Vol. 26 No.7
winter 2011 print edition
Cancer Support Association of WA www.cancersupportwa.org.au August 2011
Join the CSA online community Find us on Facebook: Cancer Support Association – Cottesloe Forums and live chat now on the CSA website: www.cancersupportwa.org.au
wellness news is the monthly online magazine of the Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc. Wellness News e-magazine is published online twelve time a year and distributed free to members of the Cancer Support Association. An annual print edition of Wellness News is produced at the end of each year and posted to all CSA members. Wellness News magazine is dedicated entirely to publishing informative, inspiring and helpful articles related to wellness and healing. The magazine is for people with cancer or serious health issues; for people who are well and want to maintain their good health naturally; and for complementary, alternative and integrative health professionals.
editorial & production... Editor & Designer Mandy BeckerKnox email@example.com
Artproof Printers 9430 4034 Thankyou to our volunteers for assisting with distribution Wellness News magazine is published by the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc (CSA). The contents of this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the CSA and should be not be construed as medical advice. CSA encourages readers to be discerning with information presented and 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,
Fragile, precious and in need of healing....if you have cancer this is how you may be feeling about yourself right now and rightly so. If you are serious about healing from cancer, particularly if it is advanced, you need to put yourself and your personal wellbeing before everything – including your spouse, your children, your career, your mortgage and whatever else you normally place your attention upon. While this may sound selfish it is a temporary shift in focus to allow you the space and energy for healing. It doesn’t mean abandoning your children or foreclosing on your mortgage. It means sensibly and calmly making choices towards long-term wellness and healing. It means making practical arrangements which allow you the time and space required for healing (ie childcare, leave of absence). It means letting other people into your intimate sphere to manage tasks on your behalf (colleagues, family members, friends). It means creating a calm environment and avoiding external (and internal!) sources of stress. Once you are well again you will have the option of expanding your focus and again engaging fully with the world. In fact an important part of getting well from cancer is to have a clear purpose in life (beyond recovering from cancer!), to contribute something meaningful to the world, to make your life count for something. The world needs you. The world needs all of us to support its journey back to wellness. It is widely regarded that the earth has been so badly damaged through human’s mismanagement of natural resources that it is damaged beyond repair. Anyone who has survived a terminal diagnosis of cancer knows that with a strong will and huge effort, healing is always possible. While your cancer-healing focus may be deeply internal, let’s all make it a goal of our lifetime to do what we can to help bring about healing of the earth. To quote Yoko Ono, Healing Yourself is Connected with Healing Others. Please enjoy our winter print edition of Wellness News. We hope you find inspiration and information on the following pages to support your wellness journey. Peace, Mandy
about Wellness News mind-body healing integrative therapies lifestyle & environment inspiring personal stories current news & information nutrition & recipes inspirations Welcome to the Winter 2011 Print Edition of Wellness News. We have compiled an informative, inspiring publication for you which includes the best articles from this yearâ€™s Wellness News online magazines. 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.
when you look for beauty in the world around you, then even the weeds in your garden are wondrous and amazing!
Topics covered are spirituality, healing modalities, complementary therapies, integrative medicine â€“ 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.
this program is updated monthly. Check the CSA website for any changes before attending
Monday Meditation Made Easy..................................................................................10.00 – 11.30am Ongoing Lessons with Bavali Hill. FREE FOR MEMBERS (non-members $5) No bookings necessary. Massage with Natalie Hazelwood. 1 hour sessions $55 (CSA members) $65 (others)...................................................................by appointment
Tuesday Cancer Wellness Counselling with Mike Sowerby................................... by appointment Book with reception. $75 (CSA members), $100 (others) Wellness and Healing Open Support Group................................ 10.00 – 12.00noon with Dr. Angela Ebert and Mike Sowerby Carer’s Wellness and Healing Support Group ........................ 10.00 – 12.00noon with Mike Sowerby (when required) Reiki Clinic......................................................................................................12.15pm – 1.30pm
mind-body healing What it takes to get well from cancer. . .. . .. . .. . .. 18 Mind-Body Healing . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 26 How to get Real Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Sound Healing: a message through time . . . . . . . . 32 The Mind that Changes Everything. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Meditation in 4 Easy Steps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Prayer: The Ultimate Cure-All? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Hands on Healing: Reiki for Cancer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Art Therapy: Helping People with Cancer. . . . . . . . 58
Wednesday Reflexology ..................................................................10.00am – 2pm with Udo Kannapin (by appointment between 10-2) Laughter Yoga with Kimmie O’Meara ($3.00)....................................11.00am – 12.00pm Chinese Medical Healthcare Qigong ($10/$5 members)............ 1.00pm – 2.30pm with Alan Donelly
THURSDAY Cancer Wellness Counselling with Mike Sowerby................................... by appointment Book with reception. $75 (CSA members), $100 (others) Yoga for Healing..........................................................................................10.00am – 11.15am with Madeline Clare (members $5 / others $10) Grief and Loss Open Support Group.................................................... 1.00pm – 3.00pm with Mike Sowerby (last Thursday of each month)
Friday Meeting the Challenge 1 Day Seminar.................................................9.30am – 4.30pm 1st Friday of the month “Arts for Healing” Art Therapy Group...............................................9.30am – 12.00pm with Glenys Gibbs (members $20 / others $25 includes art materials)
Daily General Counselling with Dr. Angela Ebert ................................................... by appointment Phone direct on 0414 916 724 or 9450 6724 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancer Support Association
personal stories The Power of Peace: Dr. Kaye Murray. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Don’t worship the teapot, drink the tea: Mike Sowerby. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Mystery of Healing: Grace Bubek. . .. . .. . .. . .. 35 The Seed: Jill Mattioli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
lifestyle & environment The Power of Rest: The Upside of Downtime. . .. 36 Caring for a loved one (with cancer). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Protecting Kids from Cancer. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .49 Rediscovering the Sacred Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Restoring our Earth to Vibrant Health . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 What you’re not being told about Cancer. . . . . . . . 60
current news & information Whatâ€™s on at CSA in 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 CSA member receives Order of Australia Medal. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 7 Ovarian cancer detection drive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Lifestyle therapies work for cancer patients . . . . . 11 Pets bring health, happiness & healing. . . . . . . . . . . 11 Exercise prescription for cancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Melanoma rates higher for rural men . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Prevent Melanoma Naturally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Become A CSA Member to receive Wellness News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Winter Print Edition 2011 nutrition & food Cancer Defence: The Power of Nutrition. . . . . . . . . .64 Leafy Greens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 Balanced Diet is best for Cancer Prevention. . . . . 67 What is Angiogenesis? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 The Anti-cancer Diet. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .68 Eating Less: the magical formula for Radiant Health. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 72 Juice Fasting for Cancer Wellness. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .74 Diet & Cancer: The 16 Important Rules . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Being a vegetarian can cut your cancer risk in half. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 81 In Praise of Avocados. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 How Almonds Can Help Prevent Cancer . . .. . .. . .86
integrative medicine Cancer Epidemic demands new approach. . . . . . . . 9 What is Cancer? (the facts, figures & what to do about it). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Integrative Cancer Care for the Whole Person. . .28 Cancer Care in China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Acupuncture and Cancer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
recipes Healing Barley Soup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 Adzuki Bean & Vegetable Stew. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .81 Tofu and Pear Soup . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 83 Glowing Green Smoothie. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .84 Avocado based Smoothies . . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 85 Almond Smoothie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Finding Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Deep Peace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Secret of Living. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 So Thankful. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 60 Tips for a Stunningly Great Life!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Tao Te Ching (excerpt). . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 92
what’s on at CSA in 2011 be part of the CSA community by joining the groups and wellness activities at our premises in Cottesloe
Meeting the Challenge 1 Day Cancer Wellness Seminar Life Changing Information for people with cancer and their carers. Led by Cathy Brown, this seminar provides wellness information, wellness strategies, new resources (such as nutrition, treatment options, meditation) and sharing with others on a healing journey. Held monthly at CSA on the first Friday of every month from 9.30am-4.30pm. Free for new CSA members, bookings are required.
cancer support groups with Angela Ebert & Mike Sowerby Support groups enable people to discover new ways of coping; share the experience with others going through something similar; exchange information and resources; develop a holistic approach to healing; be inspired by others on the journey to regaining wellness. CSA offers an open cancer support group for people with cancer and their carers. This weekly group is facilitated by Angela Ebert and Mike Sowerby. We also offer a Carers’ Support Group and a monthly Grief and Loss Support Group.
reflexology with Udo Kannapin Reflexology is the application of pressure, stretching and movement to the feet and hands to trigger corresponding parts of the body. It complements standard medical care by relaxing the body and reducing stress. Reflexology sessions are available at CSA.
“If you travel alone, you can probably go faster. But the journey will never be as rewarding, and you probably won’t be able to go as far.” ~ John Maxwell
yoga for healing with Madeline Clare Yoga for Healing classes bring the joy of yoga to people with cancer and those who may need a nurturing space to practice. CSA yoga teacher, Madeline Clare, takes inspiration from both Iyengar and Vinyasa approaches to yoga with an emphasis on relaxation, breath awareness, gentle movement and meditation. A balanced yoga practice has the capacity to heal, shift energy blockages and bring the body into physical, emotional, mental and spiritual alignment.
qi gong with Alan Donelly Qigong is a traditional Chinese mind-body practice that uses meditation, breathing control, and movement to balance the flow of energy (qi) through the body to help healing to occur. CSA offers qigong to complement cancer therapies and help with the symptoms of cancer. In this setting, qigong is not used as a treatment for cancer per se, but as a method of easing cancer symptoms such as fatigue.
every Tuesday CSA offers a weekly reiki clinic staffed by qualified volunteers. Gold coin donation. Reiki is a Japanese energy-based therapy that promotes healing and overall wellness. A trained reiki practitioner uses his or her hands to transmit energy to the recipient. Reiki has been proven to help with pain management, relaxation, and side effects of cancer treatment.
with Bavali Hill Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. The use of Meditation for healing is not new. Meditative techniques are the product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. The value of Meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years. In these weekly lessons at CSA, Bavali Hill guides participants through various healing meditation techniques and gives notes and handouts to support home practice.
Cancer Support Association (CSA) was established in 1984 and has since offered an
integrated wellness and
Individual, Family & Group
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 can be booked Tuesday and Thursday with Mike Sowerby, CSA’s qualified counsellor, and are also available online for those unable to make it in to our Cottesloe premises.
approach for individuals with cancer, their families and the wider community.
laughter yoga with Kimmie O’Meara Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India. It is a complete wellbeing workout combining Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humour, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits of laughter regardless of the source.
art therapy: arts for healing with Glenys Gibbs Arts for Healing is held on Fridays at CSA with Glenys Gibbs. Arts for Healing is a gently empowering form of self-expression which actively and creatively engages you in exploring and developing your unique inner resources to make personal meaning of your life experiences, symbolically and spontaneously.
WHAT’S ON AT CSA
meditation made easy
CSA’s Meeting the Challenge Seminar
Meeting the Challenge Regional Cancer Wellness Seminars Cancer Support Association’s one day Meeting the Challenge seminar is a valuable resource for people newly diagnosed with cancer. Over the years, hundreds of people have visited our Cottesloe centre and benefited from the seminar which provides a grounding and reassuring foundation for people facing the many challenges of dealing with cancer. Cancer patients in regional areas often miss out on the cancer support services offered in the city because of their location. To help regional West Australians deal with the diagnosis of cancer and the impact of cancer on their lives, CSA is taking the Meeting the Challenge seminar to regional centres starting with Bunbury in July.
one day cancer wellness workshop
1st Friday of each month at CSA 9.30-4.30pm Life Changing Information for people with cancer: • The Wellness approach to cancer • Nutrition for optimal health • Power of the Mind • Introduction to Meditation • Natural & Complementary Therapies To book ph CSA 8384 3544 online: www.cancersupportwa.org.au
Cancer Support Association
Meeting the Challenge One Day Cancer Wellness Seminar introduces participants to the “wellness approach” to cancer. Participants are given vital information and support to help them process their cancer diagnosis, and consider all their options including natural and complementary medicine and lifestyle therapies. Lifestyle therapies include activities cancer patients can do themselves such as exercise, adopting a cancer wellness diet and meditation. With the help and support of the CSA team, participants are encouraged to draw on their inner resources for healing and to formulate their own cancer wellness strategy which includes nutrition, meditation, natural and complementary therapies in conjunction with mainstream medical treatment. Regional seminars will be presented by CSA staff member and long-term cancer survivor Cathy Brown. Individual cancer counselling sessions will also be available with CSA counsellor Mike Sowerby and these are included in the cost of the seminar. Participants also receive a Meeting the Challenge handbook which outlines the material from the seminar and provides some immediate strategies for dealing with diagnosis, understanding available choices and devising a cancer wellness plan. If you would like to attend a Meeting the Challenge Seminar you can book online on the Events page of CSA’s website www.cancersupportwa.org.au. We will post details of seminars in regional areas online or you can call CSA to place your name on a waiting list for your area.
NEWS & INFORMATION
CSA member receives Order of Australia Medal CSA congratulates Angela Davis on her achievement. Angela has kindly written CSA’s 2011 winter mail appeal letter and shares her story with Wellness News readers It’s An Honour – In this year’s Australia Day Awards I received the OAM (Order of Australia Medal) for voluntary work in the area of community services, it felt nice to be recognised. I also feel very honoured to have been asked by the Cancer Support Association to write this month’s newsletter. My journey with breast cancer started in August 2005. I had a very close friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and she was one of the first people I called. It was not only the visits and books that she brought around for me to read but, the invitation to join her at CSA in October 2005 that I am eternally grateful for. I have been a member of CSA since then, and still attend the Tuesday morning support group regularly. CSA felt so right for me. It was a place where I felt comfortable to talk about my experience and an incredible place to learn from others no matter what cancer they had. Everyone is so willing to share the good times and the not so good times. I found the sharing brought so much inspiration, wisdom and hope. The meditation sessions have been very helpful at various times especially when the going gets tough. Unfortunately after travelling the road for almost three years the cancer came back and I had a radical mastectomy followed by chemo in 2008. I was not too keen on this but with some counselling I managed to make an informed decision and what felt right for me at the time. I also thought I have learnt so much from attending CSA there is so much more that I can do for myself and to support my immune system at this time. I have always been interested in homeopathy and natural therapies and have used these during my illness which I feel have definitely played a part in surviving the various treatments. Support groups I believe empower you to be involved in your own healing journey and it is a known fact that attending a support group may double your survival. Everyone reacts differently to their diagnosis and level of anxiety that one can experience. There are many aspects to the cancer journey not just the physical but the mental, emotional and spiritual journey. The support group gives one an opportunity to explore every aspect in a safe non-judgemental and confidential environment. I have seen many people come and go and even if they can only attend for one visit the changes are noticeable and you often hear ‘I am so glad I came, it has helped me with my decision’ or ‘ I will definitely be back again’. Those that come to CSA do a multitude of protocols which is very helpful especially to newcomers. It is through the constant sharing that we can then make up our minds of what is right for us. The meditation in the support group is wonderful, the library and resources are good and constantly updated. The staff and facilitators are knowledgeable and very well qualified to handle any situation. Even though I have hit another bump in the road CSA continues to be a great support mechanism for me. I would highly recommend anyone going through the cancer journey or a carer to avail themselves of the many facilities CSA as to offer including reiki, meditation, yoga, reflexology and counselling. I have made some wonderful friendships over the years. We keep in touch by email and some of us go away for weekends or attend special retreats organised by the CSA. Cancer does not have to be something we die from but can be something we can learn to live with. Make the best of everyday, do the things that make us happy and bring a smile to our faces. I have witnessed this first hand and know it can be done as the group has long term survivors that still attend and inspire us all. Cancer has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate my life, stress I feel has been a major factor for me so third time lucky I intend to get it right this time around. I have so much love and support from my family and I have so much to live for that there is no option for me but survival!
OAM August 2011
The Gawler Foundation 12 Week Cancer SelfHelp Program – Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing will be facilitated by Cathy Brown who is a CSA staff member and endorsed leader of the program. Consistent with the principles of integrated medicine, the program applies a self-help approach designed to improve both quantity and quality of life for people with cancer. This enables participants to make informed, effective choices and better manage their own healing journeys. Each 2.5 hour session is interactive, supported by handouts and focuses on a specific theme from Ian Gawler’s book’ You Can Conquer Cancer’. There is plenty of time to practice techniques as well as opportunity for discussion and questions. The program will be held at the Cancer Support Association building in Cottesloe. There are limited places on the program so be sure to book your place early.
On the program you will learn to: • Activate your potential for healing • Relax effortlessly and meditate deeply • Develop and sustain a positive state of mind • Understand the role of nutrition and healthy diet for healing • Develop strategies to manage pain and fear • Find meaning and purpose in life Weekly Topics include: Week 1: Introduction and Meditation 1 Week 2: Meditation 2 Week 3: Mind Training 1 Week 4: Food 1 Week 5: Food 2 Week 6: Pain Management Week 7: Healing Week 8: Causes and solutions for cancer Week 9: Mind Training 2 Week 10: Living and Dying Week 11: Healthy Emotions Week 12: Health and Wellbeing
Three times a year. Next programs start: August 2011; February 2012 Venue: Cancer Support Association, 80 Railway Street, Cottesloe Register and pay online: www.cancersupportwa.org.au or phone CSA 9384 3544. $350 per person.
Could our whole approach to cancer be wrong and should we be looking for answers elsewhere? By Ross Taylor
A solution to cancer seems an eternity away. Not only have
we not ‘won the war’ against cancer, but the number of new cases continues to increase, and in the process devastates the lives of too many Australians. This it is a stark reminder of just how little progress we have made in ridding us of this fearsome disease. When chemotherapy was introduced, after the Second World War, it came with it a promise that within a short time cancer would be beaten. Yet over 65 years-on, cancer continues to wreck the lives of too many people from all walks of life. As a society, we seem to adopt a ‘military’ style approach to cancer, and it has failed miserably. Yet we adopt this combative mindset not only during the cancer journey, but even after death. Just read the newspapers or listen to the radio or TV and you will see how this ‘war-like’ approach has pervaded our thinking…. ‘Football Legend Loses Long Battle Against Cancer’; ‘Movie Star faces long fight with cancer’; ‘John Smith lost his fight with cancer after a long illness’; ‘Doctors Winning the War on Cancer’. It is completely understandable that doctors, patients and carers see cancer as something that needs to be ‘attacked’ and ‘beaten’. We all see cancer as some sort of ‘thing’ that has invaded our bodies. So just like a splinter, we need to attack it and get rid of it. But the bleak statistics tells us that clearly this approach has failed to deliver many positive outcomes. World-renowned cancer advocate, Dr Emmett Miller, makes a valid point when he explains that we have been ‘programmed’ into seeing cancer as an invasive ‘thing’ – like the splinter – that necessitates the declaration of war upon ourselves and attacking the invader. Now it suits the drug and pharmaceutical industries to promote this ‘military’ approach to dealing with cancer, because if we see cancer as an invasive ‘thing’ then naturally we need to ‘rollout the big guns’ to declare war and attack it. The ‘big guns’ of course include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and the multitude of drugs designed to help us recover from the shrapnel damage to ourselves as a result of the war effort.
Cancer, as Dr Miller explains is, in fact, not a ‘thing’ but rather an ‘outcome of processes that have taken place in our bodies’.
These ‘processes’ within our magnificent bodies are at work 24/7. We have over 75 trillion cells all working with their own intellect and controlling every aspect of our lives. We replace millions of amazing cells every few minutes without even knowing it. Yet it is when these ‘processes’ are interrupted or altered that diseases occur. So the argument could be that if we were to stop seeing cancer as a ‘thing’ and rather as the end result of these processes within our own control, then just maybe we could do something about it. In my own case when I was diagnosed with ‘terminal’ cancer in 1993, I to wanted to ‘fight the good fight’, but was encouraged to take a different approach. Sure, I still underwent chemo and radiotherapy along with surgery, but decided to leave the ‘military’ part of my cancer journey to the doctors. I chose to deliberately focus on my general wellbeing and health and to change the processes within my body to bring my health back into balance; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, nutritionally and physically. Whilst this approach has worked for me, I also know others who did the same but eventually died due to cancer. But they did so with grace, dignity and a sense of peace within – a far cry from the many people who die in pain and surrounded by sadness, fear and damage from the effects of their personal war on cancer. The solution to cancer will only be found through an integrative approach to facing and treating cancer, involving mainstream medicine working corroboratively with the experts in the field of complementary and lifestyle therapies. Whilst we continue to face the challenge of cancer with a single minded ‘military-approach’ to ‘winning the war’, the suffering will continue and the final solution will continue to seem as distant as ever. F Ross B. Taylor is the author of the book, ‘Living Simply with Cancer’, and also ‘Creating Health..Yourself’. He is the past president of the Cancer Support Association and the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA Inc, and a former chair of the Edith Cowan University’s Psychology & Counselling Consultative Committee. August 2011
“Wellness is a connection of paths: Knowledge and Action”
cancer in the news...
Ovarian cancer detection drive Australian women are being warned about the risk of ovarian cancer, a disease that has no early detection test. On the eve of Australia Day, 77 women from ordinary backgrounds became 11th Hour Ambassadors to help raise awareness of the prevalence of ovarian cancer which affects one in every 77 women. Comedian Jean Kittson launched the initiative at Sydney’s Town Hall on Tuesday in the lead-up to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in February. She encouraged women to find a doctor they like and stick to them, adding “we service our cars more regularly than we service ourselves”.
Australian comedian Jean Kittson is helping raise awareness about early ovarian cancer symptoms
More than 1,200 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and around 800 will die from the disease. “Our priority in 2011 is to ensure that every woman understands that there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer,” said Kittson, an ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. “A pap smear does not detect ovarian cancer and only knowing and identifying the symptoms can aid early detection that can save lives.” Kittson got involved in Ovarian Cancer Australia when a good friend and fellow comedian developed the disease. “She detected the disease early and thankfully she survived, but another good friend of mine sadly passed away from the disease,” she told AAP. “I now know dozens of women who have had ovarian cancer. “It was always known as a silent cancer but it isn’t really. There are symptoms. If you can detect ovarian cancer very early, your chances of survival are very good,” she said. Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer amongst women in Australia, behind breast, bowel, melanoma, lung and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The most common symptoms women with ovarian cancer experience frequently and persistently are: pelvic and abdominal pain, increased abdominal size or persistent bloating, increased urinary frequency and difficulty eating or feeling full quickly. F From: Sydney Morning Herald, January 2011
Exercise ‘precription’ for cancer Doctors are being urged to give cancer patients an exercise “prescription” to aid their recovery, following new American guidelines which mark a shift away from the usual advice for people to rest. A revised consensus statement by the American College of Sports Medicine on physical activity and cancer rehabilitation advises cancer patients and survivors to stay as active as possible to reduce so-called cancer fatigue. The document was prepared by 13 researchers and doctors from the US, Canada, Spain and Australia. It found recovering patients, including those with breast and prostate cancer, could significantly benefit from aerobic-type exercise, and some were also helped by resistance-type training.
Cancer Support Association
NEWS & INFORMATION
Lifestyle therapies work for cancer patients
Pets bring health, happiness & healing Doctors may soon be prescribing their patients a script
to adopt a cat or dog, given a recent study found an estimated $3.86 billion was saved on health spending in Australia, due to the benefits of pet ownership.
In the world of modern therapy and medical technology,
patients often neglect what they can do for themselves at home to bolster their immune system and decrease the chances of ever getting cancer. Studies have shown that for men who radically change their lifestyle and eating habits, switching to an ultra-low-fat vegan diet, prostate cancer patients can significantly inhibit prostate cancer growth by as much as 70%, compared to 9% inhibition experienced by those who only underwent conventional treatment. In a recent study by the Harvard Medical School, patients began a diet regimen that “provided less than 10% of calories from fat and contained only trace amounts of cholesterol. The menu consisted mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, legumes, and soy products. Additionally, a set of nutritional supplements that consisted of “58 grams of powdered soy protein, 3 grams of fish oil, 400 IU of vitamin E, 2 grams of vitamin C, and 200 micrograms of selenium every day.” Daily exercise and relaxation techniques included walking for “30 minutes at a moderate pace, six days a week, yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation... for a total of an hour a day.”
A growing body of evidence confirms the holistic health benefits people gain from animals, including social, mental, physical, psychological and emotional health. Maggie O’Haire, from The University of Queensland’s Centre for Companion Animal Health and School of Psychology highlighted some of these benefits at the recent RSPCA Animals and Human Health Seminar. “While we know the health benefits of animals can include a reduction in blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, increased sense of well-being and an increased feeling of connectedness to their community, what is less known is the value of animal-assisted interventions for children,” Ms O’Haire said. By interacting with pets, children can learn valuable lessons in empathy, nurturing and non-verbal communication, she said. Most recently the benefit of animal-assisted therapy has been linked with helping to encourage an autistic child to speak, Ms O’Haire said. “What’s interesting to note about such interventions is the little amount of research that has actually been done to understand the benefits. Especially given that such programs are relatively low in cost in comparison to other alternative practices”, she said.
By following the above regimen over the course of one year, study participants experienced significant results. The results lead to the hope that by adopting “lifestyle therapy”, patients can inhibit their prostate cancer.... possibly even reversing the effects of cancer. F
Acknowledging the need for increased evidence, Ms O’Haire, in conjunction with the Centre for Companion Animal Health and School of Psychology is beginning research into the effect of animal-assisted activities for children with autism spectrum disorder in the classroom. F
From: University of Queendsland News: www.uq.edu.au
cancer in the news...
“After all these years I think it sort of caught up with me. I have to have check ups every three months now.” By the Dalai Lama
Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come
into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. Happiness is determined more by the state of one’s mind than by one’s external conditions, circumstances or events- at least once one’s basic survival needs are met. Happiness can be achieved through the systematic training of our hearts and minds, through reshaping our attitudes and outlook. As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you have, they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes more meaningful and more peaceful – happier. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. Although I personally believe that our human nature is fundamentally gentle and compassionate, I feel it is not enough that this is our underlying nature; we must also develop an appreciation and awareness of that fact. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. F
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet living in exile in India. Cancer Support Association
Melanoma rates higher for rural men N ew figures from the Cancer Council show the incidence of melanoma continues to rise in Victoria, especially in older men. While the rate of melanoma in younger people are falling, the rate has been consistently rising for men aged over 60. The Cancer Council’s Professor Graham Giles says since 1982 there has been a 400 per cent increase in the incidence of melanoma among mature men. “People deliberately went out and roasted themselves to a nice bronze tan and it’s not been till more recent decades that we’ve been trying to stop people doing that,” he said. He says the research also indicates people who live in rural areas have higher rates of melanoma than their city counterparts. “If you live in the country, you’re probably going to be exposed to sun in a different way to people who live in the city and work in offices,” he said. “It’s also likely to be due to the demographic mix of people in the country compared to the town.” Steven Kirby, 53, of Ballarat, was diagnosed with melanoma last year and is urging people who work outdoors to be sun safe. He has been working outside in farming and the construction industry for the past 30 years and has taken little notice of sunscreen. “After all these years I think it sort of caught up with me. I have to have check ups every three months now,” he said. F From: Sydney Morning Herald, 25th January 2011 From: nine.msn, March 2011
NEWS & INFORMATION
Prevent Prevent & Heal Melanoma Naturally Melanoma Naturally By Jo Hartley
There are different types of skin cancers; however, the skin
cancer to take steps to prevent is melanoma. Melanoma can be seemingly small (the size of a 5 cent piece) and yet metastasize in the body and bring a death sentence quite quickly. The other types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell, are typically caught early and are rarely fatal. Because of melanoma’s increasing incidence (now the tenth most common kind of cancer in the US), it is important to learn how to prevent it naturally. There are genetic predispositions that increase one’s risk for melanoma. Fair skin and hair and a tendency for mole development will create a higher melanoma risk. People with blonde or red hair, light eyes, and fair skin are six times more likely to develop melanoma than those people who have darker complexions. In addition, those who have a large number of moles have a higher risk for melanoma than those people who have a smaller number of moles. Another risk factor is an increased exposure to sun (especially during childhood). It is important to understand that while excessive exposure to sun can cause skin cancer; everyone needs some sun exposure because this can actually prevent some kinds of cancer. Appropriate sun exposure helps with the formation of vitamin D. The key to using sun exposure for better health is to never allow a burn to occur. The optimum amount of time for sun exposure is approximately one hour per day. When outside in the sun, approximately 1,500 wavelengths of light hit the retina and provide an important ingredient for better health. Sunscreens may be effective for preventing the most common kinds of skin cancer (basal and squamous cell carcinomas). However, studies have not concluded that sunscreens are effective for preventing melanoma. To take steps to prevent not only skin cancers, but cancers in general, it is important to consume a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables and to eliminate processed foods. There are also studies that have concluded that there is a link between the omega 6:3 oil ratio and skin cancers. The data suggests that omega-6 fats are stimulators and omega-3 fats are inhibitors of the development and progression of a variety of cancers (including melanoma). Based on the information from these studies, it is apparent that the omega 6:3 ratio is very important for preventing melanoma. Paying attention to the amount of omega-6 oils and omega-3 oils consumed and striving for a proper balance is a key factor.
If melanoma is suspected, the earlier it is detected the better. Everyone should perform a self skin examination every month to stay aware of any changes that may be occurring in moles. The most important thing to notice about moles that differentiates normal moles from melanoma is the colour of the mole. Moles that appear darker than other moles or that increase in size are cause for concern. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body – not just places that are exposed to the sun. Arms, legs, back, neck, and even palms of hands and soles of feet are common places for melanoma. To investigate suspicious moles, utilise the following ABCD rules: - “A” for ASYMMETRY: Most melanoma in the early stages is asymmetrical. Common moles are symmetrical and round. - “B” for BORDER: The borders of early-stage melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped edges. Common moles have smoother borders. - “C” for COLOUR: Common moles are usually a single shade of brown. Varied shades of colour are often the first sign of melanoma. As time goes by reds, blues and whites may appear. - “D” for DIAMETRE: Melanoma usually grows larger than common moles – often to at least the size of a pencil eraser. If skin cancer is diagnosed there are options other than conventional medical treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. One alternative treatment is cancer salves. These salves have been effective in healing skin cancers by using herbs. Be careful to adequately research any cancer salves thoroughly prior to use, however, because these are powerful herbs and one must possess a thorough knowledge in order to use them safely. Prevention of skin cancer is the key and everyone must take steps to safeguard all aspects of health and wellness. F From: ww.naturalnews.com August 2011
Hands on Healing
By Daniel Weber, Ph.D M.Sc
Cancer Cells are the Terrorists of the Body
Cancer is a disease of the cell, a cell that is out of control, but it not only the single-cell but also the community of cells that creates tumours. Cells are like people; they are born with a purpose but in the beginning they all are pretty much the same. They mature and take on the characteristics of their function and then they age and die. When things go wrong, the body like society has a mechanism to bring things back into harmony. The body, like society runs on rules and tolerates only very small infractions. These small infractions are met with a process called sickness or immune response. When the body, like society, is overwhelmed because of poisons, stress, poor nutrition and a toxic environment the order breaks down and criminal cells become immune to the rules and run wild. This is cancer. When they go very wrong they go wrong in a number of clearly understood ways; they become unstable, they inhibit proper and orderly behaviour and they loose control of their internal communication process. If this all sounds a bit like human criminal behaviour you’re not wrong. Next these rogue cells cut themselves off from their community and isolate themselves, they rapidly reproduce and create their own blood supply and then they invade surrounding tissues (healthy cells). Lastly they create ‘camouflage’ and evade the police (immune system).
Cancer Support Association
Also, it is important to understand that these cells don’t act alone but are created in a toxic body environment that allows them to flourish. This analogy indicates that cells and society have a great deal in common. In a healthy culture, citizens behave themselves, cooperate with each other and do their jobs in an orderly fashion. We are born, mature and die all within the laws and codes of society. When we break the rules we are punished. Likewise every cell has a function and must obey the laws of biology. When they fail at that function, they are punished. The surrounding cells kill cells that rogue or they are told to commit suicide, this is called apoptosis. It keeps the body healthy and functioning.
