Category Archives: Body-Mind Medicine

Dr Joe Dispenza Teaches About Power Of The Mind To Heal

Dr Joe Dispenza Teaches About Power Of The Mind To Heal

Book Review: “Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself – How To Lose Your Mind And Create A New One” by Dr Joe Dispenza

Whenever I come across a really helpful book that I believe will help us in our endeavor to get healthy, I usually just add it to my “Recommended Reading” list.  Today, however, I would like to share exactly what I liked about this particular book and why I think you should read it.

Joe Dispenza, D.C. has already written one book about the power of the mind called “Evolve Your Brain”.  He has studied biochemistry, holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience and is a Doctor of Chiropractic.  He also has postgrad training in neurology, neuroscience, brain function, cellular biology, memory formation and longevity.  He’s a lecturer, an educator, a talented chiropractor, and was featured in the movie “What The Bleep Do We Know!?”

Goes Beyond the Principle of “Like Attracts Like”

If you’ve ever read “The Secret” and then tried to put the principles of “like attracts like” into action, without much success; if you’ve ever tried to change your thoughts into more positive ones thereby hoping to create a new existence for yourself but only had marginal results (or none); if you’ve ever worried that you are doomed by your genes or destined to be a certain way for the duration of your life, you’ll want to read this book. 

Dr Dispenza shares with us that changing our minds and thinking new thoughts is not enough – we also need to work on our subconscious mind because it is really running the show.  I’ve shared this with you before through the writings of Dr Bruce Lipton in his groundbreaking book “The Biology of Belief”. 

Dr Dispenza teaches us how to activate and coordinate all three sections of the brain – the frontal lobe, the limbic region, and the cerebellum – what he calls our three brains, in order to create a new reality for ourselves.  What makes this book so helpful is that he has included some very specific exercises in the book, including meditation, to help us create a new reality for ourselves (including good health).

So How Will This Book Assist in Breast Cancer?

I can hear you asking that question and there are two reasons I’m recommending this book.  The first one is that just about every one of my coaching clients and subscribers shares with me that although they don’t necessarily feel responsible for their disease, they are definitely aware that they were under a huge amount of stress in their lives prior to their diagnosis and describe all sorts of badly managed stress – sometimes it was from a relationship, sometimes from their job, sometimes it would be the kind of stress we put on ourselves to be the “perfect mother” or the “perfect partner” or the “top manager” in the company. 

The other thing is that there are a lot of people out there worried about genetics.  I can relate to that – I was too.  Because both my mother and her mother died from breast cancer I worried that if breast cancer was their genetic legacy to me, nothing I could do for myself would change that.  If that is something you worry about, you will want to learn more about a new scientific understanding called epigenetics, which tells us our genes are influenced not by DNA sequences out of our control, but by our thoughts, our emotions, our environment – things that definitely are within our control.  Dispenza states “It’s true that the external environment influences our internal environment.  However, by changing our internal state of being, can we overcome the effects of a stressful or toxic environment so that certain genes do not become activated?  We may not be able to control all the conditions in our external environment, but we certainly have a choice in controlling our inner environment.

As a breast cancer coach, I’ve long been aware that if we can gain control over our brains and reduce our stress levels, the road to healing is much shorter, and if we are not worried about genetic predisposition, there is nothing holding us back.

Our Genes Are As Changeable As Our Brains

Dispenza tells us that our genes are as changeable as our brains, that “epigenetics empowers us to think about change more profoundly“, and that this new information gives us free will to activate our own gene activity and modify our genetic destiny.   The most interesting thing he had to say about this subject: “Just by changing our thoughts, feelings, emotional reactions, and behaviors (for example, making healthier lifestyle choices with regard to nutrition and stress level), we send our cells new signals, and they express new proteins without changing the genetic blueprint.  So while the DNA code stays the same, once a cell is activated in a new way by new information, the cell can create thousands of variations of the same gene.  We can signal our genes to rewrite our future.

