when the subject is deprived of only one stage of sleep) on the immune system. Here is a quote from a study published in the in 1996 (FASB Journal 10):

These data implicate sleep in the modulation of immunity and demonstrate that even a modest disturbance of sleep produces a reduction of natural immune responses and T cell cytokine production.

The study focused on loss of sleep during the all important early part of the night (10pm and 3am) and showed the suppression of natural killer cell activity, both as it relates to the number of cells and the functioning of the cells. Thankfully, the levels returned to normal after a recovery night sleep.

Key Sleep Periods

Normally, the body starts to secrete melatonin, a powerful neurotransmitter, between 9:30 and 10:30pm - but only if there is darkness as its production stops when you are exposed to light - and reaches a peak from 1 to 2am (this will vary by individual and decreases with age). So if you are always watching TV, reading or on your computer between 9:30 and 10:30pm, then your pineal gland will not secrete melatonin and you may not to feel sleepy, even if your body needs the rest!

Melatonin Rocks!

The benefits of melatonin are quite incredible - it is a very powerful antioxidant, it boosts the immune system, helps with memory and is a major influencer in the modulation of estrogen. When melatonin production is low, for example due to night-time light exposure, it cannot play its important role of decreasing night-time production of estrogen (a sex hormone produced by men and women). Steriodal estrogen (used in hormonal replacement therapy) is now listed as a known human carcinogen and plays a role in the development of several types of cancer (1). So low levels of melatonin resulting in higher levels of estrogen could be increasing your risk of cancer or slowing your recovery if you are being treated for an estrogen related cancer.

By continually going to sleep after 10:30pm you are creating conditions similar to jet lag because your sleep/wake cycle becomes out of sync with the natural circadian rhythms that are controlled by the dark and light phases of a 24 hour period. This means you are throwing off the hormonal cycles of many important functions in the body.

Liver Detox Work

The two hours before midnight are when the liver is doing some major detoxing and if it is not able to do its job effectively, because you are not sleeping or you ate a big meal just before going to sleep, many functions of the body are negatively impacted. Toxins can accumulate causing other health challenges such as chronic inflammation which is now linked to many diseases including cancer and heart disease.

12 Tips for Restorative Sleep:

  1. Get to sleep by 9:30 or 10pm to stay in harmony with your natural circadian rhythms.
  2. Get 8 to 9 hours sleep at least 5 nights per week. It is not always easy to get that much sleep but the effort will pay off during your waking time when you will have more energy, vitality, focus and feel more able to be productive and happy!
  3. No electrons 60 minutes before bed.TV, iPads, computers and cell phones all stimulate you with their light and activity. Allow your body and brain an hour to wind down from electronics if you have sleep issues.
  4. Sleep in a dark room – it your room is not dark than buy some blinds that block out the light or a simple eye cover works wonders. I recently bought this one at Winners for $6 and it is comfortable and allows you to open and close your eyes while you are wearing it. A great investment for everyday use and especially for traveling when you don’t control your sleeping environment.
  5. Exercise no later than 7pm – except gentle yoga.
  6. Eat a light evening meal. Eat regular meals to keep your body on schedule but try to eat less in the evening (having your larger meal at lunch is ideal) as late night digestion interferes with the production of melatonin and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
  7. Avoid ‘before bed’ snacks. If you are hungry try a small piece of fruit that will be digested in 20 minutes. I cut out snacks before bed recently and found it made a big difference in terms of how long it takes me to fall asleep and I wake up fewer times in the night.
  8. Avoid stimulants (ex. coffee, tea, green tea, chocolate) in general but especially in the afternoon and evening.
  9. Avoid alcohol as it may help you fall asleep but research shows that it also disturbs your sleep and reduces that amount of REM, which is thought to be very restorative sleep.
  10. Guided meditations may help you relax and drift off into a deep sleep. Here is a link to my Sweet Dreams guided meditation that you can try for free. Click on this link to purchase it. Please use the coupon code: Sleep for 50% off Sweet Dreams or my Getting Meditating Bundle.
  11. Write things down before bed. Keep a note pad close by and jot things down to get them off your mind.
  12. Pillow routine. Have a short but consistent ritual you adhere to when your head hits the pillow. I do a minute or two of breath work (inhale for 4, exhale for 6, alternating nostrils), then I say some affirmations and pick what I was most grateful for during that day. A great way to drift off with nice thoughts that will continue to percolate in your subconscious mind as you enjoy a sound night’s sleep!

Bonne Nuit!

Jackie

Thursday
Mar302017

5 Anti-cancer Tips you may NOT want to Know About!

Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing about health tips that may challenge you and cause you to reevaluate some of the things you do on a daily basis. This may be a bit uncomfortable because we are all creatures of habit! You may decide to adopt or reject the tips but I believe that knowledge is empowering so I want to share what I have learned about some controversial health topics to help you make informed decisions.

Tip #1: Reconsider your Underarm Protection!

This tip is about antiperspirants and deodorants – how they work and what you may want to consider when making product choices. This information is not meant to scare you but rather increase your awareness and give you options to consider.

As you likely know, antiperspirants help block the sweat to keep you dry. Like deodorants, they also coat the skin with antiseptics so that if you do sweat the bacteria is neutralized to reduce potential odors. Some chemicals to watch out for include aluminum (in antiperspirants), parabens and fragrances (in both products).

