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Cancer Nutrition Therapy in Preventing and Beating Cancer

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"The time has come to put major emphasis on the soil." i.e., change the underlying food, eating and drinking habits of humans to improve your own immune system!

2004 Isaiah Fidler, MD, Univ. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

 

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)- What is it? Why it works!

In short, PNI is the psychological application of the interaction between the brain's psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the body. Evidence for nervous system–immune system interactions exists at several biological levels. The immune system and the brain talk to each other through signaling pathways. The brain and the immune system are the two major adaptive systems of the body. Two major pathways are involved in this cross-talk: the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis  (HPA axis) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

PNI can be considered the integration of behavior, medicine and spirituality in cancer care. At Brava Center: New Solutions and all major cancer treatment centers look to Mental Health Counselors and Psychologists trained as psychoneuroimmunologists as important members of the care team because the ambiguity of diagnosis and the extent of treatment can be exhausting for the cancer patient. At Brava Center we believe the PNI approach joins psychiatry, psychology, nutrition, movement, social work and spirituality into one process in the continuity and quality of care with the following therapeutic treatment:

 

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is highly suggested for those with cancer because it helps them come to terms with diagnosis and deal with grief, relationships and lifestyle changes. A counselor or psychologist, according to the National Cancer Institute and Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Roundtable, will often engage the patient in one-on-one as well as group therapies that will help to bring an outlet and voice to underlying issues -- anxiety, depression and stress -- that can exasperate immunological functioning and effectiveness of treatment, and can compromise survivability.

Complementary and Relaxation Therapies

Complementary and relaxation therapies are abundant in cancer centers today. Following years of research on mind-body connections to disease, doctors recognized the need to incorporate soul-healing and spiritual components to the treatment of cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers of America, as well as others, employ numerous techniques, from stress management and relaxation therapies to guided imagery for managing treatment. To boost the spirits of cancer patients undergoing treatments, they also offer support groups both for the individual and their family care providers, laughter/humor therapy and energy field techniques.

Spirituality

At Brava Center: New Solutions our Licensed Mental Health Counselors and Psychologists serve as "spiritual counselors" to the cancer patient. It is not uncommon to have chaplains or other religious and spiritual guides on board to help keep the individual from feeling disappointed in his faith, let down by a higher power or out of tune with his beliefs. As seen with complementary and relaxation therapies our counselors understand the importance of hope, optimism, balance, culture, rituals and practice to the provision of quality cancer care to assist with one's personal battle with cancer.

To read about scientific research cancer linking psychological stress with immune dysregulation, click here.

 

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