Traditionally disease is divided into two categories; exogenous or externally caused and endogenous or internally caused. For most of human history, externally caused diseases were the primary cause of death and debilitation. Bacteria, virus, poisons and parasites were the factors killing people at an early age. With increases in public health, sanitation and modern medicine these factors are in decline. What arises today with our longer life expectancy are diseases of endogenous origin, the breakdown of organs and systems due to internal causes.
When we look at internal disease patterns we can roughly see two distinct conditions. One we can call degeneration, which is due to deficiency or what commonly occurs as we age; the immune, nervous and organ systems weaken and collapse. The other is called chronic systemic inflammatory diseases (CSID). CSID are often seen as autoimmune diseases but are also present in a diverse range of conditions such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), arterial plaque as seen in cardiovascular disease (CVD), measured by C-Reactive Protein and even in insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. The two states are of course related. Cancer arises from the relationship of these two internal disease states; the breakdown of systems integrity and the arising of chronic inflammation.
The Cancer Cure
• Conventional Tumour Reduction Therapies (CTRT); Chemo, Radiotherapy and Surgery have not reduced cancer mortality over the last 30 years and in fact age-adjusted figures indicate a 6% increase. Heart disease has had a 240% decrease and cerebrovascular a 317% decrease since 1950. Also, a reduction in smoking and early diagnosis has not altered cancer mortality rates.  There are indications of a reduction in breast cancer since 2002, however many researchers speculate this is the result of the lesser use of HRT in older women and a subsequent drop in breast examinations in that group. Recently, in the US George Bush declared a 1% drop in cancer incidence reports but many outside the National Cancer Institute suggest under-reporting by the Veterans Administration in some 28 States may have affected the results. Figures in Australia from ‘the Cancer Council’: • An estimated 106,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Australia each year. • 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85. • Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia – more than 39,000 people are estimated to die from cancer each year.
When you have cancer act as if there is no tomorrow, believe you will live forever; focus on your life not on the disease. Daniel Weber
• More than 60% of cancer patients will survive more than five years after diagnosis. • The survival rate for many common cancers has increased by more than 30 per cent in the past two decades. • The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, colourectal (bowel), breast, melanoma and lung cancer. • About 374,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (the most frequently occurring cancer in Australia, but the least life-threatening) are also diagnosed each year. • Cancer costs $2.7 billion in direct health system costs (5.7%). • $215 million was spent on cancer research in 2000-01, 18% of all health research expenditure in Australia. How does cancer in Australia compared with other countries? • Cancer incidence in Australia is higher than for the United Kingdom and Canada, but lower than the United States and New Zealand. However, Australia’s mortality rates are lower than all four of these countries. • The incidence of melanoma in Australia and is around four times higher than in Canada, the UK and the US. However, mortality rates for melanoma in Australia are quite low compared to other countries. • Australia’s mortality rate for lung cancer is significantly lower than the US. For men, our death rate is 32% lower than the US and for women 48% lower. • Incidence of colourectal cancer in Australia is higher than the US, Canada and the UK. Australia’s mortality rates for colourectal cancer are also high by world standards and are above those of Canada, the US and the UK. (They likely result of the increased intake of red meat and its methods of preparation) • Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT) on CTRT was reported in 1.6% of all surgery articles,
continued on next page... August 2011
...from previous page 3% on radiotherapy and 4.6% on chemotherapy. Overall controlled survival rate studies were not measured in nearly 97% of all articles listed in PubMed between 1996 and 2001 . • In 2002 91% of cancer patients in the USA use TM-CAM measures . In another survey up to 64% of patients surveyed used TM-CAM 
Is there a cure for cancer?
It would seem many researchers, both in conventional medicine and complimentary medicine are working for such a solution but at this time no complete cure exists for solid tumours – though this doesn’t mean there aren’t useful approaches to cancer treatment. This also does not mean many patient aren’t in complete remission after the 5 years suggested as cure. What I suggest is there is no universal cancer cure that works all the time for everyone. Five years ago, and even 2 years ago mainstream oncologists were dismissive of TM-CAM, however since that time an increasing number are incorporating TM-CAM compounds into conventional medical treatments. As stated above, up to 91% of cancer sufferers in the US use TMCAM. Anecdotal, clinical information as well as published research suggests TM-CAM therapies increase quality of life [3,4], enhance conventional treatments  and are becoming part of the mainstream protocol.
Many Causes, Many Solutions
There is no single cause for cancer although ageing seems universal if one assumes the DNA mutation theory of cancer. But other researchers suggest improper development of stem cells , while still others suggest a breakdown of the immune system. There are many legitimate theories. The research continues....
The art of medicine has two aspects, correct diagnosis and correct
prescribing. The next most critical factor is how to combine various compounds to enhance treatment. Wrong combinations can undo a good treatment while good combining enhances and creates an effect greater than the sum of the parts. Most therapeutic products combine well with many antioxidants such as resveratrol, EGCG, CoQ10, SeaBuckthorn oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid or curcumin. The primary vitamin antioxidants like vitamin A, E and C are also combined, as is selenium. I generally suggest cycling antioxidants to enhance their individual characteristics ie resveratrol from 1 to 14 days, introducing another such as EGCG at the 7th day continuing until the 21 st day and introducing a third antioxidant like CoQ10 at day 14, etc. R Lipoic acid and Acetyl L-Carnitine can be used continually as R Lipoic acid is a bi-directional antioxidant which recycles other antioxidants and acetyl L-Carnitine is a stimulant to the cell’s mitochondria. Curcumin and Quercetin is particular useful as a mild general antiinflammatory for those consuming alcohol and grilled meats and/ or fried foods. Inflammation control substances such as boswellic acid, berberine from Coptidis and tetrandrine and fangchinoline from Stephania are useful for chronic inflammatory conditions due to environmental toxicity and can be used with other more specific compounds. A regular use of a de-tox formula is important. As I repeatedly say de-tox the gut first, then the liver. Controlling lectin is an important adjunct to nearly every therapeutic regime from weight loss to cancer to chronic degenerative diseases. Don’t forget to follow up with a pre-biotic and a pro-biotic to enhance good gut flora. Don’t forget SeaBuckthorn Oil repairs sensitive gut, respiratory and urinary tissues. Remember, when combining various compounds it is a good idea to reduce dosages about 20 to 30% to factor the synergistic effects. The cycling of a number of antioxidants gives better results than continuous use of just a few compounds. Remember, combining is one of the highest arts in medical prescribing and you will get better results, faster. F
References 1. Complementary Oncology. Beuth, Josef and Moss, Ralph. Thieme 2002, 2006 2. cancer. Volume 83, Issue 4, Pages 777 – 7823. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2000 May;27(4):623-30. 4. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 19, Issue 9 (May), 2001: 2439-2448. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 18, Issue 13 (July), 2000: 2505-2514 5. Mol cancer Ther. 2003;2:855-862 6. Nature. 21 September 2007; | doi:10.1038/ news070917-11
Articles from the Living Medicine: www.livingmed.com. Daniel Weber is CEO of Panaxea Medicine, an accomplished international lecturer and author. Daniel holds the Vice-Chairmanship in Oncology for the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies. Daniel has a BA in Acupuncture, a post-graduate diploma both in Somatic Psychotherapy and in Adult Education, a Master of Science degree in Chinese herbal medicine, and a PhD in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Daniel is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Health Science at Charles Sturt University in complementary oncology. He has lectured extensively in Australia, South Africa, the USA, UK, Japan and China. He is the author of ‘Introduction to Integrative Oncology’, ‘Inflammation and the Seven Stochastic Events of Cancer’, “Dui Yao the Art of Formula Construction’ and the groundbreaking, first English language database on Chinese Herbs, published in 1992. Daniel is not just an academic but also a committed clinician, innovator and educator: he has been in practice in Sydney Australia since 1977.
Before her cancer diagnosis, Dr Kaye Murray had an exciting and diverse career. She was an ABC Current affairs journalist for many years, went on to produce the 12 part documentary Resolution of Conflict: Everyone Can Win, taught a course on Conflict Resolution at Edith Cowan University where she wrote her PhD on feminism, peace and the media and has also represented the UN Association of Australia and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. While Kaye’s professional focus has been on peace in the international and political arenas, her biggest challenge has been to apply her conflict resolution skills to her personal journey with cancer, to resolve the inner conflict with the disease and to find a deep, inner peace in the midst of difficult circumstances and uncertainty. Diagnosed nearly two years ago, Kaye was shocked to hear she had weeks to live. In her heart she knew she had the strength to beat cancer. She immediately undertook an intensive treatment regime which she almost refused when the nurse told her what was involved. Despite the physical impact of the treatment, Kaye began to formulate her book and within a year completed her memoir The Power of Peace: A Journalist’s Story which she has self-published. There is no doubt that the process of writing The Power of Peace contributed to her recovery from cancer as it gave her a positive focus and strong purpose. Looking back, Kaye says “I feel I was meant to get cancer to take my message of peace wider and address the issue of cancer, what’s causing it and why so many people are dying from it.” Kaye has gained political, philosophical and spiritual knowledge and wisdom from her career, her work for the United Nations, her direct experience of cancer and her faith in God. She sees beyond the boundaries that separate humans and sees us all as citizens of the planet each with the right to live a life of peace and safety. It is these insights she has gathered together in her book which make it a valuable healing and educational resource for both international politicians, everyday citizens and people with cancer alike.
Almost two years ago Perth journalist and peace activist Dr Kaye Murray was diagnosed with cancer and told she had “two weeks” to live. Since then she has written a book “The Power of Peace: A Journalist’s Story” which interweaves her personal story and career with international politics, the history of the peace movement and an intrinsic spirituality.
“What the world needs now is love...In our better world, the dignity and divinity of humanity would blossom with a balance of compassion, love and law. The ethic of non-violence, the spirit of peace, is essential for building peace cultures for future generations to learn war no more, to live in a world at peace.” Regardless of the outcome of her cancer journey, Dr. Kaye Murray has contributed to world peace in a meaningful way and successfully applied the principles of peace to her personal life. She exudes an air of peace and calm and has gained many insights along the way, some of which she shares below...F
By Mandy BeckerKnox. The Power of Peace is available in the CSA Wellness Shop and library.
• Don’t let the disease rob you of your birthright of inner peace and joy. • Cancer is a chance for growth and self-reflection. • Live in the moment to the fullest. • Surround yourself with love. Stay positive. • Life is precious. When you are facing death you don’t take anything for granted. • Find the thing you love to do it and then do it. August 2011
Transcript of a talk for CSA members at CSA in July 2011 by Dr. Ian Gawler
Dr Ian Gawler visited Perth in July for a series of workshops in Perth and Bunbury. Ian offered his time to come in to CSA to meet a small group of members and give a special talk on a subject which was of interest to them. Based on the feedback of those present, Ian spoke on “What It Takes to Get Well from Cancer”.
have seen many people get well from cancer but have seen very few who got through by just hoping for the best. Most people who beat the odds are people who really work at it. There are two main things to do when you have cancer: 1 Get the right information 2 Put it into practice
When you were diagnosed with cancer you were most likely given the option of using western conventional medicine. Within conventional medicine there are two treatment options depending on the type of cancer you have and how progressed the cancer is:
Curative – these treatments aim to leave you free of symptoms and help you back
to a normal lifespan. If this treatment option is available to you, then it is wise that this should be your primary focus. However, you will be wise also to consider what Lifestyle medicine can do for you in terms of minimizing side-effects and maximizing the potential benefits. You may also consider the merits of complementary/ alternative therapies to support your body, immune system and healing potential.
For those members who did not attend we provide a transcript of the talk in this edition of Wellness News. The talk summarised the importance of “lifestyle medicine” and what you can do yourself to get well from cancer.
Palliative – This is when there is no medical cure on offer. Around 40% of people
On the Perth and Bunbury workshops, Ian spoke in much more depth on this topic. He has also written many books on this theme which are available for loan from the CSA library or for sale from the CSA Wellness Shop.
Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)
diagnosed with cancer die in the first 5 years following their diagnosis, and so they are in this category. If this all that is available for you can simply accept it or you can be optimistic and look for non-medical options. If your choice is to accept that you are going to die from cancer, then it makes sense that the focus is on quality of life. Ask yourself what sort of life can I have, what sort of death can I choose? How can I make the most of time I have left.? If your second choice is optimism and against the odds you are still keen on making a recovery, there are two possibilities for you to explore.
Within alternative medicine there are the proven alternatives that have been studied and have similar outcomes for some conditions as does western medicine, ie Ayurveda, TCM. And there are the unproven alternatives which have anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness. Complementary medicine is comprised of those therapies which support conventional medicine. To my knowledge, there is no magic bullet in any CAM. There is not one particular thing that could be used by everyone to get better from cancer. Sometimes people will find something in CAM that really works well for them and has a strong benefit. However, I know of nothing that reliably works for everyone. If there is a reliable magic bullet it actually is inside you. If there is no medical cure for your condition, you are not ready to die, and you want to do all you can to turn it around, then look within for the resources to activate your healing potential.
Cancer Support Association
Lifestyle Medicine Lifestyle Medicine is about what you can do yourself. It takes into account your state of mind, diet, exercise levels, relationships and spiritual life. All these things improve cancer outcomes. Do not be misled by what may seem rather simple. These things can be very potent. For example, exercise has been proven to be twice as effective in reducing the risk of dying from primary breast cancer when compared to chemotherapy. With CAM things are done to you or for you by a practitioner. This is an external source of health and healing; just as conventional medicine is. Lifestyle Medicine is to do with what you can do for yourself. It is about using your own resources. Also, it is worth pointing out that there is better scientific evidence for lifestyle medicine than there is for CAM. If you are going to get well against the odds, the most reliable way to do this is to activate the potential for healing which is a constant potential within everybody.
Potential for Healing From a medical point of view if you are in palliative care, and still want to recover, it is not logical to make conventional medicine your primary focus. Instead the primary focus is best placed on the bodyâ€™s potential for healing. This potential is ordinary in the sense that everyone has it, but extraordinary in that in this technological age, so few people draw on their inner resources for wellness and healing. In Lifestyle Medicine we create the ideal internal environment for healing. Taking this approach to recovering from cancer is an invitation to take your life seriously. Most people start on this path with a fear based state of mind. Fear causes you not to think clearly. It is not a good idea to make big decisions in this state of mind as your mind is focused in the wrong direction. Long term survivors may start in this frame of mind but change to become passionate about their lives. The stronger the will to live the more likely you are to actually survive. However, many people confuse a strong will to live with the will not to die. If you want to do something significant you have to take your life very seriously, while at the same time, keeping your sense of humour!
Cancer is a lifestyle disease If you are not clear on it, cancer is a lifestyle-based illness. A third of all cancers are related to diet. Other factors include smoking, a lack of exercise and lack of sunlight, as well as food chemicals and other pollutants, along with infections. It is a curious fact that almost all doctors will counsel patients about their lifestyle when commencing a treatment for other lifestyle-based illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. In fact, they may well be considered to be professionally negligent if they do not provide advice on lifestyle factors that contributed to those diseases and lifestyle changes to make to firstly treat them, and then to prevent a recurrence. Cancer is just as much a lifestyle disease but generally doctors do not counsel patients about lifestyle when treating this condition. This is huge error of omission.
Lifestyle Medicine is about what you can do yourself. It includes your state of mind, diet, relationships and spiritual life. All these things improve cancer outcomes. Do not be misled. These things can be very potent. For example, exercise has been proven to be twice as effective in reducing the risk of dying from primary breast cancer when compared to chemotherapy.
Anyone with cancer would be wise to adjust their lifestyle immediately. This should be amongst the first things you do. This is not an optional extra, you need to address the cause, attend to what can heal you and really immerse yourself in your own healing. If you do this and you have a curative medical option for your cancer, you are highly likely to have less side effects from treatments and recover more quickly. Your role and input can make a huge difference to the outcome. If you do not have a curative treatment available to you and you are aiming to get well anyway, then you need to know it is not going to be easy to use your own efforts to do this. However, when you really apply yourself, you can achieve remarkable outcomes with
continued on next page... August 2011
...from previous page regards to long-term quality of life; and you may be fortunate and become a long-term survivor.
Positive thinking The first issue you will face is your own mind. Do you believe recovery is possible and how much are you prepared to put into it? Everything you do has to go through the mental filter: is this going to help me to get well. If the answer is no then you need the strength to say no to it. This is the level of commitment required. There is a big difference between positive thinking and wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is when you hope for the best but do not do anything about it. Positive thinking is when you hope for the best and actually do a lot about it. The 3 principles of positive thinking are make your choices; do whatever it takes; and enjoy whatever you are doing. The details of this are in “You Can Conquer Cancer” There is another useful way to training the mind to be positive which uses four steps: 1. What is your goal?
Be clear about what you want to do. The more clarity you have, the better the mind functions. One thing that reliably leads to a clear mind is meditation.
no effort. Yes, it requires discipline, but you do these things because you are looking after yourself. Discipline in these circumstances is a personal kindness. It is getting clear on what you want and then doing whatever it takes. You need to have the mind-set to enjoy the path. Enjoyment is a choice and you can decide your state of mind. Most people function as if their state of mind is based on external things. When things go well, they are happy; when things are tough, they are unhappy. There is a real freedom in realising that you can choose, you can decide how you will respond to whatever circumstances you find yourself in. 4. Value. What value do you give to your goal? Is this a casual thing or is it a matter of life and death? Some people with cancer may want to die and that is okay. You can decide to either complete your life well, or aim to get well and find joy. Then there is matter of sorting out priorities.
Diet When it comes to food, there are three choices. You can decide you cannot be bothered to change and just continue with your diet as it is. Or you could follow the cancer wellness diet, or the healing diet, both of which are covered in my book You Can Conquer Cancer.
2. How are you going to attain it?
When it comes to food, set healthy boundaries, eliminate things which are problematic and focus on the things which are good for you.
Be clear about your options. If there is no medical cure and you decide to get better through your healing potential then things like chemotherapy, surgery etc should not be the primary focus.
There are a lot of factors to consider when adjusting your diet. You need to consider your metabolism, your illness, any sensitivities. Trust your own body in this regard and be sensible.
Exercise such as walking for half an hour everyday is one of the best things you can do. There are two criteria for exercise: you should always feel better after you have finished; and during exercise you should be able to keep up a conversation. Over exertion is not good when healing is your priority.
When it comes to making good choices it is the mind/body connection which is important. Develop connection between mind and body through meditation. This will help you to develop greater awareness of the body to establish a dietary pattern that suits you best. Juices are also very useful and should be introduced into your diet. Guidelines for juicing are in You Can Conquer Cancer
What resources do you have already and what do you need to acquire? External resources are the people and things that can help you, and internal resources are what you can do for yourself. This is a time to be honest about your resources and ability. Diligence makes a huge difference. Modest changes make a modest impact, big effort yields big results. You will need to study and make a focused effort. It is hard to imagines how you might recover against the odds if you make
In cancer recovery, food is of primary importance. Juices support healing with extra nutrients. Supplements can be taken, but intake should be modest. It is better to rely on a whole food diet and juices.
Emotions Finding joy in life is important! Develop and focus on the emotions which are life-affirming and good for healing: hope, love, joy,
About Ian Gawler Dr. Ian Gawler is one of Australia’s best known, long-term cancer survivors and advocates of a healthy lifestyle. Ian began one of the world’s first lifestyle- based cancer self-help groups in 1981. He has authored 5 bestselling books and edited another 7. Known for his clarity and good humour, Ian has a gift for translating ancient wisdom into a modern, scientific context. Having appeared widely in the media, Ian has played a major role in pioneering and popularising meditation and other Mind-Body techniques in the Western world.
Cancer Support Association
compassion and laughter. Negative emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy and greed are actually bad for your health. When the time is right, forgiveness can be very a potent healing force. Gratitude is also hugely important. Be grateful every morning, every day. Think of things you are grateful for regularly. Concentrating on these things shifts deeply held negative emotions which have a detrimental effect on the cellular level. When you are grateful your whole body sings and is more conducive to healing. Every night when you go to bed think of three things you can be grateful for. This simple exercise can help reduce depression. Remember that exercise also is an antidote to depression. Generosity is also important. People with cancer worry about the future and want to hold onto everything. Practicing generosity is freeing. Give acknowledgement to other peopleâ€™s generosity and show appreciation. What you give is what you receive. This is a fundamental spiritual law.
Meditation Meditation is powerful. Read my books Meditation an In-Depth Guide and the new book The Mind that Changes Everything for information about meditation and imagery techniques I have found to be effective for cancer.
Spiritual Spirituality and religion are not necessarily separate issues, however, it is common for people these days to focus on one or the other. If you are moved to reawaken your religious life, it is wise to back to whatever tradition you grew up with. Connect with whatever is most important to you. On the other hand, spirituality on a deep level focuses on the values that give meaning to your life. Prayer has been shown to be a powerful healing force, even when it is other people praying for you.
Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours. Swedish Proverb
In conclusion, my wish is that you all have long and happy lives. F
With total commitment, it has been found that many people are able to recover from cancer. Ian Gawler, CSA staff members Cathy Brown and Mike Sowerby and many, many others are living examples of the potential success of the wellness approach to cancer. It is well worth reading the articles in this magazine in their entirety to get a deep insight into how healing works, what you need to do, and the commitment required. The CSA wellness team is committed to helping our members on their cancer journeys by providing the information, resources, support and healing required. If you would like to know more about lifestyle therapies and the â€œwellnessâ€? approach to cancer, you are most welcome to participate in the courses, seminars and support groups offered by CSA for people with cancer and their carers. There is also a vast reservoir of articles on our website and the CSA Library hosts the largest collection of books and resources on cancer, wellness and healing in Western Australia. If you are not already a member of CSA you can join easily online. As well as receiving access to CSA services and the support of our wellness team you will also receive a copy of Wellness News by email each month and special printed copies twice a year to keep you informed and inspired! August 2011
CSA Counsellor and Its nearly Group Facilitator Mike Sowerby has experienced cancer firsthand. It has been nearly 30 years since his diagnosis and he
30 years since my cancer diagnosis. I’m now 49 years old living mostly in Perth with my home in Margaret River 300kms south. It is a nice spot, and has been a great setting for raising the Sowerby mob. All those years ago when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, I was a competitive athlete, ultra fit, yet I had a disease that could and was killing me. How could that be? Medically my prognosis was very poor, I was not expected to live more than 12 months. Mostly through friends, family, ‘chance meetings’ and an element of ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’ I began to explore possibilities outside the then limited medical treatment model. Programs like the Gerson Diet, Transcendental Meditation, Vitamin C therapy, Laetrile treatment, wheatgrass juice, coffee enemas (you’ve got to be keen) and those bits of advice and help that where coming my way via other cancer survivors and health professionals were all things I explored. From this wave of information and advice I began experimenting with what worked and what didn’t work for me. Within a couple of months I was on a strict diet, meditating three times each day, and yes yee old coffee enemas were doing their bit in pain management.
shares his insights,
It was a scary time, a lot of new territory, many unknowns, learning from mistakes, many healing crises along the way, yet I began to find my way and develop some confidence and conviction in what I had chosen to do.
To be alive three years later at 23 after going through an incredibly painful and often traumatic time and in doing so adjusting to a new and vastly different way of life was and is miraculous.
wisdom he has
A miracle is often thought to imply luck, divine intervention or that it didn’t involve any sweat and toil. The miracle of life in facing death takes courage and a huge commitment to our values and vision.
gained along the
Making a choice and I emphasise choice to take the reigns and give direction to our healing and recovery is a labour of great love, great suffering, of great realisation.
What is at stake here is our authenticity. Being authentic has to do with authorship, the way we script our lives. We are the author; we write the story. How it pans out has a lot to do with our motivation and commitment. It has to do with a genuine feeling of responsibility. Our ability to respond to life, to change, to challenge, and to ourselves as changing, and that’s an important one. We are changing and we need to change to get the most out of our life faced with cancer. There are many stages we go through, many lessons learned, some of them many times over. Charles Bates, author of that wonderful little book ‘Pigs Eat Wolves’ writes:
Cancer Support Association
“Life has made it clear that if I am to gain mastery of myself my lessons are to be found and contacted inside the arenas I avoid. Life continues to demand that I lift mastery out of the open hand of what it is I fear.” That’s a powerful insight. There’s this opportunity, this invitation to self -knowledge, healing, and it’s our fear that is the gate keeper.
What to do?
In Segyal Rinpoche’s book Glimpse after Glimpse he writes: If your mind is able to settle naturally, of its own accord and if you find yourself inspired simply to rest in pure awareness then you do not need any method of meditation. I would hasten to suggest that the majority of us who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness have the poop scared out of us, we feel very unsettled, our lives feel like they have been turned on their head, and we need a lot of help. The Rinpoche continues: “However the vast majority of us find it difficult to arrive at this state of inner accord, we need a skillful method and means to evoke it. By skillful I mean to bring together by your understanding of your mind, your knowledge of your various shifting moods, the insights you gain through your practice into how to work with yourself.” The Rinpoche sees the learning as the experience of yielding, gaining the insight of how to work with oneself through one’s own experience.
Well, how to work with oneself?
It’s not so much what we do to our cancer, as much as being skillful with oneself. It has become clear to me over the years that in being inclusive of our cancer and holding it in our awareness, while maintaining a focus on right living, our energy goes into the skills and experiences that best support our living. Like attention to our diet, quality time for the mind, emotional wellbeing and time for spiritual centredness. The more authentic we are, the more we interpret situations clearly and correctly, the more our actions carry the strength and wisdom to live by our convictions. Believe me having strong conviction and a sense of appropriate action is mighty handy when dealing with cancer. In saying what I have about meditation, one of the wisest things I have read is by the Zen Monk Wo Woo Whey. Very simply it goes like this: ‘don’t worship the teapot, drink the tea’. Which is Zen lingo for don’t get hung up on the technique, experience the benefit of the practice. It is the willingness to commit to a daily practice and to learn from your sitting that the great benefits stem from. The biggest plus, a deep sense of peace and calm. Meditation offers us a means of discovery, it offers us stability and confidence in the face of a very destabilising cancer diagnosis, and the heart of our meditation is its practice, not the blind adherence to technique.
It’s not so much what we do to our cancer, as much as being skillful with oneself. It has become clear to me over the years that in being inclusive of our cancer and holding it in our awareness, while maintaining a focus on right living, our energy goes into the skills and experiences that best support our living. Like attention to our diet, quality time for the mind, emotional wellbeing and time for spiritual centredness.
What I am hoping to get across with these examples is this: through our commitment we develop a trust in ourselves and a growing ‘means’, daily we come to realise it is not about cancer good or bad, it’s not about the right way or wrong way. It’s about knowing yourself, trusting yourself, it’s about being connected, connected to life, staying connected, it’s about being willing, fresh each day with a ‘beginners mind’ as they call it. This way we are fresh for the challenges. In those simple words of Wo Woo Whey, make your self a pot of tea and enjoy the cuppa. As we learn to focus, to still the mind we start to become aware of the excess baggage we carry around. How do we know we have excess baggage? Cos it’s heavy, we feel the burden, and it’s often the place our fears reside. So, with the focus we are gaining, the
continued on next page... August 2011
...from previous page capacity to still our mind, we can begin to do some sorting in our lives, deal with those postponements, gain new insights and become genuinely freer, lighter. In fact we see there was never a better time than now to live with and deal with the issues that are of importance in our lives. It is here we need to consider the experiences in us that are as yet untested, those experiences that have not gained maturity, and those past experiences that were relegated to the recesses of our consciousness in order to survive, to cope. There have been experiences we have avoided for one reason or another. The why is not so important right now, only the understanding that things we avoid, areas of our lives we postpone or deny lose touch with us, and they need our intimacy, they need contact with our outer life experience to mature and heal. Without that connection it is like a maturing child without a parent, it’s easy to get lost. In facing cancer we can’t hide. We gotta face the facts, and in so doing create opportunity for healing. At times we have been in situations that are greater than our capacity to cope, in situations for which we neither have the knowledge, the learning or support to go through them, so we hide, we ignored, we ran, we avoided and we survived. Quite often it was neither the time or place to be vulnerable, we didn’t feel safe, we weren’t supported by love and understanding. With the confidence we develop from having a clearer mind, a mind free of anxiety we can begin to support and shepherd those emotions, those experiences to nurtured maturity. Making our peace with the past can be hard work, yet it is a labour of love and we are up to the task. And we are not alone. Look around you, look at those faces near you those who came here today. Take a look at the person next to you, they may be a friend, family member or a stranger. Now take a longer look, take your time, you’re in that space of looking, seeing, and you’re going to see someone who is not so different to you. Someone human, someone full of life, someone with needs, talents...and you are united in the presence and respect you offer each other in this moment. Thank you. Thank each other. Yet, you know nobody can have our experience except us. There are those who are willing to believe in us, share with us, we need that...yet our experience is unique to us, our mutual respect for that is what is precious. This is how we learn to trust ourselves deeply. Another story...there is an old Sage who said “I have taken up my brother’s way”. He is referring to a fellow tribesman’s meditation practice, “I do this to see what it is like and to make him happy with his way”. I like this saying. If you skip the political correctness you hear a person willing to take up something of another’s way, they have no fear, they are free to participate, and this helps as it limits the gap between us. It’s been said that evil is not something inherent in itself but is found in the gap, the desolation, the anguish that forms when we lose intimacy. Without intimacy we are scared, we wither, we get sick. I’m not saying anything new to you if I say cancer can be a mighty lonely and desolate experience at times. We need intimacy to heal. We need to cultivate intimacy to experience our humanity as a whole.
Cancer Support Association
One last story from the Persian mystic and teacher of the Sufi path, Mevlani Rumi. Poetry was often the way Rumi prescribed his teachings and here we have a poem about the mighty King Solomon, son of David, builder of the first temples of Jerusalem, wise man, King and leader of his people. The poem is titled Solomon’s Crooked Crown. And it goes something like this: Solomon was busy judging others when it was his personal thoughts that were disrupting the community (Rumi’s not afraid to get to the point). His crown slid crooked on his head, so he put it straight, the crown slid awry again, eight times this happened. Finally he begins to talk to the head piece ‘Why do you keep tilting over my eyes?’ The crown answers; ‘I have to show you what such a condition looks like.’ Immediately Solomon recognises the truth, he kneels and asks for forgiveness. The crown rights itself . ‘Listen when your crown reminds you of what makes you cold towards others. This is a story of power, humanity gone wrong, a vision of humanity righting it self through humility and forgiveness. The crown King Solomon wears is symbolic of our higher aspirations, our desire for wholeness, our desire for greater good, to attain truth and our desire to receive love, to act in wisdom. Sometimes in our quest for the greater good, we get lost, and its hard for us to see that, we get a wrong take on things, a bit misguided in our judgment, we stumble. The crown has dropped over our eyes, we go “blind”. In fact we just don’t get it. Eight times the crown went askew. We can be painfully slow on the uptake. Yet we see in the story this huge latitude, this incredible patience for us in our ‘coldness.’ Our coldness can be at time our drive, our ambition, getting on with it, not noticing the little things in life. Finally the question arises, “what is it I don’t get?”, and with the tilted crown blocking our outer view we look inward. The humility we need is within, the acts of compassion are within us, the compassion we need to heal our situation, our cancer, is within us. This story is nearly 2000 years old. They were learning back then the same lessons we learn today. The answers have been around a long time. We just forgot where to look and when we do we get lost. At times we don’t see when we’ve lost the plot, sometimes it’s power for a noble cause, getting it right, struggle. Yet we are not getting it right, things aren’t sitting well. Others see it, but we don’t. Finally comes the humble act of kneeling, of asking forgiveness. It’s forgiving to sit, let go, to meditate, pray, abandon our righteousness and experience a natural sense of awe. The crown centres itself. And we are in the presence of something, someone truly great. This time it’s you, crowned, glorious in your own peace, no struggle, not knowing, just at peace.
Cancer is a powerful teacher, crude in its method, no wolf in sheep’s clothing, it is naked and raw, demanding our best, our integrity. There are better, kinder teachers and that is what we must become – better students to richer experiences in life, to greater acts of kindness. Getting well, devouring the wolf of my own making, has lead me to be a better person, a better teacher. We have an obligation to pass on the learning, to temper the suffering of others. There are heaps of things I haven’t spoken of, all those things we learn about dietary consideration, the skill in complimenting lifesaving medical treatment, and the many other options in our total health care plan. And there’s death, so often left out of the discussions because we think it fatalistic to talk about it. Ye there is nothing more certain than our physical mortality, in fact there can be a relief in recognizing that fact. The quality of the living we do between now and that point of physical death is going to give us the grace and dignity to embrace dying, hence we include death, the awareness of death, in our living and we don’t need to spend time avoiding it. Its part of the continuum of life. Thank you for listening and thank you for making this time possible. F
Mike Sowerby (Master of Counselling) is CSA’s counsellor and group facilitator. This is a modified copy of a talk Mike gave at the Cancer Conference in Melbourne in 2006.
