Faraja offers a wide range of complementary therapies that promote both physical and spiritual well-being of cancer patients and their families.The main aim of these Therapeutic processes is to release the body's recuperative and restorative processes which helps in alleviating pain, preventing ill health and optimizing well-being of patients. These therapies are scientifically proven with in-depth research on their effect on patients recovery process.
Body Talk is an astonishingly simple and effective holistic therapy that allows the body's energy systems to be re-synchronized so they can operate as nature intended. Each system, cell, and atom is in constant communication with each other at all times. Through exposure to the stresses of day-to-day life, however, these lines of communication can become compromised or disconnected, which then leads to a decline in physical, emotional and/or mental wellbeing. Reconnecting these lines of communication enables the body's internal mechanisms to function at optimal levels, thus repairing and preventing disease while rapidly accelerating the healing process.
Many women and men who have been diagnosed with cancer have found that joining a support group helps them manage the wide range of feelings and fears they experience during and after their cancer treatment. Support groups can also help family members and friends handle the countless emotions a loved one's cancer diagnosis can evoke. Studies have found that cancer support groups can enhance self-esteem, reduce depression, decrease anxiety and improve relationships with family members and friends. Support groups also can help you cope better with your diagnosis and increase your knowledge of cancer and its treatment. Our Support Groups take place as follows:
Breast Cancer Support Group - Meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Cervical Cancer Support Group - Meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Prostate Cancer Support Group - Meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 1:30 - 3:30pm
Breathwork is based on meditation practices, which uses breathing techniques to achieve mental clarity and a heightened state of mind, allowing the expulsion of negative energies. These negative energies are often thought to contribute significantly to chronic and degenerative illnesses such as cancer. Cancer cells flourish in deoxygenated environments. Breathwork therefore teaches various breathing techniques to expand and exploit lung capacity to its full potential and fill the body's cells with oxygen. A typical session at Faraja last forty-five minutes.
Movement classes at Faraja are largely based on yoga practice. Yoga refers to the union between mind, body and spirit. In a non-religious context, it is used as a form of meditation, low impact exercise and complementary therapy. It is thought to stimulate the flow of life energy through the adoption of specific poses, synchronized with breathing. This stimulates the endocrine glands and enhances immunity, flexibility, balance and grace. Yoga aims to promote feelings of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness, assisting individuals, not least cancer patients, to redirect their lives and encourage healing. This often helps patients counter the negative side effects of cancer treatment. At Faraja, movement classes aim to help the patient achieve and maintain physical fitness, as well as gain peace and relaxation. Classes are offered three times a week by three different instructors.
A typical session begins with breathing exercises that draw awareness to the breath. Movement and basic yoga postures follow. Breathing and relaxation conclude the class, leaving patients feeling peaceful. Instructors are careful to remain sensitive to the abilities of the patients and to adapt the practice to suit their individual needs. A typical movement session at Faraja lasts one hour.
Reflexology involves applying pressure to the feet, hands or ears with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques. It is most commonly performed on the feet. The idea behind it is that areas on the feet correspond to areas of the body. Manipulating the affected area via the foot can encourage healing in specific parts of the body or body functions as well as promoting overall wellness. Reflexology also helps clients to relax and cope with stress and anxiety, lifting their mood. It is known to help with pain management, boost the immune system and help with sinus, back, hormonal and digestive problems.
Reflexology should not replace medical treatment; at Faraja it is offered as a complementary therapy aimed to enhance the effects and reduce the side-effects of conventional medical treatment. At Faraja, a typical reflexology session lasts from between 1 to 1 and a half hours. The practitioner massages each foot before concentrating on the area that is most affected. Treatment is holistic, often involving a degree of Reiki healing and positive thinking.
Cancer treatment often damages the hair follicles, and hair loss is often a significant fear and source of anxiety for many cancer patients, especially those who undergo chemotherapy. Radiotherapy also negatively impacts hair, often causing it to become frizzy and dry. Scalp massage increases blood circulation through the stimulation of the hair follicles so that they receive more nutrients needed for optimal hair growth. Added benefits of scalp massage are that it conditions the scalp, enhances relaxation and reduces stress.
A scalp massage treatment begins with ensuring the patient is 'Comfort'able and relaxed. The session starts with a brief massage of the feet, legs and back. The therapist then moves on to the shoulders, kneading out any tension in them before massaging the neck and head. The therapist uses her fingertips and entire hands to massage natural aromatic oils - rosemary, lavender and ylang ylang to name a few - into the scalp. Finally the patient is encouraged to lie on the bed for a few minutes to relax before the session concludes. A typical treatment at Faraja lasts forty-five minutes.
