4 Keys to Natural Healing for 2010

29 12 2009

With the start of the New Year, you are going to be bombarded with ads for weight-loss programs.  Gyms everywhere will be deluged with people looking to burn off all those holiday meals and deserts consumed since Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, the period between Thanksgiving and New Years is known for the greatest number of heart attacks all year.  So if you’re looking to make a fresh start this year and are determined to have better health this year than last, allow me to make a few suggestion that will turn up your body’s natural healing processes.

1. Transition to a whole-food plant-centered vegan diet. T. Collin Campbell, PhD describes in his book, “The China Study“, the ability of a whole-food plant-centered diet to reverse cancer at any stage.  One study which seems to put this to the test showed that men with prostate cancer realized an improvement in their PSA tests after one year on a vegan diet[1].  Additionally, a vegan diet has been proven to reverse heart disease[2] as well as diabetes[3].  Three good reasons to go vegan!  Want to get started?  Here’s a website to help you out: 21-Day Vegan Kickstart Program

2. Consciously change how you think. Researchers in the field of pyschoneuroimmunology study how the mind regulates the immune system.  For example, if you feel hopeless, your immune system is weakened.  If you feel hopeful, your immune system is strengthened.  Yet both feelings are simply subjective states of mind which you have complete power over.  In the book “You can heal your life” Louise Hay, a cancer survivor, talks about how anyone can rewire their brain to heal their body through the use of affirmations, such as this one for cancer:

I lovingly forgive and release all of the past.
I choose to fill my world with joy.
I love and approve of myself.

Don’t underestimate the power of your mind over your body’s ability to heal.

3. Meditate. Mediation when done properly harmonizes the organs in your body and relaxes the mind.  However, turning off one’s inner dialog and entering a space of deep meditation is easy for some and very difficult for others.  If you’ve never done mediation before, please start by taking a little bit of time on a regular interval to mediate.  You’ll see the benefits of meditation begin to show up soon after and there are many books on the subject to get you started.  One place you might want to visit is UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center to download free guided meditations.

4. Moderate exercise.  In the book “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD says:

Studies show that physical exercise helps the body fight cancer.  But the required dose isn’t the same for all cancers. … For breast cancer, there seems to be a measurable effect after three to five hours a week of walking at normal speed.  For cancer of the colon and rectum, twice as much is needed to have a comparable effect. … Finally, to have an effect on prostate cancer … the equivalent of three hours of jogging spread out over the week. [p.189]

Exercise is a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer but it is so simple and basic, it is easily over looked.  So find a yoga class that’s right for you.  Find a martial arts class that fits your schedule.  Find an indoor rock wall to climb or a public pool to swim, just find a way to move your body and build your endurance — pick any activity you enjoy.  Get out there and get your heart pumping!

Footnotes:

1. INTENSIVE LIFESTYLE CHANGES MAY AFFECT THE PROGRESSION OF PROSTATE CANCER

2. http://www.heartattackproof.com/

3. http://www.rawfor30days.com


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Survivor angst?

14 12 2009

This weekend marks an anniversary of sorts. December 12th 2008 was the day I started Temozolomide (chemo) treatment for a recurrent brain tumor.  After years of MRIs showing nothing, I was told in July ’08 that something was starting to show up.  In December ’08, there was now inflammation in the brain where the tumor was growing and my doctors wanted to do surgery — I bargained for the chemo option and started 12/12/08.  However, after six months of chemo and no improvement in my MRIs, I asked to stop.  Two months off chemo, the “tumor” regressed.  I explained to my doctor I was transitioning to a vegan diet and just finished one month of daily green smoothies.  My doctor looked at me as if looking at a space alien.  Two months later, the MRI came back as “interval decrease” which the doctor interpreted as “ongoing regression”.  I explained that I was following a vegan diet with green smoothies every other day, if not daily.  My doctor was intrigued and expressed interest in reading “The China Study”.  I’m continuing on a 95-99.8% vegan diet with green smoothies a few times a weeks.  My energy is increasing and I’m feeling healthy, but I’m also feeling what I’m calling survivor angst:

1) I feel the need to really kick my health into the highest gear possible.  After 9 months of feeling like crap, I’m ready to take full advantage of my improving good health.  I’m looking for a goal to accomplish to prove to myself I’m reaching peak health.  I’m kicking around a two year goal: marathon,  ironman, strongmans, or what?

2) I feel the need to get the word out that a vegan diet is a significant tool which can help reverse cancer.  I’ll continue writing this blog, and I’m planning on getting a “certificate in plant based nutrition” from Cornell University, but I feel the need to do something more, much more. Do I write a book?  Do I create a video blog?  Do I run around the US interviewing vegans who reversed their cancers?  Do I run around the US interviewing successful athletes who are vegan?  Do I get a PhD and do research in nutrition?  Do I purchase a ‘roach coach’, drive around and serve vegan meals to whomever wants it?

3) I feel the need to strengthen and solidify my vegan cooking skills.   I need to take more cooking classes — it’s as simple as that.  I’d really like to learn how to make raw vegan dishes as well as live food.

I’m a bubbling mixture of angst, and the holidays are magnifying my situation.  I’m leaving all this out in the open, tossing it into the capable hands of the universe.  …but I want to put this question out to you: where do you think all of this will lead me?  Place your bets now.