Vol. 25 No.9. SEPTEMBER 2010
online magazine of the Cancer Support Association
Patron – His Excellency Dr. Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia
environment, wellness and healing
ﬂower power THE FLOWERING OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS
THE SOUL DIMENSION OF CANCER
COOK, GROW, BUY
THE ART OF LIVING AND DYING
Cancer Support Association of WA Inc.
wellness news monthly online magazine of the Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc.
Wellness News e-magazine is published online and distributed free to members of the Cancer Support Association. Wellness News magazine is dedicated entirely to environment, wellness and healing. The magazine is for people with cancer or serious health issues; for people who are well and want to maintain their good health naturally; and for complementary, alternative and integrative health professionals. Please enjoy your Wellness experience!
ﬂowers nature’s gift Dear Readers, There is a mystical connection between flowers and the human spirit. Flowers have always been given and received as offerings of peace, friendship and love. Flowers have inspired countless poets, artists to create works of great beauty. Flowers inspire everyday gardeners to become passionate creators of backyards filled with colour, fragrance and wonder.
Editorial Consultant Dr. Peter Daale
Nature has provided us with a gift of immense beauty and an innate healing potential. It is no coincidence that hospital rooms are filled with bouquets. Since the beginning of humanity, flowers have been used in medicines...as tinctures, teas, poultices, essences. Simply being amongst flowers lifts the spirits and brings about a feeling of lightness and joy!
With the onset of Spring, we dedicate this issue of Wellness News to exploring the healing power of flowers. Inside you will find articles, recipes, poems and images to heal, inspire, educate and amaze! ✦
news team... Editor Mandy BeckerKnox firstname.lastname@example.org
People from a planet without ﬂowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat
Peace, Mandy Above image: poppy seed opening
MEETING THE CHALLENGE!
one day cancer wellness workshop
NEW CSA members can attend free!
Life Changing Information for people with cancer presented by Dr. Peter Daale, Paul Alexander & Michael Sandford One day seminars for people living with cancer and their carers with a special focus on accessing key cancer information online, nutrition, and meditation. Held on the ﬁrst Friday of every month. UPCOMING 2010 DATES: 5TH NOVEMBER, 3RD DECEMBER from 9.30am-4.30pm.
To book phone CSA 9384 3544
in this edition... features FLOWERING OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS An excerpt 6 THE from the new book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle 8
THE SOUL DIMENSION OF CANCER Using ﬂower essences in cancer
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION The art of living and dying
FLOWER POWER PICTORIAL The healing potential of macro nature photography
EDIBLE FLOWERS Cook, grow, buy
A GUIDE TO TYPES OF EDIBLE FLOWERS
SHARE YOUR STORY Contribute to new research to help develop a complementary therapy
UNFOLDING DIVINE PERCEPTION
regular 2 EDITORIAL Flowers: nature’s gift THE NEWS Processed Meats Raise Leukaemia Risk; Prevent 5 INChildhood Leukaemia; Vitamin D really does prevent cancer 28
 RECIPES beautiful, healthy recipes using edible ﬂowers
Breath Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in. Breathing out, I know As the in-breath grows deep, The out-breath grows slow. Breathing in makes me calm. Breathing out makes me ease. With the in-breath, I smile. With the out-breath, I release. Breathing in, there is only the present moment. Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment. Thich Nhat Hanh
CSA weekly program...
September 2010 MONDAY
Meditation Made Easy .................................................................................10.00 – 11.30am Ongoing Lessons with Bavali Hill. FREE FOR MEMBERS (non-members $5) No bookings necessary.
About the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc The Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc is a nonproﬁt charitable organisation which was established in 1984. CSA’s key intention is to help people become informed, empowered and supported on their cancer and wellness journeys. CSA encourages an integrative, well-informed understanding of health and treatment options and strategies, and is committed to supporting all people, regardless of their treatment choices. CSA supports individuals who are living with cancer, their families, carers and the wider community through the services we provide, as well as through our widely distributed publications and unique cancer information website.
TUESDAY Wellness and Healing Open Support Group ............................... 10.00 – 12.00noon with Dr. Angela Ebert Carer’s Wellness and Healing .............................................................. 10.00 – 12.00noon Open Support Group (when required) Reiki Clinic .....................................................................................................12.15pm – 1.30pm
WEDNESDAY Reﬂexology with Udo Kannapin ..................................................................10am – 2pm (appointments available between10am – 2pm) Laughter Yoga with Kimmie O’Meara ($3.00) ...................................11.00am – 12.00pm Chinese Medical Healthcare Qigong ($10/$5 members) .........12.30pm – 2.00pm with Master Andrew Tem-Foo Lim
THURSDAY Grief and Loss Open Support Group ................................................... 1.00pm – 3.00pm last Thursday of each month
FRIDAY Meeting the Challenge 1 Day Seminar ................................................9.30am – 4.30pm 1ST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH with Dr. Peter Daale (and others). PLEASE NOTE: MEETING THE CHALLENGE WILL NOT TAKE PLACE DURING SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER.
DAILY General Counselling with Dr. Angela Ebert .................................................. by appointment Phone direct on 0414 916 724 or 9450 6724 or email email@example.com
Please phone CSA on 9384 3544 or check our website for further information. We can help you with information packs, course prices, conﬁrm course times and make bookings.
CSA’s workshops, courses, groups, and complementary therapies are advertised throughout this publication and are held at CSA’s premises in Cottesloe unless otherwise stated.
at CSA with Master Andrew Lim Every Wednesday from 12:30pm to 2pm in the Sun Room at CSA. Cost $5.00 (CSA members) or $10.00 per class
in the news...
WELLNESS NEWS 5
Processed Meats Raise Leukaemia Risk
A diet high in cured meats may lead to a 74 percent higher risk of childhood leukaemia, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal BMC Cancer.
Researchers examined the dietary habits and leukaemia rates among 515 Taiwanese children and youths between the ages of 2 and 20. A total of 145 leukaemia patients were included in the study, and each was compared with two healthy participants of the same age and sex. The scientists used detailed dietary questionnaires to determine participants’ intake of cured meats including bacon, ham, hot dogs, dried salted duck, salted fish and Chinese sausage. For leukaemia patients, cured meat intake was calculated for the time period before the onset of the disease; for healthy patients, intake was calculated for the beginning of the study. The researchers found that the rate of leukaemia was 74 percent higher among those who ate cured meat products more than once per week than among those who ate it less frequently. In contrast, children who ate vegetables and soy products frequently had a 50 percent lower leukaemia risk than children who ate vegetables and soy products rarely. The risk of cancer among children who ate large amounts of both cured meats and soy or vegetable products was significantly lower than the rate among those who ate large amounts of cured meats alone. Based on the results of the study, the researchers have recommended that children limit their intake of cured meats and fish.
New research shows
Cured meats have previously been linked to an elevated risk of other cancers. One of the primary suspects for this effect are the chemicals known as nitrites that are used in the preservation process.
there is link between
Leukaemia is a term that describes a cluster of different cancers of the blood or bone marrow, characterized by the excessive production of blood cells. ✦ Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com.
Prevent Childhood Leukaemia
Leukaemia is a cancer of the bone marrow. Every year there are 2000-3000 children diagnosed with this cancer
in the United States alone. Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer and is most common in children under the age of 10. But in Asia those statistics look very different. They have a much lower rate of childhood leukaemia than western countries. The Loyola University Medical Centre has done research to find out why.
Researchers think the link between the lower amount of childhood leukaemia in Asia is due to Turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Asian cooking. Loyola professor Moolky Nagabhushan said in a statement, “Some of the known risk factors that contribute to the high incidence of childhood leukaemia are the interaction of many lifestyle and environmental factors. These include prenatal or postnatal exposure to radiation, benzene, environmental pollutants and alkylating chemotherapeutic drugs.” Nagabhushan went on to say that his studies showed that the principle colouring agent in turmeric, curcumin, mitigated the effects of some of the risk factors.
the lower amount of childhood leukaemia in Asia than Western countries because of their use of the spice Turmeric in everyday cooking.
Western cultures can get these same effects by cooking with turmeric. You can purchase the spice at your local health food store. You can also get the same benefits by taking turmeric supplements. A study at the University of California Berkley found that eating certain fruits could lower children’s risk of developing leukaemia. The study, which was called the Northern California Childhood Leukaemia Study, looked at 328 children that had been diagnosed with leukaemia between the ages of 2 and 14. They compared their diets to children of the same age, gender, ethnicity and region who did not have leukaemia. The study found that children who regularly ate oranges and/or bananas during their first two years of life had a reduced risk of developing childhood leukaemia. Oranges are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant and is also known for its anticancer effects. Bananas contain a high amount of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that has also shown to have some anti-cancer benefits. The research showed that the risk for developing childhood leukaemia was 51% lower in the children who ate oranges/bananas regularly. The study also showed that drinking orange juice was also found to be protective. The risk dropped 46% compared with children who rarely or never drank orange juice. Once again studies show that by feeding our children healthy, balanced diets they will have a reduced risk of cancers and all diseases in general. ✦ Source: www.nautralnews.com, 28th August. By Maddie Ellison
of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
6 WELLNESS NEWS
The Flowering of
Human Consciousness By Eckhart Tolle
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” Eckhart Tolle
Earth, 114 million years ago, one morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the
planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun. Prior to this momentous event that heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants, the planet had already been covered in vegetation for millions of years. The first flower probably did not survive for long, and flowers must have remained rare and isolated phenomena, since conditions were most likely not yet favorable for a widespread flowering to occur. One day, however, a critical threshold was reached, and suddenly there would have been an explosion of colour and scent all over the planet—if a perceiving consciousness had been there to witness it. Much later, those delicate and fragrant beings we call flowers would come to play an essential part in the evolution of consciousness of another species. Humans would increasingly be drawn to and fascinated by them. As the consciousness of human beings developed, flowers were most likely the first thing they came to value that had no utilitarian purpose for them, that is to say, was not linked in some way to survival. They provided inspiration to countless artists, poets, and mystics. Jesus tells us to contemplate the flowers and learn from them how to live. The Buddha is said to have given a “silent sermon” once during which he held up a flower and gazed at it. After a while, one of those present, a monk called Mahakasyapa, began to smile. He is said to have been the only one who had understood the sermon. According to legend, that smile (that is to say, realization) was handed down by twenty-eight successive masters and much later became the origin of Zen. Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans, however briefly, to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature. The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness. The feelings of joy and love are intrinsically connected to that recognition. Without our fully realizing it, flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves. Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless. They not only had a scent that was delicate and pleasing to humans, but also brought a fragrance from the realm of spirit. Using the word “enlightenment” in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants. Any life-form in any realm—mineral, vegetable, animal, or human—can be said to undergo “enlightenment.” It is, however, an extremely rare occurrence since it is more than an evolutionary progression: It also implies a discontinuity in its development, a leap to an entirely different level of Being and, most important, a lessening of materiality.
