According to new research, Nordic walking may offer a plethora of benefits for breast cancer patients. Published earlier this month in the European Journal of Cancer Care, the authors believe that this aerobic exercise could be a valuable new rehabilitation strategy for cancer patients.
Nordic walking is an aerobic exercise that utilizes special walking poles similar to ski poles. Although it has been used by cross-country skiers and athletes for training, many non-athletes enjoy Nordic walking for exercise. Research has shown that it activated up to 90% of the body’s muscles, burns 46% more calories than regular walking, and promotes core stability and strength.
But the benefits of Nordic walking extend beyond mere fitness: they can help breast cancer patients heal. Breast cancer is the most common breast cancer in women, and the deadliest. “Treatments” offered by conventional medicine are toxic and invasive, often resulting in “death from treatment.”
Breast Cancer Treatment Risks
Treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can also significantly impact quality of life for breast cancer patients. Even the methods of testing for breast cancer have been shown to cause more harm than most women know. Mammography – especially over a long period of time – exposes women to radiation that can actually cause cancer. About 20% of all diagnoses turn out to be false positives, which can subject women to unnecessary surgery, biopsies, chemo, and radiation.
Our dear friend Dr. Veronique Desaulniers has done extensive research on these issues. You can find information about the dangers of mammography (plus 7 alternative tests) by checking out her article on breast cancer testing. For those facing a diagnosis, check out this clip from Dr. V’s lecture at the last TTAC LIVE Event. A breast cancer survivor herself, she’ll walk you through her 7 Essentials System™ that she used to successfully treat herself and patients around the world. (By the way, Dr. V will be one of our featured speakers at TTAC LIVE 2019 in Anaheim. Reserve your spot here!)
Unfortunately, too many of us aren’t armed with all the information we need when facing a diagnosis. Doctors will tell you that you need to begin chemotherapy right away, and almost always recommend major surgery. They won’t tell you that they actually profit from prescribing chemotherapy, but they WILL do everything they can to scare you.
Feeling like you have no options, it can be easy to trust these doctors and rush into treatment. Many women even choose to undergo invasive surgery BEFORE being diagnosed. How you choose to treat your cancer is a personal choice that only YOU can make. But for many women, the physical and emotional toll of these treatments can be overwhelming.
But this new study offers hope!
How Nordic Walking Benefits Breast Cancer Patients
After evaluating nine different studies, the research team found that Nordic walking positively impacts lymphedema (swelling caused by damaged lymph nodes), physical fitness, disability, and morbid perceptions (the “NOcebo” effect). The best part? There were absolutely ZERO adverse effects for the patients.
Some studies also showed an improvement in depression, pain, and shoulder-arm mobility (a symptom that many patients suffer chronically after treatments).
According to the study’s co-author Jorge Torres:
The main strategy in rehabilitation for women with breast cancer is a change of habits, where physical exercise is a fundamental tool. It’s not easy to turn a sedentary person into an amateur athlete, so sports such as Nordic walking are accepted more easily”
“(Many) health professionals and therapists do not realize that there are contraindicated exercises during breast cancer rehabilitation and that alternatives such as Nordic walking can be very effective,” Torres told Reuters.
The biggest issue facing many cancer survivors is quality of life, especially for those who have undergone conventional treatments. The health benefits are enormous, and can help anyone achieve better health, whether they have been diagnosed with cancer or not.
Another major problem facing women with breast cancer is lymphatic damage. A fully functioning lymphatic system is critical for your overall health and ability to fight cancer. The lymphatic system includes your bone marrow, tonsils, adenoids, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a web of very thin tubes that lay just beneath the surface of your skin).
It is an independent circulatory system that works in partnership with your vascular and immune systems. Your lymphatic system provides a variety of immune functions that ward off infections, viruses, injury… and even cancer. Symptoms of lymphedema include alteration in limb sensation, loss of confidence in body, decreased physical activity, fatigue, and psychological distress.
The research shows that Nordic walking can have an immensely positive impact on these symptoms, helping to restore lymphatic health, reduce pain, and increase mobility. But the greatest benefit may be psychological.
Emotional stress has long been considered a risk factor for cancer. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) considers that all internal or chronic diseases are caused by emotions − anger, shock, fear, brooding, anxiety, and sorrow. These emotions trigger an adrenal response that damages immune function and changes the way toxins are metabolized.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can quickly sneak up on a person diagnosed with cancer. The toxic effects of chemo and surgery can exacerbate these symptoms, making it harder for patients to heal and even increasing the risk of further disease. But Nordic walking has been shown to combat these negative effects, giving patients the best chance of living a happier, healthier life.