alternative treatments

Using Personal Wellness to Cope with Breast Cancer

Beth Brophy Health Guide February 14, 2007
  • Generally, I’m not a big believer in alternative medicine, outside of using it to justify the occasional massage. Acupuncture, which others swear by, is not for me because I can’t get past all those little needles sticking me-- no matter how many people tell me it doesn’t hurt. And, given a choice between meditation and breathing exercises, or drugs to ease aches and pains or alleviate sleep problems, I’ll take the prescription. As for stress relief, I’ve been a journalist for 30 years, a career that thrives on stress. Most of the time, as long as it doesn’t get too out-of-hand, I would say that stress is a good motivator for getting things done.

    That said, I’m a big fan of the wellness concept. Even a cynic like me can’t argue with the idea that a healthy balancing of the mind and the body will result in a general feeling of well-being. Even before my body betrayed me with breast cancer at a relatively young age I tried to achieve the mind-body balance by striving, if not always succeeding, for enough sleep, regular exercise, and moderation in my consumption of alcohol and food.

    Still, there’s little precedent in my life for the radical step towards personal wellness that I’m going to be making in a few days. I’m going spend a week in Mexico, at a yoga-vegetarian-retreat-spa. As I understand it, I’ve voluntarily signed myself up for several days of pre-breakfast yoga sessions, mountain hikes, aerobics, mud baths, etc. There will be no cell phone reception, no Internet, no television or newspapers, no wine or vodka or lattes. In fact, most of the props that help me get through the day will pretty much be gone.

    You might think that I did a lot of research about spas and retreats before committing to this regime, but I did none. I’m tagging along with my sister and some of her friends, who have gone to this particular retreat a few times before and think that it is great. That is good enough for me.

    I’m really looking forward to this adventure. I will give you all a full report when I return.
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