How empowering is that?

Dispenza warns, however, that “You can’t think one way and feel another and expect anything in your life to change.”  That’s why we encounter difficulties in trying to make these big life changes – if the subconscious mind (really running the show) isn’t on board with the changes you are trying to make, you will encounter a certain amount of resistance and inability to make the desired changes.  You have to change both your thoughts and your feelings because only then can you change your state of being and change your reality, thus your future. 

One of the most useful things about the book is that we are taught exactly how to create our own new reality – there are plenty of exercises and powerful tools in the book to help you make these changes.

Whether you are trying to break an addiction, or to have more compassion for others, or to rid yourself of a particular disease – whatever the wrong that you’re trying to right – I strongly feel this book will assist you.  For your convenience, I added the book to my Amazon shop.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

Healing The Body With The Mind – and Essential Oils

Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Healing the Body With The Mind – and Essential Oils

One of the things I learned long ago was not to discount how much we can achieve simply by setting our minds upon achievement of a particular goal.

Healing can be achieved in the same way – by focusing our mind, attention and intention upon the area of your body where you wish healing to take place.  There are a myriad of books and authors, such as Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton, Andrew Weil, Bernie Siegel, and Wayne Dyer, which discuss the subject of healing the body with the mind, and I would encourage you to check them out.

My sole intent with this article is to open your mind to the possibility of using not only your mind, but also essential oils for healing.  Why?  Read on.

Our Powerful Minds

Way back in the 1950’s a scientist by the name of Franklin Loehr explored the effect of prayer and human thought on water and on plants.  Loehr discovered that human thought was able to alter the bonding angles between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, thus changing the physical properties of the water.  (See The Power of Prayer on Plants by Franklin Loehr).

What quantum physics is teaching us is that human thought and human intent affect the behavior of electrons.  Since every chemical and neural process in the human body involves the activity of electrons, we see that our bodily functions are not simply matters of traditional chemistry and classical physics – they are mental, emotional, and spiritual as well.  The mind-body connection everyone is talking about happens through our electrons.

Essential Oils Amplify Healing

One of my favorite healing modalities is the use of essential oils.  I’ve been using them for years on myself (see my page Essential Oils For Overall Health and Specific Health Problems), my family and my clients, with great success.  How they work like they do is often a mystery to me, but I know they have chemical constituents, provided to us by Mother Nature, which (in part) explain how and why they work so well and are, in fact, potent little healers.

Here’s something you might not know though — essential oils have electrical properties which are subject to our thoughts and feelings.  Mind blowing?

It is known that the same essential oil will have different effects on different people, and the usual explanation is that different people have different chemistries.  But is it truly just about chemistry?

Desire, Feeling and Intent Matter Too

It is taught in every aromatherapy class that the chemical composition of an oil determines its role in healing.  But quantum physics is teaching us that essential oils are also subject to desire, feeling and intent.

In short, the potential actions of an oil are thought to be defined and limited by its chemistry, but the real determining factor as to which potential action will manifest is definitely also affected by the attitudes of the anointer and receiver.

Our thoughts won’t change the chemistry of an oil, but our thoughts can determine which aspects of the chemistry of that particular oil will work in our bodies.

