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Sound Wellness for Managing Stress

by Sharon Carne, Founder of Sound Wellness

There is a great deal of talk about stress these days. There’s a good reason for that. It is the underlying cause of up to 90% of visits to the doctor. That makes it a serious health problem.
What is stress?

Stress is your body’s normal response to an external stimulus that makes you feel threatened or uncomfortable. It is as normal as breathing. It’s your body’s natural defense mechanism and it makes no difference whether the threat is real or imagined.
Hormones are released to put you in a state of high alert. Your heart beats faster increasing blood pressure, your breath quickens filling your blood with more oxygen, your muscles tighten as they ready themselves for action, and your senses become sharper.
These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, quicken your reaction time, and sharpen your focus.
This is really useful if you have to write an exam, give an important presentation at work, are participating in a sporting competition or if you are in danger.
But once the test is over, the presentation is done, or the sports event or danger has passed, the hormone levels return to normal, and your body relaxes.
Our bodies aren’t designed to experience stress for an extended period of time. And the consequences of extended stress affect every part of your life.
The hormones should be gone from your system in 90 seconds. That’s the physical process.
But, these hormones can also be released over and over again by our thoughts and emotions.
We do it all the time. It’s called worry, or fear, or anxiety.
For those who are in treatment for or recovering from cancer, there is some evidence that psychological stress can have an effect on how a tumor grows and spreads.
Some of this information is available on the National Cancer Institute website in an article called "Psychological Stress and Cancer."
The good news

There are many ways to reduce the symptoms and effects of stress.
Because of our intimate wiring for sound – at all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – most of us intuitively reach for sound or music to reduce stress.
The human body is a natural resonator for sound. Let’s take a closer look at a few examples of our wiring for sound:

    1.   Sound moves through the more fluid parts of your body four and a half times faster than it moves through the air. And twelve times faster through your bones.

    2.   Rhythm changes your heartbeat, breathing and brainwaves. This is called entrainment. The music playing in the grocery store changes your heartbeat. And you can’t turn off this response.

    3.   Hearing is the first sense that develops in the fetus. Sound stimulates the growth of the nervous system. Throughout your life, sound continues to stimulate your nervous system.

    4.   Hormones are released whenever we play music or sing together – feel good hormones, hormones that bond us together into communities and hormones that help keep us healthy.

There are so many simple ways to use music and sound to reduce stress, create more focus, enhance creativity and make your days easier.
One way is to use recorded music. KNOWING exactly what music to choose – the music that works for you (we are all different in our response to music) – takes common sense and intuition to a whole new level of EFFECTIVENESS in managing stress.
Have you ever put on your favorite piece of music after a tough day?
Do you listen to music while driving to or from work?
A good friend of my husband’s listens to hard rock on the way home from work. But it really bugged him when he started his car in the morning when this hard rock blasted from the radio. For a long time he couldn’t figure out who had been messing with his radio until he figured out that it was him!
He intuitively found that the low bass and heavy beat helped him discharge the stress after work. But he really likes light classical music in the morning to help him focus for the day.
Science has shown that stress causes an elevated heart rate – and along with it, high blood pressure. Science has also shown that music can alter your heart rate – the right music can slow your heartbeat in minutes.
Music with low sounds and slow rhythms creates relaxation – because it slows down your heartbeat, brain waves and breathing.
If you need energizing or help with concentration, look for music with faster rhythms and high sounds. Sounds like flutes, clarinets and even birds charge the mind, helping you to become more focused and productive.
Having practical and effective ways to manage too much stress helps you to reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of stress on the body. This can be as easy as having the right kind of background music on as you work or play.
The right choice of music can:

  • Reduce cortisol in 10 minutes – cortisol is the "stress" hormone. Too much cortisol in the blood over a prolonged period causes many physical problems

  • Reduce anxiety

  • Slow heart beat

  • Slow breathing rate

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Effortlessly create the "relaxation response"