NEWS & INFORMATION
We travel a long way in a lifetime, no matter how long or short the individual life, and what we would hope is that the footprints we leave behind spell out a love of humanity, a wish for genuine and lasting peace for humankind. Our part, our bit of humanity is to light a candle so that our light lights the path for the next, and the footprints they see are those of us treading honestly, openly, willingly.
By Mike Sowerby
People seeking help at the Cancer Support Association are usually
people with a cancer diagnosis and their carers and family. They come at varying stages of their diagnosis and treatment. They come from many walks of life, often have varied points of view with respect to what cancer means for them and perhaps have different ideas about outcomes for themselves. What they have very much in common is the desire to bring more of their own abilities to help in the healing process, a willingness to be open and share, to learn and care for each other. As a CSA counsellor I would like to share a little of how I experience counselling as a valuable resource in meeting the many challenges we face when diagnosed with cancer. Very often the news of cancer shakes the confidence we have to meet life as we have known it. It challenges our sense of self, our values, our priorities, how we think and feel about ourselves and those around us, it’s a huge upheaval for all involved. In the course of making decisions about treatment options, what to do,what not to do, the process itself can seem and is at times overwhelming emotionally, physically, mentally. We are human, we feel it. As a counsellor I have experienced cancer myself, travelled the long and often winding road to recovery and wellbeing. I have met thousands of people with cancer, their carers, their families, and the thing I notice common to all, is the importance of being heard, of being valued as a person and respected for meeting the challenge of cancer in a way that reflects trust in oneself and the nurturing of love in relationship. Where more personalised counselling can be of help is in tapping into the resilience and capacity for healing that is innate in all human beings. A counselling session involves meeting and finding out what it is you as the client want to achieve in your choices, to appreciate and value your role in taking personal responsibility for your greater wellbeing. This often means discovering how to bring the skills you have to the fore, sometimes learning new skills, in the main learning about you and the capacity you have to help yourself in the process of undertaking treatment, lifestyle changes, the process of healing. Counselling can be a very joyous experience at times, at times painful, just like life, and it can be extremely rewarding as client and counsellor when the focus is respect and support for us as people, care in the times of uncertainty, and celebration in the times of triumph. I love my work , I enjoy and appreciate what I bring to the relationship of counselling. I value what I continue to learn by sharing in the experience of people facing cancer and them finding much of what they need is inside themselves. So often it’s said that cancer is a journey not a sentence. How we learn, gain from our experience along the way, gives us the insights to keep living each moment of that journey and grow richer, stronger in the process. F August 2011
By Dr. Ben Kim
When looking to overcome a specific health challenge, for most of us, the tendency is to look for a remedy – some pill, cream, or perhaps a liquid that we can drink – that will fix our problem right up.
cannot be fixed with
The reality is that in most circumstances, your body knows best how to heal itself. It’s not a stretch to state that your body is designed to do one thing, and that’s to preserve its health.
the same behaviours
This is why, when you cut yourself, your body immediately triggers a cascade of events that aim to reduce blood loss by coagulating your blood at the injured site. And without taking a break, your body then works to re-establish the layers of skin that have been injured.
that were in place when you created them” Albert Einstein
Make no mistake about it: your body is constantly replenishing its cells. Every thirty days, you have brand new skin. You produce a new stomach lining every five days. It takes about ninety days for your body to turnover all of the molecules that make up your bones. And every second, several million red blood cells are removed and replaced from your circulatory system. Ultimately, the vast majority of molecules that make up your body today did not exist about a year ago, which is to say that your body is constantly at work, repairing and replenishing itself. If you are currently experiencing a health challenge, you may be wondering how all of the above can be true. If your body is constantly creating new tissues, then why haven’t dysfunctional tissues been replaced with functional ones? The answer is likely that you have not identified the root causes of your health challenges. Without identifying and addressing the root causes of your health challenges, your body’s self-healing mechanisms are likely being outdone by the damage being caused by your daily choices. Think of it in this way: If you replace the bricks of a house, but do so without any changes in equipment,
A weekly group held every Tuesday at CSA 10am – 12noon. Anyone who’s life has been affected by cancer or other life threatening illnesses is welcome to attend. A Carer’s Support Group is held at the same time when required.
building methods, and architectural plan, you’ll end up re-building the same house. In this same vein, if you want to build healthier tissues, you must provide your body with different building blocks than the ones that you used to create your health challenge. These building blocks include your food choices, lifestyle choices like how much rest, exercise, fresh air, and sunlight you get, and even the thoughts and emotions you regularly experience as a result of how you choose to spend your time and the people that you choose to spend your time with. Even as you’re reading these words, your body is doing its best to heal damaged areas. Your body works non-stop to repair, maintain, and replenish your tissues. Just as your healing mechanisms go to work right away to heal a cut on your skin, they’re always on alert and ready to do their best to protect against internal challenges like joint damage, blood vessels that are becoming clogged, and even rapidly dividing cancer cells. One reason why your self-healing mechanisms have a greater chance of successfully healing a cut than they do of fully healing other health challenges like arthritis, atherosclerosis, and various malignancies is that with health challenges that are generated internally, it’s impossible to see the effects of your choices in real time. Let me explain. It’s obvious that sharp objects can cut through your skin. So you know to avoid contact with such objects i.e. you remove the cause of your health challenge and give your self-healing mechanisms a solid opportunity to successfully restore your health. If you have chronic joint pain, clogged blood vessels, or intermittent headaches, you can’t see in real time how acrylamides in potato chips, casein in pasteurised and homogenised dairy, and massive quantities of free radicals in cheap vegetable oils directly injure and/or aggravate your cells internally. Ditto for the effects of large quantities of sugar, aspartame, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and the many other disease-causing compounds found in the standard first-world nation diet. Equally difficult to see in real time is how being mired in miserable relationships can elevate stress-related compounds throughout your body, accelerating wear and aging of all of your organs. When you don’t see how everyday occurrences like consumption of cheddar-flavoured Pringles and feeling anxiety or hatred in your heart affect your cells, how can you possibly be motivated to limit your exposure to these and other disease-causing elements? Will you wait until your health deteriorates to a point where one small mouthful of cheesecake causes your hip joint to ache for a week? For the record, I’ve known many clients who live this reality. Will you suffer a massive heart attack that nobody, even your doctor, sees coming? Self health care requires that you understand how your body works, and make choices based on this knowledge. My experience has been that most people aren’t sufficiently motivated to consistently make healthy choices until their discomfort is severe enough. And even at this point, there are some who prefer to continue with their harmful habits while numbing their discomfort with drugs or even surgical excision. My feeling is that it takes two ingredients to consistently make healthy choices that support your self healing mechanisms. The first is an understanding of your body’s self healing design. The second is a strong enough reason for wanting to be healthy for as long as possible. When you have both, it becomes almost natural to make daily choices that fully support your innate healing capacity.
“It takes two ingredients to consistently make healthy choices that support your self healing mechanisms. The first is an understanding of your body’s self healing design. The second is a strong enough reason for wanting to be healthy for as long as possible. When you have both, it becomes almost natural to make daily choices that fully support your innate healing capacity.” Dr. Ben Kim
I suppose that the take home message is that you can always be hopeful in knowing that if you make healthy choices, your body’s self healing mechanisms will get their best possible chance to restore your health. So when faced with a specific health challenge, please remember that your body isn’t likely to overcome the problem at hand with the same choices that you made during its development. Put another way, to paraphrase Einstein, “your problems cannot be fixed with the same behaviours that were in place when you created them.” F
From Dr. Ben Kim’s blog 5th July 2011: drbenkim.com August 2011
By Jeannine Walston
Are you navigating cancer? What is your map toward wellness? Diagnostic tests, research, doctorâ€™s appointments and evaluating cancer treatments are key components to optimise survival and quality of life. Anyone moving through a cancer journey will benefit from the best conventional cancer care available, but that is only part of the equation...
Providing Whole Body Care
Research studies have shown for many years that cancer grows in â€œfertile soilâ€? or a hospitable environment in the body that supports cancerous cells. The internal environment of the body strongly impacts whether or not cancer grows in each person. For many, cancer is a symptom of an altered, unbalanced system. Along with receiving treatment for the diagnosis and symptoms, people affected by cancer need whole person health care. This model is called integrative cancer care.
Defining Integrative Cancer Care
So, what is integrative cancer care for the whole person? Integrative cancer care addresses the totality of body, mind and spirit, including the social and environmental health of the individual. All of these aspects of your health and life are constantly interacting together, influencing one another, and interdependently shaping who you are. Think about integrative cancer care using the example of diet. While what you eat impacts your physical body, food also strongly affects your thinking, your emotions, aspects of your spirituality, your relationship with yourself and other people, and the internal environment of your body. No separation exists between these elements. As a living system, your body and life are comprised of various networks constantly communicating with one another. Understanding the other dimensions of integrative cancer care provides further insights for people living with cancer and advancing whole person health care.
Supporting Your Mind-Body Connection
What is the state of your mental and emotional wellness? The state of the mind and emotions affects health due to the mind-body connection. No separation exists between the mind and body. The body feeds the mind; the mind feeds the body. Thoughts and feelings, as well as beliefs and attitudes, impact and literally shape aspects of biological functioning. Mind-body approaches strengthen the mental and emotional inner life supporting health and healing.
Tending to Your Spirit
What is your relationship with spirit and your spirituality? Most people understand that they are connected to something larger than themselves and engage contact with spirit. There is a sense of being whole when spirit is united with the body. Since healing is about wholeness, spirituality is an essential component of an integrative cancer care plan addressing the whole person.
Cancer Support Association
Caring for Your Social Wellness
How do you engage social support through cancer? For everyone, cancer is a social issue impacting their entire community. New perceptions and social experiences emerge. People dealing with cancer – patients, family members, friends – endure a range of social challenges and opportunities. Social issues that existed before cancer may also intensify during and after cancer. Learning about and providing support for social issues is a part of quality cancer care.
Addressing Your Environmental Health
How do you support your health through your environment? Today’s world contains high levels of carcinogens. Each person must take steps to safeguard against toxic chemicals associated with diseases such as cancer. The National Cancer Institute even refers to studies as far back as the 1960s concluding that the majority of cancers could be prevented by acting on what was known about the environmental causes of the disease. Addressing the link between cancer and the environment is central to advances in cancer risk reduction and for anyone already living with cancer.
Improving Cancer Care
Both women and men have the capacity to understand that health is about more than one part of their body or lifestyle and instead encompasses the many dimensions of self. This wisdom must be applied to cancer care especially as studies show that integrative cancer care reduces cancer risk, improves cancer survival and quality of life. Now is the time for more widespread innovation in supporting people with cancer. Integrative cancer care is that model. You can play a key role in improving lives and advancing integrative cancer care for the whole person. What will you do for your health and the health of those you love? F Jeannine Walston is co-founder and executive director of EmbodiWorks, a non-profit organization offering integrative cancer care resources. Jeannine has extensive experience in cancer education and advocacy, health care policy, and both conventional and integrative cancer care.
Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we “Many of us are carrying repressed memories of unhealed emotional wounds or traumas from childhood and sometimes from past lives. As long asthem these things are touch with repressed within you, they will be activated from time to time, pulling you out of Presence or simply preventing you from being present.compassion. The ego will be constantly on alert to protect you against a recurrence of these painful experiences. And if the ego is on alert, it will keep you in the world of the mind. These emotions and memories need ~ Buddha to be allowed to surface into the light of consciousness for healing and release. When Children are the flowers of life! They bring joy and happiness to our world. It’s our responsibility to keep them safe and happy, so they could preserve the inner child inside of them for the rest of their lives.
this occurs, we can say that the past is released from you and you are released from the past. This allows you to deepen and settle into the present moment.” Such negative emotions can sometimes be healed, i.e. permanently removed from one’s system, by allowing them to flow (this “cathartic” approach is taken in Primal Therapy, Bioenergetics and other approaches based on the work of Wilhelm Reich as well as in the Emotional Healing Exercises featured here). Likely the (by far) most effective in terms of time, expense and gentleness is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which can be self-taught and applied thanks to the free material made available by its major researcher and founder Gary Craig. Although a relatively recent development, EFT is based on millennia of knowledge discovered by the Chinese: that of the body-mind’s underlying energy (meridian) system and our ability to influence it via acupuncture and acupressure to further its health by reestablishing full energetic flow. Highly recommended! Another approach to creating happiness is the “positive psychology” researched by Dr. Martin Seligman. He writes in “Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment”: “Relieving the states that make life miserable... has made building the states that make life worth living less of a priority. The time has finally arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build strength and virtue, and provide guideposts for finding what Aristotle called the ‘good life’”. He advises to achieve emotional fulfillment and increase one’s “happiness quotient” through pursuing one’s innate strengths and incorporating strengths such as humour, originality and generosity into everyday interactions, rather than picking apart the past, trying to solve decades-old problems and to fix weaknesses. F From: www.healingcancernaturally.com “The Daily Guru” August 2011
“Health is about more than one part of your body or lifestyle and instead encompasses the many dimensions of self.”
An interview with Sharon Salzberg By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
Sharon Salzberg is one of America’s leading mindfulness teachers and authors and has played a significant role in bringing mindfulness and the practice of lovingkindness to all of us in the Western world. She is the author of many books and CDs, including her classic “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness,” “The Kindness Handbook,” and her newest release “Real Happiness.” Today Sharon talks to us about what Real Happiness is, how she integrates compassion practices into her life, and how an everyday totally stressed out person can start moving to real happiness.
Cancer Support Association
Elisha: The first question that I have is what is real happiness and how do we all get it? Sharon: (Laughing) Well, actually I think the word “real” stands for something like “durable” or “sustained” or “sustaining” happiness. I think, certainly we get real happiness out of pleasure, and that’s a pleasant meal, a pleasant bath with hot water (laughing), you know, and we should be quite grateful for opportunities we have to experience pleasure so I don’t want to denigrate those, but clearly they are so fleeting and based on conditions coming together just so, and so what we are basically looking for as human beings is a happiness that isn’t going to be so vulnerable to changing conditions. So that’s what I am calling real happiness. We get it from happy inner resources. Elisha: Say more about that “happy inner resources.” Sharon: Well, I describe meditation as one path toward that real happiness as being a kind of skills training, and each of those skills helps us access a capacity and nurture a capacity within to be more present and to shape our attention so that it has more clarity and presence and openness and that is a kind of happiness. I talk about it as being a course of skills training in concentration so that we can take what might be our very scattered, distracted, disbursed attention energy and bring it together so that it becomes steadier and more steadfast. We can have skills training in mindfulness so that we are using our attention to perceive something in the present moment. This perception is not so latent by fears or projections into the future, or old habits, and then I can actually stir lovingkindness or compassion in skills training too, which can be sort of provocative. Elisha: Speaking of lovingkindness, you’re a pioneer in actually bringing loving-kindness practice to the West. Can you tell us about it and what are the benefits of doing it and perhaps how you weave it into your personal practice? Sharon: Well, we get it through the mindfulness practice as we are experiencing much more connection and loving-kindness and compassion. But the loving-kindness meditation is like a series of methods, particularly dedicated to deepening loving-kindness and compassion, and it is done by, I sometimes call it “playing with our attention,” or being willing to take some risks and step out of some our habits. So for example, if thinking about ourselves, we are pretty much only fixated on what’s wrong, and so much so that our whole sense of who we are or all that we will ever be collapses around some stupid comment said at lunch or in a meeting, and so the practice of loving-kindness would be not to deny that, because maybe it was a really stupid comment (laughing), but to remember that that’s not all that we are, and so to stretch beyond that tendency of that collapse, that over-identification with those negative thoughts and beliefs. For example, there are so
many people we tend to ignore because we don’t understand them. We can bring the practice of loving-kindness to the person at the supermarket, instead of looking right through them. The kinds of changes that come from loving-kindness meditation come from allowing our attention to be much more malleable in those ways. Elisha: There has been a huge surge, at least in the world that I know, of interest in compassion practices, loving-kindness practices, with people individually, but also culturally right now. Just to list a few: •In 2008 Dr. Richie Davidson received a $2.5 million grant from the Fetzer Institute to look into the neuroscience of compassion. One study has already shown that experienced meditators show more activity in the Insula in response to stimuli that were meant to generate compassion. The Insula is part of the brain that is responsible for the awareness of our embodied emotions. This suggests that we can take advantage of the brain’s plasticity and by generating compassion, we can change our brain. •Tan Chade-Meng, one of the earliest engineers at Google, also known as “the Jolly Good Fellow” (which nobody can deny), has cofounded the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research (CCARE) at Stanford University. This group has a number of research projects under way. •The Compassionate Action Network (CAN) is a large site of self-organizing groups meant to spread compassion around the world. •Self-Compassion – Kristin Neff is coming out with the book “Self-Compassion” in 2011 and Christopher Germer has already published “The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.” Kristin and Christopher both lead workshops around the world spreading practical ways to cultivate compassion. •Karen Armstrong gives a talk on TED about compassion which inspired a Charter of Compassion. What do you think is happening right now and where do you see this work going in Western culture? Sharon: This is very exciting having watched so much research being based on mindfulness practice that in many ways that it opened the door, and you know in a time where we are experiencing so much division and anger and separation the renewed interest in compassion as a path is very vital for our survival. I don’t know if this is scientifically valid, but just anecdotally, I would draw a distinction between empathy and compassion. While there is a connection, sometimes the way that I describe it is the faculty of empathy which is of course essential, and quite beautiful, allows us to feel into the situation of another, but if what we are feeling into is a state of suffering, we might have any number of responses to that, even once having that bond of empathy, we might feel into someone’s suffering and be frightened by that or feel overwhelmed by that or feel kind of mad, compulsion to fix it by tomorrow night, or one possible response to that felt sense of suffering is what we would call compassion.
What we are basically looking for is a happiness that isn’t going to be so vulnerable to changing conditions. That’s what I am calling real happiness. We get it from happy inner resources.
Elisha: Here’s your final question: what do you tell a totally stressed-out everyday person today if they were asking you what they could do to help them start moving toward real happiness? Sharon: I would say a few things. One, it is really hard, but essential to think about taking some time for oneself. People often think it’s selfish and self-centreed and a waste of time when there is so much to do, but as for me that time might be well spent exploring the power of meditation, and so sitting down doesn’t mean wasting time, and to understand that perhaps it is actually a kind of adventure with its challenges of highs and lows and that it can change our relationship, not only to ourselves, but to our work, our families and our communities, and so it’s starting, if one is interested, in some realistic ways. If you are wildly stressed out, the practice of sitting down for an hour and being quiet is probably not that appealing. But it might be walking meditation, or it might be sitting for 10 minutes, something like that, and realize that you are not trying to do battle with your experience, and you are not trying to squeeze that stress out, or something like that, but being able to deal with it differently so that it is not so overpowering. F From: The Huffington Post, February 2011: www.huffingtonpost.com. August 2011
A message through time By Peter McIntosh
t was in 2005 when we first discovered just how effective sound could be in removing stress and creating a sense of relaxation in the mind and body.
“Sound enters the healing equation from several directions: It may alter cellular functions through energetic effects; it may entrain biological systems to function more homeostatically; it may calm the mind and therefore the body; or it may have emotional effects, which influence neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, which in turn help to regulate the immune system – the healer within.” Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, Author of “The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-Threatening Illness using Sound, Voice, and Music, Director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at Strang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Centre
Having worked long and stressful hours in our own business for some considerable years, then taking up the challenge to renovate our home, we made the decision that retirement was what we desperately needed. At this time we had a call from a friend from the past. Paul told us he had started a business venture that he would take around the world, and with our experience in Global Franchising, would like us to take a look with a view to becoming involved. Our trip to the old Parkerville Amphitheatre site was one of curiosity as to what his business was all about, and when we were taken into the Quiet Cone structure and saw the gongs and yoga mats we were even more dubious. Paul invited us to try the experience, and that was to be the turning point for our new direction in life. Whilst laying down on one of the mats I first heard, then felt the sound of the large gong struck softly in the ethereal surroundings of the Quiet Cone. After a few minutes I felt as though a load was being lifted from my shoulders, the chatter in my brain died away and a wonderful sense of peace flooded through me. Later that day Lynn and I discussed this phenomenon and came to the conclusion it was just the wonderful sounds that relaxed us. We were still of the opinion this business opportunity was a bit too flaky for us, our background was international marketing and franchising, not putting people to sleep playing gongs….. The next day I was surprised to discover many of the issues that had been worrying me had lost their importance, for the first time in months I had awoken without the churning in my bowels, I was seeing things more clearly, objectively and had a sense of quiet that only Lynn could identify. Deep down I knew the gongs had a profound impact on me, but didn’t really understand why. A month later we returned to visit Paul in Parkerville again, we couldn’t identify why we were feeling drawn back, it was not really the business concept, it was something else. This time one of the
Gongmasters took us through an hour of playing and again we experienced a total quietening of our emotions, yet when we came out I was feeling almost euphoric – it was as though I had discovered something missing in me. The Universe was obviously introducing us to sound healing in a way we had no concept of, we were not what you would call ‘spiritually aware’ yet there was now a desire to learn more. A short time later we came across a book written by an Oncologist in New York call Mitchell Gaynor, it was titled “the Healing Power of Sound”. From this amazing book we soon discovered that the energy that comes from ancient instruments such as the Gongs, Singing Bowls, drums and many other ancient creations of sounds (including the Australian Didgeridoo) all have a very strong effect on us. We were quite astounded that a Director of Oncology, in a field that usually promotes far more conventional or traditional means would actually give testimony to the awesome power of sound. He understood that to create harmony and healing within the body you first needed to treat the dis-harmony or dis-eased parts. He identified, as many others have attributed to over the millennia, the need to harmonise WITH nature – or go with the flow and not fight it. By embracing various frequencies and adopting relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing and various exercises we can allow the body to work on self healing itself. This holistic approach brought him into conflict with many of his peers, however Mitchell soon began to have the most incredible results which can be read in his book. We encourage anyone who is searching for answers to obtain a copy of this publication, it will assist both sufferers and carers alike to deal with many circumstances and perhaps question their current approach to illness or stress.
the number of people who taught him to consider other forms of therapy to compliment his own. We have however been rewarded with many incredible opportunities to witness a number of people undergo reactions, releases, blockage clearances, clarity of realisation, spiritual messages and healings of all manners. Many of us are looking for miracles in our lives, it may be to resolve health, emotional or financial issues, yet so few of us realise we do not need miracles, this power is already within us all. By discarding the years of negative conditioning we have been subjected to since early childhood and adopting the view of God wanting us to have abundance in our lives, we can all open ourselves to a wondrous life. Through an open and willing mind and applying the Law of Attraction we allow our spirit to accept the gifts of nature and the universe in seeking energy, healing, peace, contentment, rejuvenation or motivation. I will not discuss the benefits of other practices such as meditation, ancient exercises, breathing techniques or specific diets, instead I will tell some of the stories we have personally witnessed through the Power of Sound Healing in the Quiet Cone playing many different ancient instruments. Cathy (Wattle Grove) asked for a Gong Bath (one playing, one receiving the vibrations on each side of the gong) on the smallest of our gongs despite everyone else in her group opting for the large gong. Halfway through the 90 second sound bath she clutched her left side and showed signs of pain before regaining her composure. Afterwards she said she felt a very uncomfortable build up of heat in her side and then it suddenly disappeared. The following Monday morning she called us at home with a story to tell.
Our experiences have not been quite as dramatic as Mitchell Gaynor and those who have followed his examples, or from
continued on next page... August 2011
“Through an open and willing mind and applying the Law of Attraction we allow our spirit to accept the gifts of nature and the universe in seeking energy, healing, peace, contentment, rejuvenation or motivation. “
Sound therapy is one of the prototypical vibrational healing modalities. Sound produces measurable vibratory feelings throughout the body, depending upon the frequency and amplitude of the sound used. There have been a wide variety of sound healing developments over the last ten to twenty years. Certain sounds most likely have a healing influence upon the body because they influence the geometric patterns and organization of cells and living systems. ~ Dr. Richard Gerber
...from previous page She had just received a call from her specialist requesting her to come back for another Catscan as the results from her monthly visit had them quite confused. Cathy had been having these scans for almost two years watching in dismay as a cyst grew to alarming proportions on her kidney despite many forms of treatment. She had said to the caller ‘you cannot find the Cyst can you?’ after some blustering this was admitted and he asked her how she knew. The story was then told of her experience in the cone with the gong the previous Tuesday and her belief the cyst had been shattered or dissolved somehow, especially as she had been free of pain since then. To his credit the specialist admitted he had heard of rare similar examples around the world but still asked Cathy to come back to check. She politely refused and after almost 9 months, has not suffered any of the painful effects she had been through prior to the Gong experience. Del (Darlington) told us all after the session in the cone, how, whenever I tapped on one of the 5 tubular bells, she felt a piercing feeling in her right shoulder, then when we reached a crescendo on the 40” Gong the same shoulder felt as though it was swelling up. When we asked if she had a problem with that shoulder, she stated that about 18 months before it had gone from a dislocated shoulder to a frozen shoulder and it had taken forever for her to regain even close to normal use. She couldn’t sleep on that side because it was too tender and painful, so I smiled and asked her to call me if that changed in the near future. Sure enough the next morning we received a call from her to tell us she had slept on her right side for the first time since her accident. Shirley (northern suburb) at the end of her first session in the cone (has been back many times) sobbed her heart out in grief, her twin sister explained that Shirley had lost her hubby 3 months before due to lung cancer and she was still angry over him leaving her. It seems he did not stop smoking after he was diagnosed, and Shirley felt he could still have been with her if he had taken the doctors advice. On leaving the cone Shirley went for a walk in the forest, and when she returned she had lost all the strain and stress from her face and she was shining. The blockage had been lifted from her heart! D (Mandurah) arrived with a group being pushed in a wheelchair, in the cone she stayed in the chair and when I played the wind gong across her she opened her eyes and just beamed. As she left the cone she asked one of her friends if they would get her frame for her to walk back the 200 metres with. One of her other friends protested saying it is only a rough stone path
Cancer Support Association
but she was insistent. D explained over tea back in reception she experienced a message that said she would be walking again – after many years of crippling arthritis, and she wanted to believe it. Two of her group showed up 2 weeks later for a Full Moon evening and said they had seen her twice since the session and that she was now only using a walking stick and had lost a lot of her stoop. Gordon, (Palmyra) attended a New Moon session and chose the amethyst crystal which he was told related to his 6th Chakra – Third eye on his forehead. It was suggested by Lynn to place it there during his time laying down in the cone. When asked at the end of the playing how he enjoyed the experience he said he had felt quite intense heat and pressure coming from the stone, particularly when the high notes were played on the instruments. Afterwards over a hot chocolate in the reception area, he mentioned that he suffered a lot of headaches and had arrived that evening with one, but it had completely gone now. He put it down to stress and particularly finding the Quiet Cone location at night. It seems stress pays a big part of Gordon’s life with family and work issues. Almost a month later Gordon arrived for another session, this time with a group of 5 others who all want to find out what it is that has taken the stress out of Gordon’s daily life. We have hundreds of such stories to tell, and I must admit if someone had said to me 6 years ago I would be writing this story or telling others about the power of sound and energy to heal mental, physical and emotional problems, I would have laughed. Now it is a with a wonderful sense of appreciation that I am able to pass on this knowledge in the hope it may assist someone reading this article to consider receiving the awesome gift of beautiful sound into their lives. There are many opportunities to do this, from listening to a peaceful musical CD, to sitting by a brook contemplating its passage, to enjoying an experience listening to a player of ancient instruments, to spending time with nature soaking up it’s energy, this list is endless, just follow your heart it will show you where to go. Finally if you haven’t yet read the book by Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now I would encourage you to do so, too many times we focus on the future or the past without appreciating what is happening in our lives at this exact moment. Do not live in regret or wish time away waiting or worrying about the future, accept NOW as a gift and enjoy every moment. F
Peter McIntosh, Quiet Cone International, Parkerville. For more information about the Quiet Cone and to book a session go to: www.quietcone.com or phone 08 9496 3433
By Grace Bubeck
A week ago, I had good news: the breast MRI results came back clear! At first I just felt relief, and then a sense of confirmation: what I had felt for almost a year now – that there was no more cancer in my body – was finally ‘official’, confirmed by medical technology. I have been wanting to share this good news with all of you who have been concerned about my health and who have followed my news about the healing process. But somehow I didn’t seem to be able to find the right beginning, the right angle, to begin to share this. This morning in meditation, I was overcome by a profound feeling of gratitude and mystery about this whole experience, and I knew it was time to share the last part of this journey. So here I am, trying to put words to what essentially escapes the grasp of our mind and understanding.
Why did I wait so long before seeking out medical feedback? Mostly, I have to admit, I was avoiding a situation that kept amping up the fear every time I considered it. I had chosen a healing path that was not following medical opinion, and the result of that choice for me was having to face a lot of fear about having chosen wrongly – whilst knowing at the same time that I could not have chosen otherwise. There was a real vulnerability vis-à-vis the medical system that was not at all helped by being in contact with it. This vulnerability was added to the profound vulnerability that is faced by everyone whose life is acutely threatened by cancer, and that, in and of itself, generates enormous fear. Most people resolve this fear by doing everything doctors tell them to do – understandably, as doctors are the experts after all. I was very tempted to do so as well when I considered my healing options after surgery, and yet my body kept telling me it could not take the radio, chemo and hormone therapy that was suggested. Today I am happy I didn’t follow the fear, and I am happy I waited with the medical diagnostics until I felt confident enough that the result would be positive. Of course there was still a little fear lurking there even now, so I was also very relieved when the results came out positive. I am also happy and relieved that my choices based on my own ‘knowing’ are confirmed to have been truly healing choices.
“Cancer has turned out to be a precious and wondrous gift, bringing incredible insights and healing as I accepted its presence and challenge”
Beyond relief, there is also an immense humility and gratitude: I know that there are no guarantees in any of our choices. I did what I could to choose healing, but healing was truly not up to me. Finally, healing is a profound mystery, and a grace. How is it that some people heal, and others don’t? How is it that life turns out as it does for this person or that person? Much as we would like our lives to be predictable, safe roads to health, wellbeing and success – and there are certainly pointers into that direction that we can follow – essentially our life’s journey is beyond our doing and knowing, and life’s greatest gifts often come disguised in suffering. For sure I would not have wanted to have cancer, and yet I know it was a blessing. Life has become a gift, a wondrous journey and a precious opportunity not to be missed. I am grateful to be alive. There is still much to be lived, to be done, to be discovered, but essentially I know there is nothing missing: life is good and beautiful and wondrous as it is. My spiritual teacher, Gangaji, often speaks about the need to face death. Of course it doesn’t take a life-threatening illness to face death, but when life presents that opportunity, as it did for me, it can become an opening into a much deeper sense of the mystery of all being. What is it that does not die, what is it that holds us even in the fear of death and in death itself? When I faced the fears as they arose, about a year ago, I experienced the reality of Love, and being healed by Love in knowing its reality and power. Love is just a name, though, I could have called it ‘Life’, or ‘the Source’, or ‘God’. All these are names, and really not able to capture the mystery that’s being named. The mystery of healing, for me, was finally to see that mystery, to accept that, beyond all naming and understanding, there is a profound mystery that is at the root of all that we know, experience and are. Trusting that mystery has been truly healing and liberating at the same time. And I thank the cancer – that most physical expression of all that was still caught in suffering and life denial – for having helped me open to that mystery. F
Grace Bubek was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. She writes a blog at: www. heartoftransformation.org which includes her cancer healing journal which chronicles the phases of healing which have led to remission and recovery. Her blog is a valuable and inspirational resource for others on a cancer healing journey. August 2011
By Chrystle Fiedler
Time to hit the personal pause button? Why we can’t afford not to relax – and how yoga can help.
