Ask an expert - Jaydn Chipman, oncology exercise specialist
Last updated 8/28/2019 at 11:36pm | View PDF
What role does relaxation play in fighting cancer?
A battle against cancer involves so much more than a patient's body, doctors and drugs. It also affects the person's mind, emotions, family and friends.
This reality is the focus of Wellness House in Hinsdale, and of its special event planned for Saturday, Sept. 7, at Wellness House, 131 N. County Line Road. The Mind:Body Fest will showcase the many services and programs available at Wellness House to help patients, caregivers, family and friends to live with less stress.
All who are affected by a cancer diagnosis, their own or someone else's, are invited to spend a few hours learning and exploring new ways to reduce stress and increase mindfulness.
"They can tap into what works best for them," said Jaydn Chipman, oncology exercise specialist at Wellness House.
Chipman joined the Wellness House staff three years ago. As oncology exercise specialist, she designs and implements safe and effective exercise programs for those who use the services of the nonprofit organization. A certified yoga instructor and a trained Yoga 4 Cancer teacher, Chipman said yoga is one of many stress-reducing options offered at the fest - and every day - at Wellness House.
Participants in the Mind:Body Fest will have dozens of mini sessions to choose from, including several forms of yoga, meditation, mindful journaling, tai chi, Reiki and hypnosis.
"Nia also will be part of the fest," Chipman said. Nia is a type of mind/body conditioning that involves more cardio than yoga or tai chi but offers some of the same stress relief, along with other benefits.
Chipman said all forms of exercise have been shown to help cancer patients. Those who remain active throughout treatment, she said, tend to respond more positively to treatment and have fewer side effects such as nausea, fatigue, pain and discomfort. "It can help them feel accomplished and empowered as well," Chipman said.
Done correctly, even eating can be a stress-reducing activity. A mini presentation on mindful eating will show participants how to take notice of their food, its smells, colors, flavors and textures. Mindful eating involves limiting distractions such as television and internet to give food one's full attention.
"This reminds us to slow down and stay in the moment, which can reduce stress," Chipman said. Attendees also can take part in various forms of expressive art, as well as a Native American flute circle.
What works to relax one person might not work for another, Chipman said. The Mind:Body Fest is a chance to give a variety of options a try.
"That's what makes our programs unique. We have something for everybody," Chipman said.
Those wishing to attend Mind:Body Fest are asked to register at wellnesshouse.org. While some of the day's activities will welcome drop-in participation by registered attendees, others require participants to sign up ahead of time.
Anyone 16 or older who has been affected by a cancer diagnosis is invited to attend the free event. Children 13-15 are welcome with an adult.
For more information, turn to the calendar listing on Page 24.