Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guided Imagery Gone High Tech-"Whip Cancer"

I just read about this app on an oncology nurse forum.  "Whip Cancer" is a 17 minute guided imagery session.  You pick your type of cancer on your iPad or iPhone and up pops an anatomical drawing of the part of your body that is affected by cancer.  

If you have ovarian cancer, an image of the female torso with anatomic drawings of your ovaries, fallopian tubes pops up.   You can also bring up your type of tumor and you can place it anywhere you want on the screen.  You can place it right on your ovaries.  The site speaks of being able to make your tumor disintegrate and leave your body, as a very calm and zen-like voice helps you to relax.

You can also tap the screen on the "tumor" and there is an extremely lame "explosion" with no noise that occurs.  In its' defense,  it is not a video game.  Also, they are trying to get you to meditate and relax so the idea of a tumor exploding all over the place might not be what they are going for!!

The pros:
  • You can visualize and target in on your particular body part affected by cancer
  • The woman's voice on the app is very calming and relaxing.
  • It is only $2.99 and you have it right with you on your phone.  This would be helpful if you are sitting in the chemo clinic all stressed out and needing a little calming down.  Just put your earbuds in and take deep breaths and relax.  
  • I like that the guy who invented this app did it in honor of his sister in law.  Apparently she was having difficulty visualizing where her tumors were and she wanted to focus on the treatment destroying the tumors in her head.
  • At 17 minutes long, it is something you could conceivably use at the start of each chemo session or to help you fall asleep at night.

The cons:
  • I really wanted to see the tumor blow up with all kinds of rocket launchers, bells and whistles...BE GONE WITH YOU FREAKIN CANCER!!!  The cancer graphic is kind of lame.  Although I did enjoy repeatedly tapping it, to get it to break up into small pieces.

If you are someone who appreciates guided imagery, or even something to help you fall into a nice nap, at $2.99 what do you have to lose except for $2.99?

Also, I just downloaded it and only did one session, so maybe there is more to it than I know.

Here's the founder explaining this app:       
Bottom line:  may be useful for some of you.  Hey, if it helps even one person, it is worth it!!!
Here's the blurb from the company who makes it:
           Purchase at iTunes Store for iPhone & iPad
"Whip Cancer empowers people with cancer to mobilize their immune system to actively bolster their cancer treatments and recovery. They participate in their own healing by placing vivid images of their cancer cells onto stunning anatomical illustrations at the location of their cancer, and then participate in a guided imagery audio session to deeply relax and focus on cancer cell elimination. “Imagery is frequently used to empower patients to be active in the healing process, thereby reducing stress and focusing the body's energies on targeting the disease” says Zack Spigelman, MD, Internist, Hematologist and Medical Oncologist at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. • Select cell photos from 108 cancer types • Place cells onto anatomical images on the location of your cancer • Use a 17 minutes guided imagery narrative that you can control • Zoom in on the anatomical image • Make cancer cells larger or smaller, fade away and then reappear • Tap the cancer cells to make them break apart ||||||| © Copley Raff, Inc. 2012 ... for iPhone & iPad"

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