Update: 11 September 2019
As I’m getting stronger I’m trying to incorporate more exercise into my routine. Some days I do great getting out for a long walk to the grocery store or something but most days I’m lucky if I go to the end of the block to buy my daily water (more on that in another post).
Enter my glorious rebounder! It’s ridiculous that I bought this thing given that it takes up a quarter of the available floor space in our mini Hong Kong apartment but I’m lucky to have the most supportive husband ever.
Rebounder Benefits for Cancer
In my research I’ve discovered that rebounding is evidently some of the best exercise a person with cancer can do. Benefits for cancer include:
- Improved Lymph Circulation
- Immune System Support
- Increased Oxygen Intake
Rebounding Stimulates Lymph Circulation – A Very Good Thing for Healing Cancer
Lymph starts its life as plasma in arterial blood. When the blood filters through tissue to deliver nutrients to cells and remove waste products, not all of it returns to the circulatory system. The 10% or so that is left behind becomes lymph and moves through the lymphatic system up towards the neck before it’s dumped back into the bloodstream at the subclavian veins. Along the way it gets filtered by the lymph nodes and any nasties are attacked by white blood cells. According to the Ehrlich Lymph Organization, “Lymph nodes also trap and destroy cancer cells to slow the spread of cancer until they are overwhelmed by it.”
Having a highly functioning lymphatic system is essential for your overall health and ability to fight cancer. The lymphatic system is comprised of several organs including the spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes, which are interconnected by a web of fine lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic system receives toxins and metabolic waste which are transported by the lymphatic fluid to the lymph nodes, to be discharged to the kidneys and liver for elimination. So without the lymphatic system, the body cannot effectively remove toxins.
Before starting my research I hadn’t realized that the body has three times as much lymph as it does blood. But whereas the circulatory system has the heart to pump blood through the body, the lymphatic system depends purely on the movement of muscles and joints to move that fluid around. The rebounding action of a trampoline is especially effective at moving lymph towards the nodes on its way to being filtered and detoxified. The flow of lymph is controlled by one-way valves that prevent backflow. In the absence of a pump, the motion of the rebounder helps coordinate the opening and closing of those valves so things move along nicely.
Other trivia I recently learned: the body only has 600-700 lymph nodes and they don’t regenerate. I don’t know how many of mine have been “overwhelmed” by the cancer – oncologists stop counting at “multiple” – but it looks like about a dozen. I want to take care of the ones that are left.
Rebounding Boosts the Immune System – Another Very Good Thing for Healing Cancer
Circulating lymph makes it easier for the immune system to eliminate all the nasties. Not only does healthy lymph movement push waste towards lymph nodes for processing, jumping on a rebounder activates human lymphocytes, specialized white blood cells which research suggests can kill tumor cells. In fact, these are the same white blood cells that are leveraged by some immunotherapy protocols. After two minutes of jumping on a trampoline the number of white blood cells triples and remains elevated for up to an hour.
Rebounding Increases Oxygen Intake – A Very Good Thing for Healing Cancer
As we know, cancer cells are anaerobic and thrive in a low oxygen environment and in fact cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment as evidenced by a 2000 study published in Cancer Research Journal among many other studies. One important tool as we “tend the soil” of our bodies to create a cancer-hostile environment by saturating our tissues with oxygen.
Enter the trampoline: A 1980 NASA study conclusively showed that jumping increases oxygen uptake and cellular oxygenation. By saturating our cells with oxygen we’re increasing energy and immune defences.
Other Benefits of the Rebounder
Oh yeah! It’s also pretty fun and good exercise.
How Do I Use a Rebounder for Cancer Therapy?
There are a few different recommended techniques that I’ve come across and the following are what I’ve been doing:
- Health Bounce
Keeping my feet about shoulder distance apart (sometimes wider for balance), I just gently bob up and down. That is, I’m bouncing but my feet barely leave the pad. I can absolutely feel the fluids in my body moving around (more on that below) so I assume I’m experiencing all the lymphatic benefits.
- Seat Bounces
If I’m having a bad day and get tired from the health bounce quickly, I actually sit on the rebounder with my legs either crossed on the pad or with my feet on the floor. For someone in a wheelchair, this is the way to go. I don’t feel my fluids moving quite as much but I still feel like I’m accomplishing something.
- Strength Jump
If I’m having a really good day, on the other hand, I’ll up my game and get some really good bounces in. Sometimes I put on music and really enjoy myself. The biggest thing for me is balance but I find widening my stance helps with that.
How often should I use a rebounder for cancer therapy?
According to Linda Brooks, author of Rebounding and Your Immune System, gentle bouncing on a rebounder or mini trampoline for two minutes out of every hour is good therapy for preventing and treating cancer. My ideal schedule would be to follow her guidance and add a longer session of 15-20 minutes in somewhere.
Pretty soon I’m going to start practicing EWOT, Exercising With Oxygen Therapy, during my longer session. I’ll talk about the advantages of that in another post.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can rebounding spread cancer?
This one has come up a lot and is completely valid given that rebounding is all about moving fluid through the lymph nodes and cancers, including mine, like to camp in lymph nodes. Also, there’s evidence that tumor biopsies can spread cancer. The answer, fortunately, is a confident NO, rebounding will not spread cancer. This has been confirmed by my oncologists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester – who also reassured me that even a firm massage of the lymph node tumor won’t spread the cancer – and Hong Kong Queen Mary Hospital.
Leave your questions in the comments and, whether it’s my personal experience or requires outside research, I’ll get back to you ASAP!