A Whole Person Health model is helpful to use to guide your decisions that will maximize your health and wellness. Whole Health© uses 5 aspects to address the whole person as mind, body and spirit are interconnected and function as one. The 5 aspects include Physical, Emotional, Nutrition, Environment, and Spiritual. By understanding how these 5 aspects impact your health, well-being, purpose, happiness and longevity, you can choose the best sustainable health behaviors and lifestyle choices.This essay will give a brief overview of the 5 aspects as related to breast cancer prevention and recovery.
Physical: This aspect includes the body and all the systems. The hormonal and immune systems are relevant to recovery and prevention. The immune system is all throughout the body including the digestive track. Any kind of physical or emotional stress compromises the immune system and thus, your body’s ability to fight cancer cells. Be sure to get adequate sleep (7-8hrs), have a daily practice of ridding the body/mind of emotional stressors and make sure to get adequate protein, cholesterol, B vitamins, and vitamins D, E and A as according to the “grandfather of stress”, Hans Selye, these nutrients are depleted during stress.
Nutrition: Eating a whole foods diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables from all the colors of the rainbow maximizes the cancer fighting nutrients in plants. Avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates is important as research studies dating back to 2004 and as recently as 2014, found that foods with a high glycemic index accelerate the growth of breast tumors and cancerous cells in the body. One study found that breast cancer risk doubles with high carb intake. Avoid over processed and cooked foods that don’t give our cells the information and nutrients it needs.
Environmental: Avoiding estrogen mimics that could raise estrogen levels is important. Avoid BPA in plastics, canned foods and receipts. Limit or cut caffeine and alcohol, which can raise estrogen. Eat less red meat and dairy from conventionally raised animals. Eating more fiber helps to rid the body of excess estrogen.
Emotional: Emotions that are not expressed and stored in the body can limit the body’s ability to heal and/or maintain health. Feel your feelings, and then allow them to be heard, and watch as they slowly release. Be gentle on yourself and focus on self-care and self-love. If you have been diagnosed or are recovering and are local to the Chicago area, The Licorice Project is a wonderful resource of information and support. http://www.thelicoriceproject.com
Spiritual: A cancer diagnosis or risk brings up thoughts on the essential questions in life: Why am I here? Where will I go when I am gone? Perhaps you are reevaluating how you want to spend your time. Living your truth is essential for recovery and prevention. What are you passionate about? What do you need to let go of? It is also important if you are diagnosed and faced with a myriad of decisions to use this process as a way to get in touch with your needs and wants and not get persuaded into treatments that are based on fear or what everyone else is doing. Prioritize this aspect as it lays the foundation of your health.
Please contact me if you are interested in more information or guidance on how to integrate these ideas into your life.* ™©Whole Health Education and Coaching is a Trademark of the National Institute of Whole Health * ™© The five aspects of Whole Health is a copyright and trademark of the National Institute of Whole Health.