“Mindfulness” is a hot topic in Western psychology – increasingly recognised as an effective way to increase fulfilment, reduce stress, raise self-awareness, enhance emotional intelligence, and undermine destructive emotive, cognitive, and behavioural processes. While many people think mindfulness means meditation, this is not the case. Mindfulness is a mental state of openness, awareness and focus, and meditation is just one method amongst hundreds, of learning to cultivate this state.
At SPDT 4 LIFE we use the term mindfulness to refer to our relaxation and stress relieving activities such as yoga, qi gong, meditation, and colouring. As well as any other activity that helps our patients relax and makes them happy – whether that be laughing and chatting with friends, going for a calming walk, doing a crossword, listening to music or reading a book.
Stress is a major contributing factor for cancer. The neurotoxins, hormones and cortisol released during times of stress can wreak havoc on the body. It directly effects the gut microbiome and has many negative flow on effects. As with all of our holistic therapies at SPDT 4 LFE, we focus on replacing cancer-enhancing habits, with cancer-fighting ones and stress is no different. We educate patients on the dangers of stress and the consequences it has on their health and teach them ways to eliminate it.
We focus on mental, emotional, spiritual health and teaching people to find their joy. Laughing and being happy encourages healthy hormones to be released and promotes a positive outlook. This is very important for cancer patients undergoing treatment. AT SPDT 4 LIFE a positive attitude and all that entails, is much preferred to a negative attitude.
Counselling is prescribed for all patients at the beginning of treatment, to educate them on the importance of eliminating stress, to teach them tools to help them relax and to help them identify ways to find their joy. For some ‘their joy’ might be going fishing, joining a book club, going to a movie or playing with a pet. Everyone is different and will prefer different combination of things. Ongoing counselling is also available for patients who feel they need it on a regular basis.
Research shows that those of us that have meaningful relationships with other people (or animals), can live happier, healthier and longer lives. That being the case, we will always encourage our patients to have these interactions where possible and offer assistance to those who may need help in this area, if that is something that is missing.
At SPDT 4 LIFE, yoga, qi gong, meditation and other classes are held regularly and relaxation time is allocated as part of each patient’s tailored protocol for other mindfulness activities of their choosing. Massage and acupuncture are also available as part of our mindfulness therapy. Yet another way that our team is leading the way in holistic cancer therapies.