How To Amplify Healing When Using Essential Oils 

  • Essential oils amplify intent – the intent of the person applying the oils, and the intent of the person receiving the oils.  Healing practitioners who anoint with oils know from experience that essential oils work better with prayer, faith and belief.  What this means is that the receiver of an essential oil can participate in their own healing.  The oils are not healers, they are the vehicles that must be facilitated by our supportive thoughts for them to work optimally!  They will work reasonably well without the conscious participation of the receiver because of the intent given to them when grown, distilled, packaged and distributed – but they work so much better when the receiver actively participates in their own healing.
  • When an oil is applied to any part of the body you can mentally direct it to go wherever it is needed and affirm the outcome you desire.  Your affirmation should be more than a one-time thought, it must come from your deepest convictions, emotions, and faith, and be repeated and consciously retained until the desired results are manifested.
  • A single oil then is full of possibilities – almost unlimited – for example, an oil could be known to be supportive of liver function, but not known for nerve regeneration.  Even so, that oil could be used for nerve regeneration if directed to do so.  Knowing this, if you don’t think you have the right oil for a specific application, using your intuition, choose an oil that you do have, and with intense concentration and feeling, direct the oil to do whatever you wish it to do.  Essential oils are imbued with an intelligence non-existent in pharmaceutical drugs.

Essential oils are vehicles of living energy and work on all human levels: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.  I even believe that essential oils work on the financial level as well (if you don’t believe me, start wearing the blend of “Abundance”, which has a beautiful, exotic aroma, and direct the oil to help you create whatever it is you are looking for in your life – then watch what happens!).

I hope you found this brief discussion interesting.  To read more on the scientific basis of essential oils, see The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple by Dr David Stewart, a fascinating read.  Another good book to read is Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay.

For more information on which brand of essential oils I use (and they are the best!) or to sign up for my essential oil newsletters, contact me.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters and e-book on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!

Member No 267494
Member No 267494

The Supreme Court Rules Against Myriad Genetics’ BRCA1 and BRCA2 Patents

 

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Kittisak
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Kittisak

The Supreme Court Rules Against Myriad Genetics’ BRCA1 and BRCA2 Patents

Last week, the Supreme Court finally issued its decision on whether or not it is legal to patent human genes.  

The Supreme Court ruled that genes found within the human body cannot be patented, however, synthetically created genetic material, called complementary or cDNA, can be patented.

The lawsuit upon which the Supreme Court ruled was brought against Myriad Genetics, a Utah based diagnostic test maker, by researchers, genetic counselors, the women’s health advocacy  group Breast Cancer Action, and individual patients stating that it was unlawful for a corporation to patent our very own human genes.  It has been a hotly debated topic for a significant length of time, and Breast Cancer Action views the high court’s decision as a big victory for women.

Myriad Genetics has been enjoying the rights to sell the only test currently available for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes linked to hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer – the test that actress Angelina Jolie recently took that showed she did have the mutated genes which purportedly put her at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer – and which information caused her to undergo a double mastectomy recently.

The significance of the Supreme Court decision is huge for women’s health because:

1. It will allow more women to have access to potentially life-saving information about their hereditary risk of breast and other cancers;

2. The genetic test, which has been exorbitantly expensive through Myriad Genetics, will no doubt become much more available at a much more affordable cost;

3. The monopoly of Myriad Genetics is broken, thus allowing other labs to begin conducting testing, research, and developing treatments using the previously unavailable BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

My Own Thoughts

Ladies, just as I’ve said it’s not just about estrogen, it’s also not just about your genetics.  There are so many things you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk – even if you do have the genetic mutation – and this website is all about teaching you how to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Most especially, read Dr Bruce Lipton’s book  “The Biology of Belief”, it’s eye opening stuff about genetics and how the power of your own mind can over-ride your supposed genetic risks.

Download my e-book and special report, read my newsletters, and find out what you can do for yourself.  Knowledge is power.

References:

VICTORY: Supreme Court Outlaws Human Gene Patents!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/supreme-court-gene-patenting-myriad-stock_n_3441802.html?utm_hp_ref=breast-cancer

 

 

My Thoughts On Angelina Jolie, Prophylactic Mastectomy and Genetic Predisposition

 

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com / xymonau
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com / xymonau

My Thoughts On Angelina Jolie, Prophylactic Mastectomy and Genetic Predisposition

Angelina Jolie’s heart-rending choice to have a double mastectomy has certainly created a storm of controversy this week among breast cancer circles and my friends and subscribers have asked my opinion on the whole matter, hence today’s post.