What if we valued intentional quiet time, sacred space and silence? How would that change
our lives? Despite our best intentions to live balanced lives, the modern world demands that we are almost always connected and productive, and this can drain us emotionally, spiritually, and physically. “We live in a culture that perpetuates the belief that when we have a lot going on and a lot of excitement, we’re really alive,” says Anne LeClaire, author of Listening Below the Noise: A Meditation on the Practice of Silence. “In truth, we are really alive when we can be at peace within our own skin.” It may seem counter-intuitive to take time out when your to-do list is a mile long, but the fact is that doing nothing can make you feel healthier, more energetic, and more alive. It can also help you enjoy life more. And yes, in case you’re wondering, you’ll be more productive as well. When we rest, it’s like letting the earth lie fallow rather than constantly planting and harvesting. “There’s a reason why we have sabbaticals, and it’s exactly that – to fill up again, to restore,” says LeClaire. “Batteries need to be recharged. The best way is to rest.”
What Rest Is and Isn’t “Rest is not what most people think it is,” says Rubin Naiman, PhD, a sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s Centre for Integrated Medicine. “People confuse rest with recreation, doing things like hiking, watching movies, gardening, reading, or even inebriation – getting high, stoned, tipsy or drunk. Any of these activities can only be termed restful because they are breaks from work.”
Cancer Support Association
LIFESTYLE & ENVIRONMENT
And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created. D.H. Lawrence Instead, rest can be defined as a kind of waking sleep, experienced while you are alert and aware. “Rest is the essential bridge to sleep,” says Dr. Naiman, creator of the audio book The Yoga of Sleep (Sounds True) and coauthor with Andrew Weil, MD, of Healthy Sleep. “We can never ‘go to’ sleep, just as you can’t ‘go to’ rest – it’s already there.” We achieve rest and sleep the same way, by making space for it and allowing it to happen. You can see this very clearly in the animal world: one minute a dog is sleeping, the next minute she’s barking. Animals don’t venture as far from the world of rest and sleep as humans do. “If you watch animals, [you’ll see] they spend a lot of time not sleeping but resting,” says Abby Seixas, author of Finding the Deep River Within: A Woman’s Guide to Recovering Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life. “The animal part of us needs this too. Every living organism needs rest. When we don’t take the time to rest, eventually it takes a toll on the body.”
If you are a writer or an artist, rest sharpens your creative abilities. When we are living hectic, frantic lives, there isn’t room for creativity. “Everything on the planet needs space, whether it’s an atom molecule, art, or music. It’s actually the space between that creates the music,” says LeClaire. “It’s also the space in our lives that helps us make sense of our lives.”
The Benefits of Rest
Taking a nap is a powerful way to rest and recharge. “When you take a nap, you’re not just doing something for yourself, you’re making a statement to the world that there is something that is at least equally important and productive as working, and that is doing nothing,” says Dr. Naiman. “Napping also can lead to better sleep patterns.”
Rest melts stress away, and research proves it. Herbert Benson, MD, of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, is the creator of the Relaxation Response, a method to invoke a state of deep rest. He has conducted numerous studies on the benefits of rest, and his research shows that practicing the Relaxation Response can actually lead to genomic activity changes. Put simply, the Relaxation Response affects each of the body’s 40,000 genes, producing antioxidation and anti-inflammatory changes that reduce stress in the body. Practices like the Relaxation Response, yoga, and meditation also lower heart rates, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption, and alleviate hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, depression, infertility, cancer, and anxiety. The spiritual benefits of resting are also profound. “When you slow down and get quiet, you can actually begin to hear your own wisdom, your inner knowledge,” says LeClaire. Rest and its sibling, relaxation, allow us to reconnect with the world in and around us, inviting ease in our lives and a felt-sense of belonging. Relationships can also become more harmonious and satisfying. “How we are with ourselves affects how we are in our relationships,” says Seixas. “If you are in stress mode, just doing, doing, doing and checking things off the list, you are not going to be good with your significant other, your kids, your family and friends. You tend to have a shorter fuse. You don’t see the big picture.” When you slow down, you gain a sense of perspective on what really matters.
Easy Ways to Rest Simple things can help us rest, says LeClaire. “We can do things like turn off the car radio. Go for a walk without ear buds in our ears. Turn off a TV in our home. Designate a half hour, an hour, or even half a day for silence.” Even a walk in nature, without an intention or goal such as burning calories, can work. Try also taking a few conscious breaths, during which you focus on the inhale and exhale or the space between breaths. You can also mindfully drink a cup of tea, read something inspirational, write in your journal, take a hot bath, or get a massage.
It’s helpful to set a specific time for rest. “You need to put boundaries around it so you can claim that time,” says Seixas. “This is especially important for women, because we tend to give that time away more easily [to] others.”
Learning to Rest Surprisingly, most of us need to learn how to rest. Practices such as yoga nidra, restorative yoga, and voluntary silence are powerful ways to go within and achieve restful states of being, particularly when you commit to practicing them regularly. Yoga nidra (also known as yogic sleep), a systematic, progressive guided meditation practice that is becoming more and more popular, is an extremely effective way to stop and rest. Practicing yoga nidra for just 10 minutes is equivalent to three to four hours of sleep. While most forms of meditation focus on building concentration, yoga nidra is actually a journey through the koshas, or five layers of being – the physical body, the energy body, the mental/emotional body, the wisdom body, and the bliss body. “It’s wonderful to do as a daily practice because
continued on next page... August 2011
...from previous page three to four hours of sleep. While most forms of meditation focus on building concentration, yoga nidra is actually a journey through the koshas, or five layers of being – the physical body, the energy body, the mental/emotional body, the wisdom body, and the bliss body. “It’s wonderful to do as a daily practice because it brings you out of ‘fight or flight,’ the sympathetic nervous-system mode, into the parasympathetic nervous-system mode, where your body does its own healing,” says Jennifer Reis, a Kripalu Yoga teacher specializing in yoga nidra.
The more we integrate periods of rest and silence into our daily lives, the bigger the payoff will be. “There isn’t a perfect ratio,” says Reis. “Much depends on our individual lives. During more tranquil periods, perhaps we don’t need to rest as much, but during periods of crisis, more rest and silence is called for. After a while it should be like brushing your teeth.” Whenever you do it, know that you are practicing preventive medicine.
Restorative yoga also facilitates refreshing rest. “Restorative yoga is the quintessential stress-reducing, nourishing yoga practice,” says Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, who teaches restorative yoga and leads women’s self-care retreats at Kripalu. “In restorative yoga, we use more props than in other forms of yoga, including blocks, cushions, and blankets. This is in order to support the body being held in various yoga poses for longer periods of time, with greater ease and comfort.” Like yoga nidra, restorative yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and invokes the Relaxation Response, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, relaxing muscles, and creating softer, more rhythmic breathing. Learning the benefits of silence and bringing them into everyday life is also an effective way to deeply rest the body, mind, and spirit. “In my Silence Class, we take a clear look at our lives to see where we have or have not allowed space for silence, and then explore why we absolutely need silence,” says LeClaire, who for the past 17 years has remained in silence for the first and third Monday of every month. “Next, we experience silence through the workshops, various types of meditative walks, and periods of eating in silence, and explore ways that we can introduce silence and see the value of it. We [also] explore the many possibilities of bringing space for silence into our lives.”
Practice, Practice, Practice Keep in mind that when you descend into restful practices, you may at first find it uncomfortable. “It’s like when you’re flying in a jetliner at 30,000 feet – as soon as you start to land, it almost always gets a little bumpy,” says Dr. Naiman. “It’s very similar with the mind and the spirit – you experience emotional turbulence.” Many people flee that turbulence by quickly getting busy again. “We’re running from our thoughts and our feelings, [we’re afraid] that if we stop we’ll discover that we’re not enough,” says Reis. But when we rest, a whole new world comes into view. “We learn that we’re more than enough,” says Reis. “We find our authentic self.” The more we integrate periods of rest and silence into our daily lives, the bigger the payoff will be. “There isn’t a perfect ratio,” says Reis. “Much depends on our individual lives. During more tranquil periods, perhaps we don’t need to rest as much, but during periods of crisis, more rest and silence is called for. After a while it should be like brushing your teeth.” Whenever you do it, know that you are practicing preventive medicine. Says LeClaire, “The important thing is to make it intentional, to make it a sacred time. F
Chrystle Fiedler is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Remedies and writes about alternative health for many magazines.
Cancer Support Association
In the spring of 2010, I traveled to China to complete my residency for Bastyr University’s doctoral program in Chinese medicine. Our team studied and worked in Chengdu and Shanghai, specifically in the oncology departments of two local hospitals. I noticed three startling differences between cancer care in China and the United States and Canada. The first is how diagnoses may be kept from the patient in China, the second is that cancer is treated as a chronic illness in China, and the third is the integrated use of chemotherapy and Chinese herbal medicine.
Cancer? What Cancer?
Often when people are diagnosed with cancer in China, they are not told. The family may be told, but they keep the news from their loved one. The underlying motive is to remove the stress element of the diagnosis. This would obviously never be done here in the West for legal reasons, but it goes without saying that patients are far more relaxed. Even for the patients who knew of their cancer diagnosis, there was generally a mind-set (among both patients and doctors) that this would be a chronic illness requiring a long-term approach. Patients would often check into a hospital and stay for a few weeks of chemotherapy on a revolving schedule depending on their type and grade of cancer. I will never forget one patient with pancreatic cancer. She had been given this diagnosis 12 years earlier! She was thriving and took Chinese herbal medicine between her cycles of chemotherapy. She continued to work and had a very positive outlook on life.
Mix Me a Cocktail
As a researcher and herbalist, it was so inspiring to learn how doctors were combining chemotherapies with Chinese herbal medicine. While in the hospital, patients would drink a decoction of Chinese herbs specific to their condition and may also have received “herbal chemotherapy.” Ironically, this herbal chemotherapy might consist of toxic herbs, Ya Dan Zi (Brucea fruit) or Chan Su (toad venom), given intravenously in addition to a typical chemotherapy drug. These are toxic herbs that are not available in the United States or Canada. It was exciting that doctors did not fear combining certain herbs with chemotherapy and saw improved results as compared to using herbs or chemotherapy alone. Some studies had been done or were underway, but I got the impression that most decisions were based on empirical evidence. Because of the different medical paradigm in China, most patients are ready and willing to be treated with herbs. Consequently doctors are getting more and more proficient and experienced in the art of combining. Since patients are closely monitored during their hospital stays, adjustments in dosage could be easily made.
In Chinese medicine, there are two goals of treatment: 1. Fight the xie qi (translated as “evil qi”), meaning kill cancer cells. 2. Boost the zheng qi (translated as “true qi”), meaning rebuild the body’s core energy. It is generally agreed that surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are currently the best techniques around for fighting the evil qi. But we are challenged by the fact that these techniques are killing normal, healthy cells including cells needed for strong immunity and digestion. In the East, they consider this an absolute insult to our essential zheng qi. In the West, our oncologists have no prescriptions for rebuilding this core energy. Chinese medicine is close to 5,000 years old but is modernizing. In modern Chinese medicine we use herbal formulae and acupuncture in addition to chemotherapy and radiation. The herbs and acupuncture both work to do what conventional medicine does not do: boost immunity, reduce cancer growth, improve digestion, improve immunity, and decrease the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Understandably, many oncologists are not comfortable with herbs being taken during active chemotherapy (due to the lack of reliable studies of such combinations).
Moving Forward in the West My recommendations if you are considering using Chinese herbal medicine during cancer treatment would be: 1. Work with an experienced Chinese herbalist, one who is licensed or has completed an accredited program and who will support you during your chemo and radiation. An elegant and simple herbal formula may be called for to help manage the sometimes difficult side-effects of drugs and to rebuild your system. 2. Ask your oncologist what they are comfortable with. If your oncologist does not agree with you taking herbs during chemo, inquire about taking them when you have finished. 3. Always let your Chinese herbalist know of any side effects you may have related to the herbs. Natural does not equal safe! 4. If herbs are not right for you, consider acupuncture. Acupuncture and moxibustion can greatly help the zheng qi bounce back. Other methods to rebuild include eating well, practicing qigong or tai chi, letting go of emotional pain and grudges, meditating, and surrounding yourself with positivity. F
Erin Moran, DOAM, MSN, LAc, holds a doctorate in acupuncture and Oriental medicine with a focus in integrative oncology. She is a member of the Society of Integrative Oncology and lives and practices in Vancouver. August 2011
By Erin Moran
Returning the body to a state of harmony and ease Acupuncture can help lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the body
Do you need to de-stress and revitalise your body? Acupuncture is one of the most popular
complementary therapies and, as its been around for more than 2,500 years, and is practised by some 3 million acupuncturists worldwide, it’s hardly a passing fad. It has even been recognised as an important treatment by the medical world, including in the treatment of the symptoms of cancer. Acupuncture can help lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the body, boost energy levels and enhance a sense of overall wellbeing. Importantly, in the last year there have been at least three American Clinical Trials which have not just shown its benefits in pain relief, but have explained what is actually going on. So it is becoming a genuine alternative cancer treatment for cancer pain relief. Mention acupuncture to most people and they’ll have visions of sharp needles and painful injections, but acupuncture needles are very different to those used in doctors’ surgeries. They are much finer and more solid than the hollow ones used to pass something into your body and, as The London Haven acupuncturist Christopher Woodward assures, “They don’t cut the skin, but tend to push it apart. It’s quite rare that an acupuncture point will bleed when you take the needle out.” As they are inserted inside a guide tube, many people don’t even feel the needles, just the pressure from the tube pressing on the skin. The sensation as qi arrives at the needle can be slightly achy or electrical, but never unmanageable. There are two main styles of acupuncture practised. The kind you will receive in a session with a traditional acupuncturist is a holistic approach to health based on thousands of years of developments and refinements in the Far East. An acupuncturist’s skill lies in his ability to make a traditional diagnosis from a complex pattern of disharmony. Western-style or medical acupuncture is much more recent and mostly practised by doctors and physiotherapists. Although often described as a means of pain relief, acupuncture is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses. It focuses on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms. According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy – qi – moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of meridians (channels) beneath the skin. In China, Yin and Yang are a way of describing the appropriate balance or function of a system, and when the Yin and Yang of the body become unbalanced, illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the meridians, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The flow of qi can be disturbed by emotional states, such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief; poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma. The main aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to recover the appropriate balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual individual. In ancient China many local doctors were acupuncturists. People would go along for an acupuncture session at the change of every season – a kind of MOT, if you like. If any of those people subsequently became ill that season, they would receive free treatment until they were better. However if they hadn’t gone along at the change of the season they would be charged for each consultation. So, as our mothers always told us, prevention is better than cure.
Cancer Support Association
When you go along to an acupuncturist, the first session will normally take an hour. “Acupuncture sessions are inclusive and often include general advice about lifestyle as well as the treatment”, Chris Woodward says. “We don’t really treat diseases, we treat people,” he emphasizes. Obviously he will start with the presenting complaint or symptom e.g.: “I’ve got breast cancer and am having chemotherapy and suffering with hot flushes”. He then goes into a detailed medical history, including family background, followed by questions about diet and lifestyle. Only after all that will he turn his attention to the pulses. “If I feel that, say, the kidney energy is quite weak I may ask questions around that,” explains Chris. “From the Chinese point of view I would ask, ‘Do you suffer lower back pain? Do you have tinnitus? Do you ever feel fearful? Do you ever crave or hate salt or love or hate water?’ Apart from the pulses, an acupuncturist will also examine the tongue, face or abdomen. “There’s nothing about a person that is not relevant,” says Chris. “Whether it’s their smell, the hue of their skin, the sound of their voice – it’s all part of my diagnosis and will be taken into consideration.” The tongue provides a “sort of map of the body” to a trained acupuncturist. Any crack, colour, coating or movement within it is a guide to what’s going on (so avoid strong coffee or red wine just before your appointment!). The tip of the tongue represents the heart or the mind, the centre the digestive area, the root the gynae area, and the sides are the liver and spleen. There are about 500 acupuncture points on the body, which are generally in pairs, eg: one on each foot which will both be for part of the liver. In most treatments, four or five pairs of points will be used (eight or 10 little needles), but if someone is very tired it may be appropriate to use one pair for a very gentle acupuncture because too many needles would spread the energy and the focus on the treatment too thinly. Meridians, or acupuncture pathways, generally run from the extremity of the body towards the centre, to an organ. Or they will run from an organ to the extremity such as a toe or finger. “So within the Chinese diagnosis, if an organ system is responsible, say, for a headache, the function of that organ will be treated along the meridian,” Chris explains. “It’s extremely complicated because what we’re looking at are patterns not really specifics.
When needles are being inserted, the resulting sensation, as the qi (energy) grasps the needle, is called deqi. It’s often a gentle tingling sensation, or a slight distending achy feeling. It can also feel like water flowing, but is not unpleasant. Acupuncture usually leaves people feeling calm and relaxed. But occasionally you may feel drowsy for a few hours, so go along with a friend, if possible, who can take you home afterwards.
Benefits for Those Living with Cancer The whole idea of acupuncture is to return the body to a state of harmony and ease. As conventional treatment for most forms of cancer is quite traumatic and invasive there are often side effects. Acupuncture can help with nausea, lack of appetite, lack of energy and memory loss; as well as speeding up recovery and scar healing. “We all take for granted that ice, water and steam are different energetic forms of H2O,” says Chris. “Likewise the body, mind and spirit are different energetic forms of us. If one of these is affected there will, or can be, consequences in the other two and acupuncture considers the whole person. “When someone is having chemotherapy or radiotherapy there are often all these intense heat symptoms: hot flushes, migraines, nausea. Everything’s at the top of the body. It’s like having a bottle of water that’s half full from the top. We’re trying to bring the energy down, and that can ease agitation. Friends of friends sometimes doubt the power of acupuncture and ask Chris if it actually works. “It’s hilarious,” he admits. “Do they think I’d spend my life doing something that doesn’t work? I agree that it still seems quite absurd that you stick a needle in a foot or leg and take away someone’s long-term chronic pain, but that can be the effect of balancing the physical, mental and spiritual. It’s very rewarding helping people with cancer, because often a lot of positive things can come out of a bad experience. There’s a huge spiritual awakening after any crisis. ‘Know thyself’ is the basis of all philosophy, and religions, and the sense of separation is the basis of all suffering really. The best job acupuncturists can ever do is to hear what the whole of the patient is saying to us and to be a very clear mirror to the patients we see because, after all, they’re coming to see themselves – not us.” F
Meeting the Challenge Appeal Support CSA’s Meeting the Challenge appeal to take our services to rural and remote Western Australia.
make your donation online at www.cancersupportwa.org.au August 2011
By Dr. Ian Gawler
Consider this. Whatever you do begins with a thought. Reading this article seemed like a good idea at
the time. Whatever you are sitting on right now began in someone’s mind as a thought: I will build a chair that looks and functions according to the image I have of it in my mind. Whatever you do next will be determined by your mind. What you will have for your next meal begins with a thought. The next person you spend time with, the next outing with friends and family, the next business decision, the next holiday, the next purchase; on and on. Everything begins with the mind. And all the experts say we only use a fraction of our mind’s potential. However, there is more to it than this. While everything we do begins in the mind, what we complete, what we achieve, what we let go of, what we abandon; all these outcomes are largely the function of our own mind. Truly, it is the mind that changes everything.
Dr. Ian Gawler has released a new book which explores the power of the mind in healing.
And when it comes to the mind, have you ever wondered how some people seem to keep a clear head? In sport, these people just seem to know how to be in the right place at the right time; and they perform at their best when the pressure is on. Maybe you have noticed how some people seem to be comfortable and at ease in any company – whether at formal meetings or informally with friends, even strangers. They just seem to know what to say. How to be. They seem confident, relaxed; engaged and clear. Very appealing. Maybe you have observed these clear-headed people in business. They are the ones who consistently are making good decisions. They enjoy their challenges, remain cool and calm. They have clarity amidst complexity, make decisions with assurance and have the confidence to follow things through to completion. Then again, you probably have heard stories or know of people who used their minds to bring about great changes in their health and their lifestyles. Those who found a way to give up smoking, lose weight, overcome serious illness or perhaps the greatest achievement of all, to live a long life, free of illness, abounding with really good health, a high level of resilience and a joyful sense of wellbeing. What we all know is that a few rare individuals have this gift naturally. They just seem to have this quality, this capacity to use their minds really effectively. But here is the good news, the really good news. This capacity, the capacity to keep a clear head in good times and bad and to use our minds to better effect, this capacity can be acquired. It is a skill that can be learnt and with practice, it can become a natural part of our lives – a natural part of who we are. How we are. This then is the gift of learning how to train your mind. And in all truth, perhaps this is the greatest gift you can give to yourself or to someone you care about. The skill of learning how to calm and clear your mind, and in doing so, learning how to be much more fully in control of your body and your mind, and the situations that unfold around you. What we are talking of here is definitely a science. A mind science. It is just like choosing to become physically fitter, going to the physical gym, running around the park, training your muscles. Here we go to the mental gym. Train our mind, enjoy it becoming fitter, more capable; get the best out of our mind and its potential.
Cancer Support Association
While we did include in that book the key elements of both contemplation and imagery, this new companion book, “The Mind that Changes Everything”, goes more deeply into how the active mind works and the techniques that enable us to use it more effectively. The focus therefore is on understanding and using the practice of imagery. Imagery is defined as the conscious development and repetition of mental images for a creative purpose. The truth is we live in a world of images. Images flood the world around us, being projected by television, film, photography and life itself. Everything we experience, everything that registers with our senses, forms an image that is taken in to be stored in our memory. Internally we think using images, remember using images, create using images. Our whole life is affected dramatically by the images that come to us or that we produce ourselves. Images have a major impact on health, healing and wellbeing. “The Mind that Changes Everything” is all about how we can more fully understand all this and then use imagery as a crucial element in the process of training and using our minds to make the most out of all we do in life. My hope is that you will find this book very accessible and very practical. While I have read widely on the subject, studied it, attended other people’s workshops, and learnt directly from some remarkable teachers, the essence of the book comes from the lessons learnt by both ordinary and remarkable people who have used the creative power of their minds to good effect. Along with 48 imagery-based techniques for training and using the mind potently, the book contains many great stories from people who have achieved remarkable things using these techniques for their sport, business, relationships, healing and wellbeing. “The Mind that Changes Everything” is a book intended for a wide audience, so I hope you, your family, friends and colleagues will enjoy it and find something useful in it. F
The Mind that Changes Everything is currently available from www.gawler.org/shop-online/ This article is from Ian Gawler’s blog “Out on A Limb”: www.gawlerblog.com
The process of learning to meditate can be summarised in four easy steps which combined make up the technique we call Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation (MBSM).
Step 1. Preparation In a conducive environment, take up a conducive posture, turn your mind inwardly and relax.
Step 2. Relaxation Use the simplest, most practical technique that helps you to relax your body. Allow your mind to go with it. Let go. Effortlessly.
Step 3. Mindfulness As a natural sequence you could flow on to use the focussed mindfulness applications of mindfulness of sound, mindfulness of bodily sensations, emotions, thoughts and stillness. Or you could use the more open mindfulness that leads into simple, undistracted awareness – simply notice with bare attention whatever comes to your awareness, whether it be sounds, sensations, emotions, thoughts or stillness; whatever happens, simply being aware, open, and present.
Step 4. Stillness As you rest in this undistracted awareness you notice the movement – the activity or phenomena that occur within you and around you, and you notice the all-pervading background of stillness. Increasingly the stillness becomes more familiar. You smile as you are warmed by the comfort and easy that flows with this knowing, this experience of the essence of meditation.
Putting MBSM even more simply: Having prepared well, we relax. Relaxing more deeply, we become more mindful. As our mindfulness develops, the stillness naturally reveals itself. We rest in open, undistracted awareness. This is Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation.
Meditation – the Direct Approach Remember, meditation can be practised using the Direct Approach of no method, or the Gradual Approach that relies upon learning and using techniques. Having summarised the specific technique, the four steps of MBSM above, here is the essence of the direct approach to meditation. There is nothing to do. Simply be aware. Open. Undistracted. Aware. It is as simple, and as difficult as that. Happy meditating! F From Dr. Ian Gawler’s blog: www.gawlerblog.com. For more tips on meditation read “The Mind that Changes Everything” by Ian Gawler. August 2011
Those of you who already have done a little meditation will know that the mind has two aspects. Firstly, there is the active, ever changing thinking mind, with its conscious and sub-conscious realms. Then there is that more profound, more constant nature of mind that we experience in the quiet stillness of meditation. Accessing meditation was the focus of the book I wrote with Paul Bedson, “Meditation – an In-depth Guide”.
By Richard Kerbaj
Fuelled by scientific studies connecting religion and wellbeing, doctors are increasingly acknowledging the health benefits of faith.
Image: “A Child’s Prayer”by Ken Gimmi
An ultrasound scan revealed a disturbing image 17 weeks into
Janine Martin’s pregnancy – one of her baby’s kidneys was malformed and surrounded by cysts. Martin was so distressed she began wondering if this was punishment for a former wrongdoing. The ensuing monthly kidney monitoring – which ended when the baby was seven months old, and deemed too large for it to be effective – indicated no improvement. Martin eventually lost hope, despite promises made by her devout Catholic friend who was adamant about curing the baby through ‘healing prayers’. “I had a basic religious background. But as far as healing prayer goes, I thought it was a bit of nonsense,” says Martin. Unsurprisingly, her views changed after giving birth, when a radiologist’s report indicated that Emily’s once dysfunctional kidney was operating perfectly. “I just can’t understand how an organ that had no blood supplying it could be OK,” says Martin. Neither could the medical experts. In the evidence-based nature of medical practice, where science is gospel and pills replace prayers, doctors are increasingly acknowledging the health benefits of religion and faith. Ironically, recognition of the nexus between faith and wellbeing was the clinical norm a century or two ago. “Health care is coming back to a more holistic focus,” says senior lecturer Dr Craig Hassed of Monash University’s department of general practice. “And I think for many people, a holistic focus includes the importance of spirituality, religion (and) connectedness.” There are no figures on the number of doctors integrating faith and spirituality into their practice, says Hassed, as some regard such issues as a “central factor” to their profession, while others see them of more “peripheral importance”.
Cancer Support Association
Marc Cohen, professor of complementary medicine at RMIT, says the spiritual and religious beliefs of doctors often influence their practice. “(Doctors) are involved in birth and death and everything in between,” he says. “Occasionally, the decisions (they) make are of life and death. And it’s got to be recognised that...the context of those decisions is in the doctor’s own spiritual and religious beliefs.” More than 1200 studies published over the past 10 years on the relationship between religion and disease have attempted to substantiate the health benefits of having a religious dimension. Hedley G. Peach, a professorial research fellow at Melbourne University, cites two studies he has explored in his upcoming book, In Good Spirit: the relationship between religion and health. The results of a 23-year study in Israel that examined the association between religion and coronary artery disease among 10,000 Orthodox Jews and 10,000 non-believers, revealed that the religious candidates were almost 67 per cent less likely to die from the disease than their counterparts, says Peach. Another study, carried out in the US, which explored the effects of religion on 230 Protestants and Catholics who were followed for six months after undergoing a bypass for coronary heart disease, found that participants who rarely attended church were 2.5 times more likely to have died at the end of six months than those who attended regularly. Peach says the evidence supporting such health benefits are partly due to the lifestyles people lead upon pursuing a spiritual path. “If you adhere to the beliefs and practices of a particular religion, those beliefs and practices may well involve avoiding alcohol, certain dietary practices, controlling your sexual behaviour...and (gaining) social and emotional support.” While research indicates a link between religion and good health, doctors are unlikely to turn their clinics into clergies and begin
leading their patients towards religion, says Dr Luis Vitetta, director of research at Swinburne University’s graduate school of integrative medicine. “I mean, from a medical point of view, it’s very difficult to say to somebody, ‘go join a religious club’. Or ‘go become a Catholic’, or ‘go become a Jew’, or ‘go become a Muslim’,” he says. Studies have shown that 60 per cent of Australia’s population derives its spirituality from religion, says Peach. And although it’s a significant figure, it pales in comparison with the 85 per cent in the United States. Spirituality consists of four aspects which aren’t all necessarily linked with religion, says Peach. It may encompass connectedness with family, friends, and inner-self; adhering to values such as integrity and social equality; or attaining peace and meaning in life by praying to a God. Bob Neilson renewed a relationship with God through prayer when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and given two years to live. Although the 70-year-old hasn’t made a full recovery, he remains in good health almost 11 years later. During his daily prayers, says Neilson, he asks God “for strength, peace of mind, and for the (cancer) to be removed”. Since he remains on medication, how does he feel about not having his prayers fully answered? “While I believe in the miracle of healing, I also understand that through faith and prayer we are lead into alternate areas in healing and lifestyle.” Frances Thorsen, a Williamstown psychoanalytic psychotherapist who deals with “religiously committed” patients, says prayer can have an immense psychological impact on people. “(Prayer) is part of your inner life. It allows you to develop . . . manage both your agonies and your pains, and helps your feelings change,” she says. Chaplain Diane Moor of the Royal Children’s Hospital, agrees. Her daily prayers for intensive care patients and their families are, in a way, an articulation of “people’s longing for healing”, she says. A prayer doesn’t need to achieve its purpose for it to be effective, Moor says. “When I’m praying, I’m praying for the best outcome. And I don’t know what that will be.” Furthermore, a prayer is underpinned by its intensity to meet a person’s need, not by its length or its daily time frame, says Moor. A 2003 Cochrane Review study on intercessory prayer – where people communicated with God on behalf of those who are in need – revealed that it’s difficult to scientifically measure the effects of prayer as an “omnipresent and omnipotent” God cannot be “prevented from intervening in any patient or group”. People may well be emitting a “brainwave” while praying, which induces a positive effect upon being “absorbed by the receiver...and analysed as a positive input”, says Vitetta. Dr Amal Abou-Hamden, advanced trainee in neurosurgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, says it’s difficult to dismiss unproven theories such as Vitetta’s, as something considered “far-fetched” today may become “accepted fact” in years ahead. However, she says, “it’s hard enough to prove more concrete things in neurology, let alone vibes and waves that are actually causing improvement through prayer.” Asked whether doctors would pray for their patients if the benefits were scientifically proven, Cohen says no, because (a) it’d be difficult to “charge” for the service, and (b) it would “challenge the whole foundation of biomedicine” which is predominantly about prescribing pharmaceutical agents and improving an outcome through surgery. Peach says ongoing research and a greater public awareness of the association between religion and health will “enable people and their faith communities to interact more effectively with doctors and hospitals”. Abou-Hamden agrees. “We have a lot more evidence for medicine working than we have for spirituality working,” she says. “So spirituality still has a long way to go to prove that it is curing things.” F
From The Age: www.theage.com.au August 2011
By Dr. Suzanne Gelb, Ph.D., J.D.
Cancer Support Association
As Jess, who was diagnosed with a very rare, aggressive cancer in 2008, told me, “My mum does a fantastic job [caring for me], and she doesn’t let me see her stress, but I know that the weight of the [Gerson] program stresses her out at times. There’s the work load, financial stress, the stress of dealing with my mood swings, haha, and just the stress of having a child dealing with cancer.” These pressures and tensions tend to take their toll and can, over time, lead to burnout. Fortunately, caregiver stress can be managed and, with some basic skills in place, caregiving can be truly rewarding. I know this from my work as a psychologist helping caregivers handle stress, and also from having been a caregiver for a friend who had cancer and did the Gerson Therapy. Although each cancer patient has unique needs and caregiver roles vary, the tips that follow have helped many caregivers, myself included, manage their responsibilities with confidence. There are lots of things you can do to counter caregiver stress, such as recognising your limitations and asking for help, rejuvenating yourself with yoga and meditation, eating healthily and getting enough sleep. But since pent-up emotions can be a major source of stress, I believe that some of the best tips I can share with you are those which address managing the powerful emotions that many caregivers experience.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will” – Gandhi
1. Reach Out Soon after you learn that someone you’re close to has cancer and needs your care, get as much information as you can to prepare for this responsibility. Basically, you’ll need to know what’s involved in providing the necessary physical, emotional and practical support to your loved one. Helpful resources include physicians, internet research, and cancer support groups. Educating yourself in this way can reduce the fear and anxiety that many prospective caregivers feel about undertaking one of the toughest, yet most important jobs there is.