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 7
What could be heavier and more impenetrable than a rock, the densest of all forms? And yet some rocks undergo a change in their molecular structure, turn into crystals, and so become transparent to the light. Some carbons, under inconceivable heat and pressure, turn into diamonds, and some heavy minerals into other precious stones. Most crawling reptilians, the most earthbound of all creatures, have remained unchanged for millions of years. Some, however, grew feathers and wings and turned into birds, thus defying the force of gravity that had held them for so long. They didn’t become better at crawling or walking, but transcended crawling and walking entirely. Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit. Like all life-forms, they are, of course, temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness. Their special significance and the reason why humans feel such fascination for and affinity with them can be attributed to their ethereal quality. Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in human beings’ perceptions, they can sense the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit in every creature, every life-form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so love it as themselves. Until this happens, however, most humans see only the outer forms, unaware of the inner essence, just as they are unaware of their own essence and identify only with their own physical and psychological form. In the case of a flower, a crystal, precious stone, or bird, however, even someone with little or no Presence can occasionally sense that there is more there than the mere physical existence of that form, without knowing that this is the reason why he or she is drawn toward it, feels an affinity with it. Because of its ethereal nature, its form obscures the indwelling spirit to a lesser degree than is the case with other life-forms. The exception to this are all newborn life-forms—babies, puppies, kittens, lambs, and so on. They are fragile, delicate, not yet firmly established in materiality. An innocence, a sweetness and beauty that are not of this world still shine through them. They delight even relatively insensitive humans. So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless. There is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit. This is why these three “enlightened” life-forms have played such an important part in the evolution of human consciousness since ancient times; why, for example, the jewel in the lotus flower is a central symbol of Buddhism and a white bird, the dove, signifies the Holy Spirit in Christianity. They have been preparing the ground for a more profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species. This is the spiritual awakening that we are beginning to witness now. ✦
“All the things that truly matter, beauty, love, creativity, joy and inner peace arise from beyond the mind.” Eckhart Tolle
Excerpted from “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle
A weekly group held every Tuesday at CSA 10am – 12noon. Anyone who’s life has been aﬀected by cancer or other life threatening illnesses is welcome to attend. A Carer’s Support Group is held at the same time when required. of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
The Soul Dimension of Cancer FLOWER ESSENCES FOR CANCER By Dr. Marina Angeli
Psychiatrist Dr. Marina Angeli has found ďŹ‚ower essences essential in her therapeutic approach to treating the psychological and emotional aspects of cancer
WELLNESS NEWS 9
any years ago I had become impressed by the meaningful psychosomatic research ﬁndings of Bahnson C.B. and Bahnson M.B. concerning the psychosomatic dimension of cancer. Years later, already familiar with ﬂower essence therapy, I considered the idea of using ﬂower essences to address the negative emotions which Drs. Bahnson & Bahnson associated with cancer. The idea was to try to help certain relatives or friends of mine, suﬀering from cancer. At about the same time, I heard about the work of Dr. O. Carl Simonton and his wife, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton, on a holistic approach in the treatment of cancer, presented in their book ‘Getting Well Again’. Their ﬁndings, as well as those of other researchers, seemed to verify the mental-emotional ‘proﬁle’ of cancer already suggested in the wonderful Bahnsons’ work. I started giving ﬂower essences to cancer patients, watching for the results, while at the same time examining whether the supposed ‘cancer-type’ psychological proﬁle was present in them. I found that it always was. Flower essences proved to be of great help in making people suﬀering from cancer feel very much better. Most importantly, they seemed to allow a profound change in the way cancer patients were handling their problems, resulting in much healthier patterns of behavior regarding the type of psychological tensions associated with cancer. The particular changes in the psychosomatic balance seemed to work very positively in the direction of giving strength to the organism, restore ‘the will to live’, help to respond positively to the medical treatments and move towards cure. Besides, the deep changes in attitude which occurred seemed to serve as a wonderful means in the effort of preventing future recurrences of the problem. Flower essences proved to be of great help in making people suffering from cancer feel very much better. Most importantly, they seemed to allow a profound change in the way cancer patients were handling their problems, resulting in much healthier patterns of behavior regarding the type of psychological tensions associated with cancer. The particular changes in the psychodynamic balance seemed to work very positively in the direction of giving strength to the organism, restoring “the will to live,” helping to respond positively to the medical treatments and moving towards cure. Also, the deep changes of attitude that occurred seemed to serve as a wonderful means in the effort to prevent future recurrences of the problem.
What “causes cancer”? As we know, every day our bodies produce cancer cells which our immune system destroys, thus keeping us healthy. In the case of cancer, the immune system ceases doing this, so cancer cells build up and create tumors, which finally take hold of the whole organism. The so called “cause of cancer” is considered to be unknown. The numerous potentially harmful influences such as foods or other materials, environmental pollution, unhealthy life habits, heritage and the “genes of cancer” etc., usually blamed for this problem, should be viewed as predisposing factors rather than as causes themselves. This explains why only a number and not the totality of people affected by these factors eventually become ill, and why no prediction as to whether, when and under which conditions illness will appear, can be made. Similarly, the existing therapies such as surgery, radio-/chemotherapy etc., fail to cure all of the same-type cancer patients, the prognosis for whom remains unknown. If the cure of cancer depended exclusively on these treatments, then why do some people respond positively to them while others do not? Facts like these can be considered as clear indications that, besides the many physical factors directly affecting the body, other factors must be playing a very important role in the creation as well as in the possible recurrence of cancer in a particular human organism. There is an aspect of the human condition, which may provide essential information in the process of understanding this disease – the aspect of the underlying mental-emotional situation of a person who eventually becomes a cancer patient. Although very important research has taken place in this field during the last decades, findings have not yet attracted the attention of either the medical community or the general public to any considerable degree.
Some of us may be familiar with theories about a “cancer personality,” a type of personality that predisposes to cancer. Although there may be truth in these theories, life shows that it is better to consider a particular “state of mind” rather than a certain personality type. It seems that everybody can find themselves experiencing a cancer-type of stress, at a certain time in their lives, under specific conditions.
Deﬁning the “psychology of cancer” In trying to describe the various components of the typical “psychology of cancer,” as it has been perceived in people in precancerous and cancerous states, we should state that in most cases they concern subconscious emotions and states of mind, which however, usually become immediately recognized and confirmed by cancer patients when mentioned to them: SHOCK: Research has recorded that about 6 to 18 months before cancer becomes diagnosed, the person consciously or sometimes subconsciously has experienced a severe shock or a number of shocks in an area of major importance for his/her life. GRIEF AND DESPAIR: Since then, the person has been living in profound grief, despair and distress, suffering the loss of an essential soul survival mechanism. HOPELESSNESS: The person believes that there is going to be no end to this suffering. HELPLESSNESS: The person feels left alone; no help can come from anywhere, as others are either unaware, unable or unwilling to help. RESENTMENT: Hidden feelings of bitterness, resentment and sense of having been unjustly treated by certain significant others are part of the emotional complexity of the situation. POWERLESS ANGER: As a result of feeling a victim of injustice, there is suppressed silent anger and rage together with a sense of total powerlessness. The person feels defeated. GUILT: Taking action to break free from the particular psychological bind seems impossible, either because of ethical obligations, moral dictates, love attachments or other obstacles. Simply getting past continued on next page...
of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
10 WELLNESS NEWS
September 2010 ...from previous page
the stressful situation would make the person feel guilty for being “unfaithful,” “unloving,” “irresponsible,” “cruel,” etc. Many times, guilt and resentment go hand in hand, as the person partly considers the stressful life condition as a punishment for his/her faults and shortcomings in this matter. LACK OF EXPRESSION OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS: Either out of fear, guilt, confusion or simply despair, the person finds no outlet to express their wounded feelings. Instead, emotional toxicity is being accumulated within. The person silently “carries his/her cross.” SENSE OF BEING “ENTRAPPED”: As a result of all the above, the person feels trapped in a horrific emotional prison, from which there is no way out. EXHAUSTION: The prolonged heavy soul pressure finally results in tremendous exhaustion, both physical and emotional. Under the particular stress, the person can find no rest, no “inner sunshine,” and no “air” for the soul to breathe and to refresh. Life becomes a burden. DEPRESSION: Because of the above negative emotional state, the person can find no joy, no sweetness in life, no reason why to genuinely wish to live. RESIGNATION: It seems as if nothing can be done. Although he or she may seem to still be trying, the person totally resigns inwardly, and submits to “fate.”
Flower essences have proven to be very important in cleansing and rebalancing the mental-emotional state, giving space to the person’s soul to bring him/her back to life again and unblocking the energy system to a point where it is able to nourish and heal the body.
UNCONSCIOUS WISH TO DIE: Despite any conscious desire to live, possible fear of death, concern about loved ones and wish to fulfill life goals, a person in a pre-cancerous or cancerous state deep within his/her soul would like to die. Because of this unconscious desire to live no more, cancer has been described by some researchers as “a noble way to commit suicide.” Sweetness, quiet acceptance of despair: Shortly before the onset of cancer and often also during the course of the disease, the person usually appears to be very quiet, sweetly accepting his/her life burden, not blaming anybody, not asking anything for him/herself. He or she may display an exceptional kindness, a “saintly” quality which is not of this world (people are often especially moved when remembering cancer patients).
Choosing ﬂower essences for cancer The idea for this article is not to suggest an essence formula for cancer, but rather to initiate the thought that flower essences can offer great psychological support regarding the emotional issues statistically found as closely connected with the deterioration of the natural defense mechanisms which, under normal conditions, are able to fight cancer in the body. Flower essences have proven to be very important in cleansing and rebalancing the mentalemotional state, giving space to the person’s soul to bring him/her back to life again and unblocking the energy system to a point where it is able to nourish and cure the body. After the underlying dangerous negative mental-emotional state has been transformed to a considerable degree, more flower essences can be applied to help in different areas of dealing with
Laughter Yoga at CSA with Kimmie O’Meara Wednesdays 11am-12pm Come and experience the therapeutic benefits of laughter.
See you there! www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
September 2010 the problem. Such areas usually include: cleansing the body, bearing side effects of medical treatments, fear, and self-healing.
WELLNESS NEWS 11
often provided the essential information which uncovered the basic emotional conflict in them.
Deﬁning the basic emotional conﬂict in cancer patients One might think of making a flower essence formula based on this particular mental-emotional profile, and such a formula might prove to be of critical help in the process of dealing with the illness. However, it is always good for cancer patients—after initial relief provided by flower essences to determine and become consciously aware of their distressful difficulties—to work with the help of a trained health care professional. In this way, more specific and personalized information may become available, and lead to the choice of flower essences important for the healing process of the particular case. Experience has shown that not all people are willing or capable of dealing consciously with their stressful issues. Fortunately, flower essences have proven able to be of critical help even when a cancer patient never works directly with the problems which led his/herself to such a distress. However, gaining awareness over the situation and working out healthier strategies to deal with this particular type of stress will best protect the person from similar future health issues and will further their self-awareness and psycho-spiritual development as well. I have never seen a cancer patient who was able to immediately answer the question, “Well, what was it that caused such a distress to you?” It is only after posing careful questions that they respond, opening their heart in great relief. But even then, they never think of relating their soul pain with their illness. Often, cancer patients have much difficulty talking about what has been deeply hurting them, while they may easily talk about other issues of theirs. In many cases, talking with people from the patients’ environments has
B.S., a now-healthy 38-year-old woman was found to have an aggressive type of breast cancer more than five years ago, after she had successfully completed her graduation exams to become a lawyer. She had been “happily married” and had three beautiful young children. Everything seemed idyllic in this person’s life at first glance. Everybody was shocked to hear about her cancer: “What bad luck…” Tactful conversation revealed to me no relevant information from this person about any stress in her life at that time and it was only through a family friend that I knew the facts, which in my eyes formed the typical emotional “portrait” of cancer. She had been through a period of time when she had exhausted herself studying for her exams while being the mother of three children, one of which was a newborn. “ She practically got no sleep,” said the friend. She received no help from her mother when studying all night and taking care of the kids during the day. Her rich in-laws, who disliked her despite her efforts to please them, did not volunteer to support the couple who were going through a financially stressed phase. On top of all this, her husband had been threatening her that he would find a girlfriend if she continued to “always be so tired…” She had stood all that without really complaining, always “brave and strong,” always “nice and caring.” The shock from the illness, and the awareness, empowerment and relief gained through the flower essences, quickly resulted in a deep change in the woman’s attitude. “I take good care of myself now,” she told me some time later. “I take care to feel good deep within me, and to be satisfied with how I live my life. I don’t let anyone ‘squeeze’ my energy or hurt me. I love and adequately defend myself.” Emotional distress caused by love relations seems to be one of the most common types of stress that we see in cancer cases. Often
All Enviro products are based on the highest quality natural ingredients, vegetable extracts & minerals, organic where possible and sourced from local suppliers. Enviro products are highly concentrated, reducing the need for useless ‘fillers’, so are economical to use – often cheaper than their toxic, imported competiitors. Any new environmental issues pertinent to our range are researched and incorporated.
continued on next page...
No petrochemicals No animal testing No phosphates No caustics No chlorine Readily Biodegradable Septic & Sewerage safe
of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
12 WELLNESS NEWS
...from previous page
people decide to submit to situations that are deeply hurting them, situations where they are being emotionally exploited and subtly abused. They usually accept to remain in such situations, because they are emotionally/ physically/financially/morally, etc. attached, and dependent on the particular person(s) or situation(s). Often they will say that they hold on to certain relationships because they love their partners and would never get angry at him/her for letting them down. At other times, they may accept entirely painful situations for the sake of their children or other loved ones. People in these cases suppress their true feelings of grief and sorrow and deny the fact that they do feel abandoned and abused. Grief depletes their system from energy and tension builds in, the suppressed rage and resentment finding no way to become released. Needless to say, the particular organs and parts of the body where the illness of cancer appears does not seem irrelevant to the type of stress the person has experienced – which can further facilitate our understanding of the life area that requires special attention and care.
My experience so far has been that when people become aware of the particular psychological proﬁle associated with cancer and decide to take care of themselves with the help of appropriate ﬂower essences, they do very well.
Sometimes it is very difficult to perceive the particular emotional background in certain cancer cases, as what makes one distressed can be very personal and quite different from the way someone else would have reacted under similar conditions. We should avoid the temptation to set “rules” as to what might cause distress to someone, but rather focus on the way a particular human soul feels deep inside, regardless of the objective severity of circumstances. I remember J. B., a friend’s father in his seventies, who suddenly was diagnosed with liver cancer, while everything in his life looked to be fine or at least without any visible negative changes. Quite the opposite, the man had recently gotten his first and very much-awaited grandchild, the only grandchild in the family after the many years that his only son had been married. Cancer appeared soon after the child was born, while the atmosphere of enthusiasm in the family was still high. The grandfather’s disease was seen as “truly bad luck.” J. B. had spent most of his life between severe and slight depression. His wife had always been a strict, authoritarian woman, ruling and repressing him but at the same time treating him like a powerless child who needed to be taken care of. Although living in another town, their son always had an emotionally important role in their lives, opposing the mother while also caring for and empowering the father. Since the man’s cancer appeared, I was closely attending the situation, providing essences and puzzled by having found no signs of relevant stress. Then one day, when the patient said that he was soon going to die, one of his cousins said to him: “No, you must live, we need you, James!” “You have another James now…!” he answered in a bitter voice. “I am no longer needed, I am only a burden now.” By “another James” he meant his grandson, who was named after the grandfather as is the custom in Greece. It was the tone of his unusual statement – afflicted, aggrieved, resentful, totally desperate, weary, quietly resigned – which alarmed me, suddenly providing an opening through which I could see what was happening in his psyche. Though I could not tell in which way, it was now apparent that the birth of the grandson had brought changes in the family dynamics, which had been tremendously distressing to the old man. My impression was that he had sensed that his wife’s attention, and his son’s interest and care, had entirely moved away from him to the child, something that presented a severe blow for that particular person in old age. The old man took flower essences; he did very well at first, but did not finally overcome the conflict. His wife firmly refused to get some “drops” for herself as well. Perhaps the family system was not willing to have two “babies” to take care of. Once while I was talking with a psychologist on this matter, I said: “We can’t know what can cause someone this type of distress. It could be anything he or she perceives as an unbearable pain from which there is no way out. For some, it might even be the fact that they’ve gotten old…” “Well, that sounds true to me!” she answered. She said that her father had been a man who had built his own identity on being a physically strong and healthy person, who drew satisfaction from life mainly by working out things successfully in a physical manner. He had never been happy at home with her mother, but work always helped him feel good. When in his late seventies he realized that he was no longer strong and able to do things – nor was he ever going to be as he once was. In one of his rare moments of in-depth communication with his daughter visiting him, he told her in profound despair: “I never actually believed that I would get old, never! It has been such a shock: it’s all over; time won over me. I feel defeated.” A while later, she said he was diagnosed with cancer. Retirement often presents a very stressful life change, especially in men, who traditionally depend a lot on their professional identity in order to feel efficient and energetic, to overcome problems and to find interest in life. Many times, work serves as an “oasis” for them, allowing them to stay away from disturbing emotional issues in the family. Soon after retirement, marital problems may become especially prominent and stressful, as he finds himself “at home with the wife all day for the rest of his life.” A client of mine recently told me that her father was found to have a malignant right brain tumor, less than a year after he went on pension. “What bad luck, right when he had the chance to rest and to enjoy free time
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
September 2010 after so many years of hard work… to be visiting his grandchildren, to play with them…” “Was he happy after having stopped his work?” I asked. “He is sad and aggrieved at my mother-in-law,” said her husband, who was present in the session. “She is domineering and speaks to him in a harsh way. He never resents and never says a bad word about anyone. After selling his shop when he had to retire about a year ago, he found himself in my mother-in-law’s way. When he knew that he was ill, he said that it happened ‘because of sadness’ and said to my mother-in-law: ‘It is because of you.’” “The truth is,” said his wife, “My mother has always been a very negative person, very unpleasant to be around, always poisoning my and my brother’s lives with her words and attitudes. She was never satisfied, it was impossible to please her in any way. Only when she went through phases of depression did she become humane. My father had always avoided conflict, not interacting much with her, spending the whole day in his shop. There he felt well, talked with clients and friends, and met a lot of people. He was popular, friendly and sociable. Of course when he retired, he lost all that. He was suddenly ‘locked in the house’ alone with my mother and had nothing to expect but to remain so for the rest of his life. My mother now threw all her negativity on him. It was hard for me to stand that atmosphere whenever I visited them. And I don’t think my father deserved this. But he is the type of personality who doesn’t react, who keeps everything inside. From now on, he will have to live as if in a pressure cooker…”
Searching beyond appearances The fear, even the terror, that cancer patients often feel about their disease, and the desperate desire they express to get well and continue to live, should not prevent us from perceiving the resignation, the despair and the almost suicidal disposition that coexist in the background. I always remember one of the first cancer cases with
WELLNESS NEWS 13
which I was asked to assist as a young psychiatrist many years ago. I had not become familiar with alternative therapies yet, so I only talked with the patients, trying to offer some consolation and psychological support. I had spent many hours talking with a very capable, dynamic, industrious woman in her fifties, who had been diagnosed with depression as a reaction to her bone cancer. After years of a passionate debate in court concerning some family property to which she felt particularly attached, she had lost her property rights and soon after, she got cancer. She felt immense hostility from and towards her relatives, and great resentment. She described their attitude towards her and her mother as “really outrageous and sarcastic.” Although she did not understand why I wanted to know about those things, she eagerly spoke of her inner turmoil and told me many times that she was feeling extremely sad, angry and defeated, not so much because of the property loss per se, but because of the way it had been lost. The worst thing was that she could not avoid meeting those relatives many times a day as they had come to live permanently in her lost parental home, next to her apartment: her neighbors for life. Of course she did not relate any of those feelings to her cancer. Meanwhile, she was experiencing extreme terror knowing that she had cancer: “Words cannot describe this torture. Only in my sleep do I relax a bit, but I literally sink back into hell when I wake up in the morning and remember. One should not wish even one’s worst enemy to go through what I am going through.” I haven’t met anybody in as much terror at having cancer as this woman. The striking thing about her was that, with just a little probing, she would reveal that she had no desire to live! “I can hardly bear to go on living, feeling the way that I feel. My life is awful; my life is a burden. And yet, I am terrified at the idea of death. I don’t want to live and I don’t continued on next page...
The Gawler Foundation 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Programme
Cancer, Healing & Wellbeing
Facilitated by Cathy Brown. Starts: Wednesday, 15 September 2010. 10am to 12.30pm weekly at CSA
“Cancer is a challenge – something you can conquer. Use it to make changes in your life – the things you have always been going to do. Do them now and change them now. Be open to things you may never have explored before.” ON THE PROGRAMME YOU WILL LEARN TO: • • • •
Activate your potential for healing Relax eﬀortlessly and meditate deeply Develop and sustain a positive state of mind Understand the role of nutrition and healthy diet for healing • Develop strategies to manage pain and fear • Find meaning and purpose in life
WEEKLY TOPICS INCLUDE: Week 1: Introduction and Meditation 1 Week 2: Meditation 2 Week 3: Mind Training 1 Week 4: Food 1 Week 5: Food 2 Week 6: Pain Management Week 7: Healing
Week 8: Causes and solutions for cancer Week 9: Mind Training 2 Week 10: Living and Dying Week 11: Healthy Emotions Week 12: Health and Wellbeing
Cost: $350 per person. Limited Places. Contact CSA to book. of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
14 WELLNESS NEWS
...from previous page
want to die. Living is an unbearable thing. When I try to think of my husband, of my kids, I can’t visualize them being happy in the future, looking forward to enjoying things in life… as if life has nothing worth offering, nothing worth living for.”
Contacting the soul level Allowing patients to become aware of their inner distress and relating it to their illness provides tremendous relief, because subconsciously they already know what is causing them harm, and they want to uncover and release it. I am always impressed how, speaking on behalf of a cancer patient, in an effort to guess and describe their soul difficulties, it makes sense to them in a very profound way. Once while on holidays in Crete, I was talking with a vacationing German writer who told me that she was suffering from lung cancer. I mentioned flower essences and at some point, she asked me what she could do in order to choose some. I answered that she might choose in accordance with her deeper feelings. I remember that she started saying things such as: “I feel courageous now,” “I am not entirely free from fear but am also quite optimistic,” etc., supposing that a positive state of mind was what would be expected of her. I tried to explain what I meant, but again she was not able to answer: she just kept smiling, like a truly polite and good mannered person. “Listen,” I said, “I will try to describe a particular emotional situation and you please try to tell whether this has anything to do with the way you have been feeling for some time before the problem was diagnosed.” As I talked, I could see the mask with no expression being removed from her face, as she was apparently feeling more and more comfortable and relieved. Very soon, she burst into tears, uncovering a large accumulation of inner pain. She had the look in her eye of a person who finally feels understood. Soon her husband was back in the room and asked her how our talk went. She turned to him and said in a low but firm voice: “She told me everything about me.” “Which method did she use?” he asked. “Well…’” she whispered thoughtfully, “I think she is a psychic!” I was amused with this statement and explained to her that I did not have psychic abilities but what I had said were only psychodynamic research findings. I never asked about her life events or had the slightest idea about that woman’s life, nor can I make any hypothesis as to what the basic conflict might have been for her. However, I was glad to have had this conversation; it served as a vivid confirmation of how these findings about the emotional background of cancer ring true, deep within the soul of the person concerned. Cases that seem to have responded with total recovery to a particular treatment that does not directly address the soul level, if watched closely, always seem to reveal a simultaneous change of attitude that enables the patient to permanently benefit from the treatment and not become ill from cancer again later. Sometimes the family, the partner or other loved one who happens to be directly associated with the extreme stress that the ill person experiences, becomes alarmed by the onset of the illness and by showing real care, unknowingly helps the patient overcome his or her distress and recover his or her unconscious will to live. G. P., a woman in her early thirties who had always been somewhat symbiotically attached to her husband, experienced a radical change in her life when he announced to her that he had decided they
should have an “open marriage.” Soon after that, she was found to have breast cancer with a very poor prognosis. The illness was a shock to the husband, who then completely concentrated on her recovery, forgetting all about bringing more sexual partners into the marriage. They became much closer, practiced yoga together, traveled together, and spent a lot of time dealing with homeopathy and nutrition. She never had another cancer episode in the more than ten years which have passed since then. At other times, it is the patient him/herself that becomes alarmed and hastily changes his/her unconscious choices, instinctively adopting alternative ways of dealing with their problems and thus breaking through their distress. Dr. Edward Bach himself, as we know from his biography, exemplified this at a particular time in his life before turning to the flower essence work. When Dr. Bach knew he was suffering from cancer and had only a few months to live, he determined to finish what he wanted to do in his life before passing. We are told that he worked day and night without rest, making passers-by, who would see his lamp light on during the whole night, speak of the “light that never goes out.” We know that eventually Dr. Bach did not die at the time predicted by his doctors, and we are told that those doctors reacted as though seeing a ghost whenever they met him later in his life. Contrary to reasonable suggestions, Bach did not take care of himself, did not even give himself a minimum of rest to help his body fight the illness. We can once again think of the imperative role of the soul in one’s recovery and overall health. There may also be times when a coincidental life change enables a total shift in the patient’s inner state. I recall several cases that I happen to have heard about. In one such case, a teenage girl had surgery for thyroid cancer soon after her mother died and she went to live with her sister-in-law. That woman treated the girl in a harsh, inconsiderate and cruel manner. Nothing seemed able to save the girl, who had a soft, obedient nature and never expressed anger or fought back to demand her rights. Coincidently, at about the same time, unexpected life events turned the family situation upside down and the girl was sent to another town, near her sister and sister’s husband, both of whom were caring, benign and life-loving people. The girl lived happily and in good health. She died about thirty years later of the same type of cancer, when she encountered similar problems in her marriage. Another man who recently died in very old age had also had surgery for cancer many decades ago. An “irrelevant” detail I happened to hear about him, was that at the time he got cancer as a young man, he was extremely unhappy in his marriage, his wife having been known as an “evil witch” in their community. It was mentioned about him however, that he had decided to divorce, in a time when divorce was not yet socially acceptable. Coincidentally, this happened shortly after he had had surgery. His second wife, an unusually small and ugly woman, proved to be the personification of mildness and kindness, had much respect for him, and eagerly complied with his quite unconventional professional initiatives and expressions of creativity. They led a gratifying, peaceful home life. Despite the negative medical prognosis, the man lived a long life.
Character changes in cancer In certain cases, character changes induced by the cancer’s typical psychological state may be quite impressive and much in contrast
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 15
with the patient’s usual personality patterns. When the wife of a man from my community died of cancer many years ago, everyone who knew them said that she was a saint, and he had “killed her.” That man had a very difficult character, the type of the spoiled person who believes that he has the only rights and that his wife has only duties. The wife had been affectionate and submissive, always kind, never angry, always there for everyone. Not long before she was found to have cancer, the man appeared uneasy and bored with the marriage; however, neither had he any complaints and justifications nor the mentality or the cultural background to ask for a divorce. Instead, he seems to have started an extramarital affair. At that time, one of his favorite “jokes” to his wife was: “If you you’re going to die, you’d better do it soon, while I’m still young!” He was a widower very soon, inconsolable for having lost “an invaluable partner.” Years later, in his second marriage, he experienced very big problems with his new wife: she was dynamic, despotic, many times irrational, embarrassing, and often insulting him in front of friends. After several years of ambivalence and separation attempts, he finally gave up the idea of divorce, as he was particularly sensitive about the fate of his small daughter, not trusting to leave her alone with her irrational mother and not wanting the child to go through losing a parent like his kids from his first marriage. For the first time in his life, he had to be open to emotional distress and soul pain. He had to endure a situation that was unbearable to him, to which there seemed to be no solution. After a while, he had surgery for intestinal cancer. Months later, while I was visiting the family in their town and had a talk with this man, I was impressed to see how different he was. He seemed so mild, so gentle, so kind, and above all, so very quiet and resigned. “Well, I’m okay, we are okay. My daughter is doing well; what happens with me is not important. Things won’t change and I just accept them. The only thing that I like to do is to sit here on this veranda; I sit here alone for hours and hours looking at the sea the whole evening, looking at the trees, just sitting here, that’s all.” I could not but think that he had unconsciously decided to die and that he would most probably succeed in doing so. There was about him a silent grief and despair, like when someone is willingly sacrificing the self in order to bear a situation to the end. He was becoming a martyr, a saint. I must confess that for a moment, thinking of his previous personality, I wondered if his present condition represented a spiritual progress for him. But then of course, I told myself that I was there to help and not to judge anybody’s deeds and life choices. I asked him if he would take flower essences, and although he knew nothing about them and never had any appreciation for alternative therapies, he accepted immediately with gratitude. This was something which was in contrast to his resigned attitude and which seemed to confirm how desperate and helpless he was feeling inside; and, like in every cancer case, how much he wanted to be helped, despite his seeming resignation. A couple of months later, before I could pass on any flower essences to him, he had surgery for metastasis. I rushed to the hospital and gave the usual combination of flower essences. I surely expected changes but the size and the speed of the results surprised me: soon after recovering from the operation, I heard that he had packed his bags, had moved to another flat and had found another partner! That man asked for flower essences many times in the next months and years, telling everybody what a great help they were for him. He seemed to have totally recovered his health—and his old character as well, a character that he still has now, about ten years later.
Combining psychotherapy and ﬂower essence therapy with medical treatments
Needless to say, the particular organs and parts of the body where the illness of cancer appears does not seem irrelevant to the type of stress the person has experienced – which can further facilitate our understanding of the life area that requires special attention and care.
I do not usually intervene in regard to conventional treatments for cancer, as I consider my job as one of psychological help and support only. Some people decide to follow exclusively alternative treatments, while most resort to surgery and to the accompanying radio-and/or chemotherapy. A combination of all the therapies that are available seems to me the wisest choice in most cases I’ve seen thus far. Conventional medical treatments will remove a big part of the accumulated damage to tissues, while nutritional, herbal, vitamin supplement, etc., therapies will give an energy boost to the depleted body and will lend the person strength on the physical level. Flower essences will minimize the side effects of heavy drugs, assist the body in enduring the difficult process, and cleanse the body from chemical and radiation after-effects. But most importantly, flower essences will “detoxify” and “fix” the mental-emotional state towards a life-affirming attitude, thus opening the way for the stream of life force to flood the body and help it cure itself, as the soul is being offered the conditions and the “ground” to return back to life again.
continued on next page...
16 WELLNESS NEWS
September 2010 ...from previous page
Of course, discrimination about choosing the best therapeutic approach is sometimes necessary. An example could be the case of an old man who had stomach cancer which had spread to his liver. Soon after cancer was first diagnosed, the illness seemed to proceed very quickly. The man’s son was seriously determined to do everything possible for his father, which was unusual given his father’s extreme old age. “Do anything that you know or hear about,” he said to me, “Despite the non-existing possibilities for cure. I don’t expect cure, I just want to feel that I’ve done everything that I could for my father.” His father was dismissed from the hospital as a hopeless case, with the instruction to return after about three months for re-examination. No chemotherapy was given, as his body was diagnosed as already too weak to endure any such treatment.
Personally, I believe that there can be no cure of cancer if the inner state, the soul, is not taken into account and cared for.
In the weeks that followed, the old man received flower essence therapy, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine, lots of nutritional supplements and antioxidants, Reiki, hands-onhealing and other treatments – all at the same time! Gradually, his general condition started to improve dramatically in every aspect and his improvement was visible to everyone. Three months passed and the man was admitted to the hospital again. After the appropriate medical tests, his son came to me and said: “The doctors were astonished to see those tests! They told me: ‘Mr. A, it sounds incredible, but the tumors appear to be melting!’” The man’s son did not mention to them the alternative treatments, being sure – not without reason – that they would not pay attention to them. He was asking me now what to do: proceed with chemotherapy as the hospital doctors wanted or refuse it? That case being one of my first therapeutic experiences with cancer, I did not feel confident enough to advise refusing chemotherapy in what was considered up until recently, a terminal case. Assuming that the man’s constitution had proven very strong in fighting the disease, the hospital doctors gave him a really strong dose of chemotherapy to promote his improvement. Apparently this was too heavy a blow to the tender processes that had started taking place in the old man’s exhausted physical system. All of a sudden, in a way equally impressive as his astonishing recovery process, his situation worsened gravely and he died in about two week’s time!
Skin cancer Over the last years, I have seen two patients with skin cancer. They were the only two that I saw and interestingly, the only cases where no psychological “background” could be identified, as they denied having experienced any of the emotions described previously. Although two cases is a very small number to allow conclusions, the way they both deviated from the rule of the particular emotional profile was striking. They seemed to not be able to perceive or identify any kind of psychological pattern that might have to do with their illness and there seemed to be no way to help them explore their own psychological state in such a direction. No positive changes could be perceived immediately after their taking the flower essence formula and I have had no news from them since. A hypothesis that has crossed my mind is based on the homeopathic principle according to which the skin, being the outer covering of the body – thus the most distant from the mind, viewed as “the seat of consciousness” – is the “last resort” of illness while it is being expelled from the body in the process of cure. Similarly, the skin might well represent the most “far away from consciousness” boundary, having difficulty in successfully conveying messages of stress to the mental-emotional dimension.
Meditation Made Easy weekly meditation classes with Bavali Hill every Monday at CSA from 10am to 11.30am. Cost: Free for CSA Members, $5 for non-members. Newcomers welcome. No bookings necessary. www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
Infants and small children I have wondered about the cases of infants and little children with cancer. Although not yet mentally developed, children have their own emotional life, which is very rich, as they are in many ways much more sensitive than adults. Children are intuitive and compassionate, and they easily detect and psychically identify with emotional problems in the family, though usually not mentally aware of them. But what happens when a newborn is diagnosed with cancer? Could we hypothesize that the infant experienced the particular stress of the mother, absorbing immense friction while in the womb? Some time ago, a friend was telling me of her and her husband’s agony and pain about their small child, who was found to have cancer a few months after he was born. I was able to tactfully explore the mother’s psychological state while she had been pregnant and I did find a very intense example of the typical distressful feelings already described, a situation that had been ongoing during most of her pregnancy. The child went through all the medical therapeutic procedures and also took flower essences for 2-3 months. He is now 8 years old and is doing well.
Improving prognosis in advanced cancer cases It seems that flower essence therapy can play a positive role in cases of advanced cancer. I have seen cases in which people survive longer than their medical prognosis. A recent example is N. P., another man with a right brain tumor, who came to my office with his wife, accompanying their daughter for help with some school problems. He was unaware of the fact that he had cancer; it was his wife who told me at the door. He was refusing all sorts of help, except his medication for what he attributed to a rare kind of inflammation in the brain. His wife had been secretly adding liquid forms of certain herbs and vitamins in his beverages, and when she heard that flower essences might help, she did the same with them. A month later, Mrs. P told me that recent tests showed that the tumor had shrunk and that his immune system had reacted. “Doctors are astonished with this positive turn, but I am not,” she said, bursting into tears. She took flower essences for herself and for her husband for two more months. The last time I spoke with her she complained about his unbearably obstinate and difficult character. Her next visit was almost an entire year later, when she told me: “My husband ‘left’ in July. He survived for 17 months and his case was written down in the world medical archives, because the average survival for this kind of tumor is 6 months. In the hospital (the Cancer Hospital of Athens), the doctors were asking me what else he did besides his medical treatments. I mentioned to them the Milk Thistle herb, the vitamins and the flower essences. They shook their heads and said: ‘You see…love and optimism strengthened his immune system!’” I wonder what might have happened if this family had worked out their problems more thoroughly and consistently.
WELLNESS NEWS 17
Relatives usually report that the patients feel “well inside,” peaceful, light and free, and that they attribute these feelings to their “drops,” which they keep asking for until the end. Last year, my yoga teacher reported that her father, in the terminal stages of bone cancer and suffering tremendously from pain, really loved “his drops” and did not stop asking for them since he first tried them. She would arrange sending the bottles to him by plane, being from a neighboring country. She described the last days of his life as really peaceful and beautiful from the soul point of view. I remember how much I was moved by the case of a young man who was in the terminal stages of intestinal cancer. I never saw or talked to that person, just his brother who was a client of mine at that time, who told me about the family problem. I volunteered to send some essences to the man, explaining to the brother that although it sounded late to try to affect the physical process of the illness in any way, essences could psychologically support the patient. The man came again several times to get more essences, saying that his brother had felt “unbelievably well” when he took them. “For the first time in his life he said, he felt ‘light and happy’!”
Educating the patient Whenever it is possible (when the patient is physically present, well enough in his/her health and willing to work with psychological issues about the cancer problem), I try to explore together with them the particular difficulties that led to this type of excessive tension. Thus the conflict becomes conscious to the patients, so that they can consider different, healthier ways of dealing with this or with similar stresses, if necessary in the future. I recommend to the patients that they repeat some basic essences quite regularly during the critical time period (usually five years after the first cancer episode), to be sensitive to their psychic hygiene and to remain aware of their mental-emotional state, in order to help themselves avoid similar reactions in the future. In all cases, especially in the initial stage, it is very important to encourage the patients to take the best possible care of themselves, not to increase demands on themselves but to give themselves the right and the “space” to really and deeply rest, making use of every opportunity for a peaceful, pleasurable and relaxed every-day life.
“Prevention” Although prevention is not a generally-used term when speaking of cancer, I always give some basic flower essence combination whenever I sense the typical psychological difficulties that have been associated with the creation of cancer. Of course, there is no way to know if these flower essences work in a preventative way in these cases. But why not be mindful and alert when we can? It may be a coincidence, but none of those people who used the particular flower essences to break through their deadlocks and to change their mental attitudes has ended up with cancer so far.
Terminal cases I always give flower essences to people in terminal stages of cancer. Nobody raises the question of cure in those cases. However, the changes that seem to happen in the patients’ inner lives are wonderful.
I use the same “psychological” education in cases of people who present with a cancer phobia. Many people panic whenever they feel a little pain somewhere in their bodies, thinking that this might continued on next page...
18 WELLNESS NEWS
arina Angeli Dr. Marina Angeli is a psychiatrist in private practice in Athens, Greece. Her psychotherapeutic background is in Family Therapy - the Systemic Approach. She is a graduate of the Flower Essence Society Practitioner Training and Certiﬁcation Program. In 1985 she was introduced to homeopathy, and was amazed to see the tremendously important therapeutic eﬀect this energy healing method was able to have on the personality, while treating the physical body at the same time. Dr. Angeli became interested in alternative therapies and also became aware of the unique healing potential of the various forms of spiritual practices. By 1988 she had discovered Bach Flower Therapy, and found in this healing method an ideal means for use with psychotherapy and personal transformation processes. Since then she has not ceased working and experimenting with a wide range of ﬂower essences, both in her personal and professional practice. Besides classical psychotherapy, she often combines work with essences with other modalities such as homeopathy and hypnosis, and makes use of the research ﬁndings regarding the psychosomatic proﬁle of illnesses. According to Dr. Angeli, there are many practitioners using ﬂower essences in Greece, but they are “mostly from the non-medical ﬁeld of various sorts of healing, such as aromatherapists, reﬂexologists and such. There are many good homeopaths and acupuncturists, but not many physicians who use ﬂower essences as part of their work yet--and deﬁnitely no psychologists and no social workers.” “I consider ﬂower and other essences as the greatest gift given to humanity to aid in the work of soul treatment and spiritual development,” Dr. Angeli says. “Never before has the treatment of emotional pain, personality improvement and transformation been attainable to such an extent and so easily available to everyone. Especially in ﬁelds involving working with people, such as teachers, therapists etc, ﬂower essences are a real treasure--which I hope will soon become acknowledged and utilized to the beneﬁt of many.”
...from previous page
be cancer, or feel threatened by the danger of “inheritance” [genetics] when a relative is found to have cancer. Often, they become worried and confused whenever they read an article about how a certain food decreases the possibility for cancer in a particular organ of the body but increases the possibility for the same illness in a different organ and so on. I have seen that people overcome such phobias when they receive comprehensive information about the inner state that seems to predispose one to cancer. I try to explain that cancer does not appear out of the blue and to describe in simple words the basic mental-emotional background of cancer, according to the existing psychodynamic research findings. I also present how this has been confirmed through many experiences so far. I tell cancer-phobic people that instead of feeling totally helpless and unprotected, there are simple things which they can do for their emotional hygiene. It is not so difficult once we are aware of these things, as in most cases, the self will automatically become alarmed and will take proper care when conditions demand this. Flower essences are marvelous helpers which can easily lead us out of dead-end situations. Then, it becomes easy to alter our mental attitude and to overcome what seems to be causing distress.
Conclusion People in early stages of cancer whom I happened to know, who have used flower essences properly and worked with their personal issues in a decisive, authentic way, have had positive outcomes. I hear that they are well, several years after the occurrence. Since I do not consider myself a “cancer therapist,” I do not conduct typical, methodologically-designed scientific research on the issue. I just try to help when I can and try to know what happened in the course of time if I can. My experience so far has been that when people become aware of the particular psychological profile associated with cancer and decide to take care of themselves with the help of appropriate flower essences, they do very well. In all the years of my practice, I have seen no better means for working out such issues than flower essences. Flower essences very rapidly and effectively cleanse and support the psyche of people who suffer from cancer, while at the same time educating them in how to keep their soul-breathing light and free. Flower essences help them learn that it is always possible to set themselves free from passivity, resentment and negativity, and to break through the darkness into new eras of opportunity and possibility. People find out that there is no such thing as having to die caught in a “spider web,” no matter how difficult things may be. They find that that they can, under all circumstances, claim their power, dignity, joy and right to live. Thus, they have plenty of life-energy to cope and do not have to be ill again. ✦ From: The Flower Essence Society website www.flowersociety.org.
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 19
in your drinking water can cause Serious Health Problems �Waterways’ CC1������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������� The CC1 Filter�������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������
‘Waterways’ ﬁlters���������� ����������������������������� ���������������������������������
������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������
��������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������
����‘Waterways’ CC1� ����������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������� ������������������������������ ������������������������������������� ����������������������������� ��������������������������������� �����������������
������������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������� �
��������������������� of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au
20 WELLNESS NEWS
The Art of Living
and Dying By Dr Li-Anne Yellachich
Through the practice of mindfulness meditation, Sophie perfects the art of living in her dying months. “How can I be dying and not feel like I am dying?” These were the first words a terminally ill patient expressed to me. When she first approached me, I was not sure if she was seeking me as a psychotherapist/counsellor, or through my more spiritual role (I teach vipassana, also known as insight or mindfulness meditation). All I knew was that she had been told she only had a few months to live, was suffering considerably and was seeking my support. I saw her at my rooms, and later at the hospital where she spent the last few weeks of her life. I have changed any identifiable information and will call this patient Sophie. Although Sophie benefited from psychological support at times, much of our time together involved teaching her, and refining her skills in, the art of mindfulness meditation. She came to see this as learning the art of dying. Sophie grieved over her young children’s impending loss of their mother, and then meticulously organised the provision of their care-taking for after her death. She anguished countless tears mourning over her personal loss of knowing she would never be able to attend her daughter’s wedding, and then made space to allow herself to enjoy the nine year old’s antics. She trembled at the terror of facing a painful death, and then relaxed into accepting, rather than fighting, her well-founded fears. Sophie learnt the art of living, and of dying, in the last five months of her life. I write this as a tribute to a remarkable person, who was gripped by confusion, sorrow, anger, anguish and terror when I first met her, and was at peace with a wisdom mind when I last saw her just prior to her death. “I am so scared. I want to learn how to die without all this fear. I don’t want to spend the last months of my life like this. I don’t want this to be my children’s last memory of their mother”, Sophie sobbed. I asked her, “How do you know you are afraid? Where in your body do you feel this?” I gestured by closing my eyes, suggesting she may like to do the same. Sophie closed her eyes. She clenched her hand against her chest and said, “My chest is very tight, and my whole body is shaking”. She placed her hand back on her lap and said, “I feel so cold.” I suggested, “Leave your hand on your chest. What do you feel with it there?” She put her hand against her chest, then responded, “It’s so tight here, I can hardly breathe. I need to take a deep breath in”. “Go ahead. Take a deep breath in”, I suggested. “What else do you feel?” Sophie took a deep breath in. “I feel my chest expanding”, she said as she breathed in, “and relaxing a bit now”, she said as she breathed out. I asked, “Can you feel your hand against your chest?” “Yes”, she said. “It feels warm. Comforting. I’m not pressing hard, but just having this here feels like it is supporting my body, my whole being. Holding me together.” “Leave your hand there”, I suggested. “What else do you notice?”
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
A slight smile emerged. “It feels nice. I’m not feeling as cold now. There’s warmth in my body again.” I watched as she relaxed a little into her current experience. I asked gently, “What are you experiencing now? What has happened with the shaking?” “It’s more subtle now, but still there”, she responded. “My whole body trembles all the time. I don’t like it shaking like that, so I try to distract myself with doing lots of things”, she frowned. “Would it be alright to stay with the trembling for a little bit now?” “Yes”, she said quietly. “What do you notice? Where does it feel the strongest?” Sophie did not hesitate. “In my guts. I suddenly remember that I am going to die and I feel somersaults everywhere. My whole body shakes and I think I may as well be dead now, because I’m not really living anymore. I don’t want to live like this. I can’t stand it.” “Do you feel somersaults in your guts now?” “Yes”, she responded, with a sense of urgency. “It’s intolerable. My chest is tight and I can’t breathe.” “Can you still feel your hand against your chest?” She paused. “Yes, I feel my hand. It’s not as comforting as before.” “That’s alright”, I reassured her. “What does it feel like now?” “It feels like my hand is moving with the shaking of my body”. “Does that feel OK?” “Yes. It’s strange. My body is shaking, but it feels OK for it to be like that.” “Yes, it’s OK for things to be like this.” Sophie was visibly more at ease, and the anxious tension in the room dissipated. I commented, “You look more comfortable now.” “I’m still shaking, but I am comfortable”, she said. “It’s tolerable now. It’s OK”.
WELLNESS NEWS 21
She opened her eyes and looked at me, puzzled. She hesitated, then asked, “How can this be OK? How can I still be shaking, still be afraid, still know that I am going to die soon, yet be OK?” “It only needs to be OK for one moment: right now”, I responded. “You don’t need to worry about what it might be like next week, tomorrow, or even in the next moment. Just notice what is happening for you now, and make space for allowing whatever you are experiencing (be it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral) to be OK. Make space for being alright with whatever you are currently feeling, and notice when this changes”. Mindfulness is simple, but the art not easy. Mindfulness is about noticing what is happening, while it is happening, no matter what it is. The act of noticing moves our experience out of the consuming contents of our lives, into experiencing and accepting the process of being alive. This movement of mind allows an ease and freedom in life not otherwise possible in our normal mode of living. Sophie experienced this movement away from the grips of her overwhelming experiences to mindfulness over and over again, initially in my presence and later on her own. She smiled as she recalled her children calling her a Buddha, meditating all day and night through her terrors, anguish, pain, as well as joys. Sophie became adept at noticing challenging experiences without fighting her aversion to them. Learning to acknowledge and accept whatever she was experiencing enabled her to comfortably be with the confusion, pain, fear and sadness that were there at times, as well as appreciate hearing birds sing, feeling a warm blanket around her and seeing her children smile. She invited and embraced all the experiences offered by the remaining moments of her life. By directing her mind to every single one of life’s experiences, without prejudice, Sophie learnt to be comfortable with the uncertainty of living. She perfected the art of living in her dying months. ✦ Dr Li-Anne Yellachich’s work with clients incorporates her academic background in psychology, psychoanalytic psychotherapy and neuropsychiatry with her practice of mindfulness meditation, as guided by various revered Buddhist monks over the past two decades. Li-Anne shares her understanding of mindfulness through teaching and writing. www.li-anne.com.au
In fond memory of those who have shared part of their journey with us... Claire Vincent Tim Collins Mardi Palmer Do not stand at my grave and we ep. I am not ther e. I do not sle ep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain...
22 WELLNESS NEWS
flower power Macro photography gives us the opportunity to experience the healing beauty of ﬂowers close up. Be inspired by these gifts of nature.
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 23
24 WELLNESS NEWS
flowers Cook, Grow, Buy le A colourful spring salad is embellished with edib ﬂowers, watermelon radish, heirloom cherry tomatoes and delicate fancy-cut carrot pieces.
Forget the vase – these blossoms go directly onto your plate!
or all the times you’ve sent your mother flowers, how often has she been tempted to taste their distinctive, delicate flavours? Probably never. This Mother’s Day, you can change that: forgo the generic FTD arrangement, and present her with edible flowers. We aren’t referring to herbs; we’re talking actual flowers, the beautiful petals you see in bouquets all the time that are used by the finest restaurants and caterers to season and garnish fine food. One of the best things about edible flowers is that they transform ordinary food into a dazzling creation. Their colours add vibrancy, and the flavours add zest to any dish. A specialty food on the verge of re-discovery by people beyond the inner sanctum of fine chefs, edible flowers are much more accessible than most people might think.
The History Of Flowers In Food They may have only had a small part on the U.S. culinary stage, but flowers have played a prominent role in cuisines throughout the world for centuries. Violets have been used by both ancient Egyptians, who crystallized them, and English chefs, who ground them with chicory to make confections. During the Renaissance, audiences of Shakespeare’s plays quenched their thirst with rose-petal water and snacked on delicacies like stewed primroses. Carnation petals are one of the key ingredients in Chartreuse, a green liqueur developed by French monks in the 17th century. Italian and Hispanic cultures stuffed squash blossoms for a hearty dish (and still appear on menus of fine restaurants). For centuries, flower petals have been widely recognized for their distinctive flavours and artistic qualities, much as fresh vegetables. The flower garden was considered an extension of the vegetable garden, and cooks all over the world sought edible flower petals to enrich and enliven their foods and beverages. In fact, despite their meagre presence in popular American cuisine, edible flowers are popular in other parts of the world. In China and Japan, chrysanthemum petals, a symbol of future joy, are ladled into soup or poured made into tea pitchers—as they have been for more than a millennium. In Mexico, hibiscus flowers are used to make jamaico, a cool drink infusion perfect for refreshment on a hot summer’s day and flavour ice cream and sorbet. Jasmine tea in Asia and mint tea with orange blossoms in North Africa are also popular flower drinks.
The Flower Renaissance If flowers were such a popular part of cuisine in our English heritage, why has this versatile, beautiful and virtually calorie-free food faded from the our culinary world? As home gardens and personal cooks disappeared after World War I, more ornate dishes gave way to simpler cuisines prepared by the lady of the house and not by a servant, as food trends changed and caterers and restaurants turned their interests elsewhere. There has been a renewed interest in edible flowers in recent years, which has been encouraging.
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 25
ith tifully decorated w Goat cheeses beau es. wers and basil leav calendula, cornﬂo
Fresh petals on cupcakes are beautiful
Growing, Buying & Using Edible Flowers Buying While some everyday flowers are edible, not all are safe; don’t assume that you can pluck anything from your garden or the arrangement on your table and toss it into a dish. Even if you’re sure a flower is edible, be careful where you get it: don’t count on the local florist as a safe source, since flower-shop flowers are often grown with pesticides. Flowers are only edible if they are either organically grown or treated with organic pesticides like those used on fruits and vegetables.
Spaghetti with rose and su
COCKTAILS, FIZZY DRINKS & HOT BEVERAGES: For visual beauty or as a palate pleaser, flowers always look and taste great when dressing up drinks. Float a blossom on top after you’ve poured the drink. GENERAL GARNISHES: Glamorize other foods from baked potatoes to cupcakes for extra glamour. ICE CUBES: Distribute petals in your ice tray, fill with water, and freeze. Serve the flower ice cubes with iced tea or any chilled beverage. Match petals to blended teas: try white tea with rose ice cubes to cleanse the palate, or black Ceylon tea with violet ice cubes for vitality.
Edible flowers are relatively easy to grow, but because you’ll be eating them, you’ll want to pay special attention to their environment. Get to know the basic characteristics of the flowers, and follow manufacturer instructions carefully. If you want to grow the flowers, get a copy of The Edible Flower Garden, by Rosalind Creasy. If gardening is not an option for you but you still want fresh, edible flowers, you can purchase them online from:
MAYONNAISE: Add colourful flowers to mayonnaise for stunning lobster, crab, and shrimp salads (peppery nasturtium is a particularly good match).
Using Edible Flowers
RUBS: Rub crushed petals into game or lamb for bold colour and taste. Stir them through couscous for an aromatic dish.