First of all, please read her personally written article which appeared in the New York Times Opinion Page.  Eloquent.  However…

Two Lines Of Thought

There are those who applaud her decision and her courage for making it (because it had to be a tough one to make), while others believe it was incredibly stupid because she didn’t have breast cancer, just a strong family history.  I’m hovering somewhere in between those two lines of thought.  Mostly I just feel incredibly sad for her, because it’s apparent that Ms Jolie fell prey to fear, to overzealous medical providers who must have played a rather large part in that fear, and to the cancer industry as a whole.

Please allow me to share some of my thoughts on the matter.

Surgery Has Risks

In explaining her own choice to have this surgery, Ms Jolie does not mention the many side effects and risks of this type of surgery.  Surgery always comes with risks and side effects.  To complicate matters, breast implants are considered “high risk” by the FDA (not that I concern myself overmuch with what the FDA thinks).  The current statistics indicate that 4 out of 10 women who have had a mastectomy and implants will require additional surgery within 3 years of getting their implants.

More than a few of my subscribers have shared with me that had they known reconstruction surgery (whether flap reconstruction or implant reconstruction) was going to be so painful, so bothersome and such a disruption to their lives they would never have chosen it.  I truly feel for them.

Genetic Predisposition Vs Epigenetic Factors

As far as the genetic predisposition part of the story, an excellent article has been written by Sayer Ji, the founder of greenmedinfo.com, a website resource that I trust and often refer to because it always contains well-researched and well-written information on all sorts of health issues.  The article is titled Did Angelina Jolie Make a Mistake By Acting On The ‘Breast Cancer Gene’ Theory?   Do yourself a favor and click on the link and read that article.

I particularly appreciated the author’s assertion that “even in those in which a BRCA mutation is identified, the genes, in and of themselves, do not alone make the disease.”  I have been endeavoring to teach that particular line of thinking via my posts on this site.  In June, 2012 I wrote an article Cancer Genetics: BRCA1 and BRCA2 Are NO Cause For Concern! wherein I shared some information from the book “The Biology of Belief”, by Dr Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist, whose research and studies clearly indicate that many other factors are at play in health and disease than merely genetics.

To quote again from the greenmedinfo article, “…we must now accept that factors beyond the control of the gene, known as epigenetic factors, and largely determined by a combination of nutrition, psychospiritual states that feed back into our physiology, lifestyle factors, and environmental exposures, constitute as high as 95% of what determines any disease risk.

Did you get that?  Epigenetic factors (factors beyond the control of our genes) constitute as high as 95% of what determines disease risk.  Our bodies are incredibly smart.  They have the ability to prevent and heal all disease if they are given the right conditions! 

Human Genes Should NOT be Patented

The thing that bugs me the most about all of this is that Ms Jolie’s decision is going to persuade thousands of other young women to do the same – to needlessly lose a valued part of their anatomy.  Not every woman with a mutation will develop breast cancer!  And Myriad Genetics, the patent-holders of the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes, are profiting.  According to a Yahoo Finance report dated May 14, 2013, Myriad Genetics’ shares rose 4% after Angelina Jolie announced her mastectomy surgery.

I support an activist group called Breast Cancer Action, who in 2009 joined researchers, genetic counselors and cancer patients in a lawsuit to overturn Myriad Genetics’ patent on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  The case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court and a ruling is expected this summer.  Please visit this page on the Breast Cancer Action website for more information.

My best advice is to do three things:

1.  Sign up for my free newsletters to find out how best to reduce your risk of breast cancer;

2. Sign up for the free newsletters offered by greenmedinfo.com (use this link);

3.  Donate funds to Breast Cancer Action (use this link), help them to continue their good work, compelling the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.

Meditation Benefits – Video 7 – Teaching You How To Meditate

 

 

Final video today – #7 is “Teaching You How To Meditate” and this one introduces my Change Your Life Meditation Course. I’m excited about this – I wanted to be able to help people on a much wider basis than I’m currently doing.