  • Boost the immune system

  • Reduce pain

Three of the healthiest sounds for the human being are the sounds of water, birds and wind.
The low sounds in water calm the nervous system, slow down your heartbeat lowering blood pressure, slow down your breathing and create a shift in brainwave state to the alpha state . . . a calming relaxation response.
In addition to the relaxation, the birdsong consists of high frequency sounds which charge and energize the mind.
And you never know when a bird is going to sing. It’s totally unpredictable. Your brain loves patterns and constantly looks for them. But the brain can’t find any patterns in birdsong.
The result is your mind becomes alert, focused and productive at the same time your body is relaxed with the sounds of the water.
This is a great sound to have in the background when you need to stay focused.
I love this sound so much that I created my own audio track of birdsong and gently bubbling water that I call, “Woodland Song.”
Here’s another way to bring the simplicity of healing sound into your everyday life. This time, using the most powerful healing tool you have available to you – your own voice.
We all sigh when we are upset. It’s an automatic response every one of us has. Moans and groans are sounds that come from the body instinctively.
All of these natural sounds of the body actually stimulate the brain to release neurochemicals and endorphins that help the body heal itself or manage pain.
What a really good sigh ACTUALLY does is stimulate the brain to release endorphins that help your body reduce stress, heal or manage pain.
You can MAXIMIZE the EFFECTIVENESS of a sigh by using your voice consciously.
Your own voice is the most powerful healing tool you have. Your voice carries every frequency of your body. Your voice resonates every cell of your body with every sound that you make. You have it with you all the time and it costs you nothing to use. And the best part – it creates an instant response in the body, mind and emotions and spiritual connection.
Try this.
Put your hands on your upper chest. Feel the bones of your sternum and ribs under your palms. Take a deep breath. Feel the air in the bottom of your lungs. Now release the air with a long ahhhh. Like a waterfall . . . the way you would say ahhhh when you say, “Ahhhh, what a cute puppy!”
To maximize the effect of the sigh, start the sigh around the middle of your vocal range and let it drop into the low range of your voice as you sigh. When you sigh in this way, the sound vibrations in your body and the resulting health benefits are focused and amplified.
This is common sense stress reduction that you can do anywhere, anytime!
And it only takes a few seconds.
To learn more, I invite you to drop in for a visit at Become a member – registration is free, and explore the articles, watch the videos, and enjoy the many free downloads, including the track of birdsong and water I talked about earlier. Or inspire your day with our popular toning moments on the Sound Wellness Facebook page:
Sharon Carne is an author, musician, recording artist, speaker, sound healer and life-long student of evolving consciousness. She is the visionary founder of Sound Wellness helping people use common sense ways to reduce stress, create wellness and make their days easier with sound and music.

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Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

Exercise and Cancer

By Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel

Along with diet, meditation and journaling, one of the major things you can do for yourself to heal from cancer is exercise.  In fact, exercise improves everyone’s health irrespective of cancer.
The alarming statistics of cancer incidence are staggering:

  • In 2013, 1 in 4 Canadians will die of cancer (166,400 people diagnosed, 73,800 will die).
  • In 2013, 1 in 4 Americans will die of cancer (1,660,290 people diagnosed, 580,350 will die).

How can we stop this tragedy from happening to us, to our loved ones, to our friends, and to our associates?  Information and ACTION!
The research is in that exercise does increase your ability to heal from cancer.  Here is one study – Speck et al. J Cancer Survivorship. 2010
Walking is probably one of the easiest exercise actions to take.  Simple walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is sufficient to create huge change.  Walking doesn’t require fancy clothes, an expensive gym membership, fancy gear, or special shoes, although you need shoes that give you comfort and support.  Walking can be incorporated into your day in 3 – 10 minutes stretches.
You can walk before your treatment, during your treatment, after your treatment and many years into the future.  I know – I’m a walker as well as a dancer.  I have always loved walking.  You get outside and get fresh air.  You can explore new areas, commune with nature, take a dog along as a buddy, or team up with a friend to help you stay committed to your walk.
If you live in an area where it’s not conducive to walking – whether because it’s too cold as it is tonight here in Calgary (-26° C and blowing snow) or rain or the neighbourhood – you can walk in place in front of the TV, walk stairs.  If you live in an apartment building, you walk the halls and stairwells.  My Mom and Dad used to do that in the winter when it was too slippery to walk outside.
Lots of malls are open early in the morning before the stores open for ‘mall walkers’.  Join a group.  Then go for coffee afterwards and enjoy some social time.
Why not walk to work if you are back to work – or get off a stop or two early from your regular stop.
Walk on your lunch hour – that’s what I used to do.  Got me outside, seeing something other than the four walls of my office, seeing a new perspective, getting oxygen instead of stale inside air, which made me sharper for the afternoon.  Lots of offices and/or businesses now have facilities for those who want to exercise – i.e. people who cycle to work as my son does – rain, snow or sunshine.
Exercise is a lifestyle issue.  It’s a commitment to you.  The benefits are:

  • Increased survival rates among cancer patients who exercised regularly
  • Improved quality of life – you just feel better and have more ease moving around
  • Increased energy – lessening of fatigue which is the #1 reported side effect of cancer
  • Increased self esteem – your body gets toned, you stand taller, your clothes fit better
  • Management of weight loss – keeps those extra pounds off as well as gets rid of the extra pounds
  • Lessens depression – another major side effect of cancer – gets those endorphins flowing
  • Improves body image – yes, some body parts may have changed, but you still are wonderful and can look wonderful
  • Increases strength, flexibility and balance – helps prevent the downward side effects of inactivity
  • Increases oxygen uptake in the body – cancer does not exist in an oxygenated environment
  • Saves you from a sedentary lifestyle which will lead to increased weight gain, loss of muscle, and loss of bone density

There is a new term these days to describe what is happening in North America – it’s called the ‘Sitting Disease’.  We are a generation of people who spend way too much time in front of our TVs, computer screens, Smartphone’s, and driving places instead of being able to walk places.  We live in suburbs which don’t encourage walking.  We used to be much more active in our daily life.  We need to turn that around in order for us all to be healthier.
One of the key ingredients to staying on an exercise program is finding something that you enjoy doing.  If you’re having fun, you will stay with the program.  Some of us like to work out on our own.  Some of us enjoy group classes.  Some of us like to work out inside – others outside.  What do you like to do?
And what can you do while you are healing?  It may take you time to get back to those activities you did before.  That’s okay.  Just start getting back in shape.
There has been a great deal of research done on the benefits of exercise for those going through cancer.  Let me share a wonderful video by Dr. Mike Evans called ’23 and ½ hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?  This is well worth the time to watch.

As a former professional dancer, current dance/movement instructor and long term cancer survivor, I can attest to the benefits of exercise.
During my treatment, I walked as soon as I was able to get out of bed.  In those days, the chemotherapy was heavy duty with no anti-nausea pills.  I started out slowly, but regardless, went out every day.  At the time, I was also taking tai chi classes.  The first week after chemo, I did just the walking, and then the next two weeks before my next chemo, I went to three classes a week plus my walking.
During radiation, I walked every day – sometimes for a half hour, sometimes for an hour.  When I felt awful, I went outside and just walked – and, the truth, I always felt better.  The exercise helped me sleep, gave me a bit of an appetite so I kept my nutrient levels up, took me out of my misery by giving me something else to focus on, and kept my strength up.
We’ve talked mostly about walking in this session, but know there are many more ways to stay fit.  Walking is just one of the simplest and least expensive ways I know of to get started.  In other articles, I’ll cover some of the other ways to stay fit – some you may not have thought of that might peak your interest.
My hope for you is that you will get moving.  Even a little bit – just do it.  You will be amazed at the rich rewards you will feel and see.  They say a journey always starts with the first step – or something like that.  This is your cancer journey.  Take the first step for you.  Don’t let cancer win.


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Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

By Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel

With cancer comes a new awareness of food and its impact on our health.  This is not about weight loss.  This is about ensuring that our immune system is functioning at full capacity so our body can begin healing.  The holidays seem to present a challenge in this regard.  The excess, not to mention the sugary treats, wine and other temptations that under normal circumstances would not be so available are now at every event and/or family dinner.