Aluminum is used in antiperspirants because when combined with moisture it helps block the sweat glands so you stay dry. The armpit has many sweat glands and lymph nodes that may be affected. A 2011 study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology showed increased levels of aluminum in breast fluids.

The data presented here showing higher levels of Aluminum in Cancer NAFs (nipple aspirate fluid) than in NoCancer NAFs opens the possibility that increased levels of this metallo-estrogen (metals capable of binding to cellular estrogen receptors and then mimicking the actions of physiological estrogens) in the breast microenvironment could contribute to the development of breast cancer.(1)

Another study done in 2012 sited Our observations do not formally identify aluminum as a breast carcinogen, but challenge the safety ascribed to its widespread use in underarm cosmetics.’(2)

Aluminium also acts like Xenoestrogen in the body and can interfere with estrogen. Estrogen is a female hormone that can cause breast cells (both normal and cancerous) to grow and divide. Exposure to estrogen has been shown to be one of the primary influencers in terms of the development of breast cancer. A 2003 study out of England sited:

'Most established risk factors for breast cancer in humans probably act through hormone-related pathways, and increased concentrations of circulating oestrogens (the terms for estrogen in England) have been found to be strongly associated with increased risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women.’(3)

And a 2002 meta-analysis study looking at the results of nine studies on sex hormones and breast cancer cited ‘The main finding of our study was that postmenopausal women with relatively high serum concentrations of sex hormones had a roughly twofold higher risk for breast cancer than did postmenopausal women with relatively low serum concentrations of sex hormones.’(4)

Parabens are used as a preservative to help maintain the effectiveness of antiseptics, often in antiperspirants and deodorants, and can mimic or interfere with estrogen production in the body. A 2012 study showed the presence of one or more types of parabens in 99% of all breast tumour tissue samples.(5) In the study, the parabens were found to be intact which means they had not been ingested and processed by the liver but rather absorbed directly into the skin.

The parabens were not likely absorbed solely from underarm products as they are also found in many cosmetic products (lotions, sunscreens, eye make-up) that women use on a daily basis. Although the level of parabens in any given product may not be harmful, with all the personal care products you use daily there may be an accumulation that over time may become an issue.

Fragrances used in most underarm products are not natural and personal care products with fragrance are generally rated high in toxicity on the SkinDeep website.This website ranks the toxicity of thousands of consumer brand name products so it is a great source of information when you want to choose a product or check to see if what you are using is considered safe. Make sure you look closely at the description of the product as the same brand can have products with low toxicity ratings and some with higher levels.

The skin is the largest organ of protection and defense however it can also let toxins like aluminum, parabens and fragrances into your tissues. Knowing what is in your underarm protection and how it may affect your body is crucial to making informed choices.

A final thought... let your body sweat!

Everyone knows that sweating helps regulate body temperature but it also plays a role in the detoxification process. Your sweat is made up of components (mostly water, salt and traces of metabolic waste products) also found in your urine. So it is not logical to consider that blocking sweat glands and interfering with the body’s natural cleansing and cooling process through the use of antiperspirants may not be the best thing for your overall health?

Obviously personal care products are a personal choice. I like to try to avoid using chemicals if there are natural, affordable solutions available that give acceptable results. Pharmacies, health food or natural product stores carry many deodorants without toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances. Keeping in mind that moderation is key, you may want an antiperspirant around the house to use once in awhile when it is really important for you to not sweat (like when you are giving a big presentation). Otherwise the natural alternatives coupled with increased water consumption and avoiding processed foods should keep you feeling fresh and give you greater peace of mind.

The next tip will be sent out shortly, if you are not signed up for my blog please do so here and you will receive the next tip in your inbox.

Blessings,
Jackie

Friday
Sep092016

Hemp - not just for breakfast anymore!

Today I want to talk to you about one of the most powerful super foods, something you may want to include in your daily diet. Hemp hearts, raw shelled hemp seeds, are unmatched in nature for their balance of proteins, essential fatty acids (the omega's) and most minerals with only traces of carbohydrates, saturated fats and sugar. The main benefits of hemp hearts include helping to:

  • Keep you regular
  • Provide sustained energy
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Control weight gain
  • Increase your mineral intake (such as iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamine)

Studies have shown that they also reduce inflammation and improve circulation, two important factors in the cure and prevention of many diseases, including cancer.

So how much, how and when should you eat hemp seeds? I put a tablespoon in my smoothie every

morning. You can also sprinkle them on yogurt, toast, cereal, add them to soup or salad like you would nuts or other seeds or even on your desserts! They have a nice texture and slightly nutty flavour. I suggest starting with one tablespoon and see how your body reacts. Taking too much may cause loose stool so you want to start slowly and see what the ideal quantity is for you - likely between 1 and 4 tablespoons per day. I would not recommend eating them after dinner or the energy boost they provide may interfere with your sleep.

I hope that you will experience a notable change in your energy level as a result of eating hemp hearts on a daily basis!

Enjoy and until next time live each day with peace, vitality and passion!
Jackie

PS you can buy hemp hearts in large quantities at Costco or at your local health food store

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