Meditation made a huge change in my life and I would love to share with you all of the wonderful benefits that it has.

Here’s the link to my page where you can get more info:  Change Your Life Meditation Course

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach).  It is my honor and privilege to help you through this.

Meditation Benefits – Video 6 – Can I Use Meditation For Healing?

 

Hello, welcome back!  Today’s video (#6 in my series of 7 videos) answers the frequently asked question “Can I Use Meditation For Healing?”  The answer is an unequivocal YES. 

I used meditation for healing when I was going through breast cancer and it was one of the single most powerful tools in my arsenal.  Really – it would surprise you to discover just how powerful it is.

Watch the video for more info:

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Meditation Benefits – Video 5 – What Is The Best Meditation Technique For Beginners?

Welcome back – today’s video (#5 of 7) answers the frequently asked question “What Is The Best Meditation Technique For Beginners?”

 

 

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor and my goal to help you through this.

 

Meditation Benefits – Video 4 – How Do You Know You’re Meditating and Not Just Sitting There?

 

 

Hi there – welcome back!  In today’s video I answer the question “How Do You Know You’re Meditating and Not Just Sitting There?”

Please watch:

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

 

Meditation Benefits – Video 3 – How Do I Find Time To Meditate?

 

 

Welcome back.  Check out Video 3 where I answer the question “How Do I Find Time To Meditate?”

 

 If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

 

Meditation Benefits – Video 2 – How Do I Keep My Mind From Wandering?

 

 

Happy Sunday – this is Video 2.  Today I’m answering the question “How Do I Keep My Mind From Wandering?”

 

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

Johns Hopkins Advocates Integrated Cancer Care

 

Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and hisks
Photo courtesy of rgbstock.com and hisks

Johns Hopkins Advocates Integrated Cancer Care

For those who were not able to attend the webinar put on by Johns Hopkins Medicine on December 17th, following please find my notes and ramblings from that webinar.  I hope you find them useful.

The webinar was titled Integrative Medicine: How Acupuncture, The Mind/Body Connection, Holistic Eating and Chinese Medicine and Other Modalities Can Help Survivors During and After Treatment.  Which is kind of a long-winded title, but they wanted to tell you exactly what they’d be covering and that title does the trick

Webinar Overview

The webinar was presented by Dr Linda Lee and Mr Jeff Gould and it ran for about an hour.  Dr Lee spoke about how the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine Center viewed integrative medicine as being the best of scientific medicine with a broader understanding of the nature of illness, that integrative medicine enhanced conventional medicine rather than replacing it.  They preferred the term “integrative” rather than “alternative” or “complementary” because alternative seeks an “alternate” approach to conventional medicine, it connotes a turning away, while the term complementary was too broad.

The Johns Hopkins website further defines integrative medicine: “Integrative medicine encompasses a broad range of therapeutic approaches to achieve optimal health and wellness for those who are ill or those who are concerned about disease prevention. It is a powerful resource for those seeking to participate actively in their healthcare.”

A Holistic Diet for Cancer Patients

Dr Lee spoke first and discussed holistic eating quite simply – she quoted author Michael Pollan, whose advice was to “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  I loved that – it says so much so succintly!

Dr Lee warned us against eating highly processed foods and too many food additives.  She said we should try not to eat too much meat, especially beef, and that we should strive for a balanced approach in our food choices.  Volumes could be written (and have been) about the best nutrition for cancer patients – for more definitive information, see my page Diet and Cancer.

Dr Lee addressed the concerns of those going through chemotherapy, she had some good advice for what to eat when you don’t feel like eating, for those taste bud issues and digestive problems.  She advised using a blender or food processor (I would say JUICER) and put your food into that.

