In the February 21 edition of What’s Up Yukon, I explained some important dietary factors in cancer prevention. However, current research suggests lifestyle and emotional factors are also important.

Emotional Factors

In recent years many books have been published that discuss how various diseases, including cancer, may be caused or aggravated by various emotional states. These emotional states may stem from our response to events from the past and are often residing in our bodies on a sub-conscious level.

Here is a list of a few of my favourite books on the topic of emotion and disease that are written by well-known doctors and health professionals:

Frontiers of Health by Dr. Christine Page illustrates health issues (including cancer) that show up in specific areas of the body, based on the chakra system. This book includes ideas on how to heal oneself based on the area of the body in question.

The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson looks at the sub-conscious mind and how emotional events from one’s past, small or large, can cause health issues. The book also describes various methods of self-healing.

Cancer Prevention Diet by macrobiotics pioneer Michio Kushi and co-author Alex Jack includes information on emotional states prominent in each type of cancer and ideas on how to deal with them to aid recovery.

These authors all believe that identifying and clearing negative emotional issues is imperative for disease prevention, including cancer. Alternative health practices such as energy work (reiki, acupuncture, etc.), psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can help address emotional blockages.

Journal writing, expressing your feelings on a daily basis, listening to (or learning to listen to) your intuition and encouraging a positive outlook within your family and social network can help you clear up emotional issues that may be affecting health.

Stress

Stress is another well-known and documented factor in overall health. Stress-reduction techniques are important and can include meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or simply having a good hobby.

Exercise

Exercise will increases lean-tissue mass which creates a cancer-fighting protein in our bodies called adiponectin. Adiponection also helps the body lose weight – and common thought is that obesity may increase susceptibility to cancer.

Exercise also reduces the amount of estrogen-producing fat cells in our bodies. High estrogen levels have recently been linked to cancer. A good source of information on this link is the National Cancer Institute, go to www.Cancer.gov and enter “estrogen” in the search window.

Our immune system has the capacity to eliminate renegade cancer cells and will deal with these mutations on a regular basis. Exercise helps circulates our immune system through the manual pumping of our muscles.

Detoxification and Cleansing

Toxins in our food and environment have a detrimental effect on our health. Elson M. Haas, MD, wrote in his book Staying Healthy with Nutrition that bi-yearly detoxifications are important and can be coupled with other detoxification methods for optimal results, such as using a sauna, using castor oil packs, getting daily fresh air and dry skin brushing.

A good integrative cancer prevention program includes not only dietary considerations but also lifestyle and emotional factors. If you or someone in your family is suffering from cancer, consider conducting a detailed analysis of emotional and lifestyle factors.

Amoree Briggs lives in the Yukon countryside with her family and has just completed her diploma in holistic nutrition.