2. Find a Shoulder to Cry On You may also find that you need help coming to terms with the fact that your loved one has cancer. Family and friends can be a source of support, and sometimes it helps to talk to a counselor about the grief, anger and fear that typically surface. These feelings must be resolved, otherwise patience and tolerance are likely to be low. With nerves on edge, it’s difficult to be empathetic, compassionate, and unconditional – qualities that are necessary for effective caregiving.
3. Resolve Grief and Anger As you take on the caregiver role, it’s important to grieve the loss of the relationship you had with your loved one prior to the onset of cancer. If you’re angry over feeling betrayed, this needs to be resolved as well. Otherwise, you may find yourself being resentful towards the person you’re caring for. As my friend, Kate, told me, “After Mike, my husband, learned that the pain he’d been having was due to metastatic bone cancer, he grew increasingly weaker and became dependent on me for his care. Because I couldn’t count on him anymore, as I did in the past, I felt like Mike had betrayed me. This made me angry and resentful. I also felt abandoned by Mike, since I didn’t have the special connection with him like I used to.” The pain of betrayal and abandonment must be dealt with. Otherwise, frustration tends to replace love and affection. This invariably has a negative impact on the patient’s health.
4. Let Go of Expectations After Mike was diagnosed, he had to adjust to many changes, including diet. Kate shared with me
continued on next page... August 2011
LIFESTYLE & ENVIRONMENT
f you’re a family caregiver for a cancer patient, you probably know how stressful this can be, especially if you’re handing a lot of the responsibilities on your own. Most family members aren’t emotionally or financially prepared to become caregivers. They tend to be overwhelmed by the drastic lifestyle changes and responsibilities that accompany this task.
...from previous page that she used to expect Mike to stick to his diet 100%, “but sometimes he’d get fed up with all the restrictions and want to quit.” This frustrated Kate, causing her to be unreasonable and demanding, “Mike, you should know better than to even think about quitting your diet!” Worried about her short fuse, Kate attended a caregiving lecture. There she learned that she needed to understand the challenges Mike faced because of his cancer. “Now I know that if I have expectations, Mike will have difficulty meeting them and this will frustrate me. If I let my frustration build, it may get unleashed at Mike, who doesn’t deserve to be yelled at. In its worst form, my pent-up frustration could manifest as verbal and/or physical abuse.”
5. Don’t Let Feelings Bottle-Up
Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion. ~ Buddha
There are safe ways to discharge frustration so that care can be given with acceptance and dedication. Some caregivers, for example, manage their frustration by letting off steam in private. Rob, whose wife has lung cancer, explains, “When I start getting impatient with Judy, I excuse myself and head for the garage. There, I punch a punching bag until I feel calmer, and ready to go back and care for Judy.” Another way that Rob releases his frustration is by keeping a journal. Judy’s brother, who helps with her care on Saturdays, handles his frustration by retreating to his bedroom. “After closing the door, I turn up the radio so I can yell and vent without being heard. Pretty soon I’m composed. Then I’m able to help Judy without losing my cool.” Judy’s sister has started helping out on Sundays. Because she’s new to caregiving, Rob gives her some tips: “Don’t stress yourself out by having expectations or by taking Judy’s behaviour personally. Otherwise, at the end of the day you’ll feel worn-out and resentful, instead of being proud of yourself for helping your sister.”
6. Be Patient Cancer treatment programs, like the Gerson Therapy, demand much from patients, such as compliance with medication schedules and dietary requirements. Prescribed regimens must be systematically implemented with patience and kindness. At times, an authoritative stance may be needed to gain a loved one’s cooperation. Psychotherapist and recovered Gerson patient, Beata Bishop, says, “Firmness is needed when patients wish to bend the dietary rules by committing small lapses or having occasional ‘treats,’” (Healing The Gerson Way, p. 260). Sometimes, however, caregivers get so frustrated with a patient’s lack of cooperation that they resort to angry threats. This should be promptly addressed with anger management. It’s also important to keep in mind that instructions may need to be repeated before a desired result is achieved, especially when caring for an elderly person who has sensory deficits.
7. Be Unconditional and Supportive When a loved one doesn’t progress as expected, it’s not unusual for caregivers to get frustrated and question their own abilities with thoughts such as, “If I mattered to her, she’d try more,” or, “If I did that better, he’d improve.” These doubts are often followed by criticism of the patient, “What’s wrong with you, try harder!” Patients who get criticised are at risk for becoming apathetic. This is one reason why care must be unconditional – caregivers need to be continually supportive of their loved ones, placing no demands or conditions on them. Take Judy’s caregivers, who enjoy helping her exercise, but have no expectations about how she should progress. Even when weeks go by without any progress, her caregivers continue to be supportive and patient. Then, if improvement occurs, they relish that moment. Common sense tells us to care for a cancer patient as we’d like to be cared for. Yet, as seen in this article, the emotional stress associated with caregiving can be taxing and have a negative effect on both caregiver and patient. Fortunately, it is possible to manage the emotions that cause stress. With this in place, caregivers can confidently embrace their commitment to help a family member, knowing they’re equipped to handle the challenges ahead, and appreciating the privilege of caring for a loved one. F This article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as psychological advice or as a substitute for consultation with your qualified health professional. Names of persons herein have been changed for privacy purposes.
From: thewellnesswarrior.blogspot.com. Dr. Suzanne Gelb, Ph.D., J.D., is a psychologist and an attorney in private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a focus on family therapy and family law. Dr. Gelb’s work as a psychologist has included helping caregivers manage stress, being interviewed about this topic on television, and writing articles on caregiving which have appeared in Honolulu publications. For more information, visit www.DrGelbSays.com.
Cancer Support Association
LIFESTYLE & ENVIRONMENT
Protecting Kids from Cancer What can you do to protect yourself and your children from cancer?
here are quite a few lifestyle changes you can instigate in your family: diet, exercise, radiation, chemicals, supplements, healthy emotions and more, are all so important for children’s cancer protection. Diet is what we eat every day, so let’s make it healthy! Eating more brightly coloured fresh fruits and vegetables is the first thing to change. Keep these around at all times and eat them yourself. The Antioxidants and Phytochemicals help with children’s cancer protection. Reduce the chemicals you eat as a family such as: Nitrates, Aspartame, MSG, BHT, Propylene Glycol and anything you can’t pronounce. Drink more pure water, add a squeeze of lemon; don’t drink soft drinks and artificially flavoured drinks. Add more fibre through whole grains and vegetables; the fibre helps to protect against colon and breast cancer (some of these cancers take years to develop). Good fibres are: Flax Meal, Sprouted Grain Breads, green vegetables and apples. Exercise is so important along with the diet; they go hand in hand. Studies are now saying the earlier a person exercises, the lesser the chance of breast cancer. Exercise gets the nutrients to the cells and the toxins out. Staying active is very important for children’s cancer protection.
Healthy habits are formed in childhood, so be the example for your children. You will find as you change, they will begin to change for the better also.
Radiation is all around us, so learn how to cut back and protect your children. Do not move into a house within half a mile of large power lines. Keep cell phones and high powered cordless phones away from children. Reduce the use of a Microwave, by only using it to heat up food, not to cook it and never heat food in plastics. Purchase radiation protection to put on computers, mobile phones and cordless phones. Chemicals have become a way of life, but your body does not know what to do with so many chemicals. Use Natural Cleaners and Room Sprays; body care should also be natural, as everything soaks into the skin and enters the body. Switch from plastic water bottles to stainless steel. Reduce perfume use and make sure to only use natural products on your lawn and garden. There are many products that contain chemicals that disrupt the hormones and this can lead to cancer, so use natural products to protect against children’s cancers. Supplements can also give their immune systems a boost; give them a natural wholefoods children’s multi-vitamin/mineral pill, Vitamin C, Fruit flavoured Fish Oil, Pro-biotics (Acidophilus), Cod Liver Oil in the winter and Greens+ for kids. There is always an emotional component to disease, so we need to encourage our children to talk about their feelings and express them, in order to have a healthy emotional balance. Keep their blood sugar level to stabilise their moods; when my daughter is angry or irritable the first thing I ask her is “are you hungry?”. They are also linking cancers to diabetes, so it’s so important to get children in the habit of eating every 3-4 hours and including protein and fibre in every meal. Healthy habits are formed in childhood, so be the example for your children. You will find as you change, they will begin to change for the better also. F
From: www.childhealthbook.com August 2011
By David Suzuki
Humanity is an infant species, newly evolved from life’s
we belong. If we are to balance and direct our remarkable technological muscle power, we need to regain some ancient virtues: the humility to acknowledge how much we have yet to learn, the respect that will allow us to protect and restore nature, and the love that can lift our eyes to distant horizons, far beyond the next election, paycheque or stock dividend. Above all we need to reclaim our faith in ourselves as creatures of the Earth, living in harmony with all other forms of life.
We’ve come through the first decade of the 21st century, and it seemed appropriate to revisit a chapter marking the new millennium in my book, The Sacred Balance (Greystone Books/DSF, 1997). The following is from the final chapter.
What a sign of maturity it would be for our species to acknowledge the profound limitations inherent in human knowledge and the destructive consequences of our crude but powerful technologies. It would mark the beginning of wisdom to pay attention to ecosystems delineated by nature – mountain ranges, watersheds, valley bottoms, river and lake systems, wetlands – rather than regions determined by politics or economics. The ebb and flow of organisms – fish, birds, mammals, forests – across the Earth’s expanses reflect builtin territorial rhythms that are worthy of respect. The elements that have sparked life onto this planet and continue to fuel it – air, water, soil, energy, biodiversity – are sacrosanct and should be treated as such. There is no ignominy in admitting ignorance or in confessing our inability to manage wild things, to control the forces of nature or even to grasp the cosmic
web. And what a magnificent species we are; we can look out and feel spiritually uplifted by the beauty of a forested valley or an ice-coated Arctic mountain, we are overwhelmed with awe at the sight of the star-filled heavens, and we are filled with reverence when we enter a sacred place. In the beauty, mystery and wonder that our brain perceives and expresses, we add a special gift to the planet.
Humanity is an infant species, newly evolved from life’s web. And what a magnificent species we are; we can look out and feel spiritually uplifted by the beauty of a forested valley or an ice-coated Arctic mountain, we are overwhelmed with awe at the sight of the star-filled heavens, and we are filled with reverence when we enter a sacred place. In the beauty, mystery and wonder that our brain perceives and expresses, we add a special gift to the planet. But our brash exuberance over our incredible inventiveness and productivity in this century has made us forget where
Cancer Support Association
LIFESTYLE & ENVIRONMENT
forces that shape our lives. Recognizing and accepting these limitations with humility is the birth of wisdom and the beginning of hope that we will finally rediscover our place in the natural order. When we acknowledge our dependence on the same biophysical factors that support all other life-forms, believing that we have the responsibility for “managing” all of it becomes a terrible burden. But if we look at the world through the lenses of all of life together, we may recognize the origins of our destructive path and realize that we are not the “managers”; there is wisdom enough for self-management in the web of living creatures that has survived for more than 3.6 billion years. Instead of trying and failing to manage the life-support systems of the planet, we – each one of us – can manage the effect we have on those systems. Knowing how to act is the first big problem. Many people who are eager to work towards personal and public change feel increasingly baffled by the often contradictory messages from experts, as well as the mantras repeated over and over by the media. We no longer trust our innate common sense or the wisdom of our elders. At this critical juncture in our history on Earth, we are asking the wrong questions. Instead of “How do we reduce the deficit?” or “How do we carve out a niche in the global economy?” we should be asking “What is an economy for?” and “How much is enough?” What are the things in life that provide joy and happiness, peace of mind and satisfaction? Does the plethora of goods that our high-production economy delivers so effectively provide the route to happiness and satisfaction, or do the relationships between human and nonhuman beings still form the core of the important things in life? Is the uniformity of food and other products that we now encounter everywhere on the globe an adequate substitute for the different and unexpected? We seem to have forgotten the real things that matter and must establish the real bottom line of non-negotiable needs in order to regain a balance with our surroundings.
Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 24 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the long-running CBC television program The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It’s a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. His written work includes more than 47 books. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, and family in Canada.
“Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.”
• Recycling 1 plastic bottle not only saves anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but also saves the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle. • For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 1000 litres of oil. • West Australians use on average 302 litres of water person per day which is ten times the minimum daily requirement. • Recycling just a million mobile phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 33 cars off the road for a year. • When we do not recycle at least our glass or aluminum we cost the earth in power usage, water and oil usage and landfill continued on next page... usage; glass takes up to 4000 years to decompose in a landfill yet can be recycled indefinitely. August 2011
By Don Weaver
You may have already consciously embraced your part in healing and restoring the Earth
“Our life on Earth is a
to a much higher state of health and vibrance but, if not, please consider this your invitation!
fellowship of being,
This has been my main focus for 30 years while replenishing soils, planting gardens and orchards and teaching about the health of the Biosphere.
and there can be
While many socio-ecological problems have worsened over these 30 years, it appears that an ever higher percentage of our 6.6 billion population is waking up to the need to transform our ways of living, to truly go “green,” to make peace with the Earth and ourselves, to end the “war on Terra.” This Terra, the beautiful living Earth of which we are an essential part, needs each of us to become conscious contributors to personal/planetary healing. You are needed and invited and welcomed!
neither prosperity nor survival for those whose practices
Here are some views from my perspective as a health-oriented ecologist and organic grower.
continually violate the laws of interdependent life.” Henry Geiger
We need to swiftly, consciously and wisely become the generous species on Earth. We’ve taken so much from the soils, plants, trees and animals; we have a huge debt that must be paid to restore our own vibrant health and that of the whole interdependent chain of life. Fortunately, we can do this by remineralising the world’s soils with natural mixtures of rock dust, returning the increased amount of organic matter back to the soil. This will build its fertility and depth while enabling abundant production to meet our needs for pure natural foods, fibre, timber/bamboo, biomass energy (alcohol, bio-diesel, wood, hemp, etc.), as well as beautiful landscapes, parks, and wildlands. (Related note: On 2/08/08, Reuters gave the news of General Motors’ plan that half of their new cars will be fueled by ethanol by 2012; current cars can be converted to run on a bio-fuel, electricity, or both.) By choosing healthy vegetarian/vegan/raw-food lifestyles, hundreds of millions of acres now used for animal-based agriculture and drug crops could be converted to organic-mineralised orchards, farms and new forestland. Also, fast-growing tree plantations on remineralised soils can simultaneously build soil fertility and convert CO2 to leaf and wood for alcohol fuel and wood energy. Leaves and residues can be returned to the soil. This can replace the practice of burning carbon stored in the ground as oil, coal, and natural gas, which is wrecking our interglacial climate.
Cancer Support Association
Whether you lean toward the widely accepted “global warming” theory and related evidence, or the “new glacial period” thesis and evidence as put forth by John Hamaker and others, including myself, I think we can all agree on the wisdom of remineralising and regreening the Earth to reverse the current slide into “climate chaos.” For example, in the winter of 2007-2008, there were record cold and crop-destroying snowstorms all the way into southern China, Greece, the Middle East, Florida as well as north to Alaska, Canada and Greenland, with the highest level of Northern Hemisphere snow cover in at least 52 years. Along with the understanding that we’ve about reached “Peak Oil,” we need to realise our soildevouring civilisation has already passed “Peak Soil.” Earth is in urgent need of replenishment. Can the human mind and heart awaken and shift from egocentric to ecocentric, from the shortsighted habits of Earth-exploitative materialism to Earth-regenerative compassion, simple eco-living and co-creation of natural abundance and health for all?
This conversion can eliminate what currently comprises 20% of total CO2 emissions from animal “husbandry,” enabling us to quickly plant the many billions of trees needed to bring CO2 down from about 385 ppm to a stable interglacial level of about 280 ppm. Remineralising much of the current forestland could greatly reduce the widespread disease, insect and fire epidemics, enabling forests to again grow healthy and strong. This would pull in billions of tons of CO2 through renewed nourishment and vibrance from soil microbes up to treetops. It will reverse soil acidification, allow the soil life-system to hold much more moisture for yearround availability and ameliorate the increasing “tinderbox” conditions in many malnourished forests. Stabilizing CO2 levels and the planetary climate is the sensible approach if we want to save what is left of our forests and nurture the growth of new ones over much of the Earth.
“Healing the damage of industrial civilisation is the task of our generation.”
I have appreciated the inspiration for this awakening provided by many wise philosophers from Thoreau and Emerson to J. Krishnamurti and Eckhart Tolle, and was glad to see Oprah Winfrey’s environmental initiative. She invited Tolle to appear on her TV show and joined with him to teach an online class series based on his latest book, A New Earth. Over 750,000 people signed up at her website. As well, Oprah’s show “The Big Give” is sowing the seeds of greater generosity in the human heart.
The signs are hopeful that in time, Oprah and all of us can realise that “A New Earth” is possible through our heartfelt understanding, vision and actions. The alternative – a dying Earth – is simply unacceptable. A working knowledge of the basics of health and ecology is the key to discernment when it comes to the teachings of our current educational system on these subjects, as well as in detaching from brainwashing about Earth-detrimental products and “lifestyles” touted by most media and the 36-billion-dollar advertising industry in the U.S. Ongoing self-education throughout life seems the wise course. John Robbins’ excellent book, Healthy at 100, contains information on the wisdom of other cultures, including some of the healthiest and longest-lived. As John writes: Depending on what we choose to affirm and cultivate within ourselves and our children, we can collectively turn this planet into a hell or a heaven. Whether we like it or not, and whether we accept it or not, our choices make an enormous difference. How we treat ourselves and each other always matters. This is why I believe that the world’s healthiest and most long-lived peoples offer us a vision of hope for our time. In Okinawa, Abkhasia, Vilcabamba and Hunza, there is a deep sense of human connection and social integrity. People continually help one another and believe in one another. There are always ways for people to make amends for mistakes and be forgiven, so people are almost never discarded or rejected. Wealth is shared rather than hoarded. As one Abkhasian proverb puts it, ‘I am whole because you are whole.’ John next quotes Dr. Allen Banik, author of Hunza Land: In Hunza, I seemed to be in another world, a world of friendliness and good nature. Covetousness, envy and jealousy were nonexistent; no police force was needed to keep order; unlocked doors were not a temptation. People of these cultures eat a mostly raw and mostly plant-food organic diet, as well as lead an outdoors active life close to the land for the young and long-time young alike. John describes the
continued on next page... August 2011
...from previous page Hunza model of soil replenishment in depth, here quoting J.I. Rodale’s The Healthy Hunzas: The magnificent health of the Hunzans is due to…the way in which their food is raised…I am sure that the powdered rock dust which flows onto the Hunzan land is a significant factor in the outstanding results obtained by the Hunzans. Since people of all of the cultures studied in Healthy at 100 have eaten whole, mineralised, organic food throughout their lives, they’ve been virtually untouched by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. In contrast, there are “12 million new cases of malignancy worldwide in 2007,” with almost 8 million dying from their cancer and/or their medical “treatments” (HealthDay.com, 12/17/07), while the incidence of obesity in the U.S. alone has increased from 13 to 32 percent since the 1960s (Acres USA, Sept. 2007). Both junk food addiction and hidden hunger for nutrients lacking in soils and foods are primary causes of obesity, along with sedentary lifestyles, of course. We have less energy to exercise, to garden, or even to think rationally when we are malnourished, so look out for this “vicious cycle.” Let us also avoid seeking to fill our needs for emotional and spiritual nourishment with food. Consider how love for self and others can be the inspirational foundation to bring about a full restoration of human and planetary health.
Remineralise the Earth: www.remineralise.org Soil and Health Library: www.soilandhealth.org General Eco-Agriculture: www.acresusa.com Trees for Life: www.treesforlife. org Fruit Tree Planting Foundation: www.ftpf.org Men of the Trees Australia: www.menofthetrees.com.au School gardens/ecology centre: www.oaec.org Organic seeds: www.vegparadise.com/heirloom.html Living Nutrition/Vibrance: www.livingnutrition.com Natural Hygiene/raw food: www.rawfoodexplained.com Whole Systems Education: www.wholenessbook.com More “inconvenient” climate info: www.iceagenow.com John Robbins’ Healthy at 100: www.healthyat100.org
Fruition, a farm on Maui, is another model of the health-oriented agriculture of the future, thriving on 11 acres of previously neglected pastureland. Owners Stephan Reeve and his mother Dorli have co-created an Edenic garden and orchard a la the Hunzans with generous soil remineralisation, mulching and composting. Fruition produces a growing abundance of mineralised avocados, mangos, papayas, lychees, jakfruit, sapotes, tangelos, rambutans and many others, probably exceeding the variety grown in Hunza. Continued generous remineralisation and compost return should soon allow Fruition to match the quality of the Hunzan “Shangri-La.” Why don’t we all strive for such high standards of soil fertility, food quality, health and active longevity? While I’m fortunate to have some mineralised fruits and veggies year-round from my gardens, my two weeks working at Fruition was extra-nourishing and rejuvenating to body and spirit. Along with eating a variety of fresh, ripe, mineralised produce, renewing great friendships and swimming often, my rock dusting of a new grove of rollinia trees was a highlight, as I love to help young trees grow to healthful fruition. Not only are rollinia trees very beautiful and fast-growing, the rollinia fruit has joined my favourite five fruits of the world, along with sapote, durian, atemoya, apricot…and perhaps tied with nectarines, cherries, peaches, persimmons, pineapple… The marvelous fact is that when we grow foods in remineralised and organic matter-enriched soils (animal manures and slaughterhouse by-products are not needed, thankfully), the development of the flavour and of all the health-promoting compounds can, if you are truly hungry, make each food a favourite at the time of eating! The more we intelligently give to Nature, the more Nature gives back, often a hundredfold or more! The fact that crime, war and ecological destruction are virtually unknown in cultures such as Hunza that Robbins writes of in Healthy at 100, tells us that these are extremely unnatural practices; their existence in our own culture is telling us we must heal ourselves at every level of being, in every inter-relationship and “from soil to psyche.” Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of spending 5 billion dollars or more per week on warfare,
CSA Library News... Did you know that Cancer Support Association has some talented members, some of whom have been inspired to write about cancer? Here are some of our favourites...
ROSS TAYLOR: living Simply With Cancer KAREN LEIBOVITCH: Two Years to Normal: A Journey with Cancer DR KAYE MURRAY: The Power of Peace Cancer Support Association
we would use it to fund all the crucially needed Earth Regeneration projects? Is anything more important? A new and vibrant Earth calls us forward. Now is the time to exercise our “response-abilities” and to express our love and thanks for the gift of life! I’ll conclude with a partial list of positive steps we can each consider taking, if right for us; then a few websites promoting soil remineralisation, eco-agriculture, tree and orchard planting, healthful living and deeper understanding of our eco-climatic crisis and opportunity. It is my hope that you will joyfully discover your own vital role in restoring vibrance to your health and that of your larger body, the living Earth!
1. Start a garden/orchard/farm/Earth Regeneration Centre to provide food, beauty, and inspiration to yourself and others. Buy seeds and trees from independent and organic growers whenever possible as there is a major corporate push to take over, hybridize, chemicalize, and genetically modify agriculture and the food supply. Save seeds and propagate plants yourself, as well. Start a plant and tree nursery. 2. Remineralise the soil, make compost, feed the microbes and earthworms to restore the foundation of health and life. 3. Buy only organically grown foods and other natural products; try eating mostly or only plant foods and mostly or only fresh/raw/ripe foods; share the good news about soil mineralisation and organic growing practices with farmers and as many people as you can. 4. Simplify every aspect of life to promote health for people and planet; work together with those supporting global health; withdraw your support from those people and companies whose practices are harmful to the ecosystem and encourage them to go constructively green. 5. Become knowledgeable about your own region as well as about the world in general so you may better influence local and global politics and consciousness through writing, speaking and leading new positive initiatives. Community gardens/orchards, tree nurseries and tree planting projects are needed almost everywhere, as are more Community Supported Agriculture enterprises, natural food potlucks and healthy living education centres and events. 6. Explore co-housing and cooperative community and eco-village options for you and loved ones, and/or retrofit your current residence for increased solar power, food growing and green living. Study Permaculture principles to see how they apply to your living and growing environment. 7. Help schools start organic, mineralised gardens and orchards – the “Edible Schoolyards” founded by Alice Waters in Berkeley, California are an example to build upon. Share Nature’s beauty and miracles with children to prevent further spread of “Nature Deficit Disorder.” 8. Add to this list according to your nature and inner inspiration, and try out the advice to “be the most positive person you know.” F
Don Weaver is co-author with John Hamaker of The ‘Survival of Civilization’, author of ‘To Love And Regenerate The Earth’, and a regular contributor to Living Nutrition/Vibrance magazine. Both books are free to download in the Agriculture section of the Soil and Health Library: www.soilandhealth.org. He welcomes feedback on his writings and ideas for cooperative projects to nourish personal-and-planetary health (email: email@example.com). August 2011
Reiki for Cancer By Andy Chrysostomou
As a practicing Reiki healer and teacher, I have treated patients
with cancer at various stages of the illness, from the earliest diagnosis, to the terminal stage. Cancer is such a powerful and frightening illness – its effects are both physical and emotional, affecting not only the patient, but their family and friends also. I have seen the devastating physical and emotional effects of cancer, but I have also seen the power of hope, determination, positive thinking and the strength of the Human Spirit. People, generally, are incredibly mentally and physically resilient and have an instinctive and overriding desire to survive. Yet when someone is told they have a serious illness, their conditioned response is to abdicate responsibility and give all control to someone else. In effect they become passive recipients. Being passive goes against our natural programming and can lead to negative feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and a weakening of the belief and resolve to survive. This state of mind effectively inhibits and suppresses the body’s own healing responses. To maximise the healing benefits of any and every external modality, the power of the mind must be used in a conscious and controlled manner to activate and heighten the body’s own healing responses. Ideally, the patient must be an active participant. Being active gives the patient some sense of control and power over their illness. They now have additional means of fighting the illness so their belief and resolve grows. This more positive state of mind stimulates the body’s own healing responses. Effective treatment of cancer needs to include the healing ability of the body and the mind, as well as all the external treatments. Patients must have belief and focus and it is essential they understand that where the mind leads, the body
Cancer Support Association
follows. It is vital to stay as positive and optimistic as possible, and keep focused on fighting the cancer. As long as there is life, there is hope. Cancer is a life issue and needs to be treated as such to have the best chance of success. Aspects of the patients emotional and physical life need to be looked at with the patient, and if necessary, suggested modifications offered to create the best possible conditions for promoting healing. Reiki healing is a good addition to any medical treatment, and there are other methods that can and should be used as well. The primary treatment is the Gerson Therapy. Some treatments will work directly on the cancer, and others will work on initiating the body’s healing process. Individually, these will have a chance of helping the patient, but they should all be used together where possible to maximise the healing effects. The following methods are my recommendations for my cancer patients:
Follow the Gerson Therapy The Gerson Therapy has been successfully treating thousands
of cancer patients for more than 60 years. Developed by Dr Max Gerson, the Gerson Therapy is an intensive nutrition programme that is based around drinking large quantities of fresh organic juices, having coffee enemas, cutting out all salt and supplementing with potassium along with thyroid hormone, liver, iodine and other substances that accelerate the body’s healing mechanisms. In chronic degenerative conditions most of the body’s organs cease to function effectively to the point of shutting down and the body becomes so weak that it can no longer fight off illness. The Gerson Therapy provides the body with vast quantities of easily absorbed living nutrients and releases the body of
excess sodium, which has accumulated due to years of poor nutrition. The body is returned to a state of homeostasis. The Gerson Therapy has a 42% success rate with terminally ill cancer patients.
Use Reiki Reiki works by directing naturally occurring electro-magnetic energy
at the frequency needed to destroy the cancerous cells and strengthen the vital organs to support the healing process. I give Reiki healing on a daily basis to begin with, then I teach the patient basic Reiki to enable them to heal themselves daily. I do this to ensure the patient does not become dependent on me, and more importantly, to help the patient feel empowered and take back responsibility for their life. I also teach the patientâ€™s close family basic Reiki so they can do something constructive to help. This helps their family feel empowered and more useful, which has a positive impact on the patient.
Use the Power of the Mind Visualisation, intention, and/or positive affirmations, utilise the power of the mind to help the body fight the cancer. The patient needs to work with the practitioner to find the most suitable and effective methods for them to program their mind to fight off the cancer.
Stress Reduction The patient also needs lots of rest and relaxation to eliminate all stress from their life to help the bodyâ€™s healing process.
The above is by no means the only way to treat cancer, but it is a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach that works with the patient, as well as working on the patient. The system has elements to work directly on the cancer and crucially has elements to encourage a major attitude shift towards a positive and active role in the healing process. There are no guarantees with any treatment for cancer, all we can do is try our best to help in every way we can. I believe the best approach is to use every means available to us. Treatment needs to be comprehensive and wide-ranging and must utilise the power of the mind and spirit and body to heal itself. F
Andy Chrysostomou came to Reiki after developing severe spondylosis of the spine. He was in extreme pain and lost mobility in his arms and legs. He was told by his doctor that the condition was degenerative and that he would eventually be in a wheelchair. He was offered surgery but was told that it was a fifty, fifty chance of whether it would work or worsen the condition. Andy searched for an alternative to surgery and found Reiki. By learning Reiki and self healing on a daily basis Andy is now able to live a normal life and work out six times a week. He has been teaching and practicing Reiki for four years.
The secret art of inviting happiness The miraculous medicine of all diseases Just for today, do not anger Do not worry and be filled with gratitude Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people. Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer. Pray these words to your heart and chant these words with your mouth Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind The founder, Usui Mikao During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Dr. Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five principles of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Dr. Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realise that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value. August 2011
helping people with cancer By Alan Bavley
Cancer patients are using art therapy to help understand and relieve the emotional distress that comes with their illness…
Katherine Robinson’s hands are busy rolling and stretching and twisting the lump of clay on her table. But her attention is clearly fixed on Andrew Elman.
“You’re going to have to help me because this is kind of new for an old lady,” she tells him in her charming way. Elman is an art therapist. Twice a month, he and associate Marilynn Demers visit a cancer hospital to encourage patients like Robinson to express themselves through impromptu art projects of drawing, painting, even sculpting. The goal is to help cancer patients to better understand and express the emotional turmoil and uncertainty that can come with their illness. Robinson, 84, has been in the hospital for several days, receiving chemotherapy for uterine cancer. “This is my last treatment, then I go home to stay,” she says. “That’s a good feeling,” Elman answers. Robinson sits in an easy chair in her room chatting with Elman about the community groups in which she participates. She absently kneads the clay. “It’s got the consistency of gum and Play-Doh,” Elman tells her. “I can take a big bite,” Robinson says with a chuckle. Robinson works the clay until the conversation flags. When she finishes, she has a long tube that twists and turns every which way. “Now don’t ask me what this is because I don’t know myself,” she says. Across the hall, Elman gives Susan Schiller, 54, a glue stick and a pile of magazine clippings to make a collage. Schiller is recovering from surgery to remove a large growth from her abdomen. This day she’s feeling relieved; she’s been told the growth was benign. Schiller is reluctant, at first, to start the project. “I’m just not artsy,” she says. “This craftsy stuff, I’m not good at.” But Schiller doesn’t need much coaxing. She starts sorting the clippings into those that she feels apply to her life and those that don’t. As she goes through the scraps of paper, she talks to Elman about the Pilates studio that she runs with her daughter, Kahley, who is the instructor. “It’s been very positive, a great experience,” she says. “(Kahley’s) very tough on them. She pushes them,” but when they come on a regular basis, they feel so much better about themselves.” Schiller is ready to start gluing her clippings to a sheet of paper. “Caregiver,” one says. “Essential wisdom,” another reads. “Healing words.”