Here are some strategies I’ve found helpful for navigating the holiday season with my health in mind.


1.     Know what foods are going to benefit you.  You will find them among the selections if you look closely.  Then you can indulge without guilt.  They are:


       a.    Beans – look for very tasty bean salads.  Beans have lots of fibre which will help fill you up with less volume and thereby control your appetite.

       b.    Berries – fresh fruit is an excellent choice.  They are high in Vitamin C as well as fibre.

       c.    Cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts – members of the cruciferous vegetables.  Almost every Christmas dinner I’ve attended has at least one of these offerings, especially Brussels sprouts.  They were never my favorite but over the years, I’ve had them served in ways that were truly delicious.  So I’m a convert.

       d.    Dark leafy vegetables (i.e. spinach, kale, dark lettuces) – think salads.  Kale is a vegetable not many people eat.  I’ve grown to love it – added to spaghetti sauce, lightly heated up with boiled potatoes, kale chips, tossed into soups.  When eating the salads, be mindful of the dressings.  Oil and vinegar is best, but if not available, try to stay away from the creamy dressings.

       e.    Garlic – well this may not be a good choice at an event, but often mashed potatoes are spiked with garlic.  Very tasty.  Onions fall into this category as do chives.  Make sure you have some gum or breath freshener on hand.  Garlic, onions and chives all are potent and holiday time is social.

       f.    Grapes and grape juice – wine and cheese buffets most often have grapes.  You can get your share of resveratrol that way. Wine is grape based as well but doesn’t have as much of the good ingredient resveratrol.  Enjoy a glass – it’s the holidays.  Just don’t overdo it.

       g.    Green tea – a great option in place of coffee.  Lots of antioxidants and shown to impede cancer growth, especially colon, breast and prostate cancers.  Be aware that it does contain caffeine.  Depending on the time of day, you might want to consider an herbal tea or just plain old hot water.  Sometimes I put a small slice of ginger in the hot water – or a slice of lemon.

       h.    Tomatoes – think salads, soups – also ketchup and tomato sauces.  Processing tomatoes brings out more of the lycopene content.
2.    Have a quick snack of healthy foods prior to heading out to the event.  This way, you are not starving and better able to make good choices.  I have also found at corporate events, especially the buffet style, it’s hard to eat and converse, especially standing up.  I’m a slow eater, so having a little something to eat before I go is an excellent strategy to get enough to eat without sacrificing the social part of the equation.
3.    If meat is served at a dinner and you have chosen not to eat meat, just eat the vegetables and bread/grains.  A true host/hostess will understand.  And, you will still have enough to satisfy your hunger and needed nutrients.  As a vegan, I’ve learned to navigate this possible social minefield.  Occasionally, I’ll have a token piece of meat – very token – and as mentioned, load up on the vegetables.
4.    If you are the host/hostess, a wide selection of vegetables, grains, and meat (even if you don’t eat meat) will make everyone happy.  My family would not be thrilled to be invited to a vegan turkey dinner.  They’d probably disown me.  But that doesn’t mean I have to eat what I serve.  Everyone has choice.
5.    Make sure you have enough sleep.  When I’m sleep deprived is usually when my defenses are down and I gravitate to those foods I know aren’t good for me.  Then I get into a bad cycle of up and down energy spikes.  I know it’s hard over the holidays with all the extra demands on our time, but the body heals during the sleep cycle.  Even if you have to catch a few cat naps during the day – or even better, meditation for even five minutes – you will avoid this pitfall.
6.    If the fridge beckons with leftovers that are off limits for you, prepare a container of fresh vegetables – i.e. carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes. Keep them handy in the fridge.  These can be your go-to snacks.  I know they aren’t always as appealing as some of the other goodies, but you will definitely feel much better snacking on these.

