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Vol. 28 No.3

summer print edition 2013

I smile like a flower not only with my lips but with my whole being. ~ Rumi

wellness, support services and healing 80 Railway St, Cottesloe WA. PO Box 325 Cottesloe WA 6911 Cancer Support Line (08) 9384 3544

wellness news

Wellness News is published by Cancer Support WA and distributed free to members. Wellness News is dedicated entirely to publishing informative, inspiring and helpful articles related to wellness and healing. The magazine is for people with cancer and other serious health issues; for people who want to maintain their good health naturally; and for integrative and natural health professionals who are looking for a deeper understanding of wellness.

editorial & production... Editor & Designer Mandy BeckerKnox

Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started ~ Haruki Murakami

Marketing & Promotion Talia Hagon Printing IPrintPlus Distribution To our dedicated volunteers – thankyou, your efforts are appreciated!


e ph (08) 9384 3544 f 9384 6196 a 80 Railway St Cottesloe WA, p PO Box 325 Cottesloe WA 6911

online at... Follow Cancer Support WA on Facebook: Cancer Support WA

disclaimer The contents of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cancer Support WA and should not be construed as medical advice. Cancer Support WA encourages readers to be discerning with information presented and make treatment, dietary and lifestyle choices in consultation with a team of health-care professionals. © Copyright of all articles and images remains with individual contributors.

Dear members and friends, Many of you will have received our 2013 Program which includes new courses, programs and services to provide you with opportunities to explore a variety of healing modalities, gain practical knowledge and skills to improve your health and wellbeing, and also deepen your understanding of yourself, your health, the world and your purpose within it. There is no doubt that cancer is a difficult journey and presents many challenges to individuals and families. Our dedicated wellness team have created a comprehensive and diverse program to ensure there is something for everybody, at every stage of cancer, recovery and health. Every component of our new program is designed to help empower and support people to face the challenges of cancer and survivorship with dignity and resilience. Our courses, seminars, retreats and support services all provide inspirational yet practical information and strategies which can be implemented in everyday life to improve wellbeing and outcomes from cancer. We invite you to visit our Cottesloe wellness centre which has become a place of learning, support and friendship for West Australian individuals and families journeying with cancer. In 2012, Cancer Support WA services were extended to Armadale where we now provide wellness and support programs in the South-East metropolitan area. This year’s program is again focused at Cottesloe and Armadale with more online content coming soon. Cancer can potentially be a positive turning point, and Cancer Support WA is here to help co-create a vibrant future of renewed vitality, health, healing and hope for all. We look forward to supporting you in 2013. Mandy BeckerKnox Chief Executive Officer


wellness, support services and healing Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc. (Cancer Support WA) is a registered not-for-profit community organisation based in Perth, Western Australia. Established in 1984, Cancer Support WA provides support services such as counselling, support groups and information to people with cancer. The organisation has been known as CSA and in its history has had five different logos reflecting different evolutions of the organisation, with the two most recent being a representation of the lotus flower. In this latest evolution the organisation is now to be known as Cancer Support WA to reflect the organisation’s mission to support and empower West Australian individuals, families and community to achieve wellness and healing. Cancer Support WA has recently expanded and changed direction and needed a new logo to capture both our essence and history, and the new direction which comprises more comprehensive support services and a new suite of wellness and wellbeing programs which empower individuals with cancer to participate more fully in their return to health. At its core, Cancer Support WA has always been a spiritual organisation, and the focus now combines the healing approach with evidence-based wellness methodology and integrative cancer care. The new logo reflects the innate spirituality and soulfulness of Cancer Support WA, while integrating clean modern lines to present a vibrant, professional image. The lotus is a symbol used in many spiritual and healing traditions as it symbolises the purity and potential for healing within each of us. The colours used in the petals of our new lotus signify the different aspects of self, and also the four pillars of wellness (emotional wellbeing, nutrition, while the figure beneath the lotus symbolises the strength, stability and longevity of the organisation.

Cancer Support WA Cancer Support WA is the only cancer wellness organisation in WA which directly supports people through every stage of every type of cancer. For almost 30 years, Cancer Support WA has helped and supported thousands of West Australians with cancer to achieve wellness and healing. Cancer Support WA is a pioneer of the “wellness approach” to cancer which integrates wellbeing therapies such as nutrition, exercise and meditation with mainstream treatment. In 2012 Cancer Support WA extended its program to Armadale to help more people in WA achieve wellness and healing. During 2013 major works will occur on the Wanslea site and will see many of Cancer Support WA’s core services conducted at the nearby Cottesloe Civic Centre and also our Armadale venue, Kookaburra Creek Yoga Retreat Centre. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


about Wellness News mind-body healing integrative therapies lifestyle & environment inspiring personal stories current news & information nutrition & recipes inspirations Welcome to the Summer 20113 Print Edition of Wellness News. This season’s magazine is inspired by the healing power of nature and includes some great content to help you achieve optimum wellness and healing. Wellness News is unique in that it is an extremely positive, uplifting, intelligent and beautiful publication focusing on wellness, healing and the environment. Wellness News is designed to offer hope and life-enhancing wellness strategies for people who may be seriously ill, and a broad spectrum of information for people interested in maintaining good health. Wellness News articles are commissioned or sourced from highly regarded international journals, publications and websites and are divided into seven key areas for complete cancer wellness and healing: mind-body healing; integrative therapies; nutrition and recipes; inspiring personal stories; lifestyle and environment; current news & information; inspirations. Topics covered are spirituality, healing modalities, complementary therapies, integrative medicine – balanced with inspirational stories, recipes and the latest nutrition and wellness trends, and also information on how the environment can impact on health and wellbeing. We place great value on personal cancer stories for their insight into how people manage in challenging circumstances. Also important to our balance of content is poetry and art for the healing potential of words and images. Visually, our magazine is designed to inspire the healing spirit. Please enjoy this edition!


Cancer Support WA

news & information What’s on at Cancer Support WA in 2013. . . . . . . . . . 6 Cancer Wellness Centre Update . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 7 Cancer Support WA Timetable . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 9 CyberKnife coming to WA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 New device diagnoses cancer in 10 minutes . . . .10 Chemical discovered in tumours of ALL breast cancer patients. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 10 Cancer survival rates force treatment rethink . . . .12 Basic tenets of optimal health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Prescribing Meditation for cancer patients. . . . . . .16 Laughter Yoga at Cancer Support WA. . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Natural Household Cleaners. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .57 Volunteer at Cancer Support WA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58

mind-body healing Ancient wisdom and the perfection of health . . 14 Bali wellness and healing retreats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Healing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey . . . . . . . . . .28 How yoga helps cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

lifestyle & wellbeing The island where people forget to die. . .. . .. . .. . .20 When treating cancer is no longer an option. . . .30 Getting Fit By the Age of 50 Helps Prevent Disease in Your “Golden Years”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Wheatgrass Gel for Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .41

Christmas Wishes

nutrition & food Antioxidants prevent cancer and are an effective treatment. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 34 Astaxanthin: nature’s most powerful antioxidant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Why alkaline matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 10 reasons to eat organic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Healing Foods to buy Organically Grown. . . . . . . . 44

inspirations Resolutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The plan. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .50 You are beautiful . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50

recipes Turkish Pilaf with Pistachios & Chickpeas. . .. . .. . .47 Mediterranean Zucchini Orange Soup . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Raw Avocado Soup . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 48 Garden Blend Soup . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 48 Lifeforce Salad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Strawberry Smoothie. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Pecan Delight Smoothie . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 49 Nothing but Green. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Lemon Cleanser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

personal stories Kay Rosen – healing with cancer has been a life-giving experience . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 18 Gillian McSwain - Trusting my body to heal . . . . . 51

Art by: Kathy Tarochione

I hope that in this year you make mistakes!

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, this year and forever. Neil Gaiman

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS




what’s on at Cancer Support WA Cancer Support WA’s 2013 program comprehensively covers important areas of wellness and wellbeing. All of the activities, services and resources in our program are designed to be relevant and inspiring for people with cancer or other chronic illnesses and their carers and families. Many activities and courses are also suitable for anyone in the community interested in supporting their health and learning more about optimal wellness. Information & Resources

Support Services

• Support Groups - Cancer Wellness Support Group - Grief & Loss Support Group • Wellness counselling for emotional wellbeing • Mentoring • 24 hour cancer support phone line • Financial counselling • Advance care planning

Community Events

• Annual Concert • Healthy Habits Week • Healthy for Life Cancer Prevention Program • Healing and Meditation Outreach Program • You Are Beautiful Exhibition • Adventure Travel Program

• Library & Resource Centre • Cancer Wellness Handbook • Cancer Care Packs • Wellness News magazine • Moss Reports • Referral Network

Wellness Program

• • • • • • • •

5 Week Wellness Courses 1 Day Cancer Wellness Workshop Emotional Wellbeing Workshops Guest Speaker Program Inspired Living Series Regular Classes and Sessions Bali Wellness Retreats 1 Day Retreats

Download Cancer Support WA’s 48 page 2013 Program from our website, or phone our 24 hour Cancer Support Phone Line to have a copy to be posted to you.

Living Well, Being Well Weekend Workshop with Dr. Ian Gawler. South Perth,13th-14th April Learn directly from the remarkable Dr Ian Gawler! These informative practical presentations are based on recent, ground-breaking research and Ian’s practical, experiential approach to healing cancer. You will learn how to awaken the connection between mind and body to regain balance in your life and find healing. Ian Gawler recovered from a terminal cancer diagnosis using these methods. He teaches with compassion, humour and personal insight. Saturday 13th April: Meditation and the Power of the Mind. Using meditation to manage and overcome cancer. Sunday 14th April: Living Well, Being Well. Learn about the foods and lifestyle which promote disease reversal and wellness. South Perth Community Centre, 10am-4pm. $125 per day or $220 both days. Bookings essential. Preorder lunch when booking.

Book online:


Cancer Care Pack Cancer Wellness Centre The new Cancer Wellness Centre has a mission of enabling collaboration among the leading cancer support organisations in Western Australia. Breast Cancer Care WA, melanomaWA and the Brady Cancer Support Foundation are joining Cancer Support WA onsite at Wanslea, which is being redeveloped by the National Trust to become the first holistic, integrative cancer wellness centre in Western Australia. Each of the four organisations are represented on the Cancer Wellness Centre Management Committee which was formed in 2012 to establish a world class facility and ensure the continuation of the important work each of these organisations contributes to the fields of cancer support, education, post-treatment care and wellness. Within this new structure, Cancer Support WA is set to become the leading cancer wellness service provider in WA and an Australian authority on the integrative wellness approach to cancer. Development of the Cancer Wellness Centre is well underway and will continue throughout 2013. Because of the impact of the siteworks, most of Cancer Support WA’s client activities will be held at the nearby Cottesloe Civic Centre with some activities held at the Kookaburra Creek Retreat Centre in Armadale during 2013. Significant funding for the Cancer Wellness Centre has come from Lotterywest, Brady Cancer Support Foundation, BHP Billiton and inkind contributions from the organisations sharing the facilities.

The Cancer Care Pack is a new initiative of Cancer Support WA and will be an invaluable resource. Anyone in WA diagnosed with cancer this year is eligible to receive this free pack valued at more than $200. Each Cancer Care Pack contains: • Gift Cards for major retailers to help ease the financial burden of cancer. • Beautiful plain dyed 100% silk scarf to wear during the period of hair loss associated with chemotherapy or to simply bring colour and comfort. • Book: Living Simply with Cancer by Ross Taylor. An invaluable resource written by an author who beat a diagnosis of terminal melanoma. • Cancer Wellness Handbook for People Diagnosed with Cancer by Mandy BeckerKnox. • Relaxation and Meditation CD by Cathy Brown. An aid to help restore peace and wellbeing. • Gift Voucher to attend 1 Day Cancer Wellness Workshop for People Newly Diagnosed. • Inspirational Card offering message of hope. • 2 Wellness New magazines. • Cancer Support WA Program & Information. • Information on West Australian cancer resources If you have been diagnosed with cancer recently, please get in touch to receive a Cancer Care Pack. Call our 24 hour Cancer Support Phone Line or order on our website

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


reiki community clinic Monday evenings 7pm-8.30pm The International Institute for Reiki Training (IIRT) and Reiki Association (WA) Inc. have partnered with Cancer Support WA to provide reiki as a community service to our members and the broader West Australian community.

When it comes to setting resolutions, our approach is not to create an impossible 'to do' list of things to achieve. There is a harshness, a sense of finality to such a list and when we fail to achieve our resolutions we can feel like a failure and give up. Our resolutions often use future-tense language which makes your goals seem like a distant dream, ie "I will give up sugar", or "I will lose weight". These kinds of resolutions have the effect of focussing our mind on what it is we are moving away from, rather than focussing on the state we wish to achieve, thereby keeping us fixated or stuck in the problem. When we instead set 'intentions' for the year ahead, we do so with gentleness and kindness to self, and use present-tense language such as "I am slim and beautiful" or "I am in perfect health". These kinds of statements affirm our innate power for transformation and create a deep belief in the potential of our intrinsic self. Every aspect of our being responds to this positive affirmation creating a positive flow of energy towards our goals. We'd like to wish all in our community much happiness and peace for 2013. Our intention at Cancer Support WA is to guide you towards achieving your wellness goals.

Reiki is an energy based therapy which promotes healing and overall wellness. A trained, accredited reiki practitioner uses his or her hands to transmit energy to the recipient. Reiki has been proven to help with pain management, relaxation and the side effects of cancer treatment. Reiki healing sessions are also available to people with cancer, who are unable to travel, in their homes or hospital through our Reiki Outreach Program. Reiki in this context can be profoundly relaxing and help the recipient to be at peace. Please phone to enquire or make a booking. Bookings essential for Monday Clinic. Two 30 minute timeslots available: 7pm-7.30pm and 7.45pm-8.15pm. Initial consultation is free, subsequent bookings $15. Book online. Tuesday afternoon sessions are for 15 minutes and there is no charge.

healing & reiki outreach home or hospital visits Reiki is a gentle healing art which brings peace and calm to the recipient. At the end of life, reiki can potentially help with the process of healing, forgiveness and acceptance. In partnership with the International Institute for Reiki Training, reiki and meditation practitioners are able to visit homes or hospitals to provide a reiki session or guided meditation for people who are terminally ill and/or their family members. While this is a free service there is a $15 call out fee to cover the costs of practitioner’s transportation. Please phone the 24 hour Cancer Support Phone Line or see our website for more information.


Cancer Support WA

Please check website before attending as venues and times ocassionally change Monday



8-9am Wellness Walking Group Free

10am-12pm Cancer & Carers Support Group Free

9.30-11am Meditation Made Easy $5/$10

12-1.30pm Reiki Clinic Free

11am-12pm Tai Chi $5/$10 12.30-2.30pm 5 Week Meditative Arts Healing Circle $60/$75 7-7.30pm Reiki Clinic $15 7.45-8.15pm Reiki Clinic $15

1.30-3.30pm 5 Week Journey to Wellness $100/$150* 1-4pm Counselling $50/$75

9.30am-4pm Counselling (Individual, Family, Group) $50/$75

Thursday 9.30am-4pm Counselling (Individual, Family, Group) $50/$75

10.00am-12.30pm 12 Week Gawler Foundation Program $350/$400*

9.30am-10.45am Gentle Healing Yoga $5/$10

1.30pm-3.00pm Qi Gong $5/$10

1-3pm Grief and Loss Support Group Free 1.30-3.30pm 5 Week Eating for Recovery Course $100/$150*

4-5pm 5 Week Absolute Beginners Yoga $50/$75*

Friday 9.30am-4.30pm 1 Day Cancer Wellness Workshop - Meeting the Challenge 1st Friday of each month Cottesloe. See monthly program for Armadale, Mandurah and Joondalup dates. Free/$50* Sessions from 10am Reflexology $50

4-5pm 5 Week Introduction to Meditation Course $50/$75*

4-6pm Sound Healing $18/$25 3rd Tuesday of each month 4-6pm Energy Healing $5/$10 2nd Tuesday of each month 6-8pm Special Guest Speaker 1st Tuesday of each month

Cancer Support WA 80 Railway St, Cottesloe

Cottesloe Civic Centre 109 Broome St, Cottesloe

Located centrally in Cottesloe, Cancer Support WA is on the grounds of Wanslea, also housing North Cottesloe Primary School.

Located 2 minutes from Cancer Support WA, the Cottesloe Civic Centre is located in tranquil grounds overlooking the sea.

Nearest main intersection: Eric St. Nearest train station: Grant St 15 minutes from Fremantle 25 minutes from CBD (by car)

Nearest main intersection: Eric St. Nearest train station: Grant St 15 minutes from Fremantle 25 minutes from CBD (by car)

Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre 210 Carradine Rd, Bedfordale

Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre is a serene and peaceful centre in the hills outside Armadale. Nearest intersection: Albany Hwy. Nearest train station: Armadale 5 minutes from Armadale 40 minutes from Fremantle 40 minutes from CBD (by car)

Cost: members price / public price * = 1 full year membership included in fee Other venues. Check program. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



weekly timetable

in the news... Australia’s first cancertreating ‘CyberKnife’ coming to WA After more than a decade of lobbying by cancer patient groups, Australia is finally to get the revolutionary Cyber Knife treatment.