She had no real recommendations about WHAT to put in the blender – other than you wouldn’t put a spaghetti dinner in there, for instance.  She just said it’s easier to process liquid foods like smoothies and shakes.  She recommended having multiple small meals, rather than 3 bigger meals per day.  Dr Lee recommended the book One Bite At A Time – Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends by Rebecca Katz, which I’ve added to my Recommended Reading list.

I’ll go a little farther than these recommendations and direct you to my article Do You Know The Benefits of Juicers For Cancer Patients.

Dietary Myths in Cancer

Dr Lee discussed some of the dietary myths she had encountered from her patients – we’ll start with the myth, then Dr Lee’s refutal:

  1. Avoid sugar because it feeds cancer – this one surprised me because I do advocate avoiding sugar if you have active cancer in your body.  Dr Lee disagreed, saying a moderate amount of sugar is okay, it won’t cause your cancer to get bigger.  So, I’ve softened my stance on this a little bit and found a good article for you that discusses moderation.
  2. Eat whatever foods you want and as much of them as you like – eating as much as you like of something isn’t advisable if you’re undergoing chemotherapy and having digestive issues, smaller meals are better.
  3. Eat fried foods because they will give you more calories if you’ve lost weight during cancer treatment – Dr Lee advised fried foods are NOT a good idea because they increase nausea.
  4. Being overweight is better than being underweight – Not true for breast cancer, Dr Lee says.  Fat cells create estrogen and if you had/have estrogen receptor positive tumor(s) being overweight can actually cause more problems for you.

Vitamin Supplements

Dr Lee advised caution when taking vitamins – because adverse affects are not always known and they may have interactions with some of the drugs you are on.  She did not have anything against taking vitamins, she merely advised caution, suggesting a person see an herbalist or dietician for guidance (I’d say see a trained naturopath) and always let your oncologist know what you are doing.  Dr Lee suggested referring to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website.

Mind/Body Approach

My favorite part of the webinar was the discussion of how using mind/body medicine can help cancer patients.  Dr Lee went out on a limb and said that STRESS CAN AFFECT CANCER GROWTH.  I’ve been saying this for years and I was so glad to hear someone from the medical world acknowledge and affirm this.

Dr Lee advised that chronic emotional stress can have a negative impact on cancer, and she discussed how the hormones released during stressful periods affect inflammation, cellular immune response and other key factors and that getting stress treated was really important.  She advocated the use of one or more of the following therapies (all of which I also recommend on this site and in my newsletters):

  • yoga
  • meditation
  • tai chi
  • massage
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • guided imagery
  • hypnotherapy
  • support groups
  • journaling
  • exercise

I found a good article for you from the Mayo Clinic which discusses exactly how stress hormones wreak havoc on our body.

Mr Jeff Gould On The Chinese Medicine Approach

The second part of the webinar was handed over to Jeff Gould, a Chinese medicine practitioner at the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine Center.  Mr Gould discussed many aspects of Chinese medicine, I will highlight the most interesting points he made:

    • Chinese medicine is what he termed individualized medicine. He might see 10 patients with breast cancer, but each patient may get a different treatment protocol based on the symptoms they present with on that day.
    • Chinese medicine is very holistic – practitioners don’t just treat physical symptoms (such as cancer), but also the emotional and spiritual aspects of a person.  He said one of his patients, in an effort to describe what they felt like after an acupuncture treatment, called it “a lightness of being”.  I thought that was a very good description.
    • Mr Gould called Chinese medicine a highly effective adjunct to Western medicine, it has been utilized quite effectively for over 3,000 years.
    • Mr Gould mentioned that the Chinese also use diet as a therapy – that Chinese medicine looks at the energetics of food vs the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  They use food to promote health AND also to treat illness.  I was quite interested to find out that certain restaurants in China will have doctors who will greet you at the door, take a look at your vital signs (which are quite different to Western medicine – they are more likely to look at your tongue and take your pulses than to check your blood pressure, etc.) and then recommend certain things on the menu to assist with your current signs/symptoms.
    • When using Chinese herbs, your herbalist will tailor make a formula for you based on your unique constellation of symptoms and these are modified each week as symptoms change.
    • Mr Gould specifically mentioned chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, saying that the best time to treat that is BEFORE symptoms begin – he said it’s much easier to keep it from happening than to treat it after it has already happened.
    • We were reminded that herbs are drugs and as such, can have side effects and interactions with other drugs.  He also warned to use a trained herbalist when using herbs for any illness.
    • Mr Gould also did not recommend using Chinese medicine alone to treat cancer, but as an adjunct.