Also homemade soups from the leftover vegetables with added beans and leafy kale or Swiss chard tossed in are very tasty and nourishing, especially with a fresh salad and wholegrain bread.  Could be a great dinner when time is rushed.
7.    Exercise – go out for a long walk. Get some fresh air.  The walk with energize you; give you extra oxygen which cancer hates and burn off any extra calories if weight gain is your issue.  A walk will also take you away from the food.  I always found that if I was fit and exercising, making healthy food choices was much easier.  My body didn’t crave the foods that weren’t good for me, so I wasn’t so easily tempted.  Walking can also be a great outing to share with family and/or friends over the holidays.
8.    Take the time to look for new recipes.  If you like to cook, this is fun. If not, then find sources of homemade prepared foods at local markets.  Sometimes there just isn’t time and having healthy options at hand are truly priceless.  There are even personal chefs and catering services that could do the honors.  Just be specific about your needs.
9.    If dinner is at a restaurant as some family traditions go, I’ve found I can modify a dish by having a conversation with the server.  Most restaurants are open to adapting a meal to suit their clientele.  Especially now that I eat the vegan way, restaurant menu options are more limited.  However, I have found that there is usually something on the menu I can eat or adapt to my needs.
10.    And if all else fails, eat what’s there, but go back on the wagon in the days following.  Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  Holidays are for family, sharing, and being grateful.  Adding another stress is just as bad as eating unwisely, unless of course you get a violent or nasty reaction to certain foods.  That will mean being ill or very uncomfortable, so definitely not a good idea to ‘go with the flow’.

As with anything, common sense has to play into the equation.  Life is not perfect.  Do the best you can with the situation at hand.  Enjoy your holiday.  Be grateful, even if eating and socializing at a time when you are going through treatment is difficult.  I remember that time because I had my first chemotherapy treatment three days before Christmas.  I was in no shape on Christmas Day to do anything.  My family understood so we celebrated a few days later when I felt better.  It was all doable.


If you have other ideas to share with us, please leave your comments.  We will all benefit.


Here’s to a healthy, enjoyable holiday.


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Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