Cancer Support Association
“These are all me,” Schiller says. Elman carries his art supplies in a tool bag, like a handyman going from job to job. When he meets with patients for the first time, he tries to reassure them that they shouldn’t be concerned over whether or not they have artistic talent. “Art therapy is not so much about the product as the process,” Elman says. “We want them to move beyond that resistance that they don’t have the ability. It really helps them to get them talking about their lives and not be apprehensive about making art.” Demers thinks art plays a role in easing patients’ anxieties about the choices they have to make. “What they can gain from it is strength and hope,” she says. Demers recalled one patient, a young mother who was having a hard time telling her 10-year-old son about her cancer. “It was clear from her art that it was a struggle for her,” Demers says. “But just the opportunity to talk to someone was helpful. We’re the safe person. We’re not part of the family.” After working through her anxieties, the mother decided to do art therapy with her son as a way of finding common ground to discuss her situation. “We opened the door for them to begin,” Demers says. Schiller finishes pasting her collage. She struggles to swallow a pain pill and then tells Elman about her new creation. “This, I think, represents me,” she says. And as she points to significant words and pictures on the paper, she tells him how she would interpret her work. “As a mother, you’re a caregiver. And life’s about being balanced,” she says. “You have to find out who you are and find balance.” “I believe in healing. I believe that kind words and healing words can change your whole life.” Schiller points to some travel pictures. She remembers the time she spent hitchhiking through Europe when she was 19. “Life is what you make it,” she says. “It can be as adventurous as you want.” Elman asks Robinson to speculate about the squiggle of clay she has made. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s a snake,” she says. Robinson recalls her childhood growing up in a rural area There were plenty of snakes near her home. She learned to tell the harmless ones from the dangerous ones, like rattlesnakes. Elman offers her a box of watercolours, and she dabs her snake with brown and red. “OK, I’m through now,” she tells Elman. “I think I did pretty good.” “I think you did great,” he says. F
From: www.arttherapyblog.com. First published in The Kansas City Star, www.kansascity.com.
Life is, as usual, very full! There is always work to do, projects to complete, children to care for, things to study, appointments to keep, places to go, fun to be had, people to see... How on earth did I become so busy? It seems that my mind has dreamed up all these activities, all these concepts of what is ‘necessary’ to succeed in life, but to realise all these ambitions would realistically take another five or six lifetimes! The problem with the busyness of modern living is that our bodies struggle to keep up. Our bodies don’t seem to have evolved at the same pace as our minds! The mind has concepts of how we should be in the world, what must be done, but the body is an organism, a thing of nature, and what the body most needs is to live according to the rhythms and rules of nature. This disparity between the agenda of the mind and the needs of the body is called ‘the mind/body split’. I’m sure I’m not the only one who ignores the cues of the body to rest, to take it slow, in order to fulfil my duties, which, really, are not much more than the concepts of an overactive mind! But what are the consequences? If the body is stressed for a long period of time, it will one day fail, we may become ill and then, suddenly, it is no longer a luxury to rest, it is an absolute necessity. Our bodies accumulate stress, and we accumulate a ‘stress debt’ which we must repay through rest and relaxation – either voluntary or enforced! There is a way to reconcile the mind/body – take time every day to be still, to tune into the body, to tune into the gentle rhythm of nature. Easier said than done, but it is not impossible to take 15-30 minutes out of your schedule to lie down, allow the body to relax, the mind to quieten, and then, from this very calm space, to reassess what really needs to be done. You may find that your list of ‘essential items’ is considerably shorter than it was before you took rest, or you may find that you have greater clarity and energy to complete the necessary tasks. So take a rest...right now. If not, why not? Take good care of your body and you will most likely have a long and happy life! Mandy August 2011
An Interview with Emmanuelle Schick Garci by Nicola Ferrero
Emmanuelle, can you please introduce yourself for our readers? may put your readers or myself to sleep if I talk about myself. If anyone is really interested, my biography is available on The Idiot Cycle web site: www.theidiotcycle. com
“The Idiot Cycle” is a recent documnetary which examines the causes of cancer and why the causes are sometimes overlooked. Directed by Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, the film looks closely at some of the world’s major chemical corporations, such as Dow Chemical, Bayer, BASF and Monsanto, and suggests that these companies, which in some cases market cancer treatments, should be held accountable for cancer-causing pollution and chemicals. The film provides a unique perspective on what it is that we don’t see and what it is that we need to see in terms of cancer.” The film is currently showing in Europe, but was denied errors-and-omissions insurance due to “subject matter,” causing the film to be blocked from any widespread showing in the US and Canada. It is unlikely we will see it in Australia, but this interview with the film’s director will be of interest to people worldwide concerned about the prevalence of cancer.
Cancer Support Association
When did you decide to make a documentary about cancer? And why? When I was 24 my mother lost both her breasts to cancer. I had started to make a documentary about a year in the life of cancer. I ended making Cancer, a Dogme 95-inspired short film. Throughout my mother’s illness, the question of what caused the cancer kept coming back. We don’t have a history of family cancer, she never smoked, she ate well, she was an athlete. The “genetic” explanation seemed vague and insufficient. I started reading medical journals (my sister is a doctor) and that’s when I began the research and writing for The Idiot Cycle. I worked on the film for three years before going into production. Over the past five years, friends of mine, who were between the ages 20-30, began to be diagnosed with cancer. Half of my friends have lost a parent to cancer or have a parent fighting cancer, these people are not old. Most were diagnosed with cancer before turning 50. We are the first generation that will not live as long as our parents. We’re getting more cancers at younger ages. When my parents were growing up, they could not think of one friend under 30 who had cancer. I wanted to know why. It’s often seen as a ‘taboo’ issue, isn’t it? Cancer is a very personal and emotional subject. If you have questions that people don’t have answers for, especially the cancer establishment, it becomes touchy. People also downplay the conflicts of interests, which should be taken seriously. They are affecting the science that’s being done, and the science that is being ignored. The prevention of cancer is certainly taboo, and I’m not sure why. The cancer establishment has defined prevention as “early detection” or “eating five fruits and vegetables a day” or “not smoking”. Yes, these are important and should be done, but that is completely insufficient. It’s not even half of the picture. Look at anything in your home. What doesn’t contain carcinogens? What didn’t emit carcinogens when being produced? Look at benzene alone. Car exhaust, cosmetics, construction materials, pesticides...we’re being bombarded with toxic chemicals everyday and the cancer establishment thinks eating five fruits and vegetables is enough! What if those five vegetables were contaminated with chlorinated pesticides? Then how is that preventing cancer? Not many people want to challenge this because it means changing fundamental things in our economy.
We can prevent cancers: by riding bikes, by eating organic, by consuming less, by using safer non-toxic alternatives. But most importantly companies should test chemicals, GMOs and drugs for long term health effects before they are licensed. It would be irrational, irresponsible and criminal for governments not to require this. Another interesting question is: why scientists always talk about the ‘cure’ for cancer, but no one really talks about the causes? It’s easier to get funding to do research for a cure. A “cure” keeps people hoping. It keeps people from thinking about things like causes, which is more complicated. If people focus on the causes and less on the cure, then research funding for cures dries up. But billions of dollars and decades later, we’re still putting all our efforts into the cure for cancer and avoiding major contributors – carcinogens. It’s a lot more glorious for the scientist who finds a cure than for the scientist who finds a cause. Look at what happens to scientists who find products to be carcinogenic. They’ve been fired, reputations have been destroyed, they’ve been threatened. I can understand the scientist that goes the “cure” route. Many of us are particularly concerned about the food we eat every day. What did you discover about that in your documentary? I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know what genetically modified foods were before starting this film. I grew up in Canada (15 years), then lived in the USA for 8 years. The only thing I remember was the FlavourFlav tomato fiasco when I was at UCLA. But even then, no articles really explained what they were, they just referred to the incidence as a few “bad tomatoes”. I thought it was a bacterium on the tomatoes. No one talked about genetically modified foods. Since making this film, I discovered I don’t want to eat GM foods and now I only buy organic, local (whenever possible) food.
It is now predicted that 40 percent of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with some type of cancer in their lifetime. Current evidence shows that thirty percent of all cancer can be prevented by improving diet and physical activity and reducing alcohol and tobacco intake.
I also discovered that the Canadian government has been the worst government in the world on the GM food topic. They are the only government in the world to push the United Nations to lift the ban on the Monsanto Terminator Seed (a seed that is sterile and can’t be saved or used for the following planting seasons). We tried to get interviews with Health Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture in Canada for months, but they declined. The big debate in Canada was about labeling GM foods or not. How ridiculous. We are debating labeling before we’ve even done any testing or debating about what these new foods will do to the health of people! We completely skipped over the most vital and important issue – health testing. I listened to the Canadian parliamentary debates about labeling of GM foods or, as the Canadian government refers to them “novel foods”. It was so littered with half-truths my eyes nearly popped out of my head. We elected some of these clowns? I felt like a few members of parliament did five minutes of research on the internet ten minutes before the debates. That’s what their arguments reflected. We tried to get statements and interviews with those members of parliament as well. They never responded. We tried to get interviews with CropLife (a pesticide advocacy group), Greg Conko of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (he wrote a book about the greatness of GM foods), none of them wanted to speak with us. I live in Europe now, and I hope Europeans continue to preserve their food culture. It’s refreshing to see people engaged and curious and interested in topics like food, cancer and chemicals. Everyone loves to eat, so everyone should be concerned. GM foods are under the spotlight: produced by the largest chemical companies, that are
continued on next page... August 2011
LIFESTYLE & ENVIRONMENT
There is a lot of information being left out by the cancer establishment, which has close ties to the chemical industry, information that is vital to people’s health. It’s not illegal, but it is downright irresponsible. Whether that oversight is caused by conflicts of interest or disinterest, I don’t know.
...from previous page also the largest pharmaceutical companies and the largest pesticide producers in the world. It seems they have a big interest in not letting people know what they are ‘really’ eating... Yes, it’s not in the companies’ best financial interest. It’s funny, but outside of London, at a former Monsanto pesticide making facility, the workers pushed to get GM foods banned from the cafeteria. Greenpeace and Monsanto do have things in common! But really, it’s the governments’ responsibility to require companies to do long term health testing before they license chemicals, GMOs or drugs.
What I think would put everyone’s soul at ease is if the board members and CEOs of Dupont, Dow, Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Astrazeneca, Syngenta, Novartis, etc. ate nothing but genetically modified crops for 3 years, so we can do some testing and a study on them. And I don’t mean one symbolic meal of GMOs. Only a three-year study will let us know what the long term effects will be. If these G.M. foods cause cancer, I’d like to know before I’m eating them.
EFSA (European Food and Safety Authority), for example, doesn’t even require health studies to be submitted for each new GM food presented. The Canadian government actually develops GM crops, and sometimes with biotech companies. The Canadian agriculture department is not only responsible for regulating these “novel foods”, but they’re also developing them. There is a real conflict of interest. The government’s job is to regulate, enforce laws and protect its citizens, not to engage in business ventures – that’s not their job. We haven’t got any long-term study on GMOs and their effects on soil, underground waters and on the bodies of the animals that usually eat them (humans included). What do you think about that? When I heard the CEO of Monsanto say GM foods were the “most extensively studied arena” in “the food arena”, I thought to myself, where are these extensive studies? Please do share. Seeing the dismal level of “testing” being done by the Canadian and American governments these days, it can’t be very difficult to make such a statement. But what are these studies he’s referring to? It’s such a vague statement. On their “technology agreements” Monsanto makes it illegal for farmers to share or give any of their seeds to third parties, including third parties for “research” purposes. The CRIIGEN had to appeal to the European courts to force Monsanto to make a Monsanto study public. The study was done on a small sample of rats for only three months. Monsanto appealed to block the publishing of this study. After hearing the scientist who reviewed the study, I can understand why Monsanto wanted to keep that study to itself. Also, the CEO of Monsanto, as well as members of the Canadian parliament continually refer to a group of studies that were done by the European Union that shows GM foods to be safe. Again, please do share, and what exactly are they referring to, because they never say exactly. They may be referring to EU’s former Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin’s 15-year study from 1985-2000. If that’s the case, many studies were done by biotech companies themselves and not independently reviewed, and 4 studies focused on “food safety”. They were not long-term health studies. But maybe Monsanto’s CEO can clear things up and explain in more detail. In the trailer of your movie there’s a very disturbing question: “Are we being used as guinea pigs’? What have you found about that? We are being used as guinea pigs. Not in a forced way, just in an ignorant way. The Nuremberg Protocols outline that experimenting on people without their permission is illegal. Maybe most governments have forgotten about the Nuremberg Protocols. I certainly don’t remember ever being asked if I wanted to eat GM foods. I ate them unknowingly in Canada and the States, that’s for sure, but I wasn’t asked if that was okay. And it’s not okay. What I think would put everyone’s soul at ease is if the board members and CEOs of Dupont, Dow, Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Astrazeneca, Syngenta, Novartis, etc. ate nothing but genetically modified crops for 3 years, so we can do some testing and a study on them. And I don’t mean one symbolic meal of GMOs. Only a three-year study will let us know what the long term effects will be. If these G.M. foods cause cancer, I’d like to know before I’m eating them.
Cancer Support Association
Are you happy about your documentary? Have you had any problems in gathering information, shooting and make it come alive? I mean, have you found hostility? It’s very tricky making a documentary about the chemical industry, they have very close ties to governments, because they have played and still play a big role in the defense industry. When we were filming in Sarnia, Canada, home to 40% of Canada’s petrol-chemical facilities, for example, various company security vans came to take our information while we were filming the factories at night. That’s fine, I know they’re being cautious. However, the chemical industry is a little contradictory, since they lobbied against legislation that would require tighter safety measures around chemical facilities to protect from terrorist attacks. I\’m also having a hard time understanding how they can justify “protecting” their facilities and the community while they dump carcinogens on their community, transport dangerous chemicals, have regular explosions and leaks and cause slow illnesses like cancer. Once again, the industry says one thing and does another. It’s completely irrational. We had to do the film independently because every one was scared. If a TV station had been involved from the beginning, they may not have allowed us to make the film that we thought was important. Newspapers and TV are sometimes forced to make decisions to protect their advertising income. Look at the New Yorker magazine. I’m subscribed, it’s a magazine I like, but since I’ve been reading the magazine, they have never done a investigative piece on toxic chemicals or GMOs. Coincidence? Well inside the magazine there’s a two-page ad from Dow Chemical, a one page back ad from Monsanto, a side ad from BASF. When there are no articles, people don’t think the problem exists. If the film is able to accomplish one thing, I hope governments decide to require companies to submit health studies before licensing chemicals, GMOs and drugs. Anything else is unacceptable. We need to put our health first. F
The film is being was initially released in Canada and is currently being screened in France. Go to the website for more information about the film: www.theidiotcycle.com
In Australia, Monsanto claim that GM crops are more ‘nutritious’ than natural foods. A handful of GM chemical companies are working with government scientists on a type of white bread they say will cure bowel cancer. The reality however is that this magically modified white bread is no better for you than any number of safe, healthy, affordable foods already available in local grocery stores. Yet the Australian government continues to spend millions of dollars on the research hoping to create a market for something that is not needed.
f you think your diet is free from genetically modified food, think again. In Australia, foods containing refined oils or sugars from GM crops do not have to be labelled, as long as they don’t contain any of the crop’s DNA or protein. Exemptions are also in place for meat from animals fed with GM plants, flavourings that make up a tiny portion of a food, and for foods containing ‘’unintentional traces’’ of 1 per cent or less GM ingredients. With so many exemptions, it is almost impossible to avoid products that have involved GM organisms at some point in the production chain. And if the Blewett review is anything to go by, this greatly concerns many Australians. Submissions arguing for better disclosure of GM products – along with those concerned with additives and allergens – made up 5000 of the 6000 submissions received by the review, suggesting ‘’considerable unease in the community over GM foods’’. This is borne out by a Swinburne University survey published last year. One thousand people were asked to rate their comfort level with certain food technologies – zero being ‘’not at all comfortable’’ and 10 being ‘’very comfortable’’. The average for GM was 3.9. Concerns deepened last year when tests commissioned by Greenpeace found traces of genetically modified soy in the baby formula S-26 Soy. The worries persist despite regulators’ assurances that there is no evidence that such foods pose any threat to health, and despite the fact that GM ingredients have been used in Australian food production for a decade. The Blewett review recommended that the exemption for GM flavourings be removed, but baulked at ending the exemption for foods containing no detectable GM DNA or proteins – even as it noted that such rules were in place in Europe. Its stance was criticised by anti-GM campaigners like Gene Ethics, which said the decision was ‘’not fair to shoppers’’, and Greenpeace, which stated: ‘’quite frankly, Blewett blew it’’. F From: www.theage.com.au, February 2011. The The National Review of Food Labelling, or Blewett Review, led by former Federal Health Minister Dr Neal Blewett was initiated at the request of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (ANZFRMC) in an effort to improve the accuracy, truthfulness and consistency of food labelling for industry and consumers. The report is available at www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au August 2011
defence the power of
nutrition By Dr. James Meschino
With cancer risk factors (carcinogenic foods, environmental hazards, sedentary lifestyles) on the rise, there’s no better time to learn about a simple, painless step you can take to reduce your risk of developing cancer – or do your best to fight it if you’ve already been diagnosed. Yes, it’s the power of nutrition – nature’s best cancer defence.
If you haven’t already heard about the book Foods That Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer
Through Diet, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy and recommend it to everyone you know. The book is authored by two leading cancer researchers, Drs. Richard Beliveau and Denis Gringas. Dr. Beliveau holds the chair in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and Dr. Gringas is a researcher in the Molecular Medicine Laboratory of UQAM-Sainte-Justine Hospital (Centre de Cancerologie CharlesBruneau) and the University of Quebec at Montreal. Here’s some of what they say about how food can fight cancer.
How Food Fights Cancer As stated in their book, “Nature supplies us with an abundance of foods rich in molecules with powerful anti-cancer properties, capable of engaging with the disease (cancer) without causing any harmful side effects. In many respects, these foods possess therapeutic properties on par with those of synthetic drugs”. In a very precise but understandable manner, the two researchers outline the many biological targets affected by bioactive nutrients in foods that can help prevent cancer and be used in the adjunctive management of cancer. More specifically, they highlight the research showing how specific food-borne bioactive molecules can do the following: Decrease free-radical damage to DNA, which is known to produce cancerous mutations; Strengthen immune system function, as various immune cells are known to destroy cancer cells (e.g., macrophages and killer-T cells); Inhibit angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels) of developing tumours; Block key signal transduction pathways required for cancer cell replication; Stimulate pathways that induce programmed cell death (known as apoptosis) of existing and emerging cancer cells; Enhance detoxification, helping to neutralize and eliminate carcinogens in the body; Promote cellular differentiation, which decreases the risk of healthy cells from becoming cancer cells; Block the formation of dangerous nitrosamines (chemical compounds, some of which can cause cancer) in the body; Block the synthesis of dangerous forms of estrogen and testosterone, which are associated with reproductive organ cancers; Slow the rate of cell replication, which is a key factor in reducing the frequency of genetic mutations that may occur; Blocking receptor sites on cells to prevent over-stimulation of hormones and growth factors, which, in turn, slows down the rate of cell division;
Cancer Support Association
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reduce the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandin (series-2), hormone-like chemical messengers which are also linked to increased cancer risk.
Key Cancer-Fighting Foods In addition to reviewing the worldwide evidence on this subject, the Nutrinome Project, a project conducted in their own lab, has shown that raw extracts from certain fruits and vegetables inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells to varying degrees. Using medulloblastoma cancer cells (a very aggressive brain tumour), they showed that extracts of certain fruits and vegetables could inhibit the growth of these cancer cells in the following order: garlic, beet, kale, red cabbage, onion, turnip, cranberry, carrot, potato, squash, cabbage, and tomato. Since then, these researchers have gone further to show that blending some of these fruits and vegetables together into a cocktail and feeding it to immune-deficient mice, who were injected with human lung cancer cells under their skin, resulted in better health outcomes than occurred in nude mice who were injected with lung cancer cells, but did not receive the fruit and vegetable cocktail. (A more in-depth description of these experiments and pictures of the mice can be found in the book Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life, by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.) The specific brewed cocktail given to these mice closely matched what would be attainable for humans to mirror and included: Cabbage Blueberries Brussels sprouts Broccoli Garlic Scallions Turmeric Black pepper Cranberries Grapefruit Green tea The implication is that individuals who have cancer may wish to use a daily cocktail of this nature in conjunction with their standard medical treatment, as a means to enhance certain biological mechanisms that may help their body fight the disease.
Anti-Cancer Foods for Daily Use For the rest of us, Drs. Beliveau and Gringas suggest there is a daily preventive threshold level of cancer-fighting foods that each of us should strive to attain. Their suggestions for the prevention of cancer include consumption of the following items each day: Brussels sprouts – ½ cup Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage – ½ cup Garlic – 2 cloves Onions, shallots – ½ cup Spinach, watercress – ½ cup Soy (edamame, dry roasted beans) – ½ cup Freshly ground flaxseeds – 1 tablespoon Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon Turmeric – 1 teaspoon Black pepper – ½ teaspoon Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries – ½ cup Dried cranberries – ½ cup Grapes – ½ cup Dark chocolate (70 percent cacao) – 40 g Citrus juice – ½ cup Green tea – three 250 ml servings
“Nature supplies us with an abundance of foods rich in molecules with powerful anti-cancer properties, capable of engaging with the disease (cancer) without causing any harmful side effects. In many respects, these foods possess therapeutic properties on par with those of synthetic drugs” Drs. Richard Beliveau
continued on next page...
...continued from previous page While Drs. Beliveau, Gringas and ServanSchreiber don’t recommend the use of dietary supplements to prevent cancer, or in the adjunctive nutritional management of cancer, numerous studies have appeared in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals in recent years showing important anti-cancer properties provided by various nutritional supplements. This includes studies demonstrating their ability to help prevent cancer, reduce cancer incidence, and be used in conjunction with medical practices as an adjunctive measure to enhance the efficacy of some forms of chemotherapy and/or slow the progression of cancer and/or decrease the recurrence of cancer. As a practitioner who is affiliated with a leading cancer treatment facility in Toronto, my patients are provided with the best that medicine, diet and supplementation have to offer, based on the total pool of peer-reviewed scientific evidence. I have published numerous review papers on subjects pertaining to the use of nutritional supplements and cancer. I am also a lecturer on this subject in the Cancer Fellowship Program for medical doctors through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. So, I can proudly state that diet, nutrition and nutritional supplementation can all play a significant role in preventing and fighting cancer. F
From: To Your Health magazine July, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 07): www.toyourhealth.com. James Meschino, DC, MS, practices in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the author of four nutrition books, including The Meschino Optimal Living Program and Break the Weight Loss Barrier.
A note on flaxseed Flaxseed oil contains the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Fish and fish oil may protect against prostate cancer, but ALA may be associated with increased risk of prostate cancer in men. More research is needed, but men with prostate cancer should get omega-3 fatty acids from sources of EPA and DHA (such as fish or fish oil), rather than ALA. From: University of Maryland www.umm.edu
Cancer Support Association
Green leafy vegetables are known as “Super Foods” because they are a rich source of
nutrients and have numerous health benefits. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin A, B, C, E and K. They are high in Dietary Fibre, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium Folic Acid and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Green leafy vegetables are the source of antioxidants and phytonutrients (or phytochemicals). We’ve compiled this list of compelling facts to convince you to consume more leafy greens! 1. Green leafy vegetables boost your immune system due to the presence of antioxidants and phytonutrients. 2. Dark green leafy vegetables contains vitamin A, B, C, E and K which is essential to your body. 3. Dark Green leafy vegetables helps to slow down the aging process and prevent age-related diseases. In other words, it has anti-aging benefits. 4. Due to high level of antioxidant, green leafy vegetables has been found useful in fighting against diseases like Cancer, Osteopororis, Alzhemier’s, Macticular Degeneration, etc. 5. Dark green leafy vegetables in your daily diet can reduce the risk of Coronary Heart disease. As you know, that green leafy vegetables are rich source of folate and antioxidants: • Folate – helps to reduce the amount of homocyteine in the body (an Amino Acid which in high levels is linked to heart disease and stroke). • Antioxidants – content in leafy greens also helps to prevent free radicals from lining artery walls and the fibre content helps to remove unwanted plaque build-up. 6. It’s a perfect food for pregnant women. Green leafy vegetables contains the important nutrients such as “Folate” that is required for the proper growth and development of the fetus inside the mother’s womb. 7. Green leafy vegetables promotes bone health due to the presence of high levels of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps in the production of the Protein Osteocalcin in the body. 8. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. 9. Green leafy vegetables are good for the eyesight. They have lutein and zeaxanthin that helps to protect the eyesight from diseases like cataracts. 10. Low in calorie – an excellent food for Weight Management. 11. High in magnesium and low in glycemic values – Lowers your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes. 12. Folate in green leafy vegetables also plays an important role in the repair of damaged cells. Folate is known to reduce the risk of Colon, Lung, Cervix and Breast Cancer. 13. The rich fibre, flavonoids and cartenoids content in green leafy vegetables helps in the elimination of harmful carcinogens and toxins from the body. 14. Add more green leafy vegetables to your daily diet. This will help you to regulate the digestive system of the body, aids in bowel health and weight loss. F
The body makes saturated fat from carbohydrates, but not all
carbohydrates are the same. The carbohydrates that cause the body to make the most fat are the refined carbohydrates that are digested too quickly. By replacing refined carbohydrates and starches with vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit, the carbohydrates will take much longer to digest and the energy they provide will be burned by the body as fuel rather than stored as fat. Nearly all “whole” foods contain protein. It is difficult to eat a diet of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit and not get enough protein. The digestibility of whole grains and legumes is improved when they are sprouted. In fact, sprouted grains and legumes can be eaten raw.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Balanced diet is best for cancer prevention
What is Angiogenesis? “Angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer – every type of cancer.” Dr. William Li Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. Normal angiogenesis occurs during fetal development to create the baby’s circulatory system, and in the uterus during the menstrual cycle, as well as occurs around a wound or cut to help with healing.
It is a good idea to eat some fats with each meal, because they make you feel “sated” or “full” and help transport fat-soluble nutrients into the body. (Fibre also makes you feel “full”. High fibre foods include whole grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables.)
Tumour angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels that grow into the tumour, giving it nutrients and oxygen to assist its growth.
Coconut oil is the healthiest oil for cooking. Most cooking oils become rancid when they are heated. In general, it is better to cook longer at lower temperatures so that oils used in cooking are not damaged.
Tumour growth stops if tumour angiogenesis can be stopped, thus starving the cancer of nutrients and oxygen. If tumour angiogenesis proceeds, the tumour grows and may shed cells that will cause metastasis. Avastin (bevacizumab) is an antiangiogenesis drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Moderation is a virtue. The overall idea with fat is not so much to eat a “low fat” diet, but rather to replace the bad fats with good fats, and to eat about equal quantities of omega 3 and omega 6 oils. Good fats include coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil (omega 6), and flaxseed oil (omega 3). Flaxseed oil is highly unstable, must be kept refrigerated and in darkness. Flaxseed oil is consumed as a dietary supplement and/or in salad dressing (we use half flax oil and half olive oil in our salad dressing, together with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, water, herbs and xylitol). Other healthy oils include fish oils and sesame oils. Coconut oil contains fewer calories than other oils, and is easier to digest. The medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil can be digested by the saliva enzyme called “lingual lipase”, and are so easy to digest that they are incorporated into infant formulas and used in hospital IV feeding. Digested medium chain fatty acids tend to be used by the body for energy and do not get stored as body fat. In fact, the increased thermogenesis (metabolic rate) resulting from eating coconut oil is usually more than is needed to burn off the calories contained in the oil. We recommend that coconut oil be the main oil used for cooking. Bad fats are the modern refined vegetable oils (soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed, canola), hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and all fats that have been heated to high temperatures. The fat that clogs arteries is called trans fat. From a cancer prevention point of view, the fat you really need to avoid is excess body fat due to the estrogen that these fat cells produce. Eating a balanced nutrient-dense diet including an abundance of raw foods, exercising regularly, plus unplugging your TV should help you control your body fat. Preventing angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) by means of drugs and/or diet is a way to help prevent and treat cancer. It is interesting that a diet of anti-angiogenic foods is also found to reverse obesity in experimental animals. F
Anti-Angiogenic Foods Green Tea Red Grapes Lavender Strawberries Red wine Pumpkin Blackberries Bok choy Sea Cucumber Raspberries Kale Tuna Blueberries Soy beans Parsley
Oranges Ginseng Garlic Grapefruit Maitake mushroom Tomato Lemons Licorice Olive oil Apples Turmeric Grape seed oil Pineapple Nutmeg Dark chocolate
eat your way to a healthier life! By Dr David Servan-Schreibe
Cancer lies dormant in all of us. Like all living organisms, our
bodies are making defective cells all the time. That’s how tumours are born. But our bodies are also equipped with a number of mechanisms which detect and keep such cells in check. In the West, one person in four will die of cancer – but three in four will not: their defence mechanisms will hold out.
Dr David Servan-Schreiber: ‘It is up to us to use our body’s natural defences’
When Dr David Servan-Schreiber was just 31 a routine MRI scan revealed he had a brain tumour. Following successful treatment, Dr Servan-Schreiber, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, set about learning everything he could to prevent a relapse, scouring medical databases and scientific publications for research on how the body could best protect itself from cancer. The result is Anticancer, a definitive diet and lifestyle book. In this extract, he explains how you can boost your body’s natural defences against cancer.
Cancer Support Association
I had cancer. I was diagnosed for the first time 15 years ago. I received conventional treatment and the cancer went into remission, but I relapsed. After surgery and chemotherapy, I asked my oncologist what I should do to lead a healthy life and avoid another relapse. ‘Lead your life normally. We’ll do Cat scans at regular intervals and if your tumour comes back, we’ll detect it early,’ replied this leading light of modern medicine. We had used all the drugs and recognised medical practices relevant to my case. As for more theoretical mind-body or nutritional approaches, he clearly lacked the time or interest to explore these avenues. It took me nine months of research to begin to understand how I could help my body protect itself against cancer. This is what I learned: if we all have potential cancer lying dormant in us, each of us also has a body designed to fight the process of tumour development. It is up to us to use our body’s natural defences. It must be stated at the outset that there is no alternative approach to cancer that can cure the illness. It would be madness not to use the best of conventional Western medicine such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and soon molecular genetics. But at the same time it is also unreasonable to rely only on these more technical approaches and to neglect the natural capacity of our bodies to protect against tumours, when so much research now points to ways in which we can reduce the risk of developing or dying from the disease. It’s a myth that cancer is transmitted primarily through genes. Genetic factors contribute at most to 15 per cent of cancer mortalities. Cancer cells do not behave like normal cells. They refuse to die after a certain number of divisions, and they poison the tissues around them with chemical substances, creating inflammation, which they need to sustain their growth. Recent research reviewed in the journal Science confirms that the more successful cancers are in provoking inflammation, the more aggressive the tumour and the better it is at spreading over long distances, ultimately reaching lymph nodes and spreading to other organs. Links have been found between several types of cancer and chronic inflammation caused by either a virus such as papillomavirus in the cervix or environmental factors such as asbestos or smoking. Oncologists at the University of Glasgow have been measuring inflammation levels in the blood of patients with various cancers since the 1990s and have found that patients with the lowest levels of inflammation were twice as likely as the others to live for several years.
Environmental links Cancer has been increasing in the West since 1940. Three major factors have drastically disrupted our environment over the same period – the addition of large quantities of highly refined sugar to our diet, changes in farming methods and exposure to a large number of chemical products that didn’t exist before the Second World War. There is every reason to believe that these three phenomena play a major role in the spread of cancer.
The dangers of sugar Cancer feeds on sugar. The German biologist Otto Heinrich Warburg won a Nobel Prize for his discovery that the metabolism of malignant tumours is largely dependent on glucose consumption. Insulin production triggers inflammation. Those who eat low-sugar Asian diets tend to have five to ten times fewer hormonally driven cancers than those with diets high in sugar and refined foods. People who want to protect themselves from cancer should reduce their consumption of processed sugar and bleached flour. That means getting used to drinking coffee without sugar, avoiding sugary snacks between meals and cutting down on puddings.
Intensive farming When cows eat grass, their meat and dairy products are perfectly balanced in omega-3 fatty acids (which help to reduce inflammation and cancer cell growth) and omega-6s. But since the 1950s, pastures have been replaced by battery farming; corn, soy and wheat have become the animals’ principal diet. These food sources are rich in omega-6s and contain practically no omega-3s. Omega-6 fats and hormones given to stimulate milk production can trigger the growth of fatty cells and inflammation. The switch from grass to corn-soy combinations has also eliminated another anti-cancer benefit from dairy foods. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) helps fight the growth of cancer cells, according to research conducted by the National Institute of Agronomy Research in Tours, France. CLA is found primarily in cheese, but only if the cheese comes from grass-fed animals.
Toxins in the environment There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of toxic substances in our environment and in our bodies since the Second World War. In the US, researchers at the Centre for Disease Control have found the presence of 148 toxic chemicals in the blood and urine of Americans of all ages. In the past 30 years the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has tested 900 chemicals in
the environment and found only one to be categorically noncarcinogenic; 95 have been identified as ‘known carcinogens’, 307 are ‘possible’ and 497 remain ‘unclassified’. Many of these substances continue to be widely used, such as benzene, which is found in petrol, certain plastics, glues, lubricants, dyes and detergents. A significant number of brain tumours such as mine are sensitive to xenoestrogens, such as the pesticide atrazine, which is so powerful that it is capable of changing the sex of fish in the rivers it ends up contaminating. Between 1963 and 1970 from the age of two to nine, I played in cornfields sprayed with atrazine surrounding our country house in Normandy. All my life, until the day I was diagnosed with cancer, I drank milk, ate eggs, yoghurts and meat from animals fed with corn sprayed by pesticides. I ate unpeeled apples that had been sprayed 15 times with pesticides before reaching the grocers’ shelves. I drank tap water drawn from contaminated streams and water tables (atrazine isn’t eliminated by most water purification systems). My two cousins who have had breast cancer played in the same fields, drank the same water and ate the same food. We’ll never know the role atrazine or other agricultural chemicals may have played in our respective cancers.
The organic advantage At the University of Washington a young researcher, Cynthia Curl, questioned whether the organic food her friends gave their children was really healthier. She organised a study of 42 children aged two to five in which the parents had to write down exactly what the children ate for three days before she measured the traces of organochlorine pesticides in their urine. She found those whose diet was approximately 75 per cent labelled organic was distinctly below the minimum fixed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Levels found in children on conventional diets were four times higher than the official safety limit. A subsequent study conducted at the same university of 23 children, who were first fed a conventional diet and then ate nothing but organic foods, found that all traces of pesticides vanished from their urine after a few days and then returned once they resumed a conventional diet.
Inflammation aggravators (which can lead to cancer) • Traditional Western diet • White bread and pasta • Red meat, raised industrially • Oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids (corn, sunflower, safflower, soy) • Dairy products from industrially raised livestock (especially full fat) • Eggs from industrial farming hens fed corn and soy beans) • Unmanaged stress, anger and depression • Less than 20 minutes of physical activity a day • Cigarette smoke, atmospheric pollution, domestic pollutants
continued on next page... August 2011
FOOD & NUTRITION
The pharmaceutical industry is looking for drugs that will inhibit the chemical secreted by cancer cells which causes inflammation. But there are already a number of natural ways we can boost our immunity and reduce inflammation to help keep those cancer cells in check. It’s simply a matter of eliminating certain toxins from our environment, adopting an anti-cancer diet, seeking emotional balance and taking enough exercise.
...from previous page
Cabbages, sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower contain powerful anti-cancer molecules. But boiling will destroy them – steam briefly or stir-fry rapidly in a little olive oil.
• Mediterranean, Indian and Asian cuisine • Wholewheat bread and pasta • Organic meat from animals fed on grass or with flaxmeal, eaten at most three times a week • Olive oil • Dairy products mainly from animals fed on grass • Eggs of hens raised in a natural environment or fed flaxmeal • Laughter, lightheartedness, serenity • A 50-minute walk three times a week or 30 minutes six times a week • Clean environment
Cancer-fighting superfoods Some foods contain precious anti-cancer molecules. These include:
Carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, apricots, beets and all the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A and lycopene, which have the proven capacity to inhibit the growth of particularly aggressive cancers. Herbs can help reduce the spread of cancer cells
HERBS AND SPICES Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint are rich in essential oils of the tarpene family which reduce the spread of cancer cells by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighbouring tissues.
GREEN TEA Rich in polyphenols that reduce the growth of the new blood vessels needed for tumour growth, green tea is also a powerful antioxidant and activates mechanisms in the liver which help to eliminate cancerous toxins from the body more rapidly. In mice it has been shown to block the effects of chemical carcinogens responsible for breast, lung, oesophageal, stomach and colon cancer.
TURMERIC The most powerful natural anti-inflammatory identified today. In the laboratory it enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces tumour growth. To be assimilated by the body tumeric needs to be mixed with black pepper and, ideally, it should be dissolved in oil.
GARLIC, ONIONS, LEEKS, SHALLOTS and CHIVES These all help to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn reduces insulin secretion and thus the growth of cancer cells. They promote the death of cancer cells in colon, breast, lung and prostate cancer.
MUSHROOMS Shiitake, crimini, portabello and oyster mushrooms stimulate the reproduction and activity of immune cells. They are often used in Japan as a complement to chemotherapy to support the immune system.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES RICH IN CAROTENOIDS
Cancer Support Association
Oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit contain anti-infammatory flavonoids which are also present in the skin. So buy organic, unwaxed citrus fruit and add the zest to salad dressing or steep the skins in hot water or tea.
The mind-body connection It usually takes anywhere from ten to 40 years for the ‘seed’ of cancer in the form of a cellular anomaly to become a detectable cancerous tumour. No psychological factor has been identified as being capable of creating that cancer seed. However, stress profoundly influences the soil in which that seed develops. Most patients I’ve known remember a period of particular stress in the months or years preceding the diagnosis of their cancer. These situations don’t spark off cancer, but, as an article published in Nature in 2006 observes, they can give it an opportunity to grow faster. Stress causes the release of hormones which trigger inflammation and slows down digestion, tissue repair and the immune system. A study of more than 10,000 women at the University of Helsinki in Finland has shown that the loss of an important emotional relationship doubles the risk of breast cancer. The factors contributing to cancer are so varied that no one should blame themselves for developing the disease. But anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer can learn to live differently. After my relapse and a year of chemotherapy, I had to stop working. My wife Anna and I couldn’t agree on our son’s upbringing and we were having problems in our marriage. I was losing my wife, my family, my work and my health. I could feel my life slipping through my hands. Then I met Michael Lerner, a sociologist and psychotherapist. He helped me to focus on what gave me the most satisfaction rather than what was going wrong.
Health does not depend on any one organ or function but on relations between them. Everyone can learn how to foster that balance. All of the great medical and spiritual traditions in the East – yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong – teach people how to take over the reins of their inner being, concentrating the mind and focusing on the breath. This mastery is one of the best ways to reduce the impact of stress and helps re-establish harmony in a person’s physiology and stimulate the body’s natural defences. The body is a huge system in equilibrium. Alter just one thing – diet, exercise, stress – and the whole is affected. Each small step we take makes the next one seem easier – we can lose the taste for an unbalanced diet or smoking or alcohol because we are more able to detect its impact on our wellbeing. F
From: The Daily Mail, UK: www.dailymail.co.uk. This edited extract is taken from Anticancer: A New Way of Life by Dr David ServanSchreiber, published by Michael Joseph. To order a copy visit youbookshop.co.uk or amazom.com
illness affects the energy system To restore and maintain optimal energy we need to: 1. Face our fears. Fear carries a powerful creative energy. 2. Feel true compassion for self. Let compassion awaken a gratitude for who you are today. 3. Raise self esteem until we are not affected by approval or criticism. 4. Not to give others our power. It’s about making choices. From: Steps of Heart Centred Living by Christine Page, MD
‘I have more energy than before I had cancer’ ‘The idea of natural healing just wasn’t part of my world as a doctor before I had cancer,’ says Dr David Servan-Schreiber. ‘I remember discouraging patients, telling them it could harm them, and being irritated by the ones who refused conventional treatment.’ But when David himself became a cancer patient with limited life expectancy and began researching lifestyle factors which help the body to resist cancer, his attitude changed: ‘There is an enormous amount of scientific data which shows that natural healing mechanisms can be more effective than any drug when it comes to controlling cancer.’ He doesn’t deny the importance of Western medicine when it comes to treating cancer, ‘but there is no magical recipe. Even chemotherapy isn’t foolproof. It’s not a question of fighting the illness, more about nourishing life by choosing to eat and live in healthier ways, and you don’t need to have cancer to do that.’ David still lectures in psychiatry in America and in France, where he now lives with his wife and son, and has set up a centre for integrated medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. But perhaps most importantly he lives by the practices he preaches. By coming close to death he has understood that the point of life is to live it to the full. ‘I live with cancer cells and who knows how long I have, but I have more energy, better concentration andI enjoy myself more than before I had cancer.’ August 2011
the magical formula for radiant health By Richard Kerbaj
Possibly one of the most effective approaches for reversing your biological clock, enhancing your health and becoming much more radiant is to significantly reduce the quantity of food you eat. One way to do this is through intermittent fasting. The resulting pro-health gene expression initiated by greatly reducing your calorie intake is the only proven “anti-aging” method known and the simple reality is the more food you eat, the quicker illness, old age and death will come your way.
Reducing food intake and intermittent fasting can improve your health, energy levels and help you lose weight and look fantastic!
Most of us are slaves to the foods we eat continuously overburdening our digestive tracts with nutritionally devoid junk that eventually ends up taking us one step nearer to death with each bite taken. We eat when we are happy, sad, bored, celebrating, socialising, lonely and maybe countless other reasons but most significantly we eat when we aren’t even hungry. There is a powerful reason for this. We have been programmed by highly effective food industry propaganda that eating is the answer to all of our problems when the simple truth is it might be the biggest cause of them! Many of us never give our overworked digestion system a rest causing it to get blocked with putrefied waste material which eventually contaminates all the cells in our body resulting in disease and premature aging. Healthy radiant beauty on the outside can only be achieved if you are clean on the inside and while internal cleanses are an excellent tool for achieving this, lasting results can only be accomplished if you decide to stop stuffing yourself with excessive food that your body doesn’t need and cannot process efficiently. The human body actually needs very little food to repair and preserve itself. A more appropriate statement might be that the body requires very little nutrition to repair and maintain itself. There’s a strong reason to eat less, much less, on the genetic level as well. Consuming excess calories causes gene expression that accelerates aging while eating a reduced calorie diet will cause genes to express favorably for life extension and much better health. This has been recognized since 1935 when the well-known study by McCay and Crowell demonstrated that rats fed a restricted calorie diet experienced much less age-related disease and lived considerably longer than their fatter more well fed friends. Since that time a number of animal research has demonstrated that undereating while maintaining adequate nutrition has an extraordinary positive effect on wellness and longevity. Rewind one hundred or so thousand years and you’ll find our ancestors hunting for and gathering their food frequently traveling lengthy distances (exercising) by day and eating just one meal in the evening. These people were powerful, quick, had razor-sharp senses and are believed to have been extremely intuitive and yet they frequently fasted for nearly 24 hours day after day. Admittedly these folks didn’t live a long life however they probably died from severe climatic conditions or in the jaws of a saber-tooth tiger rather than from illness related to persistent bowel problems which causes many of the health problems that plague humankind today. To propose someone could become much healthier, improve their vitality, develop better intuition and slow the aging process by eating only one meal a day is more often than not viewed as pure ludicrousy in a culture that is constantly influenced by advertising and advertising disguised as news based on results of research funded by food companies who simply wish to sell you more of their product. So, what I am suggesting is that you begin thinking about your views on food and just how they developed.
Cancer Support Association
FOOD & NUTRITION
Do not eat unless you are hungry Giving your overtaxed digestive system a break once in awhile will free up vital energy your body will use for other more essential functions like repairing and healing. All spiritual leaders like Buddha and Jesus fasted and recommended it to their followers and while Jesus supposedly fasted for forty days, wonderful benefits can be achieved by fasting for 24 hours just one day a week. Consume your regular diet however just one day a week drink only pure water for a twenty four hour period either from dinner to dinner the next day, from lunch to lunch the next day or whatever feels right for you. Doing this just one day a week will help you slim down and appear years younger. Caloric restriction or “undereating”, after numerous animal studies has been proven to produce profound health benefits and prolong lifespan and fasting in this intermittent manner may be one of the better ways to experience these benefits. I fast for 24 hours every so often and amazingly on those days I think clearer and have more energy. For the last several months I have worked on greatly reducing my overall caloric consumption and have not lost any lean mass because of it. I suggest you find out more about the numerous benefits of eating less, much less. F
From Michael Kahunka is a health researcher, author and creator of www. kahunka.com, the website of Kahunka Health and Fitness
We’re always happiest when we find balance. Intermittent fasting, used correctly, is simply balancing eating with not eating. Intermittent fasting, even as small as a skipped meal occasionally, can help bring us back toward balance. There’s a reason for the momentum behind the popularity of intermittent fasting: research is showing a variety of positive health benefits attained through intermittent fasting. Improved heart health, increased brain function, prevention of chronic diseases, increased life span, and loss of weight are some of the effects noted. Proponents of fasting and nutritional healing have known about these benefits of fasting for a long time. But with this line of research perhaps we’re a step closer to our medical community embracing fasting as the therapeutic practice it is. Currently, the surge in popularity is due to the increased interest in losing weight. As the name implies, intermittent fasting is alternating between periods of eating normally and periods of fasting. These “periods” are open to user definition. These periods may range from refraining from eating for a certain number of hours each day, to fasting every alternate day to fasting one day a week. One day per week fasting has been advocated for many years now as a healthful fasting practice as it allows for rest and cleansing of our bodies, an antidote for our rich diets and toxic-laden world. It is often prescribed as a continuing maintenance schedule after cleansing and therapeutic fasts of greater duration have been performed. Generally, one day per week and/or three days per month and/or 1-2 weeks per year are used for this purpose.
By Swami Sivananda
isease is not a condition that ought to frighten you. It is not brought about by agencies outside yourself. Disease is the result of the kickings of life. Health alone exists. It is life alone that makes a man live. Disease is only a sign of health. It is the reaction of life to the entry of foreign matter into the system. Life’s cleansing process is called disease. There is only one disease and that is disease, or no ease. This means it is the struggle of life to get rid of foreign matter. This disease ought not to be suppressed with toxic drugs. Leave nature to get rid of it in her own way. The first and foremost aid is fasting. Digestion of food is one of the greatest charges on the vital economy. If you put food into the stomach during disease, the vital power – which is in the process of cleansing the system of foreign matter – is diverted from its function and is made to digest the food! The only result is a worsening of the condition. Food does not maintain life. Life eats the food and produces the energy necessary for its digestion and elimination. That is all. Life lives by itself. Food is necessary only for life to build and repair the body. Satvic (pure) food such as fruits, vegetables, whole cereals, nuts, green leafy vegetables and milk, nourishes the body and helps life. It does not need to be eaten with appetisers, which act as aeroplanes to carry the food to the stomach, since such food is not demanded by the life-fire within. This life-fire is God Himself. Man should wait for the appearance of this God within and only then offer Him some food. But nowadays people mistake the cravings of the palate for hunger. Perhaps hunger is a joy they have never experienced. Real hunger is indescribable in its nature. To know this one has to experience it. One cannot be told by another. August 2011
for Cancer Wellness
People with cancer can benefit from a juice fast...gentler than other forms of fasting, the juice fast detoxifies the body while providing essential nutrients for healing and wellbeing. Fasting is a completely natural healing therapy that has been used for thousands of years to aid, treat, and even cure many common maladies. It creates the same healing effects today. And while modern medicine so often attempts to alleviate outer symptoms of a health condition, fasting affects healing from the inside out, getting to the actual source of the condition, helping to burn inferior cells and build new healthier cells and tissues. Our bodies are capable of instigating their own perfect healing if we allow them the opportunity. Fasting is such an opportunity.
here are numerous types of fasting, all of which offer the same many healing benefits. Oftentimes, people develop a preference for one certain type or method, and then feel as if the other methods are inferior. In actuality, all types of fasting have something to offer. Depending on each person’s individual lifestyle, health issues, goals, and body chemistry, different methods of fasting will be appropriate for different people. You can choose a method that is appropriate for you right now. And, since all things change, tomorrow you may choose differently. Nothing could be more natural. There is nothing to lose in attempting a fast. There is no failure, for even if you “fail” to achieve your stated goal, you will have learned and experienced much of value. Use the information here to find, or create, a method of fasting that feels right for you now, that fits your goals and your lifestyle, and that you feel a motivation (not dread) toward.
All fasts will cleanse and detoxify All types of fasting give the same multitude of benefits. You don’t need to do a fast with the word “cleanse” or “detox” in it to rid your body of unwanted toxins. Nor do you need to do a “spiritual” fast in order to benefit spiritually. All types of fasting will lead you on a path to better and higher places. Your job is to pick among the types of fasting, one that appeals to you, and will work within your lifestyle and responsibilities. Keep in mind, the more severe the fast, the poorer your diet has been, and the less preparation you make, the more detox “symptoms” you are likely to have. For some people, these can be uncomfortable enough to force them into bed. My first water fast had me, at the end of the first day, in bed with the worst migraine I’d ever had. I had done zero preparation for this fast and was suffering for it. Life responsibilities were such that I chose to end the fast a little early so I could return to functionality. Within a couple hours of breaking it (with a little piece of fruit), I was at least able to get around. Slow is always the way to go, whether you’re fasting for weight loss or for detox. Eventually, when you’ve rid your body of years of stored toxins and pollutants, you will be able to enjoy the fasting highs others talk about, without any unpleasant side effects. Juice and fruit fasts are more gentle as the detoxing occurs more gradually. I’ve done many fruit fasts and have always felt relatively good – no severe pain or discomfort, just a few aches or a slight headache.
Cancer Support Association
Healing Effects of Fruit Juices
Many health professionals feel juice fasting to be THE fast to perform, as it is gentler than water fasting, giving your body high-quality nutrients in readily available form for your body to use toward rebuilding. These vitamins, minerals, and enzymes can be taken up by the blood easily and without burdening the body’s digestive system. Juice fasting also helps you to build a taste for fresh produce and become accustomed to the increased vitality. You will be drawn to more live foods after your fast. Both fruit and vegetable juices can be used, although they shouldn’t be mixed in the same drink. Canned, bottled, and frozen juices should be avoided during a juice fast. We want the freshest, highest-quality, organic produce to go into our bodies during a fast. Because of the potent nature of live juices, it is recommended you dilute them by at least 1/4 (1 part water to 3 parts juice), some suggest diluting by half. Three to five glasses of this diluted juice is drunk every day, along with plenty of water, at least 8 glasses. A couple cups of herbal tea is usually also permitted. The Juice Fasting Daily Plan gives a detailed breakdown for when and how much juice to drink. Fresh, homemade juices should be drunk right away and not stored for any length of time as the nutrients break down quickly. You can juice any fresh fruit or vegetable if you have a quality juicer, though you shouldn’t mix fruits and vegetables in the same drink. And melons are always best consumed by themselves. That still leaves you a lot of room to be creative with new concoctions if you so desire, but there’s nothing wrong with simplicity as well. Choosing just one fruit or vegetable for your juice is fine and may lessen the amount of time and effort you put into your daily meals, leaving you free for other detoxing practices (baths, saunas, dry skin brushing, light exercise, or breathing exercises) and spiritual pursuits. Fasting should always be accompanied by plenty of time to go inward and be reflective, listening for your inner messages and insights.
Healing Effects of Vegetable Juices Beets good for blood and liver, help with arthritis and menstrual problems Cabbage good for colon, helps with ulcers and colitis Carrot good for eyes and skin, fights infection, helps with arthritis and osteoporosis Celery good detoxifier, good for kidneys Cucumber helpful toward edema and diabetes Dandelion good detoxifier Leafy Greens purifier, good for skin, digestive problems, and obesity Onion helps lower blood pressure, good for colon Potatoes good for intestines, counteracts excess acidity in stomach Radish good for liver Spinach blood builder, good for eczema Tomatoes good for digestive system Wheatgrass good for blood, liver, intestines, breath
Healing Effects of Juiced Herbs Garlic lowers blood pressure, fights germs, good for allergies, colds, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes Horseradish acts as disinfectant and diuretic Parsley diuretic Watercress detoxifier, good for anemia and colds
Tips for Juice Fasting Drink 3-5 glasses of diluted juice per day. If you have any stomach pain, dilute further or “chew” it before swallowing to thoroughly mix with saliva. The actual amount of juice will be about half a litre per day. Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water. You can add fresh squeezed lemon to this water, if desired. One or two cups of herbal tea is ok. You can use a stimulating one in the morning and a sleep-enhancing one before bed. While fresh juices should be drunk promptly, don’t drink in a hurry. Take the time to treat it as a “meal”, paying attention to the physical sensations that come from the body’s nourishment. Eating the juice with a spoon can help you slow down and feel fuller.
Some really good juices for juice fasting are apple, beet, cabbage, carrot, celery, citrus, cucumber, grape, and “green drinks” from leafy greens, including wheat grass. Use this chart to help you decide.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Juice fasting offers a great way to detox and increase health and vitality. The nutritional gusto of fresh organic juices will help your body to heal, rebuild, and detoxify waste products. Even short fasts are beneficial toward leading you to a greater sense of well-being.
Apples good for liver and intestines, relieves diarrhea Blackberries prevent diarrhea, help eliminate phlegm Blueberries help strengthen immune system, lower fever Cherries strengthen blood, good for colon and menstrual problems Grapes purify and strengthen blood, good for colon Lemons good for liver and gallbladder, helps with allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and colds Oranges strengthen immune and nervous sytems, good for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and varicose veins Peaches improve skin health, help detoxify Pears helps lower blood pressure, good for gallbladder Pineapple good for eyes and skin, helps with allergies, arthritis, inflammation, and edema Strawberries cleansing to the blood, strengthen nerves Watermelon good for kidneys, helps with edema
Upon awakening: Drink a glass of water with 1 teaspoon Epsom or Glauber salts added. Follow with 150ml of fresh vegetable juice diluted by a third (2 parts juice to 1 part water) or up to a half (1 part juice to 1 part water). Breakfast: 75ml juice diluted with water. Fruit juice is good at this point for the energy supplied by the sugars. During the morning: Another 75ml fruit juice diluted with water.
For a juice fast, this plan can be a guideline. It tells you how much juice to consume and when. This plan utilises Epsom or Glauber salts for intestinal cleansing. You could substitute these salts with other fasting colon cleanse methods. Both fruit and vegetable juices are called for in this plan for those who have that much flexibility. If one type of juice is not available, just use the kind you have. Using distilled water for your drinking water is okay, even preferred by some during a fast, for its ability to bind to toxins. It should only be used for short durations, such as fasting, because it can also bind to the good minerals in the body. If you use distilled water, you should be extra careful with your diet choices in the days and weeks following a fast, to be sure you are replenishing any lost minerals.
Lunch: 150ml vegetable juice diluted with water. During the afternoon: 75ml fruit juice diluted with water. Dinner (no later than 7 p.m.): 120ml vegetable juice and 75ml fruit juice, both diluted, but not mixed together. Before bed: 1 cup of herbal tea, perhaps a sleep-inducing one or one with laxative properties. Throughout the day drink an additional 1.5 – 2 litres of purified water. A squeeze of lemon may be added to this drinking water, both for cleansing effect (lemon breaks up mucus), and for additional flavour. Use your time wisely during your juice fast. Slow down the usual pace of your life to make time and energy for healing, and know that any detox symptoms are a sign that your body is cleansing out impurities. Practicing methods of enhancing detox, such as dry skin brushing and breathing exercises, during a juice fast, are highly encouraged. As is time for self-reflection, so you don’t miss the sometimes subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, insights to your emotional patterns. You may find yourself feeling more emotional than usual, don’t be hard on yourself about this, but see it as a perfect time to heal these issues as well. There’s nothing complicated to do. Just let them express. And you’ll be rewarded with much greater understanding. Fasting articles, tips and information provided by www.allaboutfasting.com. The information on their website and in this article is not intended to replace the advice of a health professional who is familiar with any and all of your individual health-related issues. When undertaking a fasting regime you should seek the advice of a naturopath or nutritionist, particularly if you have cancer.
Cancer Support Association
FOOD & NUTRITION
While a three day fast is an excellent option and can fit nicely into a weekend, there are others. Give careful consideration when deciding how long to fast. If you’ve never fasted before, a commitment of a day or less is easier to accomplish and will familiarise you with the process. Use that first experience to learn what your body’s particular reactions are. Every body is unique. You need to learn about yours.
Keep in mind that the time commitment is longer than the actual fast. There are the transition periods both before and after, during which you ease away from your full diet and then ease back toward it. The length of your transition periods can be based upon the length of the fast. You would take half the number of days of the fast for each transition period, essentially doubling the number of days between start and finish. So a 10 day fast would then require 20 days of attention and commitment from you. A three day fast would take 6. Many feel 4 days is sufficient transition for both before and after any length fast. This assumes, however, that you are embarking on a new healthier eating plan, and not delving straight into junk food on the 5th day. For a three day fast, you’ll want to allot at least a day before and a day after. One day fasts can be begun with a light dinner the night before. Although, keep in mind that the longer you spend acclimating your body beforehand, the easier (more comfortable) your fast will be. I’ve spent 5 days cleaning up my diet and scaling back portions for just a one day fast. It occurred more by happenstance than by design, but the day long fast was so much more comfortable and enlightening. And I enjoyed the mental/emotional and spiritual benefits of fasting much longer afterward.
Choosing a length
Length of time for a fast should always be the length that is right for you at the time. Remain flexible. Of course you’ll have a goal in mind when you begin, but don’t be too inflexible to end the fast should your body signal. Severe pain and discomfort may mean you have attempted too much, too soon. You can back off a bit, eating a small piece of fresh fruit for now, and consider spending some time on a cleansing diet before your next fast. Be careful not to fast too frequently; allow your body sufficient time to rebuild nutritional reserves. Two days per week is too frequent, as is one week every month. Recommended fasting times for regular, occasional “maintenance” and rebalancing are one day per week and/or 3 days per month and/or 10 days yearly. According to the Balchs’ book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, considered by many to be a modern-day bible on natural health and healing, different length fasts accomplish different things: Three day fast – aids in eliminating toxins and cleanses the blood Five day fast – begins healing and rebuilding the immune system Ten day fast – heads off problems in the making and helps to prevent illness, including degenerative diseases
Prepare for a fast by eating fewer and lighter meals for a few days prior. The length of preparation is based on the intensity and length of your planned fast. The longer and/ or more intense the fast, the more days of preparation you should make. Caffeine – If you’re a coffee drinker, wean yourself off prior to beginning the fast and you’ll avoid the withdrawal headache. This goes for other caffeinated beverages, as well. Exercise and activity – Plan for a light workload during a fast. Don’t overdo. Moderate exercise is ok, even helpful, but save the more strenuous workouts for another time. Walking and yoga are particularly well-suited to fasting. Rest – Get plenty of rest – allow yourself naps during the day whenever you feel the need. Detox – Start practicing dry skin brushing and breathing exercises to help with detox through both the skin and the lungs. After the fast – Pay attention to the subtle signals from your body as they can guide you to the foods most appropriate for your needs.
The 16 Important Rules Can a diet help you beat cancer? The 16 points below come from research studies published by Cancer Watch – in fact, all have appeared in several different research studies from several expert sources and the findings are very consistent. This diet-cancer-research list is a starting point for you to use in your cancer nutrition plan.
Cancer Support Association
1. Take your vitamins Here are some tips on consuming adequate vitamins (best sources in order): ◦Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, wheatgerm, soya oil, Betacarotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, cherries, spinach. ◦Vitamin C: red peppers, broccoli, papaya, oranges ◦Lycopene: tomatoes, especially cooked ◦Selenium: brazil nuts in shells, wholemeal, sunflower seeds, eggs ◦Zinc: oysters(!), sunflower seeds ◦Omega 3: salmon, herring, mackerel, flaxseed ◦Vitamin K: greens and broccoli ◦Then there are known anti-cancer fighters in garlic, onions, apples, dark red and black fruits, nuts – think reds, yellows, greens and blues.
2. Eat Fresh Eating processed and packaged food (plastic or tinned) not only increases your salt and sugar consumption but may provide lower vitamin levels. There are also concerns about packaging toxins. Freshly prepared food maximises your nourishment. Lightly steam, grill, avoid frying and microwaves.
3. Eat Whole Whole grains, whole foods. Low Glycaemic Index foods that release their energy slowly. Foods full of nourishment for your undernourished body. Eat fresh – especially avoiding those processed and packaged foods which often contain nutritionally worthless refined ingredients and large levels of salt which can poison your cells.
Don’t stuff. One or two massive meals play havoc with your insulin levels and disrupt all your hormones. You should snack, or graze, ensuring a slow but steady stream of nutrients to your body, especially as some vitamins are water soluble and can flush through in just a few hours.
and beneficial fatty acid levels all decline. And these ‘good guys’ help eliminate toxins like heavy metals and oestrogenic compounds, they stimulate the immune system, digest/ eliminate microbes and yeasts, and new research shows they produce butyrate which can kill cancer cells! Your cancer treatment may very well have left you depleted. It’s a fact: Antibiotics and certain drugs kill the ‘good guys’.
5. Eat oily fish
12. Guard a correct weight
Salmon, herring and mackerel provide omega 3, proven to reduce cellular inflammation levels. They also provide a little vitamin D a known anticancer compound (You can also go in the sunshine – half an hour a day. If you cannot do this, supplement)
Shown to have all manner of anticancer benefits from a reduction in cellular inflammation levels (along with aspirin, curcumin, ginger and aloe vera) to limiting blood supply to tumours.
Being overweight increases your risks of cancer, and shortens survival times. But the good news is that research from NorthWestern in America showed that if you correct your excess weight it will increase your survival times. Equally, do not lose too much weight, a severe occurrence in about 7 per cent of chemotherapy patients – cachexia (as it is called) – will cut survival times. Eat properly, not fattening foods, dairy and empty calories, but good foods that don’t feed your cancer at the same time. Hydrazine sulphate has been shown in research, including clinical trials, from the USA to Russia to reduce the dangers of both high glucose and cachexia. No one ever seems to know about this and it is ignored!
7. Eat less calories than you need
13. Avoid Glucose
6. Eat garlic
Research from Harvard and UCLA shows benefits in cancerfighting hormones where people consume 5% less calories than they need. Some of these benefits can be replicated by the natural compound resveratrol. (See our web site for more on this)
8. Drink clean water The best is clean mountain water in glass bottles. You can try an ionizer or a Reverse Osmosis System with a remineraliser/ alkalizing system. The issue is that in big cities where the water is recycled you can find levels of oestrogenic compounds and even the latest drugs in the water. Plastic bottled water may also release phthalates (xenoestrogens) into the contents, especially if they have been exposed to heat or sitting in the sun.
9. Eat more Herbs Herbs have very beneficial cleansing and immune-stimulating properties. It is often said that they conflict with certain drugs but there is very little research on the truth of this. Four of the best are astragalus, cat’s claw, echinacea and turmeric (curcumin). MD Anderson says astragalus doubles survival times for certain patients.
10.T ake natural supplements If you feel you cannot get your nourishment fast enough naturally, or feel you are suffering shortages, then you can supplement – but avoid the cheap, mass-market, synthetic vitamins that often do not contain all the natural forms of the vitamin, and look for natural compounds – like whole/total vitamin E, resveratrol, Indole 3 Carbinol
Glucose is the favourite food of a cancer cell. Cancer patients with high blood levels of glucose have shorter survival times. Fact. Remember, not all sugars are glucose. Some, for example, are extremely beneficial polysaccharides (like those in garlic, aloe vera, apples and brown rice) which can stimulate the immune system, some are fruit sugars, others have intra-cellular communications benefits. No, here we are talking common or garden glucose (found in soft drinks from Coca cola – 10 spoonsful in one can – to ‘healthy’ Ribena and smoothies, sticky buns, cakes, ice cream, fast food, packaged food). Avoid it all like the plague.
14. Avoid Dairy You simply do not need more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1) in your body making your cells divide faster when you have cancer. The studies linking dairy consumption with cancer are numerous (cervical, breast, prostate etc). And lactose (milk sugar) can be a negative factor for cancer patients too, especially where they have yeast or microbe infections.
15. Avoid Alcohol No one is saying the occasional glass of red wine in an evening won’t be beneficial and relaxing. But it is proven that alcohol consumption can drive cancers, both directly and by feeding any yeast infections.
