How To Improves Immune Function in Women With Breast Cancer

Massages not only help you relax but have many other benefits such as supporting the healing process, boosting your energy levels, eases pain, lifts your mood and an over-all feeling of well-being. It is a “hands on” treatment meaning a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body. There are a variety of massages that go from gentle stroking (also known as effleurage) and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to a deeper more intense technique.

This is what happens while getting a massage. The therapist proceeds to massage soft tissue which transmits electrical signals to local areas of the body and also throughout the body. In the process, these signals help heal damaged muscle, improve circulation, detoxify by getting rid of waste products via the lymphatic system, boosts the immune system, reduces pain and creates a calming effect.

There is scientific evidence that shows how effective massage can be in reducing pain and improving quality of life in cancer patients, people with autism, back pain, atopic dermatitis, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder), bulimia, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and arthritis. It is also very useful for lowering blood pressure.

Now let’s spend a little time discussing breast cancer. The term “breast cancer” is when there is an abnormal growth of cells which come together to form one or more tumors in the breast. Both men and women can have breast cancer but as we are all aware of it does occur more in women. Statistics show that approximately 230,000 women and 2,300 men in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Breast cancer most commonly occurs in the cells of the ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobule to the nipple) known as ductal cancer but can also occur in the cells that line the lobules (milk-producing glands) known as lobular cancer. It can also occur in the fatty and fibrous tissues of the breast, although, this happens less frequently.

Another important fact is the main cause of breast cancer is when a mistake is made during cell division (a genetic abnormality). Abnormal cells inherited from your parents only cause 5-10% of cancers. The largest percentage 85-90% of breast cancers occurs because of the aging process (genetic abnormalities forming along the way).

Now that we have an overview of massage and breast cancer let’s check out this study.

Researchers investigated how effective massage could be on immune function and stress in women with breast cancer. They enrolled thirty women, 50 to 75 years of age with breast cancer undergoing 5 weeks of adjuvant radiation therapy.

The protocol was 15 women were to be administered massage in the form of a full-body light pressure effleurage treatment for 45 minutes, and the other 15 women – the control group – were given an equal amount of attention but no massage.

The results were the massage group experienced significant reduction in the deterioration of NK cell activity which occurs during radiation treatment while the control group did not. This translates into the massage was able to boost the women’s immune systems. The massage group also experienced decreased heart rate and blood pressure indicating they were less stressed than the control group.

These findings are great news for breast cancer patients and further studies should certainly be conducted. Massage is becoming more and more in the limelight as to how beneficial it can be with so many illnesses and let’s not forget how relaxing and absolutely wonderful it can feel!

Choose Your Snacks Wisely

snacks-foodSnacking can be good for you. These quick bites when chosen wisely can curb cravings, aid in preventing weight gain, help balance mood, and boost energy. For those with special dietary needs such as diabetes, getting a snack may not be as simple as it sounds. Though you may be eating three meals daily, if you are living with diabetes you may experience peaks and valleys of your blood sugar levels. Snacking can help minimize these ups and downs and prevent you from overeating.

Healthy snacks provide calories and energy at balanced levels. High sugar snacks will boost your energy in spurts—eat the snack, feel the energy boost, and in a relatively short period of time you feel yourself slowing down as your energy lags. In contrast the most beneficial snacks are lower in calories; contain natural sugar, and protein.

To help choose those snacks with benefits, it is important to pre-plan—make sure you have snack foods on hand, in the car or at work. Five-star snacks are lower in calories, fat, sodium and added sugar; they’re high in fiber and nutrients. It is important that the snack curbs the craving without leaving you wanting just a little more. The following includes general wise-snacking guidelines as well as options that are diabetes friendly.

General

Choose snacks such as the following that range between 200 and 300 calories or less. Remember this is a mini-meal, not a meal.

  • Pair fruit with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Pair fresh veggies like baby carrots or broccoli with 2 ozs. hummus
  • Greek-style yogurt plus 1 oz. of walnuts
  • Whole wheat crackers plus 1 oz. of low-fat cheese
  • Whole grain dinner roll plus one slice of deli turkey and one slice of low-fat cheese
  • Air-popped popcorn

Diabetes-Friendly Snacks

Plan for snacking by choosing suggested foods like the ones below. These options will curb your appetite and keep your blood sugar from spiking.

  • Choose fruits that are lower in natural sugar such as apples, melon or berries and be mindful of portion control. For whole fruits such as apples, choose smaller sizes or cut the fruit in half.
  • One half cup tuna salad plus 4 to 6 whole grain crackers
  • Cherry tomatoes or baby carrots with 2 ozs. of low-fat ranch dressing
  • One 6-inch four tortilla topped with 1 oz. of shredded low-fat cheese and 2 ozs. salsa
  • One half peanut butter sandwich-one slice of whole grain bread plus 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 3 cups of air-popped popcorn

We all enjoy a snack now and then, but the key is to choose snacks wisely and avoid overindulging on that mini-meal. The drive-through, fast track snack may satiate your want for a little something instantly, but remember by following the above suggestions you can enjoy well-being snacks that will make you feel good and energetic.

