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24 Tips For Reducing Stress During Chemotherapy

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24 Tips For Reducing Stress During Chemotherapy

Undergoing chemotherapy can cause a lot of stress, but there are many ways to manage it. Here is a list of 24 stress reducing techniques to help get you through this difficult time.

Self-help reducing stress during chemotherapy

Prioritize your tasks

What needs to get done right now? What things can wait? If you are living with cancer, your day-to-day routine may have changed since before your diagnosis, and it’s important to prioritize what’s necessary.

Break them into smaller steps

Divide your task list into more manageable steps. You’ll find that you will get a lot more accomplished when you set small, realistic goals for yourself.

Concentrate on things you can control

While you may be able to treat your cancer with chemotherapy and cannabis, there are still things you will be unable to control with your diagnoses. It’s important not to let this overwhelm you.

Exercise

If you are physically capable of exercising, give it a try! Exercising releases endorphins, which are the body’s form of natural pain and stress relief.

Avoid negative coping mechanisms

When coping with cancer, it may be easy to fall into bad habits. Relieving stress with illicit drugs, alcohol, or overeating may seem comfortable at first, but it can take a toll on you in the long run.

Celebrate your success

Every once in awhile, stop what you’re doing and reward yourself for all of your hard work. Anything from going out for a nice meal to taking the night off to soak in a warm bath will do the trick.

Therapy

Animal assisted therapy

Who doesn’t love puppies? Animal assisted therapy can help you cope with both the physical and emotional stress of chemotherapy. Check out Healthline for more information.

Therapy

The goal of therapy is to help people “live happier, healthier, and more productive lives,” making it a great option for struggling cancer patients. Ask your physician for more information.

Physical therapy

While you might associate physical therapy with sports related injuries, it can help during cancer treatment as well. According to Cancer.net, physical therapists can “apply functional training, strengthening, fatigue-combating interventions… and relaxation techniques,” that are useful for those fighting cancer.

Spa

Though a trip to the spa doesn’t technically count as therapy, it can be extremely therapeutic. There are many spa resorts that have special treatment for cancer patients, and some are even free!

Energy

Tai chi and qi gong

The slow, deliberate movements and breathing techniques associated with tai chi and qi gong can help to relieve stress. These low-impact exercises can also be adjusted to accommodate your physical abilities.

Reiki sessions

Reiki is an ancient technique that focuses on redirecting energy to relieve pain, speed healing, improve sleep, and reduce stress. Though reiki does not treat cancer, it may help relieve some of the pain associated with chemotherapy.

Biofeedback

By using electrodes attached to your skin, biofeedback works towards helping you gain control of nonvoluntary functions and manage stress.

Yoga

According to WebMD, “Practicing yoga postures and controlled breathing exercises can help you manage stress and anxiety.” There are many different styles and levels of yoga suited for a variety of ages and abilities. Here is a chart to help you get started.

Identity

Visualize getting better

Even something as simple as just imagining yourself in remission can make you feel better. The American Cancer Association recommends not thinking about your illness as a healthy way to cope.

Read inspirational books

Getting advice from experts and hearing the stories of people who have been in similar situations may help give you the strength to keep fighting your own personal battle.

Be social

Instead of trying to cope with your illness completely on your own, it may be helpful to set aside some time to meet with loved ones and enjoy each other’s company.

Write in a journal

A journal is a good way to express yourself without reservation. Allow yourself time to write about any emotions you may be uncomfortable sharing with others.

Discover a new hobby

Hobbies are great for not only passing time, but also for making you feel accomplished. Things like learning a new language, playing an instrument, or picking up knitting can be highly rewarding.

Check out wigs, hats, scarfs, etc.

Chemotherapy may lead to hair loss and drastic changes in appearance can cause stress. To counteract this, try shopping for accessories that will highlight your personal style and make you feel confident.

Give yourself permission to be happy or sad

With or without cancer, it’s unrealistic to expect to be happy every day. Give yourself time to be sad, but don’t let it consume you; make sure you allow yourself time to be happy, too!

Community

Faith community

If you are religious, try connecting with people in your place of worship. The spiritual bond you share with members of your faith community may give you additional strength.

Cancer support groups

Sharing experiences and advice with those going through similar things will let you know that you are not alone in your battle with cancer. You can even find support groups online if you are uncomfortable with the idea of meeting in person.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You can’t do everything on your own, and there is no shame in asking for help. Friends and loved ones will be understanding of your circumstances, and getting their help for simple tasks can reduce your stress levels.

Sources:

http://www.cancercenter.com/community/thrive/managing-stress-and-cancer/

http://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/managing-emotions/managing-stress

http://blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2014/07/five-tips-for-managing-stress-during-cancer-treatment

http://guide2chemo.com/20-ways-to-take-care-of-yourself-during-chemo

Which methods work for you? Let us know by commenting below.

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

Medical patients often suffer from not sleeping well. We dug into recent studies to see if cannabis improves sleep. Here are five things you should know:

THC boosts melatonin

The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC has been shown to dramatically increase melatonin production, causing a spike up to four thousand times that of baseline levels. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and sleep.

Increase slow-wave sleep

According to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of San Diego, THC increases the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle, also known as ‘slow-wave sleep’ (SWS). Increased SWS has been linked to an increased reduction of beta-amyloid, the harmful neural protein associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other memory loss conditions.

Reduce REM

While cannabis is known for increasing SWS, it also reduces the fifth phase of sleep, commonly known as rapid eye movement (REM). Less REM means having less dreams, but there is yet to be any evidence of negative effects.