16. Avoid bad fats.
11. Take Probiotics
No refined oils, no trans-fats in your anti-cancer diet. They increase levels of ‘free-radicals’ in the body and are linked to increase cancer risk. Avoid animal fats where possible. Try extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil on your salads. Eat oily fish, or take fish oil supplements. Eat flaxseed on your home-made mueseli. Don’t fry your food or eat greasy fast food. F
More than 80 clinical trials have shown that without friendly bacteria in your gut you cannot get the full nourishment from your foods. For example, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin B-12
From: canceractive.com August 2011
FOOD & NUTRITION
4. Eat smaller meals
Recipes: Slow Foods for winter wellness Winter is a time for food cooked slowly and gently. Food which nurtures your body with its intrinsic warmth and nutrition...
Healing Barley Soup This recipe is from my wise grandmother, which includes other healing foods like garlic, onion, herbs and lemon along with the barley. She knew that this inexpensive traditional whole food has been used as a healing agent for centuries. Barley is a potent source of B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, and Vitamin E, has a low glycemic index, its fibre helps reduce cholesterol and it makes us feel pleasantly full without loading on the calories. The cooked barley has a pasta-like consistency that really satisfies, and this soothing soup always makes me feel better.
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion (I use red, but white or yellow will do just fine), coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup pearl barley 6 cups good-quality vegetable stock 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried (thyme is a good anti-microbial) 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 cup sweet potato, peeled, and diced 3 cups seasonal greens, chopped (I like kale, but turnip greens, Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, mustard greens, or spinach will work beautifully) Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice per serving Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional, but it’s very soothing for scratchy throats) Fresh herbs for garnish, optional Directions: Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot and add onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 or 2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and golden but not browned. Add pearl barley, stirring to coat with oil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock, thyme, and rosemary. Increase heat to bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and cook 1 hour, until barley is barely tender. Add carrot and sweet potato, and continue cooking 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables have softened. Add greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Use a potato masher to gently crush the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Ladle soup into bowls, adding lemon juice and cayenne pepper (if desired) to each serving, and top with fresh herbs if you like.
From: www.care2.com. Recipe by Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).
About slow food... Are you looking for a simple way to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter? Begin
by joining the international slow food movement! Slow food enthusiasts seek new ways to prepare food in the oven or on the grill – never in the microwave. They make food a priority and try to buy local, fresh organic ingredients whenever possible. During the summer, this means visiting farmers’ markets to deal with local growers, and it means selecting quality regional wines and learning which foods to pair them with. Slow the food you eat the enjoyment of food your priority. To enjoy slow food simply start at home with some local ingredients and an afternoon with nothing to do but cook an exquisite meal to enjoy with friends...
Cancer Support Association
Being a vegetarian protects you from cancer, claim scientists in a wide-ranging study which found cutting out meat can reduce the risk of some types of the disease by half.
Adzuki Bean & Vegetable Stew This is a simple recipe with one of the easiest to digest beans – adzuki beans. I love them. Ingredients: 1 onion, finely chopped 3 sticks of celery, sliced 1 zucchini, chopped 2 carrots, sliced 2 – 5 garlic cloves, minced 1- 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped 1 1/2 cups adzuki beans 3 pieces of Wakame Seaweed, rinsed and broken into pieces 2 – 6 tbsp. Tamari Few drops of Stevia (optional) Directions: 1 Cook adzuki beans for 1 – 2 hours (time is dependent on how long you soak the beans for prior to cooking. It is recommended to soak the beans overnight and then rinse them thoroughly before cooking) 2. When beans are soft, add Wakame and cook for another few minutes. 3. Then add onions, celery, zucchini, carrots, ginger and garlic. 4. Simmer for 1/2 hour or till vegetables are tender. 5. Add Tamari to taste and a few drops of stevia. 6. Serve with a whole grain.
From: realfoodforlife.com. Recipe by Diana Herrington who turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green, Clean and Lean.
Researchers who studied tens of thousands of Britons over more than a decade found that vegetarians were 12 per cent less likely to contract cancer than their meat eating counterparts. With a third of the population developing cancer in their lifetime, changing diets could result in more than two million people avoiding the disease altogether, said the researchers. For some cancers like leukaemia, stomach and bladder cancers the difference was even more striking with up to 45 per cent fewer nonmeat eaters contracting the diseases than carnivores. Dr Naomi Allen, an epidemiologist at Oxford University and co-author of the study, said: “This is strong evidence that vegetarians have lower rates of cancer than meat eaters.” Although it is widely recommended people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to reduce their risk of cancer and other diseases, there is very little evidence looking specifically at a vegetarian diet. The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is one of the findings from the European Perspective Investment into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) which is following half a million people. More than 61,000 people aged between 20 and 89, roughly half of whom were vegetarian, were followed for more than 12 years in the British arm of the research which is supported by Cancer Research UK. During the time 3,350 people contracted 20 different cancers and the team compared the rates of meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians. All the results were adjusted to take into account smoking, obesity, alcohol intake and lifestyle. While common cancers such as prostate and breast cancer showed little difference, the overall cancer rates were different as were those for blood, stomach and bladder cancers. Fish eaters actually had the lowest rate of cancer – 18 per cent lower than meat eaters – but they were also the smallest sample. Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, said: “These interesting results add to the evidence that what we eat affects our chances of developing cancer. “We know that eating a lot of red and processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancer. But the links between diet and cancer risk are complex and more research is needed to see how big a part diet plays and which specific dietary factors are most important. “The relatively low number of vegetarians who developed cancer in this study supports Cancer Research UK’s advice that people should eat a healthy, balanced diet high in fibre, fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fat, salt and red and processed meat.” Su Taylor, of The Vegetarian Society, said: “That is why we need more research along these lines to find out exactly what is going on. We are not saying vegetarianism is the panacea for all ill health but it certainly helps protect against a number of diseases.” F
From: The Telegraph: www.telegraph.co.uk. By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent August 2011
Being a vegetarian can cut your cancer risk in half
Fish oil in cancer care A
new analysis has found that supplementing the diet with fish oil may prevent muscle and weight loss that commonly occurs in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. Published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that fish oil may help combat cancer-related malnutrition. Chemotherapy can cause cancer patients to lose muscle mass and become malnourished, leading to fatigue, a decreased quality of life, an inability to receive necessary treatments, and shorter survival. Researchers suspect that supplementing the diet with fish oil – which contains omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid – may help patients maintain or gain muscle. To test the hypothesis, Vera Mazurak, PhD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, led a team that compared the effects of fish oil with that of standard care (no intervention) on weight, muscle, and fat tissue in newly referred non-small cell lung cancer patients. The trial involved 16 patients who took fish oil (2.2 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid/day) and 24 patients who did not. The study ran until patients completed their first-line (initial) chemotherapy treatments, which lasted about 10 weeks. Muscle and fat were periodically measured using computed tomography images. Blood was collected and weight was recorded at the start of the study and throughout chemotherapy. Patients who did not take fish oil lost an average of 2.3 kilograms whereas patients receiving fish oil maintained their weight. Patients with the greatest increase in eicosapentaenoic acid concentration in the blood following fish oil supplementation had the greatest gains in muscle. Sixty-nine percent of patients in the fish oil group gained or maintained muscle mass. Comparatively, only 29 percent of patients in the standard care group maintained muscle mass, and overall, patients in this group lost 1 kilogram of muscle. No difference in total fat tissue was observed between the two groups. The authors concluded that nutritional intervention with two grams of fish oil per day provides a benefit over standard care, allowing patients to maintain their weight and muscle mass during chemotherapy. “Fish oil may prevent loss of weight and muscle by interfering with some of the pathways that are altered in advanced cancer,” said Dr. Mazurak. “This holds great promise because currently there is no effective treatment for cancer-related malnutrition,” she added. Dr. Mazurak noted that fish oil is safe and non-toxic with virtually no side effects. It may be beneficial to patients with other forms of cancer and other chronic diseases that are associated with malnutrition, as well as to elderly individuals who are at risk for muscle loss. F
Cancer Support Association
Tofu is a highly nutritious, protein-rich, delicious food that
is made from the curds of soybean milk. Off-white in colour, it is usually sold in rectangular blocks. Tofu is a staple in the cuisines of many Asian countries. Tofu is its Japanese name, while in China it is known as doufu. Tofu is one of the most versatile foods, serving a host of different purposes ranging from salad dressing to dessert to entrée and more. Some of its versatility is owed to its neutral taste, which gives tofu the ability to absorb the flavours of surrounding ingredients. Additionally, tofu comes in a range of consistencies that can suit a variety of different recipes. Tofu is available in either the traditional Chinese form or the silken Japanese form, with the latter having a smoother, custard-like texture. Both forms can be found in soft, firm or extra-firm textures. Although once only found in Asian food markets, this seemingly bland food can miraculously take on the flavour of its surrounding ingredients making it a highly versatile as well as highly nutritious part of a healthy diet. Tofu can now be found in your local supermarkets throughout the year. Tofu is a very good source of protein, specifically soy protein, as well as numerous other nutrients necessary for good health. While a complete review of all the benefits soybeans offer could easily fill a large book, recently there has been controversy as to the extent to which soybeans are a health-promoting food so it is best to consume it in moderation.
Tofu & ovarian cancer Eating tofu regularly can almost halve a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer, according to researchers. A study found that a daily portion of 10gm of the food, a meat substitute made from soya bean curd, cut the risk by 44 per cent. This level of consumption releases around 3mg or more of isoflavones, the plant hormones in soya believed to protect against some forms of cancer and heart disease. The benefit also came from other products from the soya plant, including soya fortified milk and dairy products. F
A Recipe to Increase Your Chi (energy levels)
Tofu and Pear Soup This lovely soup features foods and herbs that are cooling and moistening. The cold nature of the tofu is balanced by the inclusion of a little ginger root. This recipe lubricates the lungs, clears heat, gently expels wind through the skin, and strengthens the spleen and lungs. It can also be used for a dry cough in the aftermath of a common cold. For increased tonification chicken may be substituted for the tofu, which will, however, make it less cooling. Ingredients: 1 lb hard or soft tofu 2 Asian or Bosc pears, sliced 2 slices fresh ginger root 1 small onion, sliced 10 red dates, seeded, cut into half 1 dash Chinese five spice powder Soy sauce and white pepper to taste Chinese Herbs (if you are able to obtain): 28 grams Pueraria Root (Ge Gen) 28 grams Fritillariae Bulb (Chuan Bei Mu) 14 grams Lotus Seed (Lian Zi) 28 grams Lily Bulb (Bai He) 14 grams Polygonati Rhizome (Yu Zhu) 2 pieces Dioscorea Root (Shao Yao) 28 grams Glehniae Root (Bei Sha Shen) 14 grams dried Longan Fruit (Long Yan Rou)
Directions: Saute the ginger, onions, and tofu in a little sesame oil. If using hard tofu, cut it into strips; if using soft tofu, just mash it up a bit. After the onions are a little brown, add five or six cups of water with the sliced pears and the herbs. Add dates and bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Add a dash of five spice powder near the end. Serve with soy sauce and pepper to taste. A word of caution – while all the herbs listed in these recipes are perfectly safe kitchen herbs, as with all herbs there are contraindications and cautions. One should not overdo tonic herbs or rich tonic food as this can lead to excessive heat and digestive congestion. If one is yin deficient and suffering from “deficiency heat” or a very weak digestion, some of the tonic herbs can cause additional heat or congestion. Lastly, if you are sick and still carrying a pathogen you should be careful in your choice of herbs. Please consult a local herbalist who practices dietary medicine if you are in doubt. If in doubt omit the “Chinese herbs” section from the ingredients list. You will notice when cooking with herbs that some of the roots, like Ginseng, appear quite edible after cooking and others, like Astragalus appear too stringy and fibrous to eat. You are right! Just eat the ones that look good. Bon Appetit!
From Grandma’s Kitchen: www.jadedragon.com
protein snack for vegetarians A simple and delicious protein snack for vegetarians is tofu marinated in tamari and finely chopped fresh ginger, then gently fried on the stovetop. Serve with English spinach and a sprinkle of seeds on a piece of toast. Quick and delicious! August 2011
Recipes for Wellness, Healing & Extra Energy! Nutritionist to the stars, Kimberly Snyder has released a new book about how what we eat ultimately affects the rate at which we age, and how our food choices really affect the way we look and feel. Green juices and smoothies, beautiful plant foods, gluten free grains and beautifying, system supporting supplements form the basis of Kim’s Beauty Detox Solution. She talks about the importance of good digestion, how the energy of our foods directly relates to the energy in our bodies and why it’s so important to take it slow and transition correctly when jumping into any new eating style. Each element of her regime is explained in such a way that you can’t help but be super eager to start eating the way she promotes. Plus, the book is full of delicious smoothie and meal recipes. Like this one, which Kim says is the shining star of her regime … Kim’s website is at: www.kimberlysnyder.net
Glowing Green Smoothie Ingredients: 1 ½ cups water 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped ½ head of large bunch or ¾ of small bunch spinach 3-4 stalks celery 1 apple, cored and chopped 1 pear, cored and chopped 1 banana Juice of ½ lemon Optional: 1/3 bunch coriander 1/3 bunch parsley Directions: Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple and pear. Add the coriander and parsley if you choose. Add the banana and lemon juice last. Note: use organic ingredients where possible.
Cancer Support Association
Green, leafy vegetables provide a great variety of colours from the bluish-green of kale to the bright green of spinach. Leafy greens run the whole gamut of flavours, from sweet to bitter, from peppery to earthy. Young plants generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavour. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavours. Collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, and spinach provide a mild flavour while arugula, mizuna and mustard greens provide a peppery flavour. Bok choy is best known for use in stir-fries, since it remains crisp, even when cooked to a tender stage. You should always choose crisp leaves with a fresh vibrant green colour. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavour. Salad greens provide a whole range of important nutrients and phytochemicals to keep us healthy. F
In Praise of Avocados By Dr. Ralph W. Moss
The Hass avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is a great American Avocados are packed with good nutrients and have been proven to fight cancer. Avocados are high fibre and high life force. The perfect food to EAT EVERYDAY if you have cancer
Avocado Smoothies... Apple and Avocado Smoothie 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, skin on 1/2 ripe Hass avocado 1/2 apple juice 1/2 cup ice 3 sprigs mint leaves 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice Green Goblin’s Potion 1 medium or large ripe avocado 1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple 1 Tbs honey 1 1/2 cup orange juice 2 tsp lime juice (optional) 1/4 tsp coconut meat 2 ice cubes Avocado Banana Berry Smoothie Half a ripe avocado 1 to 1 1/2 frozen bananas 4 to 5 frozen or fresh strawberries Splash of nut milk Pinch cardamom Pear Avocado Smoothie 1 large pear, chopped 1/2 cups green grapes 1/4 avocado 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon lemon juice Blend and top with chopped pecans. Green Power Smoothie wheatgrass 1 whole avocado with a pit blended thoroughly together then add 3 bananas 2 large handfuls of a mango/peach frozen blend soaked chia seeds flax oil Directions Blend ingredients together until smooth. If ice is included in your smoothie pulse the ice until incorporated.
Avocado Smoothie recipes from www.bewellbuzz.com
success story. A California mailman named Rudolph Hass discovered this cultivar, which turns purplish-black upon ripening, and patented the tree in 1935. Every Hass avocado tree in existence is derived from a single tree that Hass planted in La Habra Heights. (The tree was finally cut down in 2002.) While Hass avocados today constitute a billion dollar business, Hass himself made only $5,000 from his patent. Hass avocados are often shunned by the health conscious because of their high fat content. But most of the fat in question is monosaturated, and thus is similar to olive oil. Other than its potential for adding poundage, avocados are a great source of nutrients, such as potassium and fibre. They have an abundance of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folic acid, etc. Hass avocados contain the highest content of lutein among all commonly eaten fruits, as well as other carotenoids such as zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. In the past few years, there has been a steady stream of research on the anti-cancer potential of avocados. Scientists at Ohio State University (OSU) found that an extract of Hass avocado selectively induced apoptosis in cancer but not normal, human oral epithelial cell lines. Apoptosis is the most common form of programmed cell death (PCD) and is the way that most drugs actually kill cancer cells. OSU scientists believe that consuming avocados may help prevent oral cancer (Ding 2009). “As far as we know, this is the first study of avocados and oral cancer,” said Dr. Steven M. Ambrosio of Ohio State. “We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of precancerous cells in the body or they kill the precancerous cells without affecting normal cells. Our study focuses on oral cancer, but the findings might have implications for other types of cancer” (Science News 2007). Another promising study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that an extract of avocado inhibit the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines in the laboratory. This caught the attention of many patients, since there are few treatments that will work on prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormone therapy. The mechanism of action was an arrest of the cell cycle accompanied by increased expression of the p27 protein. P27 helps regulate the normal cell cycle. Many colourful fruits and vegetables also contain carotenoids. But UCLA scientists speculate that it is precisely because of the high monosaturated fat content that the carotenoids in avocado are absorbed into the bloodstream, “where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the significant cancer risk reduction associated with a diet of fruits and vegetables” (Lu 2005). So, yes, avocados can be fattening, but the monostatured oil in this case may be serving a very good purpose. Depending on your weight, adding avocados to the diet could be an excellent idea. In addition, avocados are considered to be among the foods that have the least amount of pesticide residues. They therefore made the “Clean 15” list of the Environmental Working Group. Fewer than 10 percent of avocado samples had detectable pesticides, and fewer than one percent had more than one pesticide residue (Minton 2009). F
From Dr Ralph Moss’website: www.cancerdecisions.com August 2011
How Almonds Can Help Prevent Cancer Having your daily dose of nuts is good for your wellness, and
almonds are actually one of the most nutritious snacks you can opt for. It’s already been established that almonds have a lot of health benefits. But more than that, these nuts can actually help prevent different types of cancer. The various components and nutrients present in almonds each cater to battling different types of cancer cells.
Phytochemicals A high concentration of phytochemicals are present on an almond’s dark brown skin. Studies show that this powerful natural compound, which plants use to protect themselves against pests, have been seen to fight off cancer cells. In various laboratory experiments, the phytochemicals found in almonds actually aid in keeping brain tumours from multiplying. There are even accounts of the tumours decreasing significantly.
Vitamin B17 Almonds are rich in vitamin B17, or laetrile, a substance known to prevent cancer. Keep in mind, though, that it’s the bitter almonds that are rich in this vitamin, not the common sweet almonds. It has been noted that vitamin B17 kills cancer cells, if used as part of a holistic nutritional program. Alternative medical practitioners suggest eating several bitter almonds daily to prevent the growth of cancer. They say that B17 is composed mainly of hyrocyanic acid – a component that the body eliminates through normal cellular oxidation process. When cancer cells are present, they are unable to destroy the acid and instead absorb it, getting eliminated themselves in the process.
E is for Almonds A good dose of vitamin E has been found in almonds. In fact, an ounce of almonds will already give you 35% of your daily requirement. Some studies have pointed that consistent consumption of almonds has significantly decreased chances for breast cancer and prostate cancer. That’s because vitamin E in almonds came in the form of alpha-tocopherol – a known agent that prevents the multiplication of cancer cells.
High Fibre Almonds are very rich in fibre, which are great agents for cleansing your dietary tract. This significantly increases your chance of evading colon cancer and rectal cancer. A cup of whole almonds will give you 17.3 grams of fibre – 86% of the daily recommended dose. Moreover, the monosaturated fats and calcium content of almonds also work against the development of colon cancer. To get your daily dose of almonds to fight off cancer, munching on whole almonds is most recommended. Some say that three almonds a day keeps cancer away, while others would say that the number is closer to nine. If you’re not one to chomp on nuts, almonds come in other forms that may suit your taste more. Go for bread or pastries that are made from almond flour or almond meal. On salads, reach for that sweet almond-oil dressing. Throw in some crushed almonds or almond slivers to your breakfast cereal. These are just some of the ways you can ensure that you get almonds in your diet in order to fight off cancer risks. F
Cancer Support Association
“A form of vitamin may be obtained from certain nuts – as the almond – that would be helpful as a preventive. A person who eats two or three almonds each day need never fear cancer.” - Edgar Cayce
Almond Smoothie This fantastically filling drink is a meal in itself and an ideal quick and healthy boost Serve this delicious dessert/drink in tall icecream flutes and spoon it out like a pudding if you’ve been a bit heavy-handed with the seeds and it is too thick to drink. It is fantastically filling, and can be made a day in advance. You can add any seeds or fruit you fancy; try throwing in some linseeds, or using up any leftovers from your fruit bowl that are starting to go soft. Serves 2 8 almonds, skins on 2 heaped tbsp oats 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds 1 tbsp sunflower seeds 1 medium banana 1 kiwi fruit 2 large handfuls of berries – whatever is in season 3 tbsp natural yoghurt 250ml almond milk or soy milk 1. Put the almonds, oats and seeds into a blender or smoothie machine and whizz until fine. 2. Add the banana, kiwi, berries, yoghurt and milk. Blend until smooth.
Adapted from Naturally Fast Food by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent Email your healing recipes and food news to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Someone reminded me last night, in the midst of a rough moment, that while I still have a way to go to beat cancer, I’ve come a long way and accomplished a lot. These moments, when I lose sight of what I have done and focus too much on what I have left to do are the hardest. So, I plan to forget about how far I have left to go on my journey and think about everything that’s been done already and savour the feeling of accomplishment. And with those accomplishments come so many thanks... for life... every day is wonderful. There are no guarantees in any of this,
and you can choose to face each opportunity searching for the gifts in it or focusing on the difficulties. Even in adversity, there is so much to be gained. I’ve learned that life is truly what we make it, and really has nothing to do with how long we live it for. I’m so thankful for the new perspective so early in my life.
for family and friends... there’s no way to survive cancer without a strong web of support. This has been quite the ride so far, and it’s not over yet...I feel so fortunate to have everyone I do around me to lift me up and push me forward. I know it’s not only a marathon for me, but everyone in my life, too. Some days I think it’s harder on everyone else, and I’m so thankful for all of them for toughing it out, too. for the most wonderful cancer fighting team, ever... on every step of this journey, I’ve met amazing people .
who have given me so much, and so much more than just medical care. Every day they amaze me with their selflessness and kindness. Cancer can be scary, but every person on my team has made sure that fear is eliminated, and that I have everything I need to face cancer with a strength I never thought I had. These aren’t just doctors, nurses and assistants...they are my heroes, advocates and life savers.
for my fellow cancer warriors...
I’m so inspired by each of the people I’ve met who have, and are, fighting cancer. Especially for Michelle...for four years of university we lived on the same floor, had the same classes, same honour societies, and many of the same friends...but, it wasn’t until my diagnosis that we became close friends. And, for Kerri...who, through this experience, has become an amazing friend and inspiration. Without cancer, I’d never have these friendships...and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. You’re both a reflection of how wonderful life is, and you help me remember that there is life after cancer. You are the light in the darkest moments.
So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done. ~ Marian Wright Edelman
for my students... for reminding me there is nothing to gain by focusing on the adversity in our lives. For showing me the importance of focusing on what we can do, and ignoring what others tell us we cannot do. For defying all the odds. For teaching me so much about life. For giving me so many opportunities to laugh, to learn and to be inspired. The list goes on and on.... this experience has been the single greatest opportunity of my life. It’s hard, and at times it has it’s dark moments. But, in the end, whatever the outcome, I know it’s made me a better and stronger person. And if we’re not thankful for life, regardless of what hand we’ve been dealt, than what is there left to live for? Always look for the things you’re thankful For...there’s reason to be thankful in everything we’re given...sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find it. F
There are many inspiring blogs on the internet written by people with cancer who share many different aspects of their cancer journey. This post is from the blog “There is Optimism in Cancer” by Grace at canceroptimism.blogspot.com. August 2011
This printed edition of Wellness News was funded by generous donations from the following businesses... Galvin Concrete & Sheetmetal Marianne Brockwell Sage Computing Services Contract Bricklaying Global Marine Design Pty Ltd Cable Logic Singapore Airlines Ltd
CSA would also like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their donations to CSA this year Life XL Perron Group of Companies Fiori Coffee Pty Ltd Richard Stevens Kerry Grogan Elsa Fitzpatrick Wonteco Pty Ltd A Ashbrook Carol Sharbanee Just Toyota Wrecking Mills & Ware Holdings Pty Ltd Robert Kimpton Artproof Print
Tidying my shelves this week I came across the very first edition of Wellness News published in April 1984 at the very beginning of the CSA. The newsletter was 10 sheets of yellowed paper, typewritten, stapled together...at a glance nothing special. The content though was timeless, the information still relevant! It was quite fascinating to read the editorial column written by one of CSA’s founders, Jill Mattioli which I have reproduced on the next page. The goals and objectives of the founders are at the core of our current goals and objectives...to empower and support people with cancer to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing and provide a safe, nurturing environment where people can come for support and healing at all stages of the cancer journey. Of course the world has changed considerably since 1984 and our services have expanded to make use of the internet, email and the new communications technologies which have allowed us to extend our support beyond our centre here in Cottesloe, Western Australia. But at its core, the essence of CSA and who we are as an organisation is fundamentally the same. CSA was modelled on an integrative wellness approach to cancer and self-healing pioneered in Australia by Dr. Ian Gawler. You will read in Jill’s first editorial that CSA started with a visit to Perth by Dr. Ian Gawler. Once again CSA was involved in Ian’s recent visit to Perth. Ian brought a message of hope, and the real possibility of self-healing to people with cancer. After much change at CSA over the past couple of years, it seems as if the Association has come full circle, returning to its original mission and objectives. With amazing synchronicity Jill, who has not been involved with CSA for many years, has just now phoned on a completely unrelated matter! We have had a lovely chat and she is very pleased that the original intent of the founding members has been maintained. As Jill says in her editorial written 26 years ago “when something is right, the pieces of the ensuing jigsaw all fall into place if we let it. What is right will happen, if it is for the good of all and all will benefit by it.” F Mandy
r o f s p i t 60 y l g n i n n u t as ! e f i l t a gre By Robin Sharma
1. Exercise daily. 2. Get serious about gratitude. 3. See your work as a craft. 4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst. 5. Keep a journal. 6. Read “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”. 7. Plan a schedule for your week. 8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life. 9. Say no to distractions. 10. Drink a lot of water. 11. Improve your work every single day. 12. Get a mentor.
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another.
22. Save 10% of your income each month.
41. Have a vision for your life.
23. Spend time at art galleries.
14. Get up at 5 am each day. 15. Eat less food.
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack.
25. Write thank you letters to those who have helped you.
44. Be patient.
26. Forgive those who have wronged you.
46. Clean up your messes. 47. Use impeccable words.
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.
49. Read “As You Think”.
29. Have 5 great friends. 30. Become stunningly polite.
32. Sell your TV. 33. Read daily.
17. Be a hero to someone.
35. Be content with what you have.
18. Smile at strangers.
36. Pursue your dreams.
19. Be the most ethical person you know.
37. Be authentic.
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
Cancer Support Association
45. Don’t give up.
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades.
34. Avoid the news.
16. Find more heroes.
42. Know your strengths.
24. Walk in the woods.
31. Unplug your TV.
13. Hire a coach.
21. Savour life’s simplest pleasures.
38. Be passionate. 39. Say sorry when you know you should.
48. Travel more.
50. Honour your parents. 51. Tip taxi drivers well. 52. Be a great teammate. 53. Give no energy to critics. 54. Spend time in the mountains. 55. Know your top 5 values. 56. Shift from being busy to achieving results. 57. Innovate and iterate. 58. Speak less. Listen more. 59. Be the best person you know. 60. Make your life matter. From: www.robinsharma.com
BECOME A CSA MEMBER
Wellness News is published online monthly for members of the Cancer Support Association. Membership is $50 per year and you can join easily online or use the form below... Membership of the Cancer Support Association entitles you to many benefits including: • Subscription to Wellness News (12 online issues, 1 special printed edition every year) • A place on the life-changing ‘Meeting the Challenge’ Cancer Wellness Seminar • Members’ prices on all CSA activities including yoga, qigong, reflexology & seminars • 15% discount on all items from the Wellness Shop • access to our world-class cancer wellness library • free introductory counselling session
I would like to become a CSA member for $50 per annum, and have enclosed AUD$50 I would like to make a donation to CSA. Enclosed is $25
Enclosed is my cheque/money order OR please debit my credit card detailed below: BankCard Master Card Visa Card AMEX Diners Card No
Name on Card Signature
Details for membership Name (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr.)
Date of Joining
Please post to: Cancer Support Association of WA PO Box 325, Cottesloe W.A. 6911 OR email: csa@cancersupport wa.org.au
Postal Address Phone No. (home) Email
(work or mobile) Occupation
Website username: Website password: (5-12 characters only)
(5-12 characters only)
www.cancersupportwa.org.au The Cancer Support Association of WA Inc is a registered charity and non-profit organisation, formed to help people affected by cancer. The Association relies on donations, bequests and member subscriptions to continue its services. August 2011
~ an excerpt from the Tao Te Ching The one who wishes to build a world with personal power, Will not have a strong and lasting building Unless it is a building of subtle virtue. The one who wishes to be remembered by the world Will not achieve this by the use of power, But by the fulfilment of virtue. The one who wishes to be respected by future generations will not do it through a great show of power or force. That would be a great burden to one’s descendents, for the negative side cannot be avoided. The one who wishes one’s future generations to be benefitted by one’s life will not leave them a dynasty of wealth but the treasure of one’s subtle virtue. The one who wishes to set up something strong in the world so that people of future generations will remember him, Will not achieve it by adhering to power and title, But by doing good deeds without personal attachment or greed. Good deeds cannot be separated from the spiritual life; this is the great contribution one leaves behind to all people.
Cancer Support Association
To leave your descendents great wealth is not more helpful than giving them a spiritual education and good character. These will last longer than money. In governing one’s life: Cultivating oneself with one’s life will bring truthful spiritual achievement. Cultivating oneself with one’s family will bring sufficient spiritual achievement. Cultivating oneself with one’s village will bring growing spiritual achievement. Cultivating oneself with one’s country will bring abundant spiritual achievement. Cultivating oneself with the world Will bring universal spiritual achievement. Therefore, by observing yourself, you know other people. By observing your family, you know other families. By observing your village, you know other villages. By observing your country, you know other countries. By observing the global situation, You know all people. A good world is started from yourself.
Every few years we revisit ‘Gratitude’ as a theme in Wellness News. This is because cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude is absolutely essential to success on a healing journey. As Max Strom says ‘gratitude humbles us’ – and it is with the attitude of humility we are able to truly be thankful for the life we have, recognise and appreciate the blessings and gifts that each experience presents us with and graciously accept Life As It Is. Rather than continually wanting more, we become happy to Just Be. This inner contentment sets the stage for the healing process to unfold within us. Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude sounds simple – until we come up against our mind and its latent beliefs, powerful emotions and continual desires! The key is selfunderstanding – to look within objectively and compassionately observe the play of the mind, then take a deep breath, reassure ourselves we are okay, and then let go of our need for any particular outcome. Imagine a life where you have never loved deeply or been loved. Imagine the emptiness of skimming the surfaces of relationships and never really immersing yourself in knowing and loving others. Now remember your mother’s smiling face or your partner’s loving embrace, a friend’s care and concern, or the sound of your small child’s laughter – and feel gladness and gratitude in your heart for the people and experiences which have defined your life and made it precious. The risk we take when we live life fully and love others deeply is that one day, whoever we are and whatever our circumstances, we will no longer have the someone or something we loved the most. Perhaps you have already lost the someone or something you loved the most, or you feel life has treated you badly, and as a result your heart is contracted to protect you from feeling the deep pain of loss. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, love and loss are an inescapable fact of life. To accept Life As It Is regardless of what we have or don’t have, and to cultivate Gratitude is a spiritual practice helping us shift our awareness from what we believe we Lack in our lives to the Abundance we do have. Starting by consciously acknowledging and feeling Gratitude for one small thing each day can lead to many great things, many great realisations and the alleviation of pain, disappointment and disillusionment. We literally become enlightened as our hearts fill with gratitude and we become attuned to what a precious gift Life really is. ~ Mandy
Cancer Support Association
Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc. 94
Website www.cancersupportwa.org.au Email email@example.com. Phone (08) 9384 3544, Fax 9384 6196 80 Railway St Cottesloe WA, PO Box 325 Cottesloe WA 6911 Cancer Support Association