All in all, I thought it a very good webinar, well presented, and with good, concise information.  If you have any specific questions, please contact me.

If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com).  It is my honor to help you through this.

The Healing Power of Music

healing power of music
Photo courtesy of Ambro and stock.xchng

Normally, getting ready for my day is a pretty mundane thing.  But today, my iPod was playing some really great music and I was dancing (trying not to be too critical in front of the bathroom mirror – just enjoying the movement and the tunes) and it got me thinking about the healing power of  music.

A Supercharged Brain and U2

When I was going through chemotherapy, the night following my infusion would generally be mostly wakeful.  Those darned chemicals were racing around my body and seemed to supercharge my brain.  So I’d lie for hours and listen to music.

You are never so attentive and mindful of a song and what goes into it as you are during the black of night when there are no distractions.  Using headphones also brings the music closer, you can hear every drum beat, every nuance of the singer’s voice.  It was pure magic – I would listen for hours.  (My favorite night-time listening music was by U2, I love them).

The Healing Power of Music

I found a wonderful website called caregiver.com – written for caregivers of dementia patients.  They had this to say about the healing power of music:

Positive results include elevated mood, increased socialization and appetite and reduction in agitation. These benefits are attributed to the stimulation the brain receives during a music therapy session, a sort of “cognitive workout” inspiring us to coin the phrase, “What exercise is to the body, music is to the brain.” The power of music often inspires physical movement and can be used in combination to encourage gentle exercise.

I was able to find a number of articles on-line that spoke of the healing power of music.  Benefits include:

  • Soothing jangled nerves
  • Calming mind and body
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Boosting immune system
  • Focusing mind and attention
  • And so much more!

PBS has a video you can view (you’ll have to wade through the commercial first) about the Healing Power of Music.  Pretty powerful stuff for brain injury patients.

Anyway – I believe music can be very powerful for those trying to overcome a disease such as cancer.  It can soothe your soul, help you through the treatments, and boost your immune system.  My suggestion?  Get an iPod or MP3 player and load all your very favorite songs on it and take it with you to your treatments.

I am currently also putting together some healing meditations for cancer patients and will post them when they are available.

By the way, the song I was dancing to in the bathroom?  Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, “Nowhere to Run”.  Yep, it’s an oldie, but hey – I grew up in the era of the Vietnam War and that song meant a lot to us!  Still sounds great today.

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Another Good Cancer Blog

another good cancer blog
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng and Master isolated images

I have run across another good cancer blog you might enjoy – it is called People Beating Cancer (.org) and its subtitle is “A Healthy Exchange of Information and Inspiration”.

Its creator, David Emerson, was 34 years old in 1994 when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an “incurable” cancer of the bone marrow.

Between 1994-1997 David fought three relapses of his cancer with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant. On his third relapse his doctors told him there was nothing more that could be done and that he had 6-12 months to live.

I love it when cancer patients prove doctors wrong!

David is still with us today and that’s because he chose to look further afield for his healing – to try things of which the FDA doesn’t approve, and then he fought the second biggest fight of his life when he sued his HMO and the doctors’ group that had the contract to care for him because he wanted “to exact a reckoning of how bureaucrats could declare the therapy that saved him ‘medically unnecessary’.”  You can read his whole story here.  The litigation is ongoing.