The possibilities for using edible flowers in food and beverages are as extensive as your imagination. Use the colour and flavours of these natural beauties in: BAKED GOODS: Bake fresh petals into breads, muffins and pastries for hints of floral flavour and hues. They’re especially gorgeous in delicate angel food cakes or cupcakes. You can garnish them with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and a few more blossoms for a stunning dessert. CANDIED PETALS: Find a recipe for crystallized flower petals. You can use them to accent cakes, puddings, cocktails and as a general garnish for dessert plates.
JAMS, JELLIES & SYRUPS: Some artisanal jelly makers use flowers for extra-special results. You can garnish plain jellies at the table by mixing in petals.
OIL & VINEGAR: Steep petals in oils and vinegars prior to using to impart flower essences into the condiments. Drizzle the floralaccented base over salads, breads and appetizers. (Note: because of potential bacteria growth, don’t simply add petals or herbs directly to the bottle for long-term infusing.) SOUPS: Sprinkle flower petals on bisques and soups to garnish with colour tones and taste; or stir them in to enhance consistencies. STIR-FRIES: Chop or sauté petals with meats and vegetables for a fresh twist on a traditional meal. ✦ From: The Nibble: the magazine about specialty foods: www.thenibble.com
26 WELLNESS NEWS
s r e w o l f e l edib
mmon Here are some the most co y be edible ﬂowers that can easil cooking incorporated into everyday and garnishing. Arugula
The flowers of herbs and greens, including arugula, chive, dandelion, kale and mustard, are delicious and generally have flavour reminiscent of the mature vegetable.
Borage: Cucumber-Like Borage flowers were formerly an essential ingredient in cider or wine. Now, they are used primarily as a garnish, especially for gin-based cocktails, salads, dips and cucumber soups—they have a refreshing, cucumber-like flavour. Their flavour also makes them a delightful accompaniment to poached seafood. The leaves of the plant can be used to season cabbage (two parts cabbage, one part borage).
Calendula or Pot Marigold: Saﬀron-Like Calendula’s golden petals range from a bitter spiciness to a tangy pepper flavour. The vibrant yellow calendulas are an inexpensive alternative to saffron, though not quite as pungent. They are most commonly used to add golden hues to foods. When sautéed with onions and added to a broth with rice, calendula petals make a rich Spanish paella. The petals are also popular scrambled with eggs or stirred into soups
Chamomile: Apple-Like Chamomile blooms faintly resemble the scent and flavour of freshly cut apples. The petals are frequently mixed into sour cream or pounded into butter, and then added to baked potatoes for a punch of flavour. Chamomile flowers have been used for centuries in tisanes, especially in Europe, Latin America and the U.S., as a calming sleep aid, for fever or stomach treatments and as an anti-inflammatory.
Chrysanthemum: Peppery Chrysanthemums have a faint black pepper flavour crossed with hints of cauliflower. Prized in Asia for their medicinal properties, chrysanthemum flowers are customarily infused to make a flowery herbal tea. Several species are commercially grown in East Asia as a leaf vegetable, known as tung ho. These dark green leaves are often stirfried with garlic and dried chili peppers.
Clover: Anise-Like Clovers have a sweet, anise-like taste. High in protein, these petals are not easy to digest when raw, but this can be remedied by boiling them in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Dried flowerheads and seedpods are commonly ground up into a nutritious flour and mixed with other foods, or steeped in hot water for a healthy, invigorating tea.
Dandelion: HoneyLike Dandelions are sweet and honey-like in flavour. The petals contain more iron than spinach and have a high percentage of vitamin A and vitamin C. Eaten raw or cooked, dandelions are often used to make dandelion wine or soft drinks that are consumed before meals to stimulate digestive functions. Sold in most health food stores in a mixture, they are considered an excellent liver-cleansing tonic. “Dandelion and Burdock,” a naturally carbonated beverage made of fermented dandelions and burdock root, has been a long-time popular soft drink in the United Kingdom.
Day Lilies: Asparagus-Like Crunchy and crisp like a lettuce leaf, daylilies have a sweet, mild vegetable flavour, like that of asparagus or zucchini. The flowers of some species are edible and are sold fresh and dried in Asian markets as Golden Needles. They are used in hot and sour soup and moo shu pork. Remove the stamens and use the flower as an edible “bowl” for chicken or lobster salad or for ice cream.
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 27
Radish flowers grow in white and pink, depending on the variety of radish.
Cranberry-like in flavour, the hibiscus has an acidic character with citrus overtones. A native of Africa and certain regions of Asia, the flower is often diced and mixed into fruit or vegetable salads. The fleshy blooms are tangy, a great stand-in for seasonal and tropical fruits like mango or papaya.
Rose: Apple-Like Lavender: Floral & Smoky Lavender is sweet and floral in flavour, with hints of smoke. When lavender is dried, it releases its most potent fragrance. (In cooking, use one-third the amount of dried lavender as you would fresh.) In the Mediterranean where it originated, lavender is used in sugars, custards, honeys, cakes, waters and vinegars. Its petals are customarily added to salads, slipped into glasses of champagne, or used as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. We love to bake with lavender (pound cakes, cookies), use it as a garnish on frosting, and make lavender ice cream and iced tea. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes too, taking rosemary’s place in recipes for things like chunky stews and wine-reduction sauces.
Nasturtiums: Peppery Nasturtiums are slightly sweet with peppery notes—similar to that of watercress. These blooms are high in vitamin C and come in hues like cream, scarlet, orange, yellow and two-toned. The pale and bicolour flowers tend to be milder in taste. With a vibrant range of petal colours, these flowers make excellent complements to salads or vegetable dishes. Served as whole flowers or minced, nasturtiums rank as the most popular edible flower for culinary purposes. Whole nasturtiums can be stuffed with mousse, mascarpone or crème fraîche for an impressive appetizer. Try nasturtium mayonnaise with seafood salad. The buds are often pickled and used like capers.
Pansies: Wintergreen These petals have a mild, tart wintergreen taste that echoes their sweet, light fragrance. The pansy’s entire bloom may be eaten without extracting pistils or stamens, which make this flower ideal as dessert or salad decor because the blossoms are often served whole. Pansies come in a variety of colours and are a year-round favorite for their delicate fragrance and flavour. An elegant way to serve these flowers is to place them atop a crunchy cracker layered with cream cheese.
Most roses are edible but as with all flowers, they must be washed well and be free of chemical pesticides. The image to the right is of the sweetbrier rose, valued for its sharp apple-like fragrance of its foliage. Roses contain so much vitamin C that during World War II, they were eaten as a substitute for citrus fruits. In Middle Eastern cuisine, rose petals are distilled into syrups and rosewater, which are incorporated into pastries and confections.
Squash Blossom: Squash Essence Squash blossoms of all varieties have a garden-fresh taste. All of the flavours possess a similar sweet, nectar-like squash essence. Mediterranean chefs traditionally remove the pistils and stamens from the unopened blossoms, and stuff them with flavoured bread crumbs, herbs and ricotta cheese for a hearty, gourmet dish. Like day lily buds, squash blossoms are frequently dipped in a light batter and fried. Acorn, patty pan squash, crookneck squash or zucchini flowers are the most popular edible squash blossoms.
Grow your own edible flowers If you want to grow edible flowers, get a copy of The Edible Flower Garden, by Rosalind Creasy. The Edible Flower Garden focuses on plants that not only enhance recipes, but also turn the plate into a painting – a visual as well as gastronomic enterprise. For the reader who thinks such things are only for true gourmets or Metropolitan Home magazine aesthetes, one look at the photographs in this book will seduce you. The images are so beautiful and unusual as to be hypnotic: rose petals served as a bowl of ice cream (Rose Petal Sorbet); salads that look like wildflower meadows. Avaialbe from: amazon.com
28 WELLNESS NEWS
f o n o i d s r e w flo romoting recipes
hea , y t t e pr
Email your healing recipes and food news to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thai Pumpkin Curry with Nasturiam & Citrus Notes This vegan curry oﬀers an array of bright colours - orange, yellow, and red - infused with citrus accents. You’ll love the delicious taste of this curry, as well as its healthy combination of vegetables, including pumpkin or squash, yam/sweet potato, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Add chick peas as a protein source, then ﬁnish the dish with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and nasturium ﬂowers for a gourmet curry recipe that’s as beautiful as it is delicious.
•GARNISH: •handful of fresh basil leaves •optional: 1 Tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds and a few nasturium flowers (or other edible flowers)
•1/2 small pumpkin (or subsitute 1 acorn squash, butternut, or any other orange squash except spaghetti) •1 small or 1/2 large yam or sweet potato, peeled and cubed •1-2 medium carrots, cut into thick slices •1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces •1 cup cherry tomatoes •1/2 can chick peas, drained •2 Tbsp. grated orange rind CURRY SAUCE •3-4 cloves garlic •1-2 fresh red chillies (or substitute fresh green chilies, OR 1-2 tsp Thai chili sauce) •1 can coconut milk •1 tsp. tamarind paste (or substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice) •2+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets) •1 Tbsp. brown sugar •juice of 1/2 lime •juice of 1 medium orange •1/2 tsp. turmeric •1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or substitute apple cider vinegar) •1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds, 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, and 1 tsp. fennel seed •1/3 purple onion, sliced
P1.To make the curry sauce, place all sauce ingredients together in a food processor (or blender if you don’t have a processor). Process well. Set aside. 2.Prepare pumpkin or squash by cutting it open and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Either save the seeds for roasting, or discard. Cut the pumpkin/squash into cubes, slicing off the skin. You will probably only use 1/3 to 1/2 a pumpkin for this recipe (save the rest in the refrigerator for cooking later). 3.Prepare the rest of the vegetables plus the orange rind. 4.Place the pumpkin (or squash), yam, and carrots in the wok/frying pan together with the curry sauce over medium-high heat. Stir well. 5.When the curry begins to boil, reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. 6.Add the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, and orange rind, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for 2 more minutes. 7.Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add a little more soy sauce. If not spicy enough for your taste, add more fresh chilli (or chili sauce). If too sour, add a little more sugar. 8.To serve, scoop into a large serving bowl, or portion out on individual plates. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and pumpkin seeds, then top with several nasturium flowers (if using). Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice (white or brown), and enjoy this colourful and fragrant Thai dish! Recipe by Darlene Schmidt. From: thaifood.about.com
www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing
WELLNESS NEWS 29
Vital Greens is a nutrient and enzyme-rich, complete “Superfood” which contains 76 nutrients essential to deliver optimal health, energy and vitality to every cell in the body.
About Vital Greens • Maximum absorption and bioavailability of nutrients in this form compared to tablets and capsules. • Comprehensive, synergistic 76 ingredients. • Majority of nutrients are food sourced.
Chive Blossom Tempura Salad
• Certified organic ingredients.
This tempura is easy to make, tastes great, and the batter is eggless. Serve this tempura by itself or on a salad.