The Challenge of Self Care during the Holidays

By Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel

With Christmas and the holiday season quickly upon us, demands on our time and resources – physical, mental and financial – seem to increase. At the best of times when a person is young and healthy, it can be a challenge to manage our self-care. When a person is going through cancer and/or healing even years later, the importance of making sure we take time to look after ourselves is so important.
Practicing the NO word helps. That seems to be the most difficult, especially when we would really like to go to an event, but just know that we can’t manage it and be well. The other situation is when we feel obliged – that SHOULD word.  Other people have expectations of us or there are habits/traditions that are part of family history. Are you the one that has always made and hosted the Christmas dinner? Are their functions at work or your spouse’s work that you feel obligated to attend? Do you traditionally go away for Christmas? Are you the one who buys all the gifts and items for stockings?
It’s hard to make changes – not only within us but creating change that affects other people.  Whenever change happens, there is always pushback.  Someone who wants things to be the way they have always been.  After cancer, life is different – for you.  I recall comments such as ‘I’m waiting for you to go back to who you were’.  Well, that wasn’t happening.  That person wasn’t coming back.  A new person had taken her place.
This is hard on other people, especially those who are closest to you.  They aren’t too sure how to deal with the new you.  And this shows up most noticeably at times, like Christmas, when there are traditions that are established.  They may have to be altered.]
This may be the time when you can delegate some of the To Do’s. If you have younger children at home who may be old enough to help with food preparation.  It gives them something they can do to help and can be a learning experience.  The result may not be exactly as you would have done it but it gets done.  Relax and just enjoy being cared for.
A spouse can pick up some of the slack – gift buying, grocery shopping, cleaning – all things that have to be done when entertaining. Maybe a family member can host the Christmas dinner. Could be it’s time for adult children to take up that role.
This doesn’t mean its forever. What it means is you need to determine what you can manage and stay within the bounds of your own capacity for stress and involvement.  Each year, this will vary. When you are in treatment, your capacity is definitely diminished.  As you heal, you may be able to pick up some of those pieces again. But be careful. I found that after cancer, my capacity for stress was greatly diminished and although I have expanded that somewhat in the 23 years hence, it is still an area I have to watch. It doesn’t take long to get over-committed and then find myself in trouble.
One good thing that has come out of this awareness is finding the true meaning of the Christmas spirit.  It’s not about all the commercialism around Christmas.  What emerges is the meaning behind the holiday as dictated by your religion and/or belief system.
I always enjoy Christmas for the joy of the season – the carols, the church service, the awareness to help others who may be struggling, to extend love, to spend quality time with family, to relax and just be present with myself.   What brings you joy and the feeling of Christmas?  Embrace it.
Gifts are great – but the ones I enjoy most are the gifts made by others or made by myself. I knew there was love and time in the creating and giving on both sides.  I’d plan ahead. Right now, I’m in the midst of knitting sweaters for my grandchildren. I still remember the sweaters my mother knit for me and for my children. In fact, I have kept some that are no longer in style, but I can’t part with them. They represent the love of my mother who has passed away.
And as a family, we’ve cut down on the amount of the gift and have a gift draw for the adults instead.  Gifts are still bought for each of the children.  However, there is still the fun of gift giving without the financial stress not to mention the time involved to find that ‘perfect’ gift.
We potluck our dinner so it’s not a burden on any one member of the family.  It’s being hosted at my son’s home because they have the most space and it is familiar ground for the young grandchildren, ages 2 and 4.  It’s the gathering and sharing that is the focus – just being together.
Depending on your situation, it may be time to make a complete change. The first Christmas after my cancer diagnosis, I found myself a single mom with a teenage son. I knew I had to do something to create a ‘new’ Christmas experience so we wouldn’t dwell on the past. So, I flew us back home to my folks and spent a wonderful Christmas there with my family. It certainly was the right move.
What is happening in your life? Do you need to make a change? Do you need to make some minor adjustments?  We are all unique, have different values, different circumstances, and at various stages of healing.  But we have all been changed by our cancer experience.  Life takes on new meaning.  How are you managing?
And, how we manage holiday times is a good indicator of how we may want to look at how we manage our lives in general.  It can be a benchmark for self care, change, and improved awareness of all that is important in life.
I truly hope that you take time to:
1. Read a good book – sit in your PJ’s all day and just enjoy
2. Have a spa day
3. Have coffee with a friend or friends and laugh yourself silly
4. Cuddle up with your loved ones – just spend time together – and listen
5. Take long walks and just be
6. Spend time on a hobby of yours – get lost in time
And if you are alone for Christmas, gather up other alone souls and celebrate together.  Or if you have the energy and are not immune compromised, help out at a shelter who offer meals on Christmas Day.  There are always options for giving and sharing.  You don’t have to be alone by circumstance, only by choice – and that may be your choice.  That’s okay too.
Life is so precious, as we’ve all discovered when the word cancer is directed at us.  When we stop long enough to be able to hear our inner self speaking, it may be surprising what shows up.  Usually the things that are most important – the rest is just stuff – stuff we can’t take with us.  What will you leave behind as memories to be shared for many lifetimes – memories that often surface when family gathers at Christmas?
May you find your own way with great healing and love,

Attention Editors and Publishers

Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

A Turning Point in Canadian Lymphatic Research

By Ian Soles, Salutaris Centre for Lymphatic & Massage Therapy

An exciting announcement was made at the University of Calgary September 24, 2013 of a $5,000,000.00 gift from the Dianne & Irving Kipnes Foundation to fund a comprehensive, sustainable Lymphedema Research and Education Program at the University of Calgary Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases.
Three years ago while struggling to manage her secondary bi-lateral leg lymphedema Dianne & Irv partnered with Ian Soles to develop Salutaris Centre – a comprehensive lymphedema clinic in Edmonton based on international Best Practices and Consensus to improve treatment of Lymphedema in Alberta.
In addition Dianne, Irv and Ian, with the support of Dr. Cyril Kay and Dr. Tony Field, undertook to investigate creating a lymphatic research initiative to:

  • capture the attention of the medical community,
  • improve our understanding of the lymphatic system and
  • inform clinical practice to improve lymphedema care.

This announcement September 24th is the culmination of these two initiatives.
This philanthropic investment by Dianne and Irv will launch a world-class lymphedema program at the University of Calgary enabling the construction of a Lymphatic Imaging Suite researching the physiology and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system including lymphatic disorders such as lymphedema.
Despite the central role the lymphatic system is playing in the maintenance of human health, the function and biology of this important and complex system are poorly understood. The first step to improving treatments and outcomes for patients suffering from lymphedema is to improve our understanding of the lymphatic system and its functions through targeted research initiatives.
Research is pivotal to the cure for lymphedema. As we expand our understanding of the complex biology of the lymphatic system, we can develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for patients affected by the disease.
In order to gain a full understanding of the lymphatic system and how it functions, it is critical to be able to visualize it. Visualizing the lymphatic system would allow researchers to understand and assess how lymph flows through the network of lymphatic vessels and why it does not in the vessels of lymphedema patients.
Direct imaging of the lymphatic system has improved significantly, allowing new insights into the development of lymphatic-related disorders such as lymphedema. Current methods routinely used for diagnostic imaging of lymphatics are not well suited for imaging the actual movement of lymph, a critical step to understand how lymphatic vessels work.
Over the last decade huge strides have been made in the visualization of the immune system and the blood vessels. Using specific microscopy technologies and highly specialized imaging equipment has allowed immunologists to visualize the immune system in its natural setting, the body – a huge leap in our ability to understand what happens in both healthy and diseased states.
The Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary has acquired several specialized microscopes and has developed innovative imaging technologies and is considered a global leader in the field of imaging the immune system. Many of these novel imaging tools and the expertise that come with them, can be applied to the lymphatic system.
The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine is well positioned to develop and lead a comprehensive lymphedema research program in Alberta. Building on existing strengths they will develop a multi-modal, multi-disciplinary program incorporating unique, innovative and integrated approaches to lymphedema research.
The Lymphatic Imaging Suite will be associated with the Snyder Institute’s world class Live Cell Imaging Facility and will be comprised of two laboratories with custom-designed multi/resonant scanning visible and spinning disk confocal microscopes and a combined multiphoton and laser scanning confocal microscope system.
Initially the research of Dr. Pierre-Yves von Weid, Dr. Paul Kubes, Dr. Steve Robbins and Dr. Shan Liao will focus on:

  • Understanding the lymphatic functions related to lymph flow, how they are altered during lymphedema and inflammatory diseases, how the dysfunction affects these diseases and their chronic development and how they can be corrected to restore normal function and promote disease resolution.
  • Understanding the intricate cross-talk between the lymphatic system and the immune system to determine how immune cells traffic and interact with lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes in the context of lymphedema and inflammation.
  • Understanding the relationships between impaired lymphatic drainage and transport, metabolism and deposition of fat in edematous tissues believed to be critical in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases and lymphedema.

The project will also support education and training of high-quality students and post-doctoral fellows through the creation of scholarships and lymphatic education courses. This will improve emerging and existing physician knowledge in this area.
We at Salutaris Centre are proud of our role in this initiative. For more information about this recent lymphatic research announcement and Salutaris Centre for Lymphatic & Massage Therapy visit our website at

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Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

Stress Reduction in Under 30 Seconds

by Sharon Carne, Founder of Sound Wellness

I recently received an email from a client, who had been given some news causing great sadness and difficulty for her and her husband. Her story warms my heart with how much help she received from a couple of simple sound healing tools.
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Attention Editors and Publishers

Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.

The Balancing Act – Getting to the New Normal

by Barbara Cunnings-Versaevel


For the past 23 years, since my cancer diagnosis in the Fall of 1990, I’ve been working on this ‘New Normal’ balancing act. It has many faces and as life happens, the faces keep changing. There is the constant ebb and flow of new experiences, new situations, new health challenges, new work environments, new relationships – the list is endless.

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Attention Editors and Publishers

Cancer Help Hub content may be republished with a link to the full article on Such republication must include attribution with a link to the Cancer Help Hub homepage as follows: source, and then the website.