Natural Therapies to Fight Cancer
Far Infra-red Saunas - these are like the traditional Swedish wood saunas except they are heated with infra-red lamps. The temperature is around 59 degrees and you typically start to sweat after about 10 minutes, spending about 30 minutes in there in total. This is a good way to detox the body and relax. Studies have shown that detox from an infrared sauna is 7 to 10 times greater than a conventional sauna with the average person sweating out 20% toxins and 80% water! In a conventional sauna this is averaged at 3% toxins and 97% water. I have used the sauna at the Skin Gym if which you can read my full review of the infra-red sauna here. You can also buy one for the home on Amazon, and if you don't have space in your home for the wooden cubicle, they also have infra red sleeping bags.
Intermittent fasting – to detox the body and boost the immune system, I try to fast between 8pm and midday. Before eating brunch I try to flush the body with as much hot water & lemon and herbal teas as possible while taking supplements that are best taken on an empty stomach, e.g. IP6. The Economist wrote an article about starving mice while providing them with high fat, low sugar diets high in nutrients and this is a good article from the Scientist on the benefit of intermittent fasting diets.
That said, sometimes medications can make me nauseous if taken on an empty stomach, so I don't always fast. I will definitely consider fasting before, during and after chemo however.
Exercise – every day to bring the heart rate up, flood the body with oxygen (cancer cells breathe anaerobically), sweat (detox) and release positive endorphins. Walk, swim, yoga/pilates. Great article from the Economist - "a run a day keeps the tumour at bay"
and also one written more simply in the The Guardian:
Epsom Salt Baths - 1 long hot bath every day with Epsom salts. This is a great way to absorb magnesium as proven by a study from the University of Birmingham. You can buy Epsom salts on iherb, or for cheaper in Hong Kong, they are sold at Fanda on Des Voeux Road. Or, better still, visit Float On (Caine Road, Hong Kong) where you can bathe for 60-90 minutes in huge pods of water containing 500kg of Epsom salts. Read my full review of Float On here.
I have used mainly Do Terra and Neal's Yard Oils. For a Do Terra representative in Hong Kong, please email Kirsten Zaki on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diffuse oils daily based on mood/needs but typically:
Lemongrass & rosemary – makes the house smell like a spa!
Lavender – when trying to sleep
Wood oils e.g. cedar and sandalwood -when kids are unruly!
On Guard/Thieves – to ward off germs if lots of guests in house
Morning - 5-10 minute hot bath with essential oils. I choose an oil depending on my mood, sometimes Do Terra “Passion” or “Cheer” or lemongrass & rosemary. I find all of these uplifting…
Rub few drops of frankincense oil over the body in problematic areas, in my case around the sacrum bones and the GI tract including liver (although really I don’t think this is effective. Better to ingest boswellia extract)
Rub few drops of Do Terra “On Guard” (similar to Young Living “Thieves”) around the neck in an attempt to stave off germs – I did this during chemo only
Rub few drops of lavender oil on any bruises
Rub few drops of melaleuca oil on any spots/blemishes. I successfuly got rid of my son's wart with this.
Massage rosemary or ylang ylang oil into the scalp to stimulate hair growth – stopped this now my hair is growing back
Rub "Deep Blue" from Do Terra on any achey areas, or put 10 drops in the bath.
Evening: very hot bath for 20 minutes with Epsom salts and essential oil of my choice, usually lavender before bed… The heat of the bath and Epsom salts help you sweat and detox.
Foot massage/reflexology - I am a loyal customer of Gao's on Wellington Street in Central, Hong Kong.
Reiki Healing - I see Purvin at the Shakti Circle, 1 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong. As soon as I was diagnosed, numerous friends told me I MUST see this superstar healer ! She is a great counsellor also. I spend 15-20 minutes talking to her before I lie down when she performs her reiki healing. I usually fall asleep and leave rested, relaxed and more positive.
Acupuncture - I have seen Dr. Troy Sing at Healthwise, Des Voeux Road, Central. This is helpful for peripheral neuropathy (numbness in hands & feet post chemo), relaxation, plus Dr Sing has been recently studying acupuncture with regard to its benefits for cancer patients. A recent study published also shows acupuncture can reduce pain from bone metastases.
8 hours sleep every night and naps when necessary. I like to practice good sleep hygiene, which means limited "blue light'" just before bedtime (easier said than done!) and total darkness to encourage efficient melatonin production. A long bath before bed is also helpful.
Meditation - I actually have barely done this since diagnosis but I keep meaning to! I have now downloaded the free Headspace app so have started with that and I also like Buddhify where you can select meditations based on your mood, time period etc. They start at just 3 minutes long.
Deep breathing exercises. I do these while hiking, in the bath, and whenever I am anxious waiting for doctor appointments or scan results.