• Correct ratio of minerals and trace elements. • Enhances acid/alkaline balance.
Vital Greens works as
One bunch of chive flowers (about 16 flowers) 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup ice cold club soda or seltzer or soda water a pinch of baking powder Salt & pepper Vegetable oil for shallow frying Store brought tempura dipping sauce 3 cups salad leaves of your choice (dont use strong tasting ones like arugula)
Method Cut the chive flowers from the stems. Chop up the stems and reserve. Make the tempura batter by gently mixing together flour, soda water, baking powder, salt and pepper. Dip a chive flower into the batter and shallow fry till crisp and golden on all sides. Repeat with all chive flowers, a few at a time. Drain the tempura on paper towels. Arrange tempura over salad leaves. Garnish with chopped chive stems. Serve with your favorite tempura dipping sauce. Recipe www.veggiebelly.com. Recipe by: Sala.
• Detoxifier/Cleanser – detoxifying and gently cleansing your colon, liver and working on every single cell in the body. The unique combination of nutrients will help your body progressively eliminate waste which builds up on the bowel walls, cleansing the liver which is the body’s main filter organ and emulsify fat helping to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. • Energiser/Alkaliser – Vital Greens contains many superfoods to help give you more energy, feel more vibrant and less sluggish and stressed. Alkalinity is promoted which results in feeling more balanced and alive! • Well-Being Promoter – Vital Greens contains potent antioxidants, adaptogenic herbs boosting stamina, endurance and the immune system. Powerful phytonutrients building health from the very basics of the cell. There are no less than 2 pro-biotics in Greens. • Mental Acuity Sharpener – Vital Greens contains Lecithin, Rosemary and Co-Enzyme Q-10 which may help increase mental acuity, focus and concentration
Features • The essential nutrients include naturally occurring whole food source vitamins and both macro and trace minerals. Together with powerful antioxidants, pro-biotics for intestinal health, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids (both Omega 3 and 6), digestive enzymes, cell pigments, plant sterols and fibres. • The great tasting powder form ensures maximum absorption and enzyme activity. Up to 3 times more nutrients are absorbed this way compared to tablets and capsules. • All these nutrients combine synergistically to provide a true superfood; a balanced nutritional support from real food that’s alive instead of synthetically made vitamin pills.
Share your cancer story
to heal yourself and others By Dennis Pitman, Dip. Ag.
Share your story I am doing Research into non-stressful and stressful, positive and negative events that occurred prior to illness and their effects on the body. I am looking for what you were doing and feeling prior to your illness diagnosis. What were you preoccupied with. Stories of all illnesses, Cancer, Heart Attack are very welcome. Single and Metastasis illnesses are also welcome. All stories are worthwhile including remembered childhood illnesses. Telling stories of other people is good also if you have known them well.
Your story will help inform new research being compiled to develop a new complementary therapy
It is thought that the period leading up to the diagnosing of the illness will affect the type of illness and the way in could lead to a better understanding of the way out. By doing a depth analysis and conflict resolution of what led up to the diagnosis, the illness may not be as severe or may not lead to metastasis. For those not consciously experiencing conflict then the knowledge of, from other people’s stories and mind-body knowledge could help them to contact the depth of their experiences and bring the same results. To my knowledge this Research has not been done before. It is hoped a complementary therapy for several illnesses will develop from the research and by extending the work undertaken in “Mind, Fantasy and Healing: One women’s Journey from Conflict and Illness to Wholeness and Health“, by Alice Hooper Epstein (1989). Alice use’s Meditation, O. Carl Simonton’s (et al) Visualisation’s from their book “Getting Well Again” (1978 / 1992) and a Psychosynthesis (a type of psychology) and visualisation method (for an introduction see http://www.synthesiscenter.org/ articles/0212.pdf) (see also a simular method in “Active Imagination” of Carl Jung’s, Jung’s psychology is the closest psychology to Psychosynthesis and more widely know in Australia) This cured her psychologically of her chronic lack of assertion and lead her into “wholeness of self” which as a by-product cured her Lung Cancer. Curing illness in a simular way is reported in “Somatic Illness and the Patient’s other story” by Brian Broom (1997). My interest in illness, cancer and healing was brought to the fore with my mother, father, two female cousins, a sister in-law, two uncle’s, a grand father and 3 aunties having had cancer in the past and my personal experience with illnesses (notable asthma, fatty inclusions in my liver and sebaceous cysts growths on the left side of my head and scrotum - all after stressful occurrences). Real names will be kept confidential and stories will be grouped for analysis of patterns for comparison of illnesses and of the illness areas and/or radically summarised. All identifying characteristics of your self and others will be removed. Please include the side of the body and the location in the body or organ and the disease that occurred, if possible eg. Left, Right, upper, lower, inner, outer or combination (especially applicable for breast problems), and any major dates e.g. .age when diagnosed, other major dates when you were first stressed or notice change in your situation, any stressors and psychological pressures etc; was the incidence / crunch point, short and sharp, or a long build up, or not noticeably stressful at all; and any complications; as this will help in understanding the patterns that occur. Please include the colour of any Melanoma or other colouring in the body areas.. Please include as much detail as you can to describe your psychological and physical situation. I know that recalling certain events can be stressful, so I really appreciate your efforts.
Some of the factors that seem to occur in people’s stories are 1) Everything being well. 2) Feeling on top of the world however a very busy life 3) Feeling well and entering a new phase of life e.g. Retirement 4) Very stressed 5) Pregnant 6) After a significant other has died be it a child, parent or partner or close friend, around the time or quite sometime latter. 7) Divorce 8) After long term caring for a dying loved one
WELLNESS NEWS 31
first ever holiday-cruse trip to southern Asia. Prior to his diagnosis he seemed to be stress free and was looking forward to the trip, although it was not his idea initially. He had not been overseas since he had seen active duty mopping up in Asia during the war as a young man. He had given up smoking 14 years prior to contracting the illness. (Lungs where we take in and breathe out air, psychologically where we take in information as in asthma where we have taken in to much emotionally conflicting information). Printing by computer is preferred as I can have trouble reading some hand writing. Any analysed resultant patterns will be published through the respective Cancer Centres undertaking this research. ✦
Send your story to
Some brief examples of stories are 1) Ms X is 42 years old female, married with two young adults living at home, developed right sided Breast Cancer (finer location not remembered) approximately 12 months after the death of her Mother. She said it had felt like she had been in a cloud (not nurturing her self) since her mother’s death.
Dennis H Pitman, PO Box 741, Kwinana, WA. 6966 or email@example.com (please place is the subject line “Story”)
2) Mr Y is a 73 years old male, married, developed upper middle right sided Lung Cancer. He was diagnosed just before going on his
in the news...
Vitamin D really does prevent cancer A
new study out of Oxford University pinpoints vitamin D deficiency as a culprit in serious illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders. According to the report, which was recently published online in the journal Genome Research, genetic receptors throughout the body need adequate vitamin D levels to prevent these and other serious illnesses from developing. Multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Chron’s disease, leukaemia -- these and many more diseases are often caused by a lack of vitamin D. Your genes literally have receptors that need vitamin D in order to properly express themselves. If there is not enough of the vitamin, serious illness is prone to develop. The Oxford team made specific observations about the importance of vitamin D in the genome regions associated with autoimmune diseases and cancer, noting that the nutrient is absolutely vital in helping to prevent these diseases from forming. “Considerations of vitamin D supplementation as a preventative measure for these diseases are strongly warranted,” expressed Sreeram Ramagopalan, author of the study. However, current recommendations for vitamin D intake are unacceptably low, and many nations are considering updating their guidelines. The U.S. Institute of Medicine, for example, recommends getting a mere 200 to 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day, an amount far too low to have much therapeutic effect. Since summer sun exposure creates about 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the skin in just 15 minutes, supplementation with at least 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily, particularly during the winter, is preferable. Healthy blood levels of vitamin D are somewhere between 50 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), so many natural health professionals recommend having a “25 OH Vitamin D” blood test performed to check these levels. ✦
Vitamin D supplementation as a preventative measure for multiple sclerosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Chron’s disease, leukaemia and many more diseases is strongly warranted.
Source: health.usnews.com, 24th August 2010
A near new ACORN 120 StairLift worth $10,500 has been donated to the CSA. We are selling this item to raise funds for CSA. For more details or to make an offer contact CSA on 9384 3544.
TheCSA would like tothank Dr. Joan Eveline and Dr. Michael Booth for the generous donation of the Acorn Superglide Stairlift.
WELLNESS NEWS 33
ReďŹ‚exology Unfolding divine perception I know a place That calls me with open arms That I long for like a charged lover. All the divine entities it holds for me, Breathing anxiously for my touch. That is what I call my home sweet home.
Reflexology appointments with Udo Kannapin are available on Wednesdays between 10am â€“ 2pm. The benefits of reflexology include the release of toxins, chemicals and hormones that, in effect, promote relaxation and overall well-being
Please book in advance 9384 3544
Subscribe to Wellness News print and return this form to subscribe, make a donation or give it to an interested friend...
All Wellness News magazine subscribers receive a FREE membership from the Cancer Support Association which entitles you to many beneﬁts including: • A place on the informative 1 Day ‘Meeting the Challenge’ Cancer Wellness Seminar • Cancer wellness information counselling session • 15% DISCOUNT on all items from the Wellness Shop • CSA Village Card for online shopping discounts • access to our world class wellness library • members prices on all CSA activities including yoga, qigong, reﬂexology & seminars
I would like to become a Wellness News emagazine subscriber for $50 per annum, and have enclosed AUD$50 I would like to make a donation to CSA. Enclosed is $25
Enclosed is my cheque/money order OR please debit my credit card detailed below: BankCard
Diners Expiry Date
Name on Card
Details for Subscription Name (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr.)
Date of Joining Please post to: Cancer Support Association PO Box 325, Cottesloe W.A. 6911 OR email: info@cancersupport wa.org.au
Postal Address Phone No. (home)
(work or mobile)
Email Website username:
Occupation (5-12 characters only)
(5-12 characters only)
The Cancer Support Association of WA Inc is a registered charity and non-proﬁt organisation, formed to help people aﬀected by cancer. The Association relies on donations, bequests and member subscriptions to continue its services.
contact cancer support association... 80 Railway St, Cottesloe, Western Australia. PO Box 325 Cottesloe WA 6911 Australia Phone 08 9384 3544, Fax: 08 9384 6196. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cancersupportwa.org.au
Wellness News magazine is published by the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc (CSA). Wellness magazine contains a diverse selection of articles and information on subjects related to cancer, wellness and healing. The contents of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CSA and should be not be construed as medical advice. CSA encourages readers to be discerning with information presented and when making treatment, dietary and lifestyle choices. © Copyright of all articles and images remains with individual contributors.