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6 Ways to Practice Spiritual Wellness While  Fighting Cancer

Spiritual self-care offers many benefits to people with cancer. Even if you’re not religious,  spiritual practices can give you a sense of peace and purpose, which can be invaluable  when you’re navigating a frightening diagnosis. According to the National Cancer Institute,  studies show that spiritual practices may decrease negative emotions, lower blood  pressure, reduce the risk of substance abuse, and increase positive feelings for cancer  patients. Here are some tips from Restorative Acupuncture to help you build spiritual  wellness into your cancer self-care plan. 

1. Create a Holistic Treatment Plan 

Spiritual self-care is just one element of holistic cancer treatment. Holistic cancer care goes  beyond the therapies recommended to fight the cancer itself, like chemotherapy and 

surgery. Because cancer also affects your emotional, mental, and spiritual health, The Well  Co. notes that it’s important to focus on your mind and spirit in addition to your body.  

Be aware of what you’re putting into your body, too. The anti-inflammatory diet could be  helpful at reducing pain and it relies predominantly on whole fruits, vegetables, and whole  grains. Keep healthy foods in your kitchen to reduce the urge to snack on processed foods  that can make pain worse and fill you up on empty calories. Let your diet support your  healing, not work against it. 

It’s important to note that this does not replace or diminish the need for conventional  medicine. Traditional medical treatments are proven to effectively fight cancer. If, however,  your cancer isn’t responding to recommended treatments, participating in a clinical trial  might be helpful. Clinical trials are designed to determine the safety of new treatments  before introducing them as treatment options. You can search online for clinical trials  based on your particular diagnosis. For example, if you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia,  look for trials aimed at bone marrow transplants, stem cell transplants, and biological  treatments. 

2. Build a Yoga Practice 

Yoga is a great introduction to spiritual self-care. Your yoga practice can be as spiritual or  secular as you want! Many people incorporate elements of meditation and mindfulness into  their yoga practice, generating greater awareness of self and one’s body. Practicing yoga is  an opportunity to look inwards and notice how your body feels throughout different  movements. This can train your mind to focus on what’s happening in the present moment  instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. 

3. Try Acupuncture Treatments 

Acupuncture can be a helpful complementary therapy for people undergoing cancer  treatment. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to  stimulate energy flow and help alleviate symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and nausea.  

Acupuncture is believed to help bring balance to the body and can also help reduce stress  and anxiety.  

While it is not a replacement for traditional cancer treatments, acupuncture can be a  valuable addition to a patient’s overall care plan, helping improve their quality of life  during a challenging time. Let Restorative Acupuncture help you get some relief during  your treatments.

4. Pick Up Meditation 

According to Verywell Health, many cancer centers have started offering meditation as an  alternative cancer treatment due to its many benefits for patients. Practicing meditation  may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, alleviate chronic pain, and improve your  energy levels.  

To set the stage for meditation at home, it’s important to optimize your living space for a  calm and relaxing atmosphere. Remove sources of stress and anxiety like clutter and  disorganized spaces, so be intentional about decluttering, cleaning, and even bringing in a  little bit of Mother Nature with houseplants and artwork of nature scenes. 

The best thing about meditation is that anyone can practice it at any time. It’s free,  accessible, and incredibly rewarding! 

5. Practice Mindfulness Throughout the Day 

Your spiritual practice doesn’t have to stop with regular yoga or meditation sessions. Try to  apply what you learn in these sessions to your daily life. Get in the habit of practicing  mindfulness as you go about your day, whether you’re traveling to a doctor’s appointment,  doing chores, or eating dinner.  

Remember to check in with your body from time to time. Notice where you’re feeling  tension or pain and try to accept it instead of struggling against it. Research shows that  mindfulness can change the way our brains perceive pain so that it’s more bearable. 

6. Spend Time in Nature 

Being outdoors has great benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing, so try to spend  some time outside every day. If you live in a neighborhood that is walkable, take advantage  and walk around the block or neighboring parks each day. If you’d like to take your time  with nature to the next level, consider forest bathing too. 

Forest bathing is an excellent practice in mindfulness. Simply walking in a forest can  prompt your nervous system to calm down, relieving stress and the uncomfortable  symptoms associated with it. Because stress hormones can compromise your immune  system, create tension, and zap your energy, anything you can do to relieve stress will  support your cancer treatment. 

To get started with this spiritual practice, Healing Forest suggests finding a safe natural  space where you can walk slowly and in silence. Focus on the sights, sounds, smells, and  feelings of the forest around you as you practice controlling the direction of your attention.  Most importantly, leave your expectations behind. Observe what’s going on around you and  how it makes you feel instead of trying to force anything. You’ll feel calm, content, and  invigorated when you’re finished! 

Care for Your Whole Self 

Cancer treatment is rough. Practicing self-care can help you better cope with the symptoms  of your disease and the side effects of your treatment, so you can maintain a high quality of  life during your illness. Try integrating elements of spirituality into your self-care regimen  to get the most out of your practice. You’re bound to notice a difference!