Up to 450 patients in WA are set to benefit from the cancer-fighting CyberKnife device each year, with health minister Kim Hames finalising the acquisition of the multi-million dollar system. WA will be the only state in Australia to have the CyberKnife, with Dr Hames stating that it is renowned “world over” for its ability to treat some cancers and improve outcomes for some patients. The CyberKnife could be used to treat patients with head and neck, spine, lung, prostate and abdomen cancers, with the device delivering multiple beams of high dose radiation with its robotic arm. “The CyberKnife is unique because it delivers radiation to a precise area, in larger doses, and in fewer visits,” he said. “It is expected to be delivered to the State Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in the coming months.” The CyberKnife will be used alongside the five linear accelerators that are already being used to treat patients at the State Cancer Centre. F

From: By Suzanne Still

New device which diagnoses cancer in 20 minutes In three years, patients will be given a cancer diagnosis while they wait at their

GP’s office - and most likely, their doctor will know immediately what drug is required to treat it. A device that diagnoses cancer in just 20 minutes is being manufactured as part of a partnership between Newcastle University, Sheffield University and biotechnology company QuantuMDx Group. The private firm specialises in developing low cost, hand-held diagnostic devices like the one invented by the partnership. It will be the world’s first ‘tumour profiler’ and will allow medical staff to identify all known types of cancer while a patient waits. It will also determine the correct drug to prescribe to the patient. The change will cut weeks off patient waiting times and will boost the efficacy of cancer treatments. It will also enable surgeons to immediately remove most, if not all of the tumour and oncologists will be able to prescribe the right treatment according to the type of cancer and what stage it has reached. QuantuMDx’s Medical Director Professor Sir John Burn who is also Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University, said: “We have a world-leading position to deliver complex DNA tumour testing to the routine pathology lab or even to the operating theatre. This is a low-cost device requiring no technical expertise which will extract, amplify and analyse tumour DNA to make sure the patient gets the right treatment first time and without delay.” The CEO of QuantuMDx, Elaine Warburto,n said the company’s technologies represent a world first for complex molecular diagnostics because they reduce a several week wait for diagnosis to a matter of minutes. The new device will allow many economies - developed and developing - to take advantage of the technology due to its ease of use and cost effectiveness. It is hoped the device will be rolled out in the UK within three years. F

From: Australian Women’s Health magazine:

Cancer Wellness Support Groups You are not alone on your journey with cancer. Cancer Support WA is here to support all West Australians with are welcome to attend our weekly support groups for people with cancer, their families and carers. Just come along, bookings not required. Open Cancer Support Group: Tuesdays 10am-12pm. Carers’ Support Group: Tuesdays 10am-12pm


Cancer Support WA


Chemical found in personal care and food products is discovered in tumours of ALL breast cancer patients A chemical widely used as a preservative in cosmetics, food products and pharmaceuticals has been found in tissue samples from women with breast cancer. A number of studies since 1998 have raised concerns about the potential role of these parabens in breast cancer as they possess oestrogenic properties. Oestrogen is known to play a central role in the development, growth and progression of breast cancer. Parabens are a chemical compound found in everyday toiletry products including moisturisers, make-up, shaving foam, tanning lotions and toothpaste. They are also found in numerous brands of underarm deodorant. They are present in processed meats such as sausages, pies and pastries along with other savoury snacks.

How to spot parabens Parabens are a chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are most widely used in cosmetics to extend their shelf-life by protecting them from microbial growth. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Less common types include benzylparaben and sobutylparaben. These ingredients must be printed on the label. Parabens are also used in drugs and as food additives. They occur naturally in some foods like blueberries. Parabens have been found to have an oestrogen-mimicking effect - however this is at a far lower level than the amount of oestrogen produced naturally in the body. The research team led by Dr Philippa Darbre from the University of Reading studied tissue samples from 40 women undergoing mastectomies between 2005 and 2008 for first primary breast cancer in England. In total, 160 samples were collected, four from each woman. They found 99 per cent of the tissue samples contained at least one paraben and 60 per cent of the samples had five. The team found women who didn’t use underarm deodorants still had measurable parabens in their tissue, suggesting they must enter the breast from other sources. Co-author Mr Lester Barr from the University Hospital of South Manchester, said: ‘Our study appears to confirm the view that there is no simple cause and effect relationship between parabens in underarm products and breast cancer. ‘The intriguing discovery that parabens are present even in women who have never used underarm products raises the question: where have these chemicals come from?’ Responding to research, Catherine Priestley, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care told Mail Online: ‘The debate about the link between parabens and breast cancer is not a new one, and this report serves to highlight the need for further research.

The David Suzuki Foundation reports that 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics contain parabens. Parabens are widely used to extend the shelf-life of personal care and food products by protecting them from microbial growth. Parabens must be printed on the label – so read the label on the following products before buying (or buy organic!): • facial moisturisers • deodorant • anti-aging creams • foundation • fragranced products • toothpaste • shaving foam • tanning lotion • processed meats • pastries & savoury snacks

‘There is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that the use of products containing parabens is directly linked to the development of breast cancer. Whilst there are a number of factors that may slightly increase the risk of a person developing breast cancer, increasing age, gender (being female) and a significant family history are the three main risk factors. ‘It is important that people should have access to information on this issue and about their risk factors for breast cancer so that they can make informed lifestyle choices. F

From: Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


Cancer survival rates force major treatment rethink Cancer is the single largest cause of death in Australia, but

“It was hard dealing with it and with all of that knowledge as well. You knew that the statistics weren’t very good, you knew all of that, because you’d been there before,” he said.

Almost two-thirds of those with the disease will live for at least five years after diagnosis, so a growing number of Australians are having to learn to live with cancer.

“I thought all that was behind me, and I was looking forward to a rosy future and then all of a sudden [the relapse] happened. But then you’ve just got to get on with it and suck it in and get on with the treatment.”

early detection and advances in treatment mean death rates are falling.

As cancer survivorship grows, patients are by necessity having more treatment over a longer period of time, and are less tolerant of outdated systems of treatment that are based around stand-alone specialists. Bogda Koczwara, an oncologist, says specialists need to rethink how cancer is treated. “Cancer care needs to be integrated and consolidated in one location, so that we will not deliver one good care just by one provider in one area and then send the person down the corridor to the next treatment. We really want to do much better than that,” she said.

The physical rollercoaster of surviving cancer was matched by a wild emotional and psychological ride. Mr Moore left his work as an executive with the South Australian Government as restoring his health consumed vast amounts of his time. He then returned at a much lower position, in part as a diversion from his illness. Mr Moore addressed the anxieties about cancer by gathering together cancer survivors in a cycling team that now numbers more than 450. Collectively they share experiences and advocate for patients.

‘A game-changer’

“Even though we will celebrate completion of treatment, the process of finishing your treatment and leaving a very intensive period of therapy and monitoring and scans ... that can be quite frightening and quite stressful. “Suddenly you are left to your own devices.”

Mr Moore was guest of honour recently when a $28 million facility was opened at the Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide’s south. Mr Moore, along with survivor Julie Marker, had acted as consultants, giving a patient’s perspective for the layout of the treatment areas.

Dr Koczwara has been practising for 20 years, and says the accepted mantra in the beginning was: “Kill the cancer at any cost”.

The centre’s emphasis on survival means prevention strategies, research, treatment, counselling, nutrition and case management are all under one roof for the first time.

Now advances, particularly in medicine, mean more than 60 per cent of her patients live past the five-year mark. With that development comes a greater emphasis on long-term management.

This trend toward broader treatment is reflected in a similar facility being built at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital and a cancer survivors’ centre being created in Sydney, and the new State Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth.

“There might be fatigue, there might be some bone loss as a result of cancer treatment and we need to recognise that we might eradicate the cancer,” she said.

Within days of the euphoria of the new centre being opened, Mr Moore was back in hospital. Even after 19 months free of cancer, there remains the nagging fear of a relapse? “I’ve had most of the things that are currently available for my type of cancer. I was told that if it does return, there’s not a lot left,” he said.

“But the patient might be left with osteoporosis, for example. So we as oncologists need to learn how to manage osteoporosis and recognise that that’s a risk and factor.”

Facing his demons Ashleigh Moore is one of a growing number of Australians who survived cancer, and he now uses his experience to help others in similar circumstances.

He agreed to allow 7.30 to film a pioneering procedure call narrow band imaging, where doctors search his lungs for potential cancer cells. However, during the procedure, a sample of tissue was examined with the worst news. A 10 millimetre tumour was discovered in his lung.

His life took a turn for the worse after a tumour spread from his tonsils into his neck and head.

The 53-year-old now faces surgery and an unknown future, but his story is not unusual. More than 300 people are diagnosed with some form of cancer in Australia each day. F

Almost six years after beating the disease it returned in a different form. He endured surgery that removed almost half his lungs.

From:, 7.30 Report. By Mike Sexton and staff, 15th May, 2012


Cancer Support WA


Basic Tenets of Optimal Health Leading a common-sense, healthy lifestyle is your best bet to achieve a healthy body and mind. And while medical science may flip-flop back and forth in its recommendations, there are certain basic tenets of optimal health that do not change. Proper Food Choices: For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a good portion of your food raw. Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging. I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimise insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health. Regular exercise: Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity intervaltype training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigour. HGH also helps boost weight loss. Stress Reduction: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using simple tools such as the Emotional Freedom

Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden, emotional problems. Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics – beneficial bacteria – affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora Drink plenty of clean, filtered water Optimise your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from ALL causes. For practical guidelines on how to use natural sun exposure to optimise your vitamin D benefits, please see my previous article on how to determine if enough UVB is able to penetrate the atmosphere to allow for vitamin D production in your skin Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives. Get plenty of high quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss. F

From, October 2012. By Dr Joseph Mercola.

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


Ancient Wisdom

and the Perfection of Health By Elliott Dacher, MD

The perfection of health is something that each individual can aspire to and realise through personal effort. It develops when we commit ourselves to a well-defined and time-tested path of inner development that grows consciousness, wisdom, and heart.



everal years ago I attended a small gathering of scientists and contemplative practitioners. The topic for the evening was “How People Die.” The presenter was a colleague who spoke to this issue with poignant authenticity; he was at the latter stage of a malignant cancer. As we listened to his presentation and watched his demeanor, we each experienced a presence, a joyfulness, and a vitality that we would all wish for in our own lives. In the midst of life’s greatest challenge, this man exuded profound wellbeing. Perhaps you have also met such a person whose life force seemed to contradict his or her physical condition. In the last century, the Indian sage Aurobindo wrote and spoke about the perfectability of the human condition. He specifically referred to what he called the perfection of health. He was not referring to health as we define it in modern times – the absence of the signs and symptoms of physical disease. He was referring to health as a state of being rather than the state of our biology. He did not measure well-being by the fickle materiality of our body but by the character of our human experience. The perfection of health, he wrote, is something that each individual can aspire to and realize through personal effort. It develops when we commit ourselves to a well-defined and time-tested path of inner development that grows consciousness, wisdom, and heart.

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Consider the following. There are two types of ignorance: the first is lack of knowledge; the second is distorted knowledge. The modern vision of health, a vision that relies on biological function alone, lies in the second category, distorted knowledge. It’s distorted because it is partial, incomplete, and inconsistent with what we observe in many people who have transcended their physical condition to achieve a high level of wellness. The human capacity for lifelong well-being was no mystery to wise women and men throughout time and across diverse cultures. In our Western tradition, the ancient Greeks called it eudaimonia, or human flourishing.

Lessons from the Past If you lived in 500 BC and were ill or troubled, physically or emotionally, you would have journeyed to Cos, Epidaurus, Pergamum, or one of the many temples of the Greek god of healing, Aesclepius. For more than one thousand years, a holistic inner and outer medicine was practiced at these centers, which were located throughout Europe, the Near East, and the Mediterranean. During this period, as attested to by the great philosophers and healers of that time, temple medicine was the foremost source of healing. Your decision to journey to the healing temple would not be made lightly; healing was a sacred process, a communion with self and the gods. After consulting friends and physician, you would prepare for your departure. During your journey of several days, you would meet others returning from their stay at the center. You would likely hear stories of miracle cures and personal transformations. With rising hope and expectation, you would finally arrive at the temple gates. Upon your arrival, you would begin the process of purification by cleansing and fasting – a symbolic shedding of toxic attitudes and unhealthy habits of daily life. You were about to become part of a dynamic and diverse healing environment. After settling in to your dormitory, you would explore the temple grounds, enjoying the beautiful gardens and the graceful and serene statues of the great Greek sculptors Phidias and Praxiteles. Roaming minstrels would lift your spirit, and you would participate in lively philosophical dialogues, which would stimulate your intellect and challenge you to consider alternative perspectives to your current life situation.

You might attend dramatic performances, such as the tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides, or Sophocles – an ancient form of psychodrama – which portray the cycles and rhythms of human life. Or you might have a massage, participate in athletic competitions, or consult the temple priests regarding diet or the use of herbs or pharmaceuticals. Each evening, dressed in your ceremonial white robes, you would gather with others in the sacred temple to leave offerings to the healing god Aesclepius, bidding him to visit you at night with a healing dream. In the morning, you or some other petitioner might awaken healed. Others might relate the content of their dreams to priests, who would assist with interpretation and provide further instruction regarding nutrition and the use of medicinals. Night after night, you would go inward to seek insight into the nature of your life. The ancient Greeks called this incubation. In our time, we more commonly use the term meditation. Day after day, removed from the stress and pulls of daily life, focusing on diet, fitness, relaxation, and self-examination, you would experience a slow return of energy and vitality. Finally, the day would arrive when you felt a restored sense of wholeness, balance, and harmony. Immersed in activities of body, mind, and spirit, you would have begun the process of an integral health and healing, which over time leads to human flourishing and the perfection of health. Upon your departure, if you had the financial resources, you would likely leave a testimonial etched in stone for others to read. Here is one written in 360 BC: Believe me, men, I have been dead all the years I have been alive. The beautiful, the good, the holy, the evil were all the same to me; such it seems was the darkness that formerly enveloped my understanding and concealed and hid from me all these things. But now that I have come here, I have become alive, as if I had lain down in the temple of Aesclepius and been saved. I walk, I talk, I think. The sun, so great, so beautiful. I have now discovered men, for the first time: now I see the clear sky, you, the air, the acropolis, the theater. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this multidimensional inner and outer approach to healing body, mind, and spirit. Imagine yourself separated from your dayto-day life, roaming around the healing temple, participating in its activities, and going inward for guidance each evening. This was the experience of a medicine aimed at human flourishing. It existed in a culture that had access to and valued both the inner and outer aspects of life and that understood the nature of a profound health and well-being.

Ancient Wisdom and a Modern-Day Experiment I suggest we each undertake an experiment that has been

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Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


mind-body healing

Unfortunately, the beliefs and practices of modern medical science have taught us something quite different. We grow up learning that we aren’t healthy unless our body is sound, our physiological markers are normal, and we aren’t at risk for disease – criteria that may not always be achievable. And so, if the state of our biology is the sole measure of health, long-term optimal well-being will be out of reach for many no matter how much effort is made, at least according to current medical science. Fortunately, common sense and personal experience tell us otherwise.

conducted throughout the ages by individuals like you and me. We are fortunate because we can draw from the guidance and wisdom of wise healers from times past. The potential for human flourishing comes with our genes, but its realization requires intention and commitment. No one can do it for us. Butter, like our own hidden potential for a larger health, lies unseen in milk. To transform milk into butter we need to churn it. To transform the seed and possibility of optimal well-being into a life of exceptional health, happiness, and wholeness, we need to similarly “work” our life. Here’s what we are going to do in our experiment. The sages have told us that human flourishing is the result of both inner and outer development. We are going to test their assertions in our own life. We are going to discover for ourselves whether this claim is true or false. This is not a complex experiment. We simply begin the process of developing our inner life and monitor the results of our efforts. However, we will need some benchmarks to measure our progress. Here again we don’t have to make it difficult. Although we can chart our progress in a variety of ways, it’s best to simply rely upon our own experience. As you progress with your experiment, you will observe your life carefully as an “inner” scientist. Are you becoming more peaceful and less reactive? Do you have less of a tendency to get thrown by difficult circumstances? Is your mind quieter and more still? Are you happier? Are your relationships improving? Has the overall quality of your life improved? If you’re committed to this experiment, you will see some of these changes within weeks. At first there will be movement back and forth, moments when you experience progress and harmony and others that seem flat. But over time you will notice more consistency in the results. Eventually you’ll be certain that your life is changing, and if we are correct, these changes will be in the direction of a richer and larger life. So that is our experiment. We start with the vision of human flourishing left to us by our ancestors, and then follow the path they recommended as a way to attain this result. If they were correct, we’ll discover what they discovered. If they were wrong, we’ll discover that as well.

Study, Reflection, and Practice The path they recommended has three elements: study, reflection, and practice. Study refers to reading pertinent information and attending seminars and workshops where skilled practitioners share their knowledge for achieving inner development and human flourishing. Reflection is carefully considering what you have learned from study. We want to get below the words to the deeper meanings. We want to consider what we have learned to see if it makes sense to us. Study and reflection, then, are the basis of practice. There are two aspects to practice. The first is a formal routine


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undertaken to tame, train, and develop our mind. The second extends our practice into daily life, where we use routine activities as opportunities to further our learning. In this way, our entire life becomes the ground of our experiment. These two aspects of inner development are referred to as wisdom teachings and mind training. The first relies on a daily practice of meditation that progressively develops through three stages: calming the mind, resting in the nondistracted mind, and resting in the settled essence of the mind. The objective is to gain an accurate understanding of the nature of the self and thus undercut excessive thinking, distorted understandings, and secondary emotional afflictions. This reduces stress, distress, and suffering. The second aspect of inner development, mind training, relies on a series of specific practices that are integrated into daily life, progressively transforming afflictive mental habits and a closed heart into mental peace, clarity, and loving-kindness. Together, these traditional and time-tested approaches are central to our experiment. It’s important to emphasize that our personal experiment with inner development not only relates to the mind and the spirit but to the body as well. Our mind plays a significant role in shaping biology, but our biology isn’t sculpted in stone. The body is quite plastic and responds to the choices we make. For over a century, we have known about the powerful relationship of body, mind, and spirit. Psychosomatic medicine, biofeedback, psychoneuroimmunology, and more recently neuroscience and the concept of neuroplasticity have extended our understanding of the mind-body interface and demonstrated the intricate subtleties of self-regulation. But because our understanding of mind and consciousness is relatively undeveloped, we’ve been unable to fully use this knowledge to promote optimal well-being. A comprehensive approach to our inner development will reverse this modernday dilemma. The experiment I’m suggesting provides the quicker path to human flourishing rather than the slower path of trial and error. Trial and error takes a long time because it’s not a direct path. Misunderstandings, beliefs, and behaviors that linger from the past obscure a clear vision of our goal. So we try one thing and then another and then another to improve our situation. It’s a tedious and time-intensive process. We are unaware of or reluctant to use the perennial wisdom of the ages, and even if we do, we rarely have access to highly trained people whose personal presence and deep knowledge can help bring to our effort the necessary perseverance, discipline, and commitment.

A Glimpse of the Treasure It will be helpful in this process to recall a sense of what human flourishing feels like, to taste its radical aliveness

and its ease, peace, and delight. Fortunately we experience many such moments – when communing with nature, enthralled with great beauty, at the peak of sexual intimacy, in the free flow of dance, music, or athletic activity. Imagine such a moment, when your sense of “self” drops away, when your usual mind is suspended. You are in a state of full presence, without any mental commentary. You are fully present in the now. You are fully alive in the dance of moment-to-moment life. At times this moment is completely still, and at others you experience intense perceptions. There is a profound sense of ease. Everything is okay. Everything is complete. You are in the center of your being, in the center of life, not separate but one. And perhaps in such a moment, you gain a deep insight, experience a profound sense of love, or even feel transformed, and everything around you is bathed in beauty and grace. There is no fear and no hope, no grasping and no attachment, neither a sense of past nor future, nothing to change and nothing to do. It’s all there in the radical aliveness of the moment, a state of complete well-being. In ancient Greek tradition, human flourishing is called the true, the good, and the beautiful – an unchanging knowledge of the truth of life, the goodness of heart, and the beauty of existence. In the Christian tradition, it’s called divine love and agape. In the Buddhist tradition, it is called wisdom and compassion. The Hindus call it satchidananda – awareness, knowledge, bliss. The Oriental tradition refers to it as the tao. Life lived in our deepest self has many names, but it is one. It is the flourishing of our deepest nature. It is the perfection of health. It is the capacity to sustain an optimal and stable well-being through all our adversities.

Universal Responsibility Gandhi extolled us to “be the change you want to see happen in the world.” That is what we will be doing in this process. By taking on this life experiment, this journey to human flourishing, we commit ourselves to being this change. We begin by taking responsibility for our own well-being. By progressing toward human flourishing in our personal life, we start to become finely tuned instruments that we can apply to the creation of a better world. Human flourishing is the only sound foundation for an authentic and a sustainable society, culture, and environment. That is why our quest for human flourishing is so essential.

we can prosper and flourish irrespective of what we’re facing, inspired to go beyond our limited vision of health and to reach toward the fullness of our potential. The choice is ours.

This call to human flourishing and the perfection of health is not a new call. It’s an old one, found in the West, the East, and in every culture and age where visionaries sought to explore the unique nature and potential of human life. The wise ones know that humanity is still an unfinished project, a work in progress. They seek to elevate the quality of our existence by urging us toward the fulfillment of our unique possibilities. They tell us that sustained health, happiness, and serenity are natural to the human condition. Unfold your nature, they say. Become what a human is capable of becoming. Look within for the authentic source of an enduring health, happiness, and serenity. These words bring me back years ago to that evening when I witnessed the perfectability of health and the human condition in one human being. Our presenter had achieved, through rigorous personal effort, a state of well-being and optimal health that sustained itself through one of life’s most difficult challenges. We were each reminded that we can prosper and flourish irrespective of what we’re facing, inspired to go beyond our limited vision of health and to reach toward the fullness of our potential. The choice is ours. F

from: Noetic News, From Issue Fourteen, September 2011 which is the magazine of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Elliott Dacher, MD is a researcher, speaker, author, and pioneer in the emerging medicine of the future. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


Healing with cancer has been a

life giving experience By Kay Rosen

Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2011, Cancer Support WA member Kay Rosen chose to be positive and embrace the healing potential that cancer presented. Less than two years later Kay is in complete remission and attributes her recovery to her commitment to healing, her network of supporters and also to the blessings she has received along the way.

I write healing WITH cancer rather than FROM because for me the intensity and gift of the journey was and is the healing at every level of my being...body, mind, emotions and spirit.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, in September 2011. It showed up with multiple fractures of my spine which required hospitalisation, surgery and cancer medication. I was also pretty ‘bombed out’ for sometime with pain killing medication as my spine was fracturing and healing. After 6 weeks I was home on a walking frame and requiring and receiving huge support from my amazing husband Barry who has been a blessing in his total support of me. During the hospitalisation and following it I received visits from my dear friend and healer Diane who gave me spiritual healings, helped me understand what the cancer was about for me, assisted in the release of what I needed to release and held the vision for me as being healed. I had been a journeyer in the area of personal and spiritual growth for thirty plus years and as part of my Psychotherapy practice I had conducted breast cancer support groups many years previously. I understood that holding a positive mindset and expressing myself positively would have an impact at a cellular level and would be a factor in my journey to wellness. How others held me in their minds and hearts I also knew had a powerful effect. My diagnosis came through while I was in hospital and after speaking with my closest family I sent out a group email to my friends telling of my diagnosis, what I understood it to mean (I hadn’t heard of Multiple Myeloma prior to this), giving information regarding the anticipated course of treatment and outcome and saying that the best way everyone could support me was to hold me in their minds as healed. I received such positive responses from that request. First of all it informed others how I was approaching it and it gave them something very positive to do when they thought of me. When a diagnosis of cancer is heard and conveyed, fear is often a first feeling and it spreads like ripples to all of those near and dear as well as those whose lives one may have touched even briefly. Some through their fear and past experiences imagine you as already having one foot in the grave. It wasn’t and isn’t how I see myself and it was really helpful to have others join me in my vision of health. I knew instinctively not to eat all the food that was offered to me in hospital but it was to take me a little while before I was well enough to really take charge and inform myself on what to do nutritionally and at other levels.


Cancer Support WA

Cathy Brown facilitates a superb course and it was hugely valuable in terms of information regarding cancer, mind, emotions, nutrition and meditation as well as the meeting of wonderful fellow travellers with whom I have maintained warm contact. It was the first of many courses and events I have attended and continue to attend at the Cancer Support WA which include: a 5 week Nutrition course, a 5 week Wellness course, various guest speakers, monthly Sound Healings, a one day Retreat, Laughter Yoga, Yoga and Qi Gong. I have found that everything I have attended adds to my knowledge, my experience, my health and wellbeing and the support I feel on this journey of wellness. Cancer Support WA is a nurturing place to be and I always feel ‘held’ there in my connection with others. Alongside the immeasurable benefits of attending the Cancer Support WA program, I continued to have profound spiritual healings, hypnosis sessions, Holistic health input, attendance with my husband at the immensely valuable 5 day Balya Retreat with Dr Ivy Bullen, radical changes in my eating, daily meditation, visualisation, walking and physiotherapy exercises for my spine. I was also blessed with an excellent Haematologist (Myeloma comes under the heading of the blood cancers) who guided the medical model aspect of my treatment. I was blown away by the generosity of a number of people I knew locally, from interstate and overseas, who on hearing my diagnosis, offered to come and give me healings. It was a big learning for me in receiving and I found it very humbling and deeply touching. I was also on healing lists. The expression of love and support from family and friends was and is so important and deeply sustaining. Every time I reached a milestone I had a support team applauding me. I am now in Complete Remission and I feel that everything I have done and received has contributed to my healing and wellbeing. I feel that my purpose is to listen deeply to my inner being, my inner voice and to be guided by that. It has been and continues to be a rich journey of learnings, of faith, trust, surrender, letting go, boundaries, friendship, having fun, blessings in abundance, so many gratitudes and LOVE. I know that I am sustained by a force greater than myself. It has been and is a life giving journey and one for which I give thanks. F

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire, If you did, what would there be to look forward to? Be thankful when you don’t know something For it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow. Be thankful for your limitations Because they give you opportunities for improvement. Be thankful for each new challenge Because it will build your strength and character. Be thankful for your mistakes They will teach you valuable lessons. Be thankful when you’re tired and weary Because it means you’ve made a difference. It is easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings. Author Unknown Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


personal story

Fortunately I knew about the Cancer Support WA and fortuitously a friend from Melbourne made contact and told me about the value of the Gawler Retreat she had just attended in Melbourne. I had known of it over many years and on hearing that a 12 week Gawler Course was being offered at Cancer Support WA in Cottesloe, I enrolled for the February 2012 course. It was my goal to begin driving again….and that I accomplished.

the island where people forget to die By Dan Buettner


n 1943, a Greek war veteran named Stamatis Moraitis came to the United States for treatment of a combat-mangled arm. He’d survived a gunshot wound, escaped to Turkey and eventually talked his way onto the Queen Elizabeth, then serving as a troopship, to cross the Atlantic. Moraitis settled in Port Jefferson, N.Y., an enclave of countrymen from his native island, Ikaria. He quickly landed a job doing manual labor. Later, he moved to Boynton Beach, Fla. Along the way, Moraitis married a Greek-American woman, had three children and bought a three-bedroom house and a 1951 Chevrolet. One day in 1976, Moraitis felt short of breath. Climbing stairs was a chore; he had to quit working midday. After X-rays, his doctor concluded that Moraitis had lung cancer. As he recalls, nine other doctors confirmed the diagnosis. They gave him nine months to live. He was in his mid-60s.


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Moraitis considered staying in America and seeking aggressive cancer treatment at a local hospital. That way, he could also be close to his adult children. But he decided instead to return to Ikaria, where he could be buried with his ancestors in a cemetery shaded by oak trees that overlooked the Aegean Sea. He figured a funeral in the United States would cost thousands, a traditional Ikarian one only $200, leaving more of his retirement savings for his wife, Elpiniki. Moraitis and Elpiniki moved in with his elderly parents, into a tiny, whitewashed house on two acres of stepped vineyards near Evdilos, on the north side of Ikaria. At first, he spent his days in bed, as his mother and wife tended to him. He reconnected with his faith. On Sunday mornings, he hobbled up the hill to a tiny Greek Orthodox chapel where his grandfather once served as a priest. When his childhood friends discovered that he had moved back, they started showing up every afternoon. They’d talk for hours, an activity that invariably involved a bottle or two of locally produced wine. I might as well die happy, he thought.

lifestyle & environment

In the ensuing months, something strange happened. He says he started to feel stronger. One day, feeling ambitious, he planted some vegetables in the garden. He didn’t expect to live to harvest them, but he enjoyed being in the sunshine, breathing the ocean air. Elpiniki could enjoy the fresh vegetables after he was gone. Six months came and went. Moraitis didn’t die. Instead, he reaped his garden and, feeling emboldened, cleaned up the family vineyard as well. Easing himself into the island routine, he woke up when he felt like it, worked in the vineyards until midafternoon, made himself lunch and then took a long nap. In the evenings, he often walked to the local tavern, where he played dominoes past midnight. The years passed. His health continued to improve. He added a couple of rooms to his parents’ home so his children could visit. He built up the vineyard until it produced 400 gallons of wine a year. Today, three and a half decades later, he’s 97 years old – according to an official document he disputes; he says he’s 102 – and cancer-free. He never went through chemotherapy, took drugs or sought therapy of any sort. All he did was move home to Ikaria. I met Moraitis on Ikaria this past July during one of my visits to explore the extraordinary longevity of the island’s residents. For a decade, with support from the National Geographic Society, I’ve been organizing a study of the places where people live longest. The project grew out of studies by my partners, Dr. Gianni Pes of the University of Sassari in Italy and Dr. Michel Poulain, a Belgian demographer. In 2000, they identified a region of Sardinia’s Nuoro province as the place with the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world. As they zeroed in on a cluster of villages high in Nuoro’s mountains, they drew a boundary in blue ink on a map and began referring to the area inside as the “blue zone.” Starting in 2002, we identified three other populations around the world where people live measurably longer lives than everyone else. The world’s longest-lived women are found on the island of Okinawa. On Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, we discovered a population of 100,000 mestizos with a lower-than-normal rate of middle-age mortality. And in Loma Linda, Calif., we identified a population of Seventh-day Adventists in which most of the adherents’ life expectancy exceeded the American average by about a decade. In 2003, I started a consulting firm to see if it was possible to take what we were learning in the field and apply it to American communities. We also continued to do research and look for other pockets of longevity, and in 2008, following a lead from a Greek researcher, we began investigating Ikaria. Poulain’s plan there was to track down survivors born between 1900 and 1920 and determine when and where individuals died. The approach was complicated by the fact that people often moved around. That meant that not only were birth and death records required, but also information on immigration and emigration.

Stamatis Moraitis

The Greek island of Icaria in the North Aegean Sea is home to the largest percentage of 90-year-olds in the world, where almost one-third of the population meets the impressive age milestone. A study attributes the islanders’ unusually long life spans to a natural mountainous terrain which requires daily physical activity and healthy diets high in olive oil and herbal teas.

The data collection had to be rigorous. Earlier claims about long-lived people in places like Ecuador’s Vilcabamba Valley, Pakistan’s Hunza Valley or the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia had all been debunked after researchers discovered that many residents didn’t actually know their ages. For villagers born without birth certificates, it was easy to lose track. One year they were 80; a few months later they were 82. Pretty soon they claimed to be 100. And when a town discovers that a reputation for centenarians draws tourists, who’s going to question it? Even in Ikaria, the truth has been sometimes difficult to nail down. Stories like the one about Moraitis’s miraculous recovery become instant folklore, told and retold and changed and misattributed. (Stories about

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Moraitis have appeared on Greek TV.) In fact, when I was doing research there in 2009, I met a different man who told me virtually the exact same story about himself. The study would try to cut through the stories and establish the facts about Ikaria’s longevity. Before including subjects, Poulain cross-referenced birth records against baptism or military documentation. After gathering all the data, he and his colleagues at the University of Athens concluded that people on Ikaria were, in fact, reaching the age of 90 at two and a half times the rate Americans do. (Ikarian men in particular are nearly four times as likely as their American counterparts to reach 90, often in better health.) But more than that, they were also living about 8 to 10 years longer before succumbing to cancers and cardiovascular disease, and they suffered less depression and about a quarter the rate of dementia. Almost half of Americans 85 and older show signs of Alzheimer’s. (The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that dementia cost Americans some $200 billion in 2012.) On Ikaria, however, people have been managing to stay sharp to the end. Ikaria, an island of 99 square miles and home to almost 10,000 Greek nationals, lies about 30 miles off the western coast of Turkey. Its jagged ridge of scrub-covered mountains rises steeply out of the Aegean Sea. Before the Christian era, the island was home to thick oak forests and productive vineyards. Its reputation as a health destination dates back 25 centuries, when Greeks traveled to the island to soak in the hot springs near Therma. In the 17th century, Joseph Georgirenes, the bishop of Ikaria, described its residents as proud people who slept on the ground. “The most commendable thing on this island,” he wrote, “is their air and water, both so healthful that people are very long-lived, it being an ordinary thing to see persons in it of 100 years of age.” Seeking to learn more about the island’s reputation for longlived residents, I called on Dr. Ilias Leriadis, one of Ikaria’s few physicians, in 2009. On an outdoor patio at his weekend house, he set a table with Kalamata olives, hummus, heavy Ikarian bread and wine. “People stay up late here,” Leriadis said. “We wake up late and always take naps. I don’t even open my office until 11 a.m. because no one comes before then.” He took a sip of his wine. “Have you noticed that no one wears a watch here? No clock is working correctly. When you invite someone to lunch, they might come at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. We simply don’t care about the clock here.” Pointing across the Aegean toward the neighbouring island of Samos, he said: “Just 15 kilometers over there is a completely different world. There they are much more developed. There are high-rises and resorts and homes worth a million euros. In Samos, they care about money. Here, we don’t. For the many religious and cultural holidays, people pool their money and buy food and wine. If there is money left over, they give it to the poor. It’s not a ‘me’ place. It’s an ‘us’ place.”


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Ikaria’s unusual past may explain its communal inclinations. The strong winds that buffet the island – mentioned in the “Iliad” – and the lack of natural harbors kept it outside the main shipping lanes for most of its history. This forced Ikaria to be self-sufficient. Then in the late 1940s, after the Greek Civil War, the government exiled thousands of Communists and radicals to the island. Nearly 40 percent of adults, many of them disillusioned with the high unemployment rate and the dwindling trickle of resources from Athens, still vote for the local Communist Party. About 75 percent of the population on Ikaria is under 65. The youngest adults, many of whom come home after college, often live in their parents’ home. They typically have to cobble together a living through small jobs and family support. Leriadis also talked about local “mountain tea,” made from dried herbs endemic to the island, which is enjoyed as an end-of-the-day cocktail. He mentioned wild marjoram, sage (flaskomilia), a type of mint tea (fliskouni), rosemary and a drink made from boiling dandelion leaves and adding a little lemon. “People here think they’re drinking a comforting beverage, but they all double as medicine,” Leriadis said. Honey, too, is treated as a panacea. “They have types of honey here you won’t see anyplace else in the world,” he said. “They use it for everything from treating wounds to curing hangovers, or for treating influenza. Old people here will start their day with a spoonful of honey. They take it like medicine.” Over the span of the next three days, I met some of Leriadis’s patients. In the area known as Raches, I met 20 people over 90 and one who claimed to be 104. I spoke to a 95-year-old man who still played the violin and a 98-year-old woman who ran a small hotel and played poker for money on the weekend. On a trip the year before, I visited a slate-roofed house built into the slope at the top of a hill. I had come here after hearing of a couple who had been married for more than 75 years. Thanasis and Eirini Karimalis both came to the door, clapped their hands at the thrill of having a visitor and waved me in. They each stood maybe five feet tall. He wore a shapeless cotton shirt and a battered baseball cap, and she wore a housedress with her hair in a bun. Inside, there was a table, a medieval-looking fireplace heating a blackened pot, a nook of a closet that held one woolen suit coat, and fading black-and-white photographs of forebears on a soot-stained wall. The place was warm and cozy. “Sit down,” Eirini commanded. She hadn’t even asked my name or business but was already setting out teacups and a plate of cookies. Meanwhile, Thanasis scooted back and forth across the house with nervous energy, tidying up. The couple were born in a nearby village, they told me. They married in their early 20s and raised five children on Thanasis’s pay as a lumberjack. Like that of almost all of Ikaria’s traditional folk, their daily routine unfolded much

the way Leriadis had described it: Wake naturally, work in the garden, have a late lunch, take a nap. At sunset, they either visited neighbours or neighbours visited them. Their diet was also typical: a breakfast of goat’s milk, wine, sage tea or coffee, honey and bread. Lunch was almost always beans (lentils, garbanzos), potatoes, greens (fennel, dandelion or a spinachlike green called horta) and whatever seasonal vegetables their garden produced; dinner was bread and goat’s milk. At Christmas and Easter, they would slaughter the family pig and enjoy small portions of larded pork for the next several months. During a tour of their property, Thanasis and Eirini introduced their pigs to me by name. Just after sunset, after we returned to their home to have some tea, another old couple walked in, carrying a glass amphora of homemade wine. The four nonagenarians cheek-kissed one another heartily and settled in around the table. They gossiped, drank wine and occasionally erupted into laughter. Dr. Ioanna Chinou, a professor at the University of Athens School of Pharmacy, is one of Europe’s top experts on the bioactive properties of herbs and natural products. When I consulted her about Ikarians’ longevity, she told me that many of the teas they consume are traditional Greek remedies. Wild mint fights gingivitis and gastrointestinal disorders; rosemary is used as a remedy for gout; artemisia is thought to improve blood circulation. She invited me to give her samples and later tested seven of the most commonly used herbs on Ikaria. As rich sources of polyphenols, they showed strong antioxidant properties, she reported. Most of these herbs also contained mild diuretics. Doctors often use diuretics to treat hypertension – perhaps by drinking tea nightly, Ikarians have gently lowered their blood pressure throughout their lives. Meanwhile, my colleagues Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain set out to track down the island’s 164 residents who were over 90 as of 1999, starting in the municipality of Raches. They found that 75 nonagenarians were still alive. Then, along with additional researchers, they fanned out across the island and asked 35 elderly subjects a battery of lifestyle questions to assess physical and cognitive functioning: How much do you sleep? Did you ever smoke? They asked them to get up and down from a chair five times and recorded how long it took them to walk 13 feet. To test mental agility, the researchers had subjects recall a series of items and reproduce geometric shapes. Pes and Poulain were joined in the field by Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou of the University of Athens, an expert on the Mediterranean diet. She helped administer surveys, often sitting in village kitchens to ask subjects to reconstruct their childhood eating habits. She noted that the Ikarians’ diet, like that of others around the Mediterranean, was rich in olive oil and vegetables, low in dairy (except goat’s milk) and meat products, and also included moderate amounts of alcohol. It emphasized homegrown potatoes, beans (garbanzo, black-eyed peas and lentils), wild greens and locally produced goat milk and honey.

Having studied populations of the long-lived for nearly a decade, I have found the factors that encourage longevity reinforce one another over the long term. For people to adopt a healthful lifestyle, I have become convinced, they need to live in an ecosystem, so to speak, that makes it possible. As soon as you take culture, belonging, purpose or religion out of the picture, the foundation for long healthy lives collapses.

As I knew from my studies in other places with high numbers of very old people, every one of the Ikarians’ dietary tendencies had been linked to increased life spans: low intake of saturated fats from meat and dairy

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Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


was associated with lower risk of heart disease; olive oil – especially unheated – reduced bad cholesterol and raised good cholesterol. Goat’s milk contained serotonin-boosting tryptophan and was easily digestible for older people. Some wild greens had 10 times as many antioxidants as red wine. Wine – in moderation – had been shown to be good for you if consumed as part of a Mediterranean diet, because it prompts the body to absorb more flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. And coffee, once said to stunt growth, was now associated with lower rates of diabetes, heart disease and, for some, Parkinson’s. Local sourdough bread might actually reduce a meal’s glycemic load. You could even argue that potatoes contributed heart-healthy potassium, vitamin B6 and fibreto the Ikarian diet. Another health factor at work might be the unprocessed nature of the food they consume: as Trichopoulou observed, because islanders eat greens from their gardens and fields, they consume fewer pesticides and more nutrients. She estimated that the Ikarian diet, compared with the standard American diet, might yield up to four additional years of life expectancy.

The problem is, it’s difficult to change individual behaviours when community behaviours stay the same. You can’t go to a movie, walk through the airport or buy cough medicine without being routed through a gantlet of candy bars, salty snacks and sugarsweetened beverages. The processed-food industry spends more than $4 billion a year tempting us to eat. How do you combat that? Discipline is a good thing, but discipline is a muscle that fatigues. Sooner or later, most people cave in to relentless temptation.

Of course, it may not be only what they’re eating; it may also be what they’re not eating. “Are they doing something positive, or is it the absence of something negative?” Gary Taubes asked when I described to him the Ikarians’ longevity and their diet. Taubes is a founder of the nonprofit Nutrition Science Initiative and the author of “Why We Get Fat” (and has written several articles for this magazine). “One explanation why they live so long is they eat a plantbased diet. Or it could be the absence of sugar and white flour. From what I know of the Greek diet, they eat very little refined sugar, and their breads have been traditionally made with stoneground wheat.” Following the report by Pes and Poulain, Dr. Christina Chrysohoou, a cardiologist at the University of Athens School of Medicine, teamed up with half a dozen scientists to organize the Ikaria Study, which includes a survey of the diet of 673 Ikarians. She found that her subjects consumed about six times as many beans a day as Americans, ate fish twice a week and meat five times a month, drank on average two to three cups of coffee a day and took in about a quarter as much refined sugar – the elderly did not like soda. She also discovered they were consuming high levels of olive oil along with two to four glasses of wine a day. Chrysohoou also suspected that Ikarians’ sleep and sex habits might have something to do with their long life. She cited a 2008 paper by the University of Athens Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health that studied more than 23,000 Greek adults. The researchers followed subjects for an average of six years, measuring their diets, physical activity and how much they napped. They found that occasional napping was associated with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease, but that regular napping – at least three days weekly – was associated with a 37 percent reduction. She also pointed out a preliminary study of Ikarian men between 65 and 100 that included the fact that 80 percent of them claimed to have sex regularly, and a quarter of that self-reported group said they were doing so with “good duration” and “achievement.” During our time on Ikaria, my colleagues and I stayed at Thea Parikos’s guesthouse, the social hub of western Ikaria. Local women gathered in the dining room at midmorning to gossip over tea. Late at night, after the dinner rush, tables were pushed aside and the dining room became a dance floor, with people locking arms and kick-dancing to Greek music. Parikos cooked the way her ancestors had for centuries, giving us a chance to consume the diet we were studying. For breakfast, she served local yogurt and honey from the 90-year-old beekeeper next door. For dinner, she walked out into the fields and returned with handfuls of weedlike greens, combined them with pumpkin and baked them into savory pies. My favourite was a dish made with black-eyed peas, tomatoes, fennel tops and garlic and finished with olive oil that we dubbed Ikarian stew. Despite her consummately Ikarian air, Parikos was actually born in Detroit to an American father and an Ikarian mother. She had attended high school, worked as a real estate agent and


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married in the United States. After she and her husband had their first child, she felt a “genetic craving” for Ikaria. “I was not unhappy in America,” she said. “We had good friends, we went out to dinner on the weekends, I drove a Chevrolet. But I was always in a hurry.” When she and her family moved to Ikaria and opened the guesthouse, everything changed. She stopped shopping for most groceries, instead planting a huge garden that provided most of their fruits and vegetables. She lost weight without trying to. I asked her if she thought her simple diet was going to make her family live longer. “Yes,” she said. “But we don’t think about it that way. It’s bigger than that.” Although unemployment is high – perhaps as high as 40 percent – most everyone has access to a family garden and livestock, Parikos told me. People who work might have several jobs. Someone involved in tourism, for example, might also be a painter or an electrician or have a store. “People are fine here because we are very self-sufficient,” she said. “We may not have money for luxuries, but we will have food on the table and still have fun with family and friends. We may not be in a hurry to get work done during the day, so we work into the night. At the end of the day, we don’t go home to sit on the couch.” Parikos was nursing a mug of coffee. Sunlight sifted in through the window shades; the waves of the nearby Aegean could be barely heard over the din of breakfast. “Do you know there’s no word in Greek for privacy?” she declared. “When everyone knows everyone else’s business, you get a feeling of connection and security. The lack of privacy is actually good, because it puts a check on people who don’t want to be caught or who do something to embarrass their family. If your kids misbehave, your neighbour has no problem disciplining them. There is less crime, not because of good policing, but because of the risk of shaming the family. You asked me about food, and yes, we do eat better here than in America. But it’s more about how we eat. Even if it’s your lunch break from work, you relax and enjoy your meal. You enjoy the company of whoever you are with. Food here is always enjoyed in combination with conversation.” In the United States, when it comes to improving health, people tend to focus on exercise and what we put into our mouths – organic foods, omega-3’s, micronutrients. We spend nearly $30 billion a year on vitamins and supplements alone. Yet in Ikaria and the other places like it, diet only partly explained higher life expectancy. Exercise – at least the way we think of it, as willful, dutiful, physical activity – played a small role at best. Social structure might turn out to be more important. In Sardinia, a cultural attitude that celebrated the elderly kept them engaged in the community and in extended-family homes until they were in their 100s. Studies have linked early

retirement among some workers in industrialized economies to reduced life expectancy. In Okinawa, there’s none of this artificial punctuation of life. Instead, the notion of ikigai – “the reason for which you wake up in the morning” – suffuses people’s entire adult lives. It gets centenarians out of bed and out of the easy chair to teach karate, or to guide the village spiritually, or to pass down traditions to children. The Nicoyans in Costa Rica use the term plan de vida to describe a lifelong sense of purpose. As Dr. Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, once told me, being able to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy. The healthful plant-based diet that Seventh-day Adventists eat has been associated with an extra decade of life expectancy. It has also been linked to reduced rates of diabetes and heart disease. Adventists’ diet is inspired by the Bible – Genesis 1:29. (“And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed . . . and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ ”) But again, the key insight might be more about social structure than about the diet itself. While for most people, diets eventually fail, the Adventists eat the way they do for decades. How? Adventists hang out with other Adventists. When you go to an Adventist picnic, there’s no steak grilling on the barbecue; it’s a vegetarian potluck. No one is drinking alcohol or smoking. As Nicholas Christakis, a physician and social scientist at Harvard, found when examining data from a long-term study of the residents of Framingham, Mass., health habits can be as contagious as a cold virus. By his calculation, a Framingham individual’s chances of becoming obese shot up by 57 percent if a friend became obese. Among the Adventists we looked at, it was mostly positive social contagions that were in circulation. Ask the very old on Ikaria how they managed to live past 90, and they’ll usually talk about the clean air and the wine. Or, as one 101-year-old woman put it to me with a shrug, “We just forget to die.” The reality is they have no idea how they got to be so old. And neither do we. To answer that question would require carefully tracking the lifestyles of a study group and a control group for an entire human lifetime (and then some). We do know from reliable data that people on Ikaria are outliving those on surrounding islands (a control group, of sorts). Samos, for instance, is just eight miles away. People there with the same genetic background eat yogurt, drink wine, breathe the same air, fish from the same sea as their neighbours on Ikaria. But people on Samos tend to live no longer than average Greeks. This is what makes the Ikarian formula so tantalizing. If you pay careful attention to the way Ikarians have lived their lives, it appears that a dozen subtly powerful, mutually

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Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


40 percent of all children in the U.S. walked to school; now fewer than 12 percent do. Our grandparents, without exercising, burned up about five times as many calories a day in physical activity as we do. At the same time, access to food has exploded.

enhancing and pervasive factors are at work. It’s easy to get enough rest if no one else wakes up early and the village goes dead during afternoon naptime. It helps that the cheapest, most accessible foods are also the most healthful – and that your ancestors have spent centuries developing ways to make them taste good. It’s hard to get through the day in Ikaria without walking up 20 hills. You’re not likely to ever feel the existential pain of not belonging or even the simple stress of arriving late. Your community makes sure you’ll always have something to eat, but peer pressure will get you to contribute something too. You’re going to grow a garden, because that’s what your parents did, and that’s what your neighbours are doing. You’re less likely to be a victim of crime because everyone at once is a busybody and feels as if he’s being watched. At day’s end, you’ll share a cup of the seasonal herbal tea with your neighbour because that’s what he’s serving. Several glasses of wine may follow the tea, but you’ll drink them in the company of good friends. On Sunday, you’ll attend church, and you’ll fast before Orthodox feast days. Even if you’re antisocial, you’ll never be entirely alone. Your neighbours will cajole you out of your house for the village festival to eat your portion of goat meat. Every one of these factors can be tied to longevity. That’s what the $70 billion diet industry and $20 billion health-club industry do in their efforts to persuade us that if we eat the right food or do the right workout, we’ll be healthier, lose weight and live longer. But these strategies rarely work. Not because they’re wrong-minded: it’s a good idea for people to do any of these healthful activities. The problem is, it’s difficult to change individual behaviours when community behaviors stay the same. In the United States, you can’t go to a movie, walk through the airport or buy cough medicine without being routed through a gantlet of candy bars, salty snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages. The processed-food industry spends more than $4 billion a year tempting us to eat. How do you combat that? Discipline is a good thing, but discipline is a muscle that fatigues. Sooner or later, most people cave in to relentless temptation. As our access to calories has increased, we’ve decreased the amount of physical activity in our lives. In 1970, about


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Despite the island’s relative isolation, its tortuous roads and the fierce independence of its inhabitants, the American food culture, among other forces, is beginning to take root in Ikaria. Village markets are now selling potato chips and soda, which in my experience is replacing tea as the drink of choice among younger Ikarians. As the island’s ancient traditions give way before globalization, the gap between Ikarian life spans and those of the rest of the world seems to be gradually disappearing, as the next generations of old people become less likely to live quite so long. The big aha for me, having studied populations of the longlived for nearly a decade, is how the factors that encourage longevity reinforce one another over the long term. For people to adopt a healthful lifestyle, I have become convinced, they need to live in an ecosystem, so to speak, that makes it possible. As soon as you take culture, belonging, purpose or religion out of the picture, the foundation for long healthy lives collapses. The power of such an environment lies in the mutually reinforcing relationships among lots of small nudges and default choices. There’s no silver bullet to keep death and the diseases of old age at bay. If there’s anything close to a secret, it’s silver buckshot. I called Moraitis a few weeks ago from my home in Minneapolis. Elpiniki died in the spring at age 85, and now he lives alone. He picked up the phone in the same whitewashed house that he’d moved into 35 years ago. It was late afternoon in Ikaria. He had worked in his vineyard that morning and just awakened from a nap. We chatted for a few minutes, but then he warned me that some of his neighbours were coming over for a drink in a few minutes and he’d have to go. I had one last question for him. How does he think he recovered from lung cancer? “It just went away,” he said. “I actually went back to America about 25 years after moving here to see if the doctors could explain it to me.” I had heard this part of the story before. It had become a piece of the folklore of Ikaria, proof of its exceptional way of life. Still, I asked him, “What happened?” “My doctors were all dead.” F

From: New York Times magazine, October 28, 2012, on page MM36 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: The Enchanted Island Of Centenarians. This article is adapted from new material being published in the second edition of “Blue Zones,” by Dan Buettner, from National Geographic.

July & October Retreats in the spiritual heart of Bali An opportunity to take your healing to a deeper level In our healing sanctuary in the hills outside Ubud, miles away from the stresses of everyday life, your senses are soothed, your body relaxes and begins to heal, your energy is restored and your worries and fears fall away. There is nothing to do but surrender to the beauty and tranquility of the moment... Sometimes it is necessary to physically retreat from the busyness and stresses of life for a short period of time so that healing and recovery become your main and sole focus. Our retreat programs are uniquely designed to support you while you go deeper on the healing journey than you could otherwise go, in the company of like-minded souls. Our July Retreat (6 nights, 7th-13th July) is facilitated by Cathy Brown and Mandy BeckerKnox and the focus is on deep rest, gentle cleansing of the body, restoration of the body’s energies, self-understanding and activation of the body’s self-healing mechanisms.

Retreat programs include • Individual sessions: - energy healing & transformation - personalised yoga therapy - traditional Balinese massage • Daily group sessions: - healing yoga & breathwork - guided meditation & relaxation - energy balancing & sound healing meditations • pure, organic vegetarian meals, juices, smoothies, herbal teas & herbal tonics daily • visit to traditional Balinese healer

The October Retreat (7 nights, 5th-12th Oct) is run by Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre and facilitated by Mandy BeckerKnox and Robert Becker. The focus is on the transformational and subtle practices of yoga and meditation which bring about peace, happiness and healing.

• tailored sessions at nearby ashrams with remarkable spiritual teachers & healers

Both retreats are gentle and supportive. No experience is required.

• time for rest and rejuvenation

Cancer Support WA Retreat Facilitators Cathy Brown was diagnosed with secondary melanoma in 1990. She was told there was no treatment which could save her and she had 2 months–2 years to live. This initiated an amazing journey, exploring beliefs and healing modalities. Cathy now facilitates courses and programs to help others facing the same predicament.

• meditation in an ancient lost temple

Mandy BeckerKnox is Cancer Support WA’s CEO and is also a Yoga and Meditation Instructor and Retreat Facilitator with more than 20 years experience. She has studied Yoga and Meditation with some of the world’s most renowned contemporary masters in India and Australia. Robert Becker is the founder and director of Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre. Over 30 years, Robert has taught and inspired thousands of students. Robert’s early experience with the masters and lifelong practice are embodied in his teaching and practical wisdom.

Wellness & Healing Retreat 7th-13th July, 6 nights. Yoga & Meditation Retreat 5th-12th Oct, 7 nights. Cost: $1,700 / $1,850 per retreat. More information, full program and registration details on the Events page of our website: or call the Cancer Support Phone Line (08) 9384 3544. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



Bali Wellness & Healing Retreats

healing isn’t a destination... it’s a Journey Once you can accept that giving up is not an option, the time comes to look around and find your inspiration to help you live with your cancer. Hi. My name is Tambre and I coach cancer survivors and

caregivers. I didn’t choose this niche. It chose me when a longterm survivor suffering from significant late effects was referred to me. For them, surviving was a miracle overshadowed by challenges resulting from treatment and the disease. With just three sessions, my client addressed multiple issues that had been severely limiting their physical energy and almost quadrupled what they had available to lead their daily life. The work I do as a cancer survivorship coach is not directly related to the illness. It is best explained using the analogy of a set of train tracks. My approach to working with clients dealing with chronic illness is to view it like a set of train tracks. There are two rails. The medical plan and diagnosis makes up one track. It takes time,energy, and resources to manage this aspect as either a patient or a caregiver. The second track is the track called your life. In addition to track one, both patient and caregiver need to understand how to manage and have a life as the medical treatment unfolds and post treatment. Consider.. What has the experience cost you or your caregiver? What kind of collateral damage has occurred in your life? Have you considered how parts of your life such as finances, relationships, enjoyment, career and family have been impacted? What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now, whether it revolves around a new diagnosis, going through the process of treatment or trying to navigate the new normal beyond treatment? It is common for new clients to show up struggling with:


Cancer Support WA

• • • • • •

Low energy levels Fears about the future or the unknown Feeling overwhelmed Isolation Relating to everyday life Defining the new normal

The fallout from cancer can be overwhelming. Most of us dig down and find coping mechanisms or fall into potholes of denial, feeling numb or checking out through addictive type behaviors. So, how can coaching help? Cancer can often result in feeling like life has been put on hold. Future dreams and goals change, as do priorities. One of the significant benefits of coaching is that it helps clients reach clarity about fears, concerns, worries or challenges. Simple, but effective, assessment tools help identify what is working in your life, what isn’t working and the changes you would like to generate to be thriving, not just surviving. A cancer coach is a mentor who can help you gain clarity, get out of being overwhelmed and reduce stress so you can experience quality of life again. Almost everyone reaches a point at least once during the cancer experience where you simply want to give up. It’s normal to want cancer to be over, be easier, be cured, and be something someone else has to deal with. Cancer is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs…and too many downs can make you feel like you can’t take anymore. The reality is, you don’t get to quit. You don’t have the option to throw in the towel at cancer. So when it feels like you’ve been facing health challenges forever and want to give up, the challenge is to figure out how to make healing a journey. I’ve found a few ways that will help you awaken to your inspiration to help you live well with cancer.

Find inspiration in the things that surround you. No matter what you’re going through, there is someone out there who has found a way through the hard times. And, chances are, those people left inspiration in the form of art. So read, watch, and listen.

Read I’ve found great comfort in the writings of Viktor Frankl, particularly Man’s Search for Meaning. Here is my favourite quote, which speaks to the heart of coaching. We cannot always change our circumstances, but we have the power to choose how we respond to them. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Dr. Viktor Frankl

Watch One of the most inspiring videos for me is Dr. Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. Like Frankl, he believes in focusing on what you can do, not on what you can’t do. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” ~ Randy Pausch.

Listen Create a playlist of music that lifts you up and energizes you. Ask other survivors, fighters or supporters for suggestions. Click here for some suggestions from members of the IHadCancer community: If you live with your eyes and ears open, chances are, you will be struck by inspiration. Then, keep that inspiration present at all times. Create a screensaver, or keep a post-it note with your favourite quotes nearby.

Healing versus Cure No one can be certain of the future. Consider creating a lifelong commitment to wellbeing – make it a journey instead of a destination. Take it day by day, step by step, and, when necessary, moment by moment. How might that impact the choices that you make?

Cancer Support WA provides mentoring and counselling for people dealing with cancer at every stage of the journey including survivorship Become a Cancer Mentor The Cancer Support WA Mentoring Program provides training in basic group and counselling skills, as well as providing a model for ongoing supervision and support for people seeking to run cancer support groups, regionally, remotely and within the Perth metropolitan area. The program is orientated towards developing skills specific to cancer support, including meeting the challenges of cancer diagnosis, carer support, and working with grief and loss. Provided by Mike Sowerby and Cathy Brown. Phone for more information.

Wellness counselling Ongoing counselling sessions with a caring, compassionate professional could help you deal more effectively with the many issues, fears and emotions which arise on the cancer journey; gain clarity to make treatment decisions; give you the insight to grow from your experiences; and the peace of mind and heart needed to heal. Sessions are available at our Cottesloe centre, your home or hospital. Sessions with Fully Qualified Counsellors Mike Sowerby and Sue Etheridge. Sessions available by appointment.

Maybe you felt like quitting when you started to reading this article. Congratulations on not giving up. Instead of throwing in the towel, you somehow got yourself connected to a powerful resource and picked up some inspiration. Taking small steps makes a big difference!

Counselling Fee Schedule

In the end, what matters most is that you find a path to create more peace and ease, and less stress, so you can improve the quality of your life. F

Counselling session (one hour duration)

$50 members $75 public

Home/hospital visit

+ $15 travel fee

From Tambre Leighn, MA, CPC, ELI-MP is a certified professional coach helping cancer survivors and caregivers find the energy to go from surviving to thriving and beyond. Her personal experience caregiving for her late husband inspired Tambre to become a coach, a trained facilitator for the American Cancer Society’s “I Can Cope” program and to found the Cancer Survivorship Coaching Coalition.

Counselling sessions are available free to any Cancer Support WA member who is experiencing financial hardship due to cancer. Please mention this at time of booking. Free counselling sessions are limited to one session (1 hour) a week per family.

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



Live With Your Eyes Open

When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option By Jane E. Brody

At what point is continuing with chemotherapy and cancer treatment doing more harm than good? Recent research shows that may patients continue with an aggressive treatment regime in the end stages of cancer when gentler palliative care would be a better choice.

When my husband learned he had advanced lung cancer, he didn’t even want to speak to an oncologist about chemotherapy. He saw no point in treatment that could not cure him and might make him feel worse. Not so, though, for a majority of patients diagnosed with cancers of the lung or colon that have spread well beyond their original site and are currently not curable by any drugs in the medical armamentarium. Most patients with these so-called stage 4 cancers who choose to undergo chemotherapy seem to believe, incorrectly, that the drugs could render them cancer-free. That is the finding of a recent national study of nearly 1,200 patients with advanced cancers of the lung or colon. Overall, 69 percent of those with stage 4 lung cancer and 81 percent of those with stage 4 colon cancer failed to understand “that chemotherapy was not at all likely to cure their cancer,” Dr. Jane C. Weeks, an oncology researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. When patients do not understand the limitations of such treatment, their consent to undergo it is not truly informed, the authors concluded. This is not to say that chemotherapy is pointless when cancer is far advanced. Various drugs, some with limited toxicity, can be used as palliatives, perhaps shrinking tumours temporarily to relieve symptoms, slowing the cancer’s growth and prolonging the lives of some patients. But aggressive chemotherapy when death is but weeks or months in the offing can seriously compromise the quality of patients’ remaining time and may delay their preparations for the end of life, to the detriment of both patients and their families. “If you think chemotherapy will cure you, you’re less open to end-of-life discussions,” Dr. Weeks said in an interview. When patients pursue chemotherapy under the false belief that they still have a chance for a cure, it often delays their transition to the comfort care of hospice. When patients spend only a few days or a week in hospice, caretakers don’t have enough time to get to know them and their families and offer the physical, emotional and practical benefits hospice can provide.


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When my husband entered hospice after two miserable weeks in the hospital undergoing palliative radiation, he experienced such relief that he said cheerfully, though in jest, “What if I decide I want to live?” and then enjoyed a treasured last visit with two of his grandchildren.

‘Optimistic Bias’ Communication is a two-way street; doctors and patients alike contribute to patients’ failure to appreciate medicine’s limited ability to treat advanced cancer. In an editorial accompanying the journal report, Dr. Thomas J. Smith and Dr. Dan L. Longo pointed out that “people have an optimistic bias.” Despite a grim prognosis, this bias prompts patients to believe treatment can cure them. “Even with repeated discussions, about one-third of patients are not able to say they have a disease from which they will die in a year or so,” Dr. Smith, an oncologist and director of palliative care at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in an interview. “Our job is not to force them into acceptance but to encourage them to plan for the worst while hoping for the best,” Dr. Smith said. “Such patients have better outcomes – less depression and less distress, and they’re more likely to die comfortably at home.” Cultural and racial factors, and most likely religious beliefs, influence acceptance of the futility of continued treatment, Dr. Weeks said. In her study, nonwhite and Hispanic patients were more likely than whites to believe that chemotherapy could cure them. But surprisingly, patients’ educational level, degree of disability and participation in decision-making were not associated with inaccurate beliefs about chemotherapy. What can make a huge difference, Dr. Smith said, is how and how often doctors discuss options with patients and describe the potential of continued treatment. He and Dr. Longo suggested that practitioners master “the conversation known as ‘ask, tell, ask,’ which consists of asking patients what they want to know about their prognosis, telling them what they want to know, and then asking, ‘What do you now understand about your situation?’ ” Among the questions Dr. Smith said doctors should be asking are, “How much do you want to know about your cancer? What do you know about your cancer? Who would you like to include in discussions about your care? Would you like me to write down the important points? What is important to you? What are you hoping for? Who are your other doctors so that I can communicate with them?”

Continuing Discussion Finally, he said, rather than asking the patient “do you have any questions?” the doctor should ask, “Now that we have discussed this, what is your understanding of your situation?” And rather than having this conversation only once, Dr. Smith said, “It should be repeated at every transition point.” He and Dr. Longo also recommend that on diganosis, oncologists appoint someone in the office to discuss advance directives, schedule a hospice-information visit, and offer to discuss prognosis and coping at each transition. Using this approach, practitioners in the US Oncology Network, a group of community-based oncology physicians, have doubled the time patients spend in hospice, decreased costs, alleviated patients’ symptoms, reduced stress on caregivers and often lengthened survival, Dr. Smith said. Various studies have shown that cancer patients in hospice live weeks to months longer than comparable patients not in hospice care. When doctors fail to give direct, clear information, Dr. Smith suggests that patients ask, “What is my prognosis, really? What are my options? Can I meet with the palliative care and hospice teams?” He noted, “This is the hardest conversation for doctors to have. A lot of doctors wait for someone to bring it up.” If the patient does not, then a family member can initiate the needed discussion. F

From the New York Times Health blog, 19th Nove 2012:

Advance Care Planning Workshop Cancer Support WA’s Advance Care Planning Workshops explain how to prepare a Health Directive and how to document and make clear your wishes for health care treatment and end of life care, including the appointment of an enduring guardian who can make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to. The main purpose of an Advance Care Directive is to formally specify what sort of treatment you will endorse and consent to – well in advance. This becomes a legally binding document for doctors and health care providers to adhere to.

Presented by Kim Greeve, Department of Health. 14th March, 10am-1pm. No charge. Morning tea provided. Please book online.

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


lifestyle & wellbeing

Dr. Weeks said continued chemotherapy involves more trips to the hospital, blood draws and X-rays, whereas hospice attends to patients’ symptoms and concerns, and encourages them to leave meaningful legacies.

Getting Fit By the Age of 50 Helps Prevent Disease in Your “Golden Years” Most people intuitively know that the lifestyle choices they

make today impact their future health. But this rather vague connection has now been quantified by science. A new study shows your lifestyle choices in middle age have a direct impact on how you’ll spend your Golden Years. If you’re fit at 50, you’re much more likely to be healthy into your 70s and 80s.

Fit 50 Year-Olds have Fewer Diseases as Seniors Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas followed 18,670 men and women for almost 40 years in a first-ofits-kind study. They compared fitness levels at middle age with overall health later. The men and women who’d been the least fit in their 40s and 50s developed the most chronic conditions early in the aging process, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, COPD, kidney disease, and lung or colon cancer. There are many studies showing physically fit people have a lower risk of dying than those who are unfit. But this is the first study to examine the relationship between chronic disease in the elderly and fitness earlier in life. Essentially, being physically fit “compresses the time” you are likely to spend being debilitated during old age. In reference to the study, the New York Times writes: “The adults who’d been the most fit in their 40s and 50s often developed many of the same conditions, but notably their maladies appeared significantly later in life than for the less fit. Typically, the most aerobically fit people lived with chronic illnesses in the final five years of their lives, instead of the final 10, 15 or even 20 years… Interestingly, the effects of fitness in this study statistically were greater in terms of delaying illness than in prolonging life. While those in the fittest group did tend to live longer than the least fit, perhaps more important was the fact that they were even more likely to live well during more of their older years.”

Exercise Reduces Inflammation, Improves Your Strength, and Protects Your Brain as You Age One of the reasons exercise is so beneficial is that it reduces inflammation in your body. Persistent low-grade inflammation is a driving force for many chronic conditions, and this is especially true in the elderly for whom inflammation is a major cause of disability and loss of independence.


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There is also increasing evidence that physical activity has a protective effect on your brain in your later years. Exercising throughout your lifespan is highly beneficial, and the earlier you start, the more profound the benefits will be. It makes sense, then, that if you exercise regularly, you are preventing and reducing chronic disease processes, which is exactly what this 2009 Finnish meta-analysis showed. Aerobic/functional capacity and muscle strength were improved by exercise training among patients with various diseases, without detrimental effects. The authors wrote: “This is important, as with population aging, exercise therapy may be an important means of reducing disability and increasing the number of older people living independently. Additionally, there is accumulating evidence that in patients with chronic disease, exercise therapy is effective in improving the prognostic risk factor profile and, in certain diseases, in delaying mortality. In some diseases, such as osteoarthritis, pain symptoms may also be reduced. Severe complications during the exercise therapy programs were rare.”

Why You Really Should Be “Fit by 40” The older you get, the harder it is to become fit, especially after “the Big 4-0.” Once you enter middle age, it is far easier to maintain good fitness than to get in shape for the first time. And this is even truer if you’re a woman, as discussed by CNN’s diet and fitness expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis. As women enter middle age, their sex hormones begin to change. If you’re a woman over age 40, your body produces less “healthy estrogen” and more estrone, the type of estrogen produced by your fat tissue. Estrone contributes to insulin resistance, cravings for sweets, and loss of muscle mass. Is blaming your extra flab on your hormones a cop-out? Well, there is actually some truth to it… but it’s not insurmountable. As you age, your resting metabolic rate tends to decline by about five percent for every decade of life past age 40, according to Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and associate director of the UPMC Nutrition Center. Good nutrition and optimal exercise help counter these biological tendencies. Exercising – even briefly – can change your DNA in a way that readies your body for increased muscle strength and fat burning. F


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How yoga helps cancer Cancer patients who practice yoga as therapy during their treatment often

refer to their yoga practice as a life-saver. No matter how sick from treatments and no matter how little energy, many find that the one thing that would bring relief were a gentle set of therapeutic yoga poses geared for cancer patients. When battling cancer, the worst part is not just the symptoms of the disease itself, but often the discomfort and debilitating fatigue brought on from cancer treatments. Whether faced with the scar-tissue of surgery or ongoing nausea and weakness from chemotherapy or radiation, cancer patients endure a long road of physical trials. But as many people are discovering, there are ways to strengthen their bodies and deal with the uncomfortable side-effects of treatment, both during and after treatment. As the interest in more holistic approaches to healing is growing, yoga therapy for cancer is emerging as one of the more successful methods for combating the physical discomfort of cancer and treatment. How does yoga help relieve the suffering that cancer all too often brings with it? Gentle yoga poses for cancer can work magic on many levels. First of all, yoga used as therapy for cancer can help clear out toxins accrued during treatment more effectively. Yoga asanas stimulate not just muscles, but also increases blood flow, balances the glands and enhances the lymphatic flow in the body, all of which enhances the body's internal purification processes. The deep, relaxing breathing often emphasized in yoga also increases the current of oxygen-rich blood to the cells, delivering vital nutrients to tired cells and further clearing out toxins. In addition to removing toxins, yoga helps dissipate tension and anxiety and enables you to settle into a greater sense of ease and well-being. Stress depresses the body's natural immune function, which may be one of the reasons that there is evidence that people who practice yoga for cancer have greater recovery rates. Regular exercise also has been shown to stimulate the body's natural anticancer defenses. However, few cancer patients or cancer survivors feel up to the task of engaging in a 'regular' exercise regimen. Many find that yoga as therapy provides an ideal, balanced form of whole-body exercise. It's no wonder that more and more doctors have begun to recommend yoga for people with cancer. For those enduring chemotherapy and radiation, yoga provides a means to strengthen the body, boost them immune system, and produce a muchsought-after feeling of well-being. For those recovering from surgery, such as that for breast cancer, yoga can help restore motion and flexibility in a gentle, balanced manner. Yoga also provides an internal anchor of calm during a difficult and tumultuous time. Many practicing yoga therapy have discovered an increased awareness of a great, internal stillness and sense of unity. They've found, at the most fundamental level of their own consciousness, a sense of true health and vitality that spills over into other aspects of life. F


Yoga Courses & Classes at Cancer Support WA 5 Week Absolute Beginners Healing Yoga Course Our gentle yoga course is designed for absolute beginners and people with cancer or other health issues requiring a gentle, healing therapeutic approach in a safe and supportive environment. There is an emphasis on safely stretching, strengthening and relaxing; gaining a thorough understanding of yoga; and accessing the self-healing and relaxation potential of this healing art. Notes given weekly. Tuesdays 4pm - 5pm. 2013 Start Dates: 19th March; 4th June; 27 Aug; 29 Oct. Cost: $50 members / $75

Healing Yoga Weekly Classes Taking inspiration from Iyengar and Vinyasa, the classes emphasise relaxation, breath awareness, gentle movement and meditation. Sequences and practices are designed to be suitable for people with cancer, and are taught with great care and compassion. Facilitated by Madeline Clare. Thursdays from 9.30 -10.45am at Cancer Support WA. Cost: $5 members / $10. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


Antioxidants prevent cancer and are an effective treatment By Steve Hickey, PhD

It is widely accepted that antioxidants in the diet and supplements are one of the most effective ways of preventing cancer. Recent comments made about antioxidants contradict this fact and have caused confusion.

It is widely accepted that antioxidants in the diet and supplements are one of the most effective

ways of preventing cancer. Nevertheless, Dr. James Watson has recently suggested that antioxidants cause cancer and interfere with its treatment. James Watson is among the most renowned of living scientists. His work, together with that of others (Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, Frances Crick, and Maurice Wilkins) led to the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953. Although his recent statement on antioxidants is misleading, the mainstream media has picked it up, which may cause some confusion.

Antioxidants: What’s Going On Dr. Watson claims to have discovered that antioxidants promote the growth of late stage metastatic cancers. He says that this is “among my most important work since the double helix.” [1] We agree that the finding is fundamentally important, although it was not uniquely Watson’s discovery. Rather, it is standard orthomolecular medicine and has been known for years. [2,3] Within the body, antioxidant levels act as a signal, controlling cell division. In healthy cells and benign tumours, oxidants tend to increase cell proliferation, whereas antioxidants inhibit it. By contrast, the malignant tumour environment can be so strongly oxidizing that it is damaging and triggers cell death by apoptosis. In this case, antioxidants may help tumour cells proliferate and survive, by protecting the cells against oxidation and stimulating the malignancy to grow. For this reason, antioxidants may sometimes be contraindicated for use with malignant tumours, although there are particular exceptions to this.

And Oxidants? The balance between oxidants and antioxidants is a key issue in the development of cancer, as has been known for decades. Watson appears to be behind the times in his appreciation of nutritional medicine and, surprisingly, to have misunderstood the processes of oxidation and reduction as applied to cancer. He correctly asserts that reactive oxygen species are a positive force for life; this is basic biology. They are also involved in aging, chronic illness, and cancer. Oxidants also cause free radical damage, thus the body generates large amounts of antioxidants to prevent harm and maintain health. Back in the 1950s Dr. Reginald Holman treated the implanted tumours of experimental rats, by adding a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide to their drinking water. [4] Hydrogen peroxide, an oxidant, delivers a primary redox (reduction/oxidation) signal in the body. The treatment cured more than half the rats (50-60%) within a period of two weeks to two months, with complete disappearance of the tumours. Holman also reported four human case studies, concerning people with advanced inoperable cancer. Two patients showed marked clinical improvement and tumour shrinkage. (Please note: we are not suggesting that people should consume hydrogen peroxide.) He published his findings in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific periodicals of the day and, of course, the same journal that had presented Crick and Watson’s double helix papers, just four year earlier. Orthomolecular medicine has advanced since those days; we now have safer and more effective techniques with which to attack cancer. Intravenous vitamin C is a good example. [5] Nevertheless, both modern orthomolecular and conventional treatments often rely indirectly on increasing hydrogen peroxide levels, and thus deliberately causing free radical damage within the tumour.


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We agree with some of Watson’s assertions: that cancer research is overregulated; that a primary aim should be to cure late stage cancers; and that a cure for cancer could be achievable, given 5-10 years of properly targeted research. [6] However, we think he should become more familiar with progress in orthomolecular medicine, which is currently leading the way.

How Does Cancer Grow? Cancer develops when cells multiply in the presence of oxidation and other damage. According to microevolutionary models, cells become damaged and change their behavior, growing uncontrollably, and act like the single-celled organisms from which they originally evolved. The cancer cells’ individualism overwhelms the cooperative control processes that are essential to a complex multicellular organism. Importantly, antioxidants limit oxidative damage and thus inhibit early benign cancer growth, preventing cancer from developing. As cancers become malignant, they exhibit incredible genetic diversity. Whereas a benign tumour is like a colony of similar abnormal cells, a malignant tumour is a whole ecosystem. At this late stage, some (but not all) antioxidants can indeed promote cancer cell growth. Thousands of different cell types coexist: cooperating, competing, and struggling to survive. A consequence of the anaerobic conditions that prevail during the early development of a malignancy is that cancer cells differ from healthy cells, in that they have been selected for the way they generate energy (i.e. anaerobically, using glucose). This is the well-known Warburg effect [7], another finding from the 1950s. [8]

How Does Cancer Stop? Certain “antioxidant” substances, such as vitamin C, are able to exploit the differences between cancer and healthy cells; they kill cancer cells while helping healthy cells. [9] Such substances have the ability to act either as antioxidants or as pro-oxidants, depending on their environment. In tumours, they act as pro-oxidants, producing hydrogen peroxide that attacks the cancer; whereas, in healthy cells they act as protective anti-oxidants. The dual nature of these substances is crucial, because standard chemotherapy or radiation harms healthy cells almost as much as it does cancer cells. The idea of a drug with a limited selective activity against cancer cells has apparently impressed Watson, who suggests that “highly focused

new drug development should be initiated towards finding compounds beyond metformin that selectively kill [cancer] stem cells.” [10] Metformin is an antidiabetic drug that acts against cancer by lowering blood glucose levels. Interestingly enough, carbohydrate reduction and other methods of “starving the cancer” are standard methods in orthomolecular cancer therapy. [2] Selective anticancer agents of the kind Dr. Watson advocates are already known to exist: they include vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, alpha-lipoic acid, selenium, and others. A research agenda to investigate the synergistic operation of such substances in cancer treatment is required urgently. It is time for conventional medicine to come to terms with their failures in cancer research and embrace selective orthomolecular methods. The public should stick with nutritional therapies while we wait for medicine to catch up. Don’t be warned off the very substances that can most help you. F

References 1. Watson J. (2013) Nobel laureate James Watson claims antioxidants in late-stage cancers can promote cancer progression, The Royal Society, latest news, 09 January, watson-antioxidants-cancer. 2. Hickey S. Roberts H. (2005) Cancer: Nutrition and Survival, Lulu Press. 3. Hickey S. Roberts H.J. (2007) Selfish cells: cancer as microevolution, 137-146. 4. Holman R.A. (1957) A method of destroying a malignant rat tumour in vivo, Nature, 4568, 1033. 5., http://www. and 6. Lettice E. (2010) James Watson: ‘cancer research is over regulated’ The Guardian, Friday 10 September, science/2010/sep/10/james-watson-cancer-research. 7. Gonzalez M.J. Miranda Massari J.R. Duconge J. Riordan N.H. Ichim T. Quintero-Del-Rio A.I. Ortiz N. (2012) The bio-energetic theory of carcinogenesis, Med Hypotheses, 79(4), 433-439. 8. Warburg O. (1956) On the origin of cancer cells, Science, 123(3191), 309-314. 9. Casciari J.J. Riordan N.H. Schmidt T.L. Meng X.L. Jackson J.A. Riordan H.D. (2001) Cytotoxicity of ascorbate, lipoic acid, and other antioxidants in hollow fibre in vitro tumours, Br J Cancer, 84(11), 1544-1550. http:// N.H. Riordan, H.D. Riordana, X. Menga, Y. Lia, J.A. Jackson. (1995) Intravenous ascorbate as a tumour cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent, Med Hypotheses, 44(3), 207-213, science/article/pii/030698779590137X 10. Watson J. (2013) Oxidants, antioxidants and the current incurability of metastatic cancers, Open Biology, January 8, doi: 10.1098/ rsob.120144.

From:, 24th January 2013 Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



Watson correctly identifies oxidation and free radical damage as primary mechanisms through which radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs slow cancer growth. He also states that cancer cell adaptation to oxidation is the method by which it becomes resistant to such treatment, although once again, this has been standard in cancer biology for decades.


Nature’s Most Powerful Antioxidant By Barbara L. Minton

“Astaxanthin is one of the most amazing supplements I have ever learned about. It is one of the most vital supplements I take, and one that I would not want to be without.” Dr Joseph Mercola

Summer is the season for astaxanthin, the carotenoid that blocks ultra violet damage to the skin. Astaxanthin has been referred to as nature’s sunscreen, but it does a whole lot more to keep people looking good by promoting beauty and radiant health from the inside out. It improves fine lines and wrinkles, skin elasticity and moisture content while reducing inflammation and cell damage that leads to premature aging. Astaxanthin keeps people feeling good too. Recent research has documented its ability to increase cellular energy, protect against and treat cancer, protect against damage to the brain and nervous system, and halt the progression of complications from diabetes. In fact, astaxanthin may truly be considered a miracle nutrient. Astaxanthin is a wonder compound from microalgae People who pay attention to nutrition have long been impressed by the properties of the blue green pigment in marine microalgae, and have elevated spirulina and chlorella to superfood status. Another microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis, contains primarily dark red pigment. This pigment is the richest known source of the carotenoid astaxanthin. Only phytoplankton, algae, plants, and certain bacteria and fungi are able to synthesize carotenoids such as astaxanthin. Animals, including humans, must consume carotenoids as part of their diet. Astaxanthin is found in many types of seafood and is what gives the reddish-orange colour to salmon, shrimp, red fish, and lobster. It provides the colouration for birds such as flamingoes and quail. But don’t worry, taking supplemental astaxanthin or eating foods that have consumed it will not cause a person to turn orange or red.

Astaxanthin exhibits a strong photoprotective effect Scientists in Rome, Italy compared the abilities of various carotenoids to modulate UVA related injury. Fibroblasts from skin were exposed to moderate doses of UVA, which stimulated cell death, increased levels of free radicals and other reactive substances, decreased antioxidant enzymes activities, and promoted membrane disturbance and enzyme denaturing of hemoglobin. The fibroblasts were treated with carotenoids including astaxanthin 24 hours before exposure to UVA. Of the carotenoids tested, only astaxanthin exhibited a pronounced photoprotective effect and countered all of the UVA induced alterations to a significant extent. (Experimental Dermatology)

Astaxanthin increases cellular energy by protecting mitochondria Mitochondria are the cellular furnaces in which food is turned into energy in the form of ATP. During this process, oxygen is released, producing several oxygen-derived free radicals that play an important role in various diseases. Oxidative stress leading to mitochondrial dysfunction is a critical factor for many diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative and lifestyle-related diseases. Scientists in Japan recently found that astaxanthin decreased induced oxidative stress and protected cultured cells from free radicals. Moreover, astaxanthin helped maintain a higher mitochondria membrane potential and stimulated respiration, allowing for the production of increased levels of cellular energy. The researchers then investigated how astaxanthin stimulated and interacted with mitochondria when it is stressed. They found that astaxanthin improved the ability of the mitochondria to remain in a reduced state and maintain its functional integrity under oxidative challenge. (Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry).


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document axtaxanthin as highly effective against colon cancer. (Cancer Letter)

Astaxanthin’s powerful antioxidant activity has been demonstrated in studies dating back to the mid 1990’s. Many of these studies have shown the potential of astaxanthin to target important health conditions and accelerated aging of internal organs and tissues. Other studies have shown enhanced immune response and decreased DNA damage in humans following astaxanthin administration. Astaxanthin is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier in mammals, a unique and important property for an antioxidant. This characteristic allows astaxanthin to extend its superior antioxidant activity to the central nervous system, which is highly susceptible to damage by free radicals.

Researchers in Japan examined the protective effects of axtaxanthin on neuroblastoma cells. Pretreatment of the cells with astaxanthin preserved cellular integrity in a dose dependent manner, and inhibited mitochondrial dysfunctions, including lowered membrane potential, and gene repair. There was a marked abolishment of free radical generation resulting in the blocking of activation of pro-cancer gene p38. They concluded that the mechanism through which astaxanthan protects neuroblastoma cells is its potent antioxidant activity. (Journal of Neurochemistry, 2008)

Based on the data that showed astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier, scientists in Japan investigated the neuroprotective effect of astaxanthin by using an oxidative stress-induced neuronal cell damage system. Treatment with various neurotoxins led to significant decreases in dopamine cells, whereas a significant protection was shown when the cells were pretreated with astaxanthin. Furthermore, astaxanthin treatment significantly inhibited intracellular free radical generation. Based on these results, the scientists strongly suggested that treatment with astaxanthin may be effective for oxidative stress-associated neurodegeneration. They cited it as a potential candidate for a natural brain food. (Forum Nutrition, 2009) In a recent study researchers decided that carotenoids such as astaxanthin should be referred to as “antiradicals” rather than as free radical scavengers because they perform a double action against free radicals, either donating or accepting electrons. These researchers determined the antiradical capacity of various carotenoids and found that vitamin E is the most effective antiradical in terms of its electron donor capacity, while the most effective antiradical in terms of its electron acceptor capacity is astaxanthin. (Journal of Physical Chemistry, September 25, 2008)

New research highlights astaxanthin’s incredible cancer fighting properties The ability of astaxanthin to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells was studied at Catholic University School of Medicine in Rome, Italy. Astaxanthin inhibited cell growth in a dose and time dependent manner by arresting cell cycle progression and by promoting the death of cancerous cells. Astaxanthin resulted in a 220% increase in the expression of the well known anti-cancer gene p 53, and a 160% and 250% increase respectively in the anti-cancer genes p21 and p27. Astaxanthin strongly upregulated apoptosis through gene modification, and increased phosphoylation of the p38, JNK, and ERK1/2 genes by 160%, 242%, and 280% respectively. Growth inhibitory effects of astaxanthin were also observed in HT-29, LS-174, WiDr, and Sw-480 cells. These results

Several other studies have shown the effectiveness of astaxanthin as a preventative and treatment against cancer. In 1994, astaxanthin protected mice from urinary bladder cancer. In 1995, the same research group showed that astaxanthin prevents oral cancer in rats, and inhibits cancer in a manner more pronounced than that of beta carotene. A further study by this group explored the effect of astaxanthin on colon cancer in male rats. They found a significant decrease in the incidence of colon cancer in the animals that were given astaxanthan. More research has documented the anti-tumour activity of astaxanthin and its mode of action, as well as the contribution of its antioxidant properties to protect against cancer metastasis. Astaxanthin was also shown to inhibit aflatoxin B1 induced DNA damage. Aflatoxins are deadly products of mould that can cause liver damage and cancer. They are widespread in nature and found on peanuts, wheat, corn, beans and rice. (Cancer Letter) Breast cancer was the subject of researchers in China looking into the effects carotenoids have on proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and the expression of the cancer promoting bcl-2 gene. They found that beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin all inhibited cell proliferation. The carotenoids also down regulated bcl-2 gene expression. (Zhonghua Yu FangYi Xue Za Zhi, July, 2002). As an antioxidant, astaxanthin has powerful antiinflammatory benefits, which makes it useful for a number of diseases associated with inflammation. However, it’s not a magic cure. Not mistaking astaxanthin for a cure is an important point. If you decide to give astaxanthin a try, Dr. Joseph Mercola recommend starting with 2 mg per day, and working your way up to about 4 mg per day, or more if you’re an athlete or suffering from chronic inflammation. F

From: From an article by Barbara L. Minton. Barbara is a psychologist, published author in the area of personal finance, and a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments. Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



Astaxanthin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to protect neurons

why alkaline matters By Shelley Young

Over the past twenty years, Dr. Robert O. Young and his wife Shelley Redford Young have aided the healing of thousands of people with their revolutionary alkaline diet and lifestyle. This alkalising diet and scientific approach – known as The New Biology® – is based on their extensive nutritional microbiological work, which spawned their authoring of the globally renowned book series, The pH Miracle, which has been printed in over twenty languages.

These days, we’ve got so much more medicine, but so much less health. More children are suffering from needless obesity and the three top killers, heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are on the rise! Something’s got to change!

Before things can change with the state of human health on this planet, we all have to realize that just as the earth has an external environment that has to be kept clean and clear for fresh air and pure water, each of us has an internal environment that must also be kept clean and clear. We have internal rivers and streams, veins, arteries and lymphatic vessels running through our bodies that must also be kept running pure, the state of which are vital to optimum health and strength. The blood, tissues and organs of our bodies are kept in a delicate state of pH balance which is set as alkaline at 7.365. Many of you already know that a fish aquarium must be kept at a proper pH or the fish will die. Think of all of the cells in your body as being suspended in your own body “ocean”. The health of your cells will be determined by the environment they swim in. Those of you who enjoy your own swimming pools and hot tubs must also check the pH of the water to maintain its clean quality where bacteria cannot grow. Just as your internal body temperature is held at 98.6, you are engineered to be alkaline by design at 7.365 and acidic by function. (Quick review for those of you who haven’t taken chemistry in decades: the pH Scale goes from 1 to 14 – 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is acid, and anything above 7 is base or alkaline.) All body functions – respiration, perspiration, urination and defecation – create acids that must be handled and discarded by the body. If the acids are not discarded, toxicity (acidity) will build up in the internal environment. When your body temperature changes (rises above or falls below 98.6), it is actually a sign that something is wrong. If your body pH changes, symptoms can occur. The blood is strictly held at its alkaline pH by keeping mineral salts balanced in the blood. Acids that build up can be held in the connective tissues and other body tissues such as the skin, muscles and organs. These acids can result in degeneration and dis-ease. What we eat and drink contributes to the system which keeps the body in a state of pH balance. Once you learn more about your body chemistry, you can make the adjustments toward optimum health and vitality.

Hydrate Your Way To Health The water you drink plays a crucial role in maintaining the body’s internal pH balance. You may have noticed water bottles with their pH listed right on the bottle. This is because pH MATTERS!


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of green salads by African-Americans was associated with a substantially lower risk of mortality.

More serious diagnoses could include cancer, diabetes, lupus, and heart disease, just to name a few

Obviously there is a litany of beneficial elements in these super green foods that get too often ignored. But also, remember that another important consideration, in fact quite possibly the most important consideration is that organic green foods that make up our great tasting green drink supplement are electron rich, making them alkaline and very alkalising for the body.

Hydration is the single most important thing you can do to start your alkalising regime. A good rule is to drink up to one litre of pH water for every 13kg of body weight each day, depending on physical activity and climate. Water ionizers can be connected to your kitchen sink to make all your drinking water alkaline. They also make acid water which can be used for external cleaning purposes (floors and counters). There are also drops made by health companies which use mineral salts such as Sodium Chlorite that can be added to any drinking water to push the pH up over a 9 while adding nacient oxygen to the water, too. BACTERIA CAN’T LIVE IN AN OXYGEN-RICH ENVIRONMENT. Dr. Robert O. Young, my husband and co-author of The pH Miracle, has developed these type of drops that are convenient for travel called Purify Drops. When you are properly hydrated with pH structured water, all body systems usually improve in function – even the blood cells appear more plump and healthy! Circulation can improve! Once you start drinking water that is closer to the pH of your own blood and tissues, pain may diminish, rashes can clear up, unwanted pounds often drop off. It only makes sense that keeping the pH balance in the body’s internal rivers and streams would improve the chances for good health, just as fish who swim in the proper pH fishbowl can survive and thrive. Think about it. If your pet fish was sick, would you treat the fish, or change it’s water? Start alkalising by just changing your water and see how you feel.

Alkalising greens Leafy green vegetables are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fibre and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. One study showed that an increment of one daily serving of green leafy vegetables, lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent. In the Adventist health study, the frequent consumption

“Because of their high magnesium content and low glycemic index, green leafy vegetables are also valuable for persons with type 2 diabetes. An increase of 1 serving per day of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of diabetes. The high level of vitamin K in greens makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. The risk of hip fracture in middle-aged women was decreased 45% for one or more servings/day of green, leafy vegetables compared to fewer servings. Green vegetables are also a major source of iron and calcium for any diet. . .”

Supercharge your health Green electron rich foods are a most effective natural cure for heart dis-ease, MS, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, low energy, gaseous stomach, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s and most important cancer. In order to understand how green foods and green drinks really work, any preconceived ideas about nutrition must be put aside. While green foods contain a number of vitamins, minerals, proteins, electrons, chlorophyll and more, they are actually catalysts that support chemical chain reactions within the body. Most cancers start when incomplete chemical reactions occur during digestion or food transformation, respiration and elimination, which create acidic toxic waste in the body that ultimately interferes with cellular transformation. Each cell by the body processes is liable for replicating itself. During cellular transformation from liquid food, chromosomes split into chromatides and reassemble into genes. If they can’t match up properly, cellular defects cause aging, bone loss, heart disease and cancer. Green electron rich foods help “maintain the alkaline design of the body” and create an environment where a cancerous condition is unlikely to occur. Low pH or acidity in the colloidal connective tissue is often the root cause of many if not ALL diseases. It begins when the root system or small intestine is congested or damaged and is not making healthy red blood cells to transform into healthy body cells. In addition the fluids of the body are deprived of alkaline ash food that creates a low alkaline buffer reserve in the interstitial tissue fluids to help maintain the alkaline design of the body. As the alkaline interstitial tissue fluid reserve is “used up” by maintaining the delicate alkaline pH of the blood at 7.365, acidity begins to increase in other organs causing latent tissue acidosis and stressing normal

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There is acidic water and alkaline water. The important thing is to drink water that is close to your own blood pH or even higher. Most water has a pH of around 9. It takes 20 parts alkalinity (sodium bicarbonate) to neutralize 1 part acidity (carbonic acid) in the body. You can’t over alkalise, but you can become overly acidic quite easily. Most people who eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) with its acidic foods and drinks become sick and tired. Signs that one is over-acidic include: • pain and inflammation • retention of water • skin rashes and eruptions • fatigue and allergies

metabolic performance. To buffer the formation of lactic, uric and other damaging acids from food and metabolism, the body will leach calcium from the bones or magnesium from the muscles, or iron from the red blood cells to sodium ions from the plasma to “buffer” and neutralize these acids. Unfortunately this causes bone loss, muscle loss, arthritis and osteoporosis. Another defensive measure is to store the ammonia acids in the kidneys so as to conserve the alkaline buffer reserve. This ultimately leads to kidney stones, endocrine imbalance and contributes to the cellular stress that leads to cancerous body cells. Of course the ultimate way to create a strong alkaline reserve is to consume alkaline mineral salts and alkaline ash foods and drinks like our powdered greens drink mix, which will in turn balance the pH of the body allowing other important aspects of anti-oxidative defense to be unleashed. However, as important as pH is, it is simply one aspect of green food nutrition, and any cancerous condition is only one of many ailments that green electron rich foods may be helpful in preventing. “Scientists have discovered that green juices increase the oxygenation of the body, purify the blood and organs, assisted in the metabolism of nutrients and counteract acids and toxins. Green juices are the superstars of the nutrition world.” This paradigm changing revelation has lead many researchers to turn their attention to phyto chemistry, which is the research into plant-based compounds that act as cellular anti-oxidants. Recently a unanimous chorus has gone up from doctors, dietitians and nutritionists to significantly increase the amount of green-pigmented electron rich foods and drinks people get in their diet. The reason being: a huge body of scientific evidence currently indicates that green electron rich foods will be the biggest part of a blood building, blood and tissue detox, disease prevention and life extending pH Miracle diet.

Green drinks for cancer prevention According to Harvard researchers, probably the most important steps anyone can take to avoid cancer is to consume more deep green-pigmented foods. With cancer rates climbing, researchers noted that such a dietary change must be the first line of defense. At the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Tim Byers has seen how adding green foods to every diet can increase cancer prevention dramatically. Studies at the CDC show that people who eat a high fiber, low fat diet can decrease their risk for colon/rectal cancer by less than 10%. Additionally, adding five servings of greens to the same low fat, high fibrediet the risk fell by nearly 40%. Other studies show a lack of green vegetables increases breast cancer risk nearly 25%, with skin cancer results being very similar. So not only will green drinks and foods lower your cholesterol and facilitate weight loss, but they help prevent all types of cancer and disease. And again, as we evaluate why this is, we return to the chlorophyll so richly found in our greens drink.


Cancer Support WA

Remember the molecular structure of chlorophyll that we touched discussed above. Chlorophyll’s amazing similarity to hemoglobin is the first clue to it’s potential. Form follows purpose. As chlorophyll performs photosynthesis, it is exposed to hours of ultraviolet and radioactive light. As a byproduct of this, damage is done to the plant’s nucleic acids causing oxidative stress. In reaction, green plants develop an array of unique bioflavanoids that act as blocking agents or others that act as repairing and suppressing agents. Recent research has shown that those green plant activities can be transferred to the humans who consume them. In fact, scientists have documented green plants effect on cellular rejuvenation and the DNA repair in human cells (Hughes and Letner. “Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration,” American Journal of Medical Science, 188, 206 (1936)). One study conducted at UC San Diego showed a component of green leaves from young barley plants promoted the repair of DNA significantly in comparison to the control group. This study on how greens can detoxify and repair cells was conducted by a team led by Dr. Hotta and Dr. Kubuta. * * * Today more than 80% of people in the western world who die suffer from a version of a chronic disease. This year, 12.7 million people learn they have cancer, and 7.6 million people die from the disease. A third of these deaths are preventable. Today with the scientific validation of green foods as a disease-fighter, the next generation is now becoming the green generation. We all need to be eating and drinking our greens. And considering the power of greens, don’t you want to get as much as you can? None of us can easily sit down to a meal and eat 14 kilos of green vegetables, fruits and grasses. There are many powdered nutrient-dense green drinks available including those sold on our website So do your body a favour and drink to your health – drink green. F

Cancer Support WA also stocks an Australian brand of Grens powder in our Wellness Shop. To help you get inspired to go green, we’ve included some incredible green recipes in this edition of Wellness News. Article from: Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young have aided the healing of thousands of people with their revolutionary alkaline diet and lifestyle. This alkalizing diet and scientific approach – known as The New Biology® – is based on their extensive nutritional microbiological work, which spawned their authoring of the globally renowned book series, “The pH Miracle,” which has been printed in over twenty languages.

By Paul Buroughs

A while ago, I was made aware that one of my customers, Quona Litchfield, who regularly purchases biodynamic sprouts from my market stall was about to undergo a series of radiotherapy treatments.

Local scientist Paul Buroughs is

Subsequently, I prepared a chemical free extract of biodynamic wheatgrass gel for her to use, as basically, she said that the only thing recommended was sorbolene which I knew to be inadequate at providing relief from the side effects of radiotherapy.

inviting radiotherapy

Prior to this my family and friends had been using this same wheatgrass gel for a whole range of minor ailments but most particularly for cuts, burns and bites to skin. I have also had immediate relief from sunburn after applying the gel.

for relief from

The medical staff were a bit dubious about the wheatgrass gel so Quona had to resort to a little bit of subterfuge and applied the gel after the treatment and then washed it off after she got home. One of the days when she wasn’t having treatment Quona didn’t apply the gel and her skin flared up so she reapplied the gel to calm it down. By religiously applying the gel and documenting this (see her testimonial below) the end result was the medical staff said she was one of the best patients that they have ever had.

patients looking radiotherapy burns to participate in a trial using an effective chemical free biodynamic

I was mentioning this to another one of my customers who had radiotherapy a few years ago, to which he replied he wished he had known about this back then, as his skin had blistered and reacted badly to the treatment.


So, I began thinking how can I let others know about this before they have radiotherapy. Also, as a scientist, I thought it would be good to run a trial with a sample size of about 20 people to try the gel and get feedback. The trial will continue for the length of the participant’s treatment and an additional 3 weeks once it is complete. The gel is applied immediately after treatment and washed off in the evenings. If you are undergoing radiotherapy and would like to participate in this trial of this chemical free biodynamic product please call the Cancer Support Phone Line on (08) 9384 3544 for more details. There is no charge to participants in this trial and the gel is provided free.

testimonial As part of my treatment for breast cancer I underwent 25 sessions of radiation therapy to the left side, lymph nodes underarm and base of neck. It was brought to my attention that wheatgrass gel has been used to protect and nourish the skin exposed to radiation therapy particularly for breast cancer treatment. A fresh pot of wheatgrass gel was made for me to use from day one. I had to attend the radiation treatment with clean skin so straight after the session (5 mins) I applied the gel to the area I thought had been exposed. (I missed a small patch that did become red like sunburn.) I applied the gel and left it on most of the day then washed it off in the shower in the evening. The first week I only used the gel after the sessions and not on the other days. When I did not use the gel I noticed a redness and irritation. Immediately I applied the gel to the skin there was relief. I then realized that it was important to apply the gel every day and for about 3 weeks after the radiation treatment ceased. When I attended my sessions the technicians and doctors would always comment on how good my skin was. The medical fraternity were not interested in my choice of what I intended to do so I chose to apply the gel only after I had been examined. I did report the results but there was limited interest. I had no complications with my skin and the area is looking normal. I needed two pots of the gel very kindly made and given to me by Paul Buroughs. ~ Quona Litchfield Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



Wheatgrass Gel for Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy

10 reasons to eat organic By Carolanne Wright There are some very good reasons to switch to an organic diet and lifestyle, particularly if you have cancer or want to avoid cancer. Non-organic foods are often devitalised, overly processed and contain chemicals, while organic produce is pure and nutrient-dense enabling the body to heal.

1. Organic foods are produced without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Consumers worry about untested and unlabeled genetically modified food ingredients in common supermarket items. Genetically engineered ingredients are now found in 75% of all non-organic processed foods, even in many products labeled or advertised as “natural.” In addition, the overwhelming majority of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals reared on a steady diet of GM animal feed. Although polls indicate most of us want labels on gene-altered foods, government and industry adamantly refuse to respect consumers’ right to know, understanding quite well that health and environmental-minded shoppers will avoid foods with a GMO label. 2. Organic foods are safe and pure. Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, nano-particles, and climate-destabilizing chemical fertilisers. Consumers worry about pesticide and drug residues routinely found in non-organic produce, processed foods, and animal products. Consumer Reports have found that 77% of non-organic produce items in the average supermarket contain pesticide residues. The US beef industry has acknowledged that most beef cattle have hormone implants, which are banned in Europe as a cancer hazard. Recent studies indicate that an alarming percentage of non-organic meat contains dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 3. Organic foods and farming are climate-friendly. Citizens are increasingly concerned about climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide), almost half of which comes from our energy-intensive, chemical-intensive food and farming system. Organic farms on the other hand, use far less fossil fuel and can safely sequester large amounts of CO2 in the soil (up to 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre per year, every year.) The billions of pounds of chemical fertilisers applied on non-organic farms every year around the world not only pollute our drinking water and create enormous dead zones in the oceans but also release enormous amounts of nitrous oxide, a super potent, climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas. 4. Organic food certification prohibits nuclear irradiation. Consumers are justifiably alarmed about irradiating food with nuclear waste or electron beams which destroy vitamins and nutrients and produce cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde. The nuclear industry, large food processors, and abbatoirs continue to lobby governments around the world to remove required labels from irradiated foods and replace these with misleading labels that use the term “cold pasteurisation.” Many non-organic spices contain irradiated ingredients. 5. Consumers worry about rampant e-coli, salmonella, campylobacter, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and fecal contamination in animal products coming out of inhumane and filthy abatoirs. Very few cases of food poisoning have ever been linked to organic farms or food processors. 6. Consumers are concerned about billions of pounds of toxic municipal sewage sludge dumped as “fertiliser” on chemical farms. Scientific evidence has confirmed that municipal sewage sludge contains hundreds of dangerous pathogens, toxic heavy metals, flame-retardants,


Cancer Support WA

7. Consumers worry about the routine practice of grinding up slaughterhouse waste and feeding this offal and blood back to other animals, a practice that has given rise to a form of human mad-cow disease called CJD, often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Animals on organic farms cannot be fed slaughterhouse waste, manure, or blood which is routine daily rations on factory farms. 8. Consumers care about the humane treatment of animals. Organic farming prohibits intensive confinement and mutilation (debeaking, cutting off tails, etc.) of farm animals. In addition to the cruel and unhealthy confinement of animals on factory farms, scientists warn that these CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) produce enormous volumes of manure and urine, which not only pollute surface and ground water, but also emit large quantities of methane, a powerful climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas. 9. Consumers are concerned about purchasing foods with high nutritional value. Organic foods are nutritionally dense compared to foods produced with toxic chemicals, chemical fertilisers, and GMO seeds. Studies show that organic foods contain more vitamins, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and important trace minerals. 10. Consumers care about preserving family farms, world hunger, and the plight of the world’s two billion small farmers. Just about the only small farmers who stand a chance of making decent living these days are organic farmers, who get a better price for their products. In addition study after study has shown that small organic farms in the developing world produce twice as much food per acre as chemical and GMO farms, while using far less fossil fuel and sequestering large amounts of excess CO2 in the soil. Yields on organic farms in the industrialized world are comparable to the yields on chemical and GMO farms, with the important qualification that organic farms far out-produce chemical farms under extreme weather conditions of drought or torrential rains. F

From: Carolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness, and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Website


endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, pharmaceutical drugs and other hazardous chemicals coming from residential drains, storm water runoff, hospitals, and industrial plants. Organic farming categorically prohibits the use of sewage sludge.

organic gardening tips 1. Avoid the use of chemical inputs - In organic farming, no chemical products like herbicides, pesticides or even fertilisers are used. Plants are allowed to grow without the intervention of chemicals allowing for safe handling from farm to plate guaranteeing a nutritious and healthy yield. 2. Take advantage of the “biological fight”- In nature, agriculture can take advantage of organisms that are natural predators of parasites and are allies to plants. Insects like ladybugs and chrysopes feed on aphids, while frogs and birds eat insects, snails and worms. 3. To take advantage of the “biological fight,” provide the necessary environment for insects and animals that feed on pests can take shelter and feed. Preserving hedges and thickets encourages these beneficial predators to stay in your property and assist in your efforts at organic farming. 4. Use cultivation - Cultivating the earth depletes it from nutrients. It is, therefore, necessary to give it fallow period, so it can regain what it had lost after a cropping season. This method allows for simplification of organic farming since it can provide some natural advantages. 5. Use natural fertilisers - Nature has its own fertilisers. They are either of animal origin such as manure or plant origin, like green manure or organic leftovers from the kitchen. Fertilisers help the soil retain nutrients and keep the soil’s fertility intact. 6. Monitor seasonal conditions - Keep tab on the environment to schedule treatments against certain diseases affecting plants. 7. Consider using raised beds -This method is advantageous for controlling aching backs and can help keep weeds at bay while saving space for other uses. You can reach anywhere in the bed without stepping on the soil and once undertaken, the garden won’t require some heavy digging. Gardening is the oldest and most practical means of producing food. Organic vegetables are prettier, healthier and tastier than their non-organic cousins. Moreover, it benefits not just you but the environment as well as the animals that live of the land, resulting to a balanced and healthy ecosystem.

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


Healing Foods to buy Organically Grown Strawberries Strawberries are red and energising, rich in vitamin C and carotenoids (beta-carotene and others). But this fruit is the most heavily contaminated produce food according to data from a number of environmental groups with a high chemical concentration in the fruit. Strawberries were also found to have the highest level of hormone-affecting pesticides, including benomyl, vinclozolin, and endosulfan. Note that out-of-season strawberries may be even more heavily treated because they come from other countries and are sprayed before shipping.

Leafy Greens such as Lettuces, Spinach & Kale These foods are considered vital and nutritious. They contain folic acid as well as calcium, iron and other minerals. However, sprayed chemicals tend to remain on the leaves of these vegetables, which is potentially more harmful since we eat those leafy parts. In FDA studies, spinach was the most frequently found leafy green to contain the more potent pesticides, especially the organophosphates (neurotoxins) and permethrin (noted as mildly carcinogenic).

Grapes All grapes contain cleansing fibres, B-vitamins and vitamin C, plus some minerals from the soil. Red grapes contain many phytonutrients, including the healthy proanthocyanadins, which appear heart protective. Unless they are organically grown, however, grapes may receive multiple applications of a variety of chemical agents during their growing period. Many fruits, including grapes, ripen quickly and attract insects and moulds. Thus, they tend to be more heavily treated in order to get them to the market. They can contain the carcinogenic pesticides, captan and iprodione, sulfites and the fumigant, methyl bromide, so these are all good reasons to buy organic grapes.

Rice This is the most frequently consumed food on the planet. And this high-fibre, low-fat staple has many B-vitamins and minerals, including the important anti-oxidant, anticancer mineral, selenium. You should seriously consider buying organically grown rice and rice products, especially if it is one of your staple foods. The dangerous herbicide 2,4,5-T was sprayed on rice before being banned in 1984, and many persistent watersoluble herbicides and insecticides have been found to contaminate the ground water near major rice fields.

Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower) Because of their healthy anti-cancer phytonutrients, vitamin and mineral content, high-fibre and low-calories, these are excellent foods to eat regularly. But since we eat the parts that may have been sprayed with carcinogenic chemicals, it’s best to eat the organically grown versions of these vegetables.


Cancer Support WA


Apples A staple in many diets, they contain cleansing fibre, detoxifying pectin, and many nutrients. However, most apples have been found to be nearly as contaminated as strawberries. Forty eight different pesticides were detected by FDA testing in nearly 2500 samples from 1984 to 1991, while 36 different chemicals were found in their 1992 to 1993 evaluations. Nearly half of these 36 were either neurotoxic or carcinogenic chemicals. In the FDA analyses, apples and peaches were the two crops with the greatest number of different pesticides per crop. Fortunately, a shift away from spraying the orchards is occurring in some areas; about 70% of the apple growers are using organic practices and integrated pest management. If you buy non-organic apples, be sure to peel them and discard the skin before you eat them since most of the chemical residues are on the apple skins. We might want to change our saying to “an organic apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Almonds and Sunflowers Seeds These nutrient-rich life forms of Nature contain most vitamins and minerals as well as the vital essential fatty acids (EFAs). They also can hold more pesticides and other chemicals in their oils, since many are attracted to oil more than water. They are compact essences of nutrition with many B-vitamins, minerals (even hard-to-find minerals like zinc and selenium), and healthy, tissue-feeding essential oils. It is wise for humans to consume the freshest low-salt samples of these “mini-vitamins.” Add to this list some pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, and sesame seeds.

Tomatoes & Capsicums These “fruits of the vine” are full of healthy nutrients that include vitamin C, B-vitamins, carotenoids, and other phytonutrients, especially the prostate-helpful and tissue-supporting lycopenes. Both red and green bell peppers were found to have many pesticide residues from the most neurotoxic of the pesticides. In the FDA’s measurement of crops, 64% of capsicums contained at least one pesticide, while 36% contained two or more. These vegetables also may be waxed which makes it difficult to remove the residues and other chemicals within the waxes. One study found that as many as 30 different pesticides are used to spray tomatoes. Because the skins of tomatoes are thin and absorbent, and since this is a staple in many salads, soups and sauces, tomatoes are worth buying organically grown.

From: By Carolanne Wright.

Eating for Cancer Recovery 5 Week Course Cancer Support WA’s nutrition course includes detailed information on healing foods which assist recovery from cancer, and help prevent cancer from recurring, as well as practical demonstrations on how to prepare them. Sessions include: juicing, sprouting, raw food preparation, organic gardening. Includes juices, sprouts, recipes & great food. Cottesloe Civic Centre, Thursdays 1.30pm - 3.30pm. Cost: $100 / $150. Start Dates 2013: 14th February; 18th April; 27th June; 26 September

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


recipes... This pilaf recipe is adapted from one in an article about Istanbul in an old copy of Gourmet, circa 2000. The same issue had a story about Iranian pistachios, which I was eager to try, but I was unable to find any shelled, unsalted pistachios in the Middle Eastern grocery store. When I finally found them at the Indian grocery, they weren’t, I’m sure, from Iran, but I was happy to get them whatever their origin. They add a wonderful touch to this simple recipe, which I’ve adapted almost beyond recognition. I used brown basmati rice instead of white and changed the cooking method to accommodate the longer cooking time; I substituted parsley for dill and added chickpeas; and instead of raisins, I used the tiny dried barberries known as zereshk in Iran, which impart a tarter flavour than raisins. They’re not easy to find, but if you’re interested, look for them in Middle Eastern markets. If you can’t find them, stick with raisins, which combine with the cinnamon to give this pilaf a very sweet taste.

Turkish Pilaf with Pistachios and Chickpeas A delicious vegan pilaf which is easy to make and sure to delight your dinner party guests with its middle eastern flavours! Ingredients 1 cup brown basmati rice 2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup raisins (or zereshk) salt 2 onions, minced 1 eggplant, diced 1/2 cup vegetable stock 16 ounces chickpeas, cooked 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 large tomato, chopped 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped salt to taste Instructions Cook rice with water, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, raisins (or zereshk), and salt until rice is tender. Sauté onions in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Add the eggplant and cook for a few more minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and cook until the eggplant is tender, about 8 more minutes. Add the cooked rice to the eggplant, along with the chickpeas and cinnamon. If dry, add a little more vegetable broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, to allow flavours to combine. Just before serving, add the tomato and chopped parsley. Add salt to taste and serve topped with pistachios. Optional: Soak a few of the zereshk in hot water; just before serving, drain them and toss them with the pilaf. They will hold together better than the zereshk that were cooked with the rice. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Recipe by Susan Voisin. Susan’s website is Fat Free Vegan Kitchen: http://blog. where she shares many delicious dishes made with whole foods and without added oil.


Cancer Support WA

The warmer summer months are an ideal time to eat


mainly raw food. Here are some delightful raw green soup recipes sure to inspired your taste buds with their zesty citrus flavours while cleansing the body.

Mediterranean Zucchini Orange Soup Ingredients 2 cups chopped zucchini 1 small orange (peeled, seeded, and chopped) 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seed oil (flax or hemp oil work, too) 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning 1/4 cup water (or more if needed) 2 tablespoons Irish moss gel (optional) Salt to taste 1-2 teaspoons shredded carrot for garnish Instructions Simply blend ingredients, and enjoy. Serves 2.

Raw Avocado Soup Ingredients 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas 1 ripe avocado 1 small cucumber 1 tbs tahini 2 cups filtered water 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil juice of ½ lemon 2 tbs fresh mint leaves salt for seasoning Instructions If you are using forezn peas, leave them 2 a couple of hours out of the freezer to thaw. Peel and chop the avocado and the cucumber. Wash and chop the mint leaves. Add everything in the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt. Cool for an hour before serving.

Garden Blend Soup 3/4 cup purified water 1/4 cup orange juice or 1/2 orange, peeled (the pith adds a nice sweet and sour taste) 1 1/2 cups kale, stems removed (roughly 3 ounces) 1/2 apple, cored and chopped (or 1/2 small cucumber, peeled, and chopped) 1/4 cup coriander, parsley, basil leaves, or fresh dill weed, packed 1 tablespoon light miso 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon garlic, crushed 1/4 red jalapeĂąo pepper, with seeds or a pinch of cayenne 1/2 green onion, optional 1/2 avocado, peeled and seeded pumpkin seeds for garnish 1. Combined all ingredients but the avocado. Adding water and other high water content items first. Blend until smooth. 2. Add avocado and blend until smooth. We do this second step because the fat can oxidize and thicken too quickly. 3. Add garnish and serve immediately. If you do not like your soups too sweet, consider adding water instead of orange or cut the amount down. 1-2 serves.

Living Light Culinary Institute Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


juice up your life! Freshly made cooling juices and smoothies are the easiest way to stay healthy during the warmer months. Satisfying and nutrient dense, these recipes are the perfect Summer food.

Strawberry Smoothie Blend: 1 tablespoon chia seeds 2 cups of coconut milk 1 cup of strawberries handful of pecans 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pecan Delight Smoothie Blend: 1 cup raw pecans (soaked overnight) 1 cup coconut or almond milk 1 banana 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Nothing but Green Juice: kale, 2 leaves of collard greens, handful of parsley, handful of coriander, 1 cucumber, 2 celery ribs, 1 granny smith apple, 2 limes

Lemon Cleanser Juice: handful of parsley leaves, 3 carrots, 3 kale leaves, 1/2 lemon

Smoothies and juices by:


Cancer Support WA

Lifeforce Salad The vitamins, fibre, enzymes, antioxidants, protein and calcium contained in this salad is certainly a healing force that will propel you to new heights in life! I feel energised and powerfully enriched every time I consume this powerful healing salad. If you are taking vitamins, prescription drugs or expensive super foods, throw them all away and flush your body with nature’s healing food instead... Organic Ingredients 1 bunch of parsley 1/2 bunch of kale 1/2 red cabbage 1/2 bunch of rocket 4 carrots 4 stalks of celery 2 beets 1 daikon (white radish) 1 whole avocado Seasoning fresh turmeric (if you can get it otherwise the powder) fresh garlic cayenne (fresh if you can get it otherwise use the powder) organic hemp seeds organic chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds organic apple cider vinegar Instructions 1. rinse well and scrub the carrots, beets and daikon. 2. rinse the rest of the vegetables thoroughly (destem the kale) 3. chop all the vegetables up well. 4. place all vegetables and seasonings in a large mixing bowl 5. add the avocado and apple cider vinegar 6. toss well, mashing the avocado

By Rod Rotondi I know there are a lot of readers who in a perfect world would be doing an hour of yoga every morning, meditating during lunch break, thinking only pure and grateful thoughts throughout the day, and eating a 100 percent raw, vegan, organic diet at all three meals. There is a tendency to want to make a resolution to “do it all” at once. And that might work for about .001 percent of you, but for the rest of us, it’s more about incremental change. What works best for most people is a steady, gradual, and gentle movement toward a healthier, happier you. Setting unreasonably ambitious goals is only setting yourself up for disappointment and disempowerment. So, how about 10 minutes of yoga and stretching every morning? Perhaps 5 minutes of meditation before you turn in at night (tuning in before you turn in). Or maybe set a goal of eating raw only a few days a week, so you don’t have to face the prospect of life without that Grand Slam breakfast! Start with something achievable. Those of us who have grown up on a contemporary Western diet have food addictions galore. I know I do. Fortunately, my three-year-old daughter does not. We are helping our daughter create a very healthy and positive relationship with food. But for the vast majority of us, we must begin by recognizing that we ourselves are food addicts - and not getting down on ourselves because of it! It simply is what it is, and now it is up to us to decide what to do about it. Many people who learn about the incredible benefits of raw and living foods try to use willpower to overcome their food addictions. While this will work for a while, usually willpower alone doesn’t work in the long run. Instead, it’s best to take the opportunity to become aware of our beliefs and attitudes about food, educate ourselves, and be loving and gentle with ourselves as we evolve toward a healthier relationship with food.

I will give you an example. There have been times I have really felt like having a piece of traditional baked pizza. I have had an emotional attachment to pizza - So how do I handle the hankering? When I first feel the desire for a slice, I usually think back to when I was giving up smoking many years ago. The trick was changing “Do I want to eat a piece of pizza?” to “Do I want to live life as a pizza eater?” While asking the second question, I envision a very round version of me eating pizza (my last name, Rotondi, means “the round ones” in Italian). Since I like being slim, light, and energized, this thought often helps me get past the pizza hankering. If a desire for a specific food comes up repeatedly, I will go out and eat a small portion of that food. However, I will do it consciously. I will tune in to how my body feels before I eat the pizza and then focus on how the pizza smells, looks, and tastes. I will also be conscious of how I feel five minutes after I eat it, and 30 minutes, and an hour later. Usually what happens is that the first bite is okay but mildly unsatisfying, the second bite is really not a treat at all, after 5 minutes I feel a heaviness in my stomach, and half an hour later, I wish I hadn’t eaten the pizza. The point is that if we try to suppress all our cravings, in the end we get wound so tight that the spring may break and we might run out and eat three large pepperoni pizzas with extra cheese! It’s better to get out of judgment mode and work on evolving our relationship with food. The more we exercise our body consciousness and really listen to our bodies, the more we will replace old food habits, thought patterns, and addictions. F

Excerpted from the book Raw Food for Real People by Rod Rotondi. Rod teaches about raw food, he is founder of the Leaf Organics retail product line and Leaf Cuisine restaurants in Los Angeles.

Perth’s Wellness Warriors - Activating Wellness 1 Day Workshop Revital Health presents Perth’s leading raw food, organic and wellness experts for an informative, interactive and fun day. Everything you need to know to activate optimal health and wellbeing. Healing with Yoga – Donna Buchannon, Yoga Om The Power of Positive Thinking – Meredith Forder, Clear Thinking Healing with Raw Foods (& smoothie demo) – Heath and Emma, Raw Kitchen Why Organic? – Loren, Organic on Charles Save time and energy with Raw Food (raw lunch demo) – Revital Health Team Debunking myths of a plant based diet (dessert to go) – Jazz, Jodi, Scott & Mat, Revital Health What water should I drink? – Colin, Apostle Spring Water

Saturday 2nd March. 9.30am to 4.30pm Cost: $120 members / $140 public. Fully catered - delicious raw food.

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS



A healthy relationship with food

the plan There is no beginning, there is no end, There is only change. There is no teacher, there is no student, There is only remembering. There is no good, there is no evil, There is only expression. There is no union, there is no sharing, There is only one. There is no joy, there is no sadness, There is only love. There is no greater, there is no lesser, There is only balance. There is no stasis, there is no entropy, There is only motion. There is no wakefulness, there is no sleep, There is only being. There is no limit, there is no chance, There is only a plan. ~Robert A. Monroe

you are beautiful Gala Evening 29th June. Exhibition 30th June -12th July Perth Town Hall ‘You Are Beautiful’ is a photographic exhibition and book project set to celebrate the strength, resilience and beauty of West Australians who have been touched by cancer. ‘You Are Beautiful’ is organised by Cancer Support WA in partnership with celebrity photographer Robbie Merritt, Panther Graphics and other local sponsors. The aim of the exhibition is to bring awareness to the untold stories of cancer survivors and to raise funds for Cancer Support WA. The exhibition features large-scale portraits of 100 West Australians who have been touched by cancer either directly or as a carer to a loved one. Each portrait reveals the unique beauty and emotion within each person. Accompanying the portrait will be the personal story of each person featured. The portraits will be launched at a gala event at the Perth Town Hall in June 2013, and exhibited for 2 weeks. If enough sponsorship can be found Cancer Support WA will produce a beautiful artbook featuring the portraits and stories to help raise funds for the organisation’s cancer support services. All our YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL participants have a unique story to share and have experienced the full spectrum of shock, fear, pain, loss and sadness which comes with a cancer diagnosis, and also the hope, resilience, strength, acceptance and inner peace which comes with the continuing journey. This exhibition uniquely captures this spectrum of emotion and reveals the inner world of these remarkable West Australians. You can get involved by sponsoring a portrait such as Gillian’s featured on the next page. Once fundraising targets are met each portrait is given to the participant featured. All funds raised support the work of Cancer Support WA. If you have or have journeyed with cancer directly or as a carer, you are invited to participate by having your portrait taken and sharing your story. Full details are on the Cancer Support WA website:

In loving memory of those who have shared part of their life journey with us... Laurel Stockwell Ashlie Faint Eric Gusi Kathleen Carter

Larry Burgess Erik Leipoldt Jerson Moniz Daphne Grobicki when my voice is silenced in death, my song will speak in your living heart


Cancer Support WA

~Rabindranath Tagore


trusting my body to heal By Gillian McSwain

For me cancer has very much been an inner journey of self-discovery and

empowerment, involving mindfulness, listening to my body and trusting in what I felt my instincts were telling me. It began with a diagnosis of breast cancer at the age of 49, followed by a mastectomy with the removal of a four centimetre tumour and eight cancerous lymph nodes. It was a relief to have the tumour removed but the thought of chemotherapy just wasn’t feeling OK for me and I decided to give myself some time out. It was then my husband and I attended a Cancer Support WA Meeting the Challenge Seminar. We read cancer-related books and the Moss Reports as well as attending Support Group meetings. I loved the well-roundedness of Cancer Support WA, its ability to be unbiased with everyone’s choice of treatment path accepted and everyone supported. It was a ‘safe’ place to ask questions and express emotions. I cannot thank Cancer Support WA enough for all the help and support I received. Intuitively, I felt chemo was not an option for me. It was too damaging a process. I truly believe the body is such an amazing organism that given the right environment it can heal itself. I adopted a healthy lifestyle and with the help of a naturopath began trying to return my body to good health. However two years later I developed widespread bone metastases throughout my skeletal system. My diagnosis changed to terminal. I had my ovaries removed and started hormone therapy and bone strengthening infusions: a treatment that statistically kept the cancer stable for a two year period. And it did. But I felt it was a wait and see policy and I wanted to be proactive. Stability was not enough for me. I wanted regression! I read about the Gerson Therapy developed by Dr Max Gerson in the 1930’s and instantly felt a connection. Its basis is in using organic foods, juicing, detoxifying coffee enemas and natural supplements to activate the body’s ability to heal itself. We headed off to the clinic in Mexico, endorsed by the Gerson Institute in San Diego, to learn the program. It’s so unfortunate that being a nutritional program it cannot be trialled to meet the conventional standards that drug companies demand and therefore is not an accepted form of treatment. But it makes so much sense! And there are so many recovery stories!

Cancer Support WA member Gillian McSwain was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 49 followed by widespread bone metastases a few years later. Gillian is a participant in Cancer Support WA’s You Are Beautiful photo exhibition and chose to show her mastectomy scar in her portrait with the intention of persuading people to focus more on inner health and wellbeing, rather than external appearances. Gillian believes that true and real beauty comes from within.

I have now been following this program for nine months with the support of my husband and Emily my helper in the afternoons. I have just had my first bone scan in a year and there is nothing that can definitely be called bone metastases on the scan. I repeat there is no evidence of cancer! I have my health back. It’s better than a Lotto win! I love my body and am proud of its ability to heal itself. I am under no illusions: it will be an ongoing journey but is eating healthy food really such a chore? I encourage everyone to listen to, connect with and feed their body real food that gives life whether you are sick or not. F

Summer 2013 wellness NEWS


wellness, support services and healing

you are beautiful Gala Evening 29th June. Exhibition 30th June -12th July, Perth Town Hall. This moving exhibition of portraits by Robbie Merritt and book features candid images reflecting each individual journey and the often untold stories of West Australians who have been touched by cancer. Sponsor a portrait or get involved as a participant: All funds raised support the work of Cancer Support WA.

80 Railway St, Cottesloe WA. PO Box 325 Cottesloe WA 6911 Cancer Support Support WA Cancer Line (08) 9384 3544 52

Wellness News Summer Edition 2013  

The Summer edition of the Wellness News Cancer Support WA's magazine

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