Bravo!  Now I’m not against doctors, don’t get me wrong.  I think they are marvelous.  What I am against is our system of medical care.  I believe that there is SO MUCH ROOM for improvement that I could write a blog about it every day for the next 365 days and only scratch the surface.

I was impressed with David’s blog, there were loads of interesting articles there.  One article in particular “What Do Your Genes Say About A Future Cancer Diagnosis?” caught my eye, because I have done quite a bit of research myself on the role that genes play (having a mother and grandmother die from the disease you are diagnosed with can definitely spur you on) and I liked what he had to say here:

“…I do everything that I have read that turns cancer genes off.  This anti-cancer list includes

1) supplementation

2) nutrition

3) exercise

4) sleep/relaxation”

I was glad to see that we agree about the importance of taking nutritional supplements, eating carefully, getting exercise and that sleep and relaxation are so very important.

My hat is off to Mr Emerson and may he continue to thrive.

I believe that it is crucial to take your healing into your own hands – doctors do their best, but generally their hands are tied.  It is up to us to empower ourselves and be proactive with our healing.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Frances Hodgson Burnett On The Power of Positive Thinking

Frances Hodgson BurnettFrances Hodgson Burnett was (for those unfamiliar) a marvelous 19th century English playwright and author. She is best known for her children’s stories, in particular “The Secret Garden”.

She had a wonderful way with words and today I’d like to share her thoughts on the power of positive thinking.

“Just mere thoughts are as powerful as electric batteries – as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison.  To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body.  If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.”

It is unimaginable to me that there are still people in the world who don’t believe in choosing positive thoughts – the thoughts that sustain you, nurture you and heal you, rather than causing you pain, anguish and suffering.

It’s not always easy, I know, to choose the positive path.  Especially when the negative path has been ingrained since childhood, or when surrounded by negativity and fearful thoughts.

But I challenge you to try it.  There are so many books out there that will help you with this.  Here’s my top 6 favorites:

  1. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  2. Everyday Positive Thinking by Louise Hay
  3. The Path to Success is Paved with Positive Thinking: How to Live a Joy-filled Life and Make Your Dreams Come True by Wally Amos
  4. Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love by Judith Orloff
  5. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  6. Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits by Wayne W. Dyer

It is my strong belief that if you are fighting a major illness like cancer, your thoughts can help to heal you much more quickly if you choose positive ones!  I know it helped me immensely.

If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Prophylactic Mastectomy, Thoughts Shared By a Cancer Coach

Mastectomy scars Mastectomy scars

Prophylactic Mastectomy, Thoughts Shared By A Cancer Coach

In my last article, I promised to share some information about prophylactic mastectomy, which is the removal of a single breast or both breasts, disease-free, to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. My own personal opinion (which may or may not count with anyone) is that this sort of surgery  is happening far too frequently these days, especially in younger women. While there are certainly situations when prophylactic mastectomy might make sense, they are few and far between. If your doctor has suggested prophylactic mastectomy for you, please read this article.

While the following is not an exhaustive list, these 7 situations are most frequently the basis for a recommendation of prophylactic mastectomy.

The 7 Situations When Your Doctor May Recommend Prophylactic Mastectomy:

  1. When you have a strong family history of breast cancer.
  2. When you have a personal history of breast cancer – the thinking here is that this your likelihood of developing a new cancer in the opposite breast than someone who has never had breast cancer.
  3. When you’ve tested positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which some feel increases the risk of breast cancer.
  4. When you have been diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which has been shown to increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
  5. When you’ve had radiation therapy to the chest before age 30, which appears to increase the risk of breast cancer throughout your life.
  6. When you have widely spread breast microcalcifications (very tiny deposits of calcium in the breast tissue) sometimes this means cancer can be present, certainly not always.
  7. Some doctors are even recommending prophylactic mastectomy for women with dense breasts.  The thinