Thursday, April 19, 2018

For cancer patients, self-care is an important part of recovery

Here is a guest blog from:
Scott Sanders
Author and Creator of

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, your whole life has been changed. If you haven’t already begun treatment, you’re going to experience serious changes to your life, your health and your routine. The lifestyle you’re going to have will cause upheaval in every part of your life, and you have to be able to manage it. Taking care of yourself will help you do that. 

Self-care is vitally important to all of us, but if you have cancer, it means something entirely different. And it can be difficult to do. You may still have a job to go to and a family to take care of, and the world doesn’t stop for your cancer diagnosis. How will you find the time to incorporate caring for yourself into your routine? 

Maintain relationships -- Your family and friends will be your greatest resources during this difficult time. Not only can they physically help with rides, food and other needed tasks, they will help lighten your mind. The love and laughter you get from your friends and family will help you continue to fight the disease when times are tough. Don’t push them away or pretend you don’t need their help. You do need their help, and you will find that they truly want to give it.

Take care of finances -- Unfortunately, cancer is expensive. Even if you have the best health insurance out there, you’re going to owe a lot of money. Maintain your finances as best you can during this time. Continue working as much as possible and communicate regularly to your boss about your needs. She can work with you to give you time off to recover from surgeries and treatments. You don’t want to find yourself without a place to live because you can’t pay your mortgage. Consider talking to a financial advisor to help advise you on your options. 

Be careful of opioids -- When you are in a lot of pain, taking opioid painkillers can help. But be careful not to overdo it. Only take them as prescribed and only when you need them to safely manage your pain. Opioid addiction is a real problem right now, and you don’t want to add an addiction to your list of medical problems. A study by the University of Michigan published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that one in 10 cancer patients who took opioids after surgery continued to use the painkillers long after it. Lead author of the study Dr. Jay Lee highlighted the seriousness of the issue: “These patients deserve special attention, because if they’re going to be free from cancer, we’d also like them not to be on opioids long term.”

Maintain your spirit -- If you are a member of a faith community, lean on that community to maintain your positive outlook. Some studies even suggest that a strong faith can help patients recover better. Having a strong faith background can help patients find meaning in their illness, find comfort despite fear, and have a positive outlook on their recovery. If you’re not a believer, you can find spirit elsewhere, said Heather Jim, Ph.D. “People can think about what’s meaningful to them, what brings them a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s different for everyone,” Dr. Jim said in an article by the American Cancer Society. “Meditating, getting out in nature, spending time with loved ones, and volunteering are all associated with positive health benefits.”

Self-care is an important practice for everyone, but cancer patients should be especially attuned to their own needs. Taking care of yourself is important for your long-term success in maintaining your health. Your life is on the line, so make sure that you continue to make that life a good one. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Success Tips for Massage Therapists

I've been teaching massage therapy for almost 20 years and I've seen many fine students go on to success and also failure.  While I feel fortunate to have made a living in this profession, students often don't realize that I've done it by creating multiple streams of income.

I recently posted a video to my YouTube channel discussing ways that I've managed to thrive when others have not.

Take a look.  Click here.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Massage Therapy Student Resources

I have been teaching the Massage Therapy program at Stark State College in Canton, Ohio since 1999.  As a resource for students, I recorded many of the techniques and routines taught in the course.  I've found that my patients, colleagues and people from around the world have subscribed to my YouTube Channel to learn from this free resource.

I invite you to take advantage of these videos, wether you are a non-professional looking for a way to treat shoulder pain, a massage therapy student wanting to review, or a professional exploring other perspectives on techniques.

I hope my teaching provides useful information for you, whatever your needs.

Go to


Monday, December 11, 2017

Gift Certificates

Looking for a "one size fits all" gift for the holiday or other special occasion?  Consider the gift of wellness with a gift certificate from Vahila Acupuncture and Massage.  We can take your info and payment over the phone and mail your gift certificate out the same day.  Call us at 330-477-0777.

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Office Location

I've recently moved the acupuncture office to the Total Health and Wellness building at 2401 & 2403 Whipple Ave. NW in Canton. 

My office is in the lower level of 2403 Whipple.  It's one building with 2 addresses; one for the upper and one for the lower part.

The team at Total Health and Wellness have a strong belief in a holistic approach.  They offer counseling services, yoga, art therapy, massage and now my services of acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy.

I'm glad to be a part of this group of professionals as we expand the vision of the center.  

Friday, September 30, 2016

Akron-Canton Hot List: Thanks for Voting for Us

I'd like to thank everyone who voted for us.  Whereas we were Number 1 last year, we came up number 2 this year.  Congrats to the winner in Akron.  I appreciate coming in 2nd in a contest we didn't even enter.    Click here to see the award.

I am again surprised by the award because we didn't ask anyone to vote for us.  The fact that people voted without any encouragement from us is appreciated.

We'll continue to do everything we can to help our patients and to be deserving of this award.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Which Nutritional Supplements Should I Take?

"Which Nutritional Supplements Should I Take?"  I hear this every week in my acupuncture practice.  It's a reasonable question.  Even conventional medical doctors are realizing that it is difficult to get optimal nutrients in a modern American diet.

This blog is not going to discuss every reason we might benefit from supplementation.  But, consider these few items:

1. Most food is grown on nutrient depleted soils.  If it's not in the soil, it's not in the food.

2. Most food is sprayed with pesticides and herbicides.  These toxins create additional stress on the body.

3. Stressful lifestyles cause the body to burn through nutrients more rapidly.

Each one of those topics could be a chapter in a book.  But let's cut to the chase.…where to start?  

The following are general suggestions for your consideration.

1. If you can only take one product, consider a good Multi-Vitamin.  I carry products form several companies and they all make good Multi-Vitamins.  The one I personally use is Life Extension Mix Tablets.  This may not be a good fit for some as they suggest 9 per day.  I use 6 per day, but I understand that some people only want to take a "One a Day" or "Two per Day" supplement.  Life Extension makes those as well.

The reason I'm willing to take that many tablets is that is has so many plant extracts, minerals and unique nutrients, it covers a lot of bases in one product.

2. Fish oil/Omega 3 Fatty acids.  If you're willing to add another product, essential fats have many benefits from supporting a healthy inflammatory response to promoting heart health.  My personal choice is Life Extensions' Super Omega 3.

Also, I don't think it's wise to buy inexpensive supplements.  Use name brand supplements by companies that specialize in nutritional products.  It would be better, in my opinion, to take less of a quality product than to buy cheap products and take full doses.

With those 2 general products as a foundation, you can add others that are targeted to your specific needs.  

Important supplements that many people can benefit from include CoQ 10 and Vitamin D.  How do you know if you need to supplement with those?  Easy!  Get a blood test.  You may have to request these and your insurance may not cover them.  However, check with to see if their blood test prices are less expensive than what your doctor would charge.

Another service Life Extension offers is that you can discuss your blood test results with a physician on staff.  They can give you another perspective on your needs based on your blood work.

If your CoQ 10 or Vitamin D levels are not optimal, these would be excellent additions to your wellness program.

This article was not intended to be a plug for the Life Extension Foundation, but their products are the foundation of my personal wellness program.  I use products from several companies but I do notice that most of them are from Life Extension.

Good nutritional support is just one pillar of a healthy lifestyle.  Adequate exercise, quality sleep and stress reduction are also important.

It would be nice if it didn't matter what we did and we could just feel great.  For most of us, our conscious choices will determine how good we feel and how much quality of life we have.