Take Away: Snacking has benefits for good health. Just remember to make wise snack choices in the recommended portion sizes.

How To Find Perfect Moisturizer By Skin Type

Not all moisturizers are the same, which is good because no two people have the same skin type! Each person has unique needs when it comes to the right face cream; one might have aging skin while another needs help with acne or oily skin. When you’re searching for a moisturizer or cream for your skin, you always want to search by skin type. Consider these tips on how to choose your moisturizer successfully.

Tip #1: Get to know the ingredients.

Very often when you search for moisturizers by skin type you’ll see some common ingredients in each product. These are typically best for treating your unique skin concerns, and you should learn the names so you can look out for them every time you shop.

For dry skin, look for various forms of oil that will add moisture back to the skin such as olive oil, which is a great, oil that grows from the olive tree. Witch hazel is commonly used in products for oily skin as it cleans and tightens pores. Ingredients like tea tree oil are also good for fighting acne, and you may see white willow bark extract in these products as well, since it works as an astringent and exfoliant.

Tip #2: Always choose pure ingredients.

A product can be designed for a certain skin type but if it doesn’t have pure ingredients, it could cause more harm than good. Many products you see at mass market retailers are priced cheaply simply because their ingredients are not pure! They may be watered down or a very poor imitation of an ingredient, which in turn means they want do their job as well. No matter how cheap they are, these impure ingredients make the product not worth the price. When you shop for any face cream, always look for ingredients that you can understand and that are pure and all natural.

Tip #3: Opt for a natural moisturizer.

No matter your skin type or tone, you always want to opt for natural moisturizer or face cream. Natural ingredients react more effectively with the skin’s cells and have less chances of irritating your skin.
Quality natural ingredients to look for when it comes to a moisturizer would include vitamin A, C, and E grape seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, oatmeal, honey, etc. You can also recognize names of natural ingredients, such as apple extract, cocoa butter, chamomile, and flaxseed. If you recognize the ingredients then you know it’s a natural moisturizer that will work better for your skin!

Most people have been made to believe that they should just run down to their local convenient store and purchase a face cream for their specific concerns, but most, if not all of those creams are loaded with chemicals. They may do the job in the short term, but in the long term that are simply not good for your skin. Take your time, shop around and found the right natural moisturizer for your skin type, because your skin deserves it.

Between Exercise and Blood Sugar

In short, carbohydrates are a source of energy.

I refer to carbohydrates as energy because that is what fuels your muscles. Before we get into specifics, I want to debunk a carbohydrate myth that causes “low carb” diets to fall short: not all carbohydrates are created equal!

Now, let’s talk differences.

Simple carbs are the quickest source of energy and the most easily digested. The glucose in your blood will increase and decrease rapidly, also know as a blood sugar spike and crash. Examples include maple syrup, honey, sugar, and soda.

Complex carbs have a structure that is harder to break down by the body and usually present with fiber; therefore, it is slower to digest, giving a more steady gradual increased and decreased supply of glucose to the blood. Examples include legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

So what are refined carbs?

Refining: the human process of changing food

Refining complex carbohydrates affect blood sugar the same way as simple carbohydrates. Using refined carbs in your body as fuel is like trying to keep a bonfire going all night with newspaper. On the other hand, using unrefined carbs in your body for fuel is like using slow burning logs to keep a bonfire going all night.

Quick-acting carbohydrates, AKA simple or refined, break down to glucose (energy) and move through your digestive system and into your bloodstream more quickly than a slow-acting (complex and unrefined) carbohydrate, such as brown rice. In your bloodstream, glucose sails the red sea and travels to different muscles knocking on the gate to be let in. The gatekeeper is this ugly troll named insulin (OK – I’m getting carried away with the metaphor, I like pirates OK!) that allows the glucose to pass or not pass into muscle island to deliver energy and power. On muscle island, if you invade through the gates too quickly, the locals will riot and there will be a quick and bloody finish. If you are too slow to act, the locals may catch on to your plan and overtake you.

That perfect timing for the most effective delivery of “power” is our goal.

When you exercise, the ugly insulin troll is more likely to open the gate for you so it is OK to have quick-acting carbo energy ready to deliver; but we still need Captain Blackbeard, or “protein and fat” to strategically slow our advances through the gate to make sure we have a well-timed execution (or as we like to call it – optimized exercise performance). Make sense?

So to recap:

Quick-acting source of carbs + source of protein and fat = stable blood sugar = optimized performance

Balanced blood sugar side effects may include:

  • Balanced moods (suppresses the Hangry (hungry + angry))
  • Improved sleep
  • Increase of energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Regulated hormones
  • Reduced sugar cravings