Treat sleep apnea

Cannabis’ sleep-inducing properties are an excellent natural remedy for those suffering from sleep apnea. This helps them to fall and stay asleep easier and with less interruption.

Reduce RBD in Parkinson’s Disease

By using a high-CBD cannabis before bed, you can lessen REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) effects such as tremors, violent movements, and nightmares. High-CBD cannabis has been found to be more effective than Levodopa, a prescription drug commonly prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s and onset-RBD.

More Information

Melatonin and marijuana (Lissoni, P., Resentini, M., and Fraschini, F. “Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol on Melatonin Secretion in Man.”)
Cannabinoids for medical use (Journal of American Medical Association)
Effect of drugs on sleep (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
THC effects on sleep & sleep during withdrawal (Europe PMC)
How Cannabis can help RBD in Parkinson’s (Vanwinkles.com)

Has cannabis had an affect on your quality of sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

Growing your own medicinal marijuana is a liberating experience. You control all the variables. You know exactly what is in the bud you are smoking. grow box is a discreet and easy way to grow marijuana indoors at home, freeing yourself from dependence on both doctor and dispensary.

Gain independence with a grow box

A grow box is like a tiny, camouflaged green house. It is a self-contained unit with soil or hydroponic growing medium, lights, filters and pumps. Just add seeds, electricity and voila! You are growing your own medicinal marijuana.

Choose the right marijuana strain for you

There are two important considerations when choosing a strain of medicinal marijuana to grow yourself:

Your Medical Requirements – Are you looking for a powerful sedative effect to help with your insomnia or a functional day-time smoke to relieve pain and lighten anxiety?

Your Growing Space – Choose small, bushy strains like Indica or hybrid seeds instead of a tall, leggy Sativa. For your first grow an auto-flowering marijuana variety is the best choice because they require very little care or expertise.

Grow enough marijuana to meet your needs

Grow boxes are available in all sizes. Several surveys in the UK, Canada and the US suggest that most medicinal marijuana patients use 1-3 grams per day, or about 2 ½ pounds per year.

Even the tiny PC Grow Box, which holds just two small plants, can produce two pounds of dried bud per year. The compact SuperBox allows you to grow 8 plants at once with annual yields of 7 pounds or more.

Grow your medicinal marijuana under lights

Marijuana grows best under lights that mimic natural sunlight. There are three common types of grow lights used in the cultivation of marijuana:

  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs)
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Most grow boxes use either CFL or full spectrum LED grow lights. HIDs don’t work well in the enclosed space of a grow box because they get too hot.

While you can grow small amounts of marijuana successfully using CFLs, high quality LED grow lights save electricity and produce the highest yields.

Obtain higher yields using hydroponics

A hydroponic system doesn’t use soil. Growing hydroponic marijuana is not as complex as it may sound.

Many grow boxes come with a simple hydroponic system already set-up. You simply add nutrients, which often come with the grow box, and water. You can even choose to grow marijuana with organic nutrients.

Grow marijuana naturally in soil

Some people prefer to grow marijuana as naturally as possible. The Earth Cab grow box series is one style of grow box designed for soil.

Grow a continuous supply of medicinal marijuana

Once you get started you don’t need new seeds for each growing cycle. You can propagate new marijuana plants by taking cuttings, called clones, of your favorite existing plant.

A dual chamber grow box has a special space for making clones. These grow boxes allow you to produce a constant supply of fresh buds.

Find the perfect grow box for your situation

For the many medicinal growers discretion is essential. Look for a specially designed stealth grow box.

You can also choose a fully automated grow box that allows you to leave town for two weeks and come home to healthy plants.

Use this detailed review of the best grow boxes of 2015 to find the perfect set-up for you.

Grow medicinal marijuana at home with a grow box

Are you considering growing at home? Let us know why in the comments below!

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How Edibles Are Made

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How Edibles Are Made

Since there are so many manufacturers throughout the US, cannabis-infused foods are produced in a variety of different ways. Read up on how your favorite edibles are made and learn how to make your own medicinal treats:

They’re usually made with trim

Trim contains the leftover leaf matter from the cannabis flower that growers usually throw away. It’s less potent than bud, but it’s full of trichomes and can be used in large quantities to produce a stronger effect.

Cannabis is decarboxylated

Decarboxylation activates THC and other cannabinoids to result in a more potent product. To achieve this, cannabis needs to be heated either through smoking, vaping, or baking. The flower is typically cooked for a long time over low heat before it’s used to make edibles. Eating raw cannabis won’t have a very strong effect, and it won’t taste good.

Cannabinoids are extracted

Edibles are infused with highly concentrated cannabis extracts. Depending on the extraction method, edibles can contain either tinctures, canna oil, or cannabutter. If you’re wondering how a specific edible was made, ask your budtender or contact the manufacturer.

Canna oil and cannabutter are common

THC is fat soluble, so cannabis is often cooked with oil or butter. When heated, the activated cannabinoids absorb into these ingredients. Check out this recipe for cannabis cooking oil and this one for cannabis-infused butter. Or try making cannabis coconut oil.

Tinctures are used in hard candies

Some edibles don’t go through a baking or cooking process, so tinctures are added instead of flower. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts made from a solvent like alcohol, vinegar, or glycerol. Rather than passing through the digestive system like cannabinoids in most edibles, these are absorbed by the body and can result in a quicker effect.

Have you ever made your own edibles? Tell us in the comments below.

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