Lymphatic drainage uses massage to move fluids and maintain flows throughout the lymphatic system - a complex network of vessels and ducts that runs through the body. This helps to move toxins away from healthy cells and carry germ-fighting materials to sick cells. It removes negative emotions and pain-inducing chemicals and hormones that collect in problem areas of the body. It is particularly useful in dealing with conditions such as acute swelling around an injury site and chronic edema, particularly common with breast cancer patients who have had their lymph nodes removed. The functioning of the immune system, which is intimately associated with the lymphatic system, is also improved.
The Veltheim Method of Lymphatic Drainage combines Body Talk practice with lymphatic drainage. Body Talk is a holistic therapy that balances the body's energy system by reconnecting lines of communication between each system, cell and atom of the body. This helps the internal mechanisms to function optimally, preventing and healing diseases and restoring emotional and mental well-being. Through asking the body a series of yes/no questions, the body guides the practitioner to where the imbalances are.
At Faraja, patients are encouraged to repeat the lymphatic drainage until they see significant positive effects. A typical session last about an hour.
Massage is the manipulation of the body's tissues using hands and fingertips. It may help to reduce muscle pain, alleviate the dis'Comfort' of certain ailments, or simply help clients feel rejuvenated, helping them achieve or maintain wellness and good health. It also helps improve relaxation and sleep patterns. A typical massage session at Faraja lasts 45-60 minutes.
Pranic Healing is an ancient art and science of energy healing that uses life energy to heal the whole person - body, mind and spirit. It involves the manipulation of the energy body by projecting prana or life energy to the patient to enable his/her body to heal itself. Pranic Healing is similar to other forms of energy healing such as Reiki. Pranic Healing provides relief from pain and dis'Comfort' from cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, improves quality of life and sense of well-being and increases energy and stamina.
Jessica, a volunteer therapist at joined Faraja in 2010 tells us more about it.
She was referred by a friend who already volunteered at the Centre and has never looked back. Being a Pranic healing expert (energy therapy) her greatest inspiration at is seeing patients get a new lease of life understanding that healing is within themselves.
'Pranic healing has often been misunderstood by many….but it really is a way of helping patients understand themselves, changing their attitudes and perceptions towards cancer and channelling that positive energy towards healing themselves.'
Pranic healing has been an eye opener for many as patients are able to tackle the negativity in them that comes with stress and worry of overcoming cancer. It goes deeper towards understanding a patients relationship with their family, work and overall financial situations and helping patients deal with these issues in a positive way.
'I take time to talk to patients….look into their family life, work and teach them how to deal with these situations. I teach them how to heal themselves…. understand cancer and how to get rid of it.'
Even though Pranic healing in gaining popularity within the medical fraternity as a complementary therapy in chronic conditions such as Cancer, Jessica notes that very few patients in Kenya utilize the service.
'Patients and their families should be encouraged to come back to come to Faraja even when they feel better and also to get the word out….they can be used to empower others to take up the therapies...by talking about themselves and what they learnt.
Reiki is a simple, natural Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing. Through the practitioner laying hands on or just above the recipient's body, energy blockages (caused by poor diet, negative thoughts etc.) in the body's energy channels are removed and energy balance and harmony are restored or maintained. Reiki is not a belief system and does not have basis in a particular religion. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness, from a common cold, to depression, to cancer.
For cancer patients, it works alongside other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects of the disease and treatment and promote recovery. At the very least, Reiki is an effective stress-buster; this provides significant knock-on effects given that an overwhelming number of our problems are stress-related.
At Faraja, Reiki is usually performed in group healing sessions, in which two to five practitioners perform the therapy on a client. Sessions last between 20 to 45 minutes (depending on how many practitioners are working together). Therapists advise patients on how many sessions would be beneficial, depending on their needs.
Teaches a variety of techniques to access and use the energy of the universe for healing and self-care. Comprises of four group sessions which may be followed up with one-on-one sessions if necessary.
Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative act can be healing. It is supposed to help people express hidden emotions, which reduces stress, fear, and anxiety, and provides a sense of freedom. Art therapy can be a particularly useful diagnostic tool in children as it provides an appropriate channel for them to express their inner emotions. Children often have trouble talking about painful events or feelings; it is thought that they can express negative emotions more easily through drawings and the use of colour rather than through words used in conventional therapy. This serves two purposes: it allows therapists to assess their emotional state and assists patients in healing through creative processes and expression.
Art therapy sessions at Faraja usually last one hour, but sometimes run up to two hours if necessary. To date, sessions at Faraja have largely focused on children, and drawing and painting, although any form of creative art and any age group may be included. The child is taught various forms of art techniques, such as waxing, stencil prints and pressing and is given a plain piece of paper on which to draw or paint. The art therapist will analyse various emotions and relationships that emerge through the choice of colour and the way in which the child draws or paints.
The cultivation of a healthy mind, body and spirit requires nourishment from wholesome foods and the removal or reduction of harmful foods. Food is 'fuel' for the cell, and with the wrong types of fuels, the body cannot function at its best. As well as healthy food habits, nutritional therapy at Faraja also teaches effective breathing and positive thinking, two other essential forms of 'food' needed to fight any disease.
Good nutrition boosts energy and builds immunity to disease by increasing the alkalinity of the body (remember, cancer flourishes in acidic environments) and cleansing the body. Eating the right foods before, during and after treatment can help the patient stay strong and heal quicker. Unfortunately for many patients, the side-effects of cancer and treatment, such as nausea, constipation, mouth sores and anxiety, make eating anything at all a challenge.
Faraja has four regular qualified nutritionists. A typical session at Faraja involves a discussion of personal and family medical history and the patient's lifestyle. The benefits of good nutrition for fighting cancer are explained to the client. Finally, the nutritionist will construct an individualised diet plan together with the patient or their carer, which can be revised in the next visit, if necessary. Individualised plans aim to be appropriate and achievable, and are sensitive to the challenges faced by a particular patient, as well as their disposable income, culture and current lifestyle. The therapists advise clients on where to buy certain recommended foods at reasonable prices and provide them with samples and seeds for planting.
Cancer is a journey, the trajectory of which usually involves anxiety, hopelessness, anger and feelings of loneliness. Patients and their loved ones struggle with loss of normalcy, financial strain, physical vulnerability and fears of death. The conventional medical sector is mostly focused on treating the disease; often the psychological concerns are not adequately addressed. Friends and family of patients are usually willing to help but unable to understand the fears faced by the patient and therefore unable to provide the appropriate support and guidance.
Counseling aims to help the patient and/or their carers make practical, emotional and spiritual adjustments to improve their quality of life. The counselor gently encourages the patient or carer to talk about their emotions and concerns and offers professional emotional and practical support and direction to the client.
At Faraja, qualified counselors see patients either one-on-one or with their carers. Sessions usually last for forty-five minutes upwards, and are followed up with further sessions with the same counselor the following week if needed.
Zumba is a dance fitness program that involves exercise with dance and aerobics. It is a fun way to tone up, relieve stress, improve mood and to boost your metabolism which allows the body to better fight cancer cells. The choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue andmambo. Squats and lunges are also included.
Zumba is facilitated by AartiChandarana, a licensed and qualified Zumba instructor who has years of experience including instructing thousands of runners during the 2014 Mater Heart Run. Her steps are fun and easy to follow for people of all ages and abilities. Her therapy sessions are every Wednesday from 2:15 to 3:00pm at the Faraja Wellness Center.
Ani is a Reiki practitioner and teacher who has performed around 400 healing therapies and taught 140 students internationally over the last thirteen years. She started Reiki when her two children left home to study overseas and she began to suffer from headaches.
A qualified clinical nutritionist and volunteers twice a week at Faraja andgives diet and nutrition advice to patients.
Practices pranic healing; which is healing using energy, she has volunteered at Faraja for 4 years and comes in once a week.
Kamal has been practicing Energy Healing for almost 16 years. However she has unofficially practiced Reiki since she was a little girl growing up in India.
Komal is a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor and Yoga Therapist. She has a clinic called 'Health In Your Hands' in Westlands, Nairobi and also does yoga therapy with Special Needs Children at the Oshwal Academy.
Marieke qualified as a nurse from University College Hospital London. Trained in Midwifery in Cambridge. When she moved to Kenya she worked at Nairobi Hospital in the ICU department. She then went on to train as a lymphatic drainage specialist in 2001 and has been practicing at Faraja.
Phillip offers psychological support, and counseling. He has been working with Faraja since 2011, initially as a volunteer. He is a psycho-oncologist with over 7years experience in working with cancer patients in Kenya.
Rashmi has been a professional hair stylist for many years working in salons in Nairobi. She voluneers at Faraja once a week performing scalp massage treatments.
Rita qualified as a reflexologist when she temporarily moved to Australia 10 years ago. Before that, she practiced Reiki and reflexology on herself after going through a series of medical ups and downs during her mid-twenties.
Smita is a cancer survivor who is thrilled to have the opportunity to uplift the lives of others through providing nutritional advice and being a listening ear to whoever needs it.
Saida Dharna is a breast cancer survivor. After her surgery, she took up yoga and movement classes, which helped to reduce her stress levels and assist in her healing.
Sadhna began practicing yoga after the birth of her last child. She wanted to lose weight and was encouraged by her Eritrean yoga instructor to continue practicing.
Wanayran Angerer is a mystic, artisan, world traveller, mother, international woman's rights advocate, dancer and talented singer. Wanny, as she is affectionately known, sings smoky renditions of classics, like Quisaz. When she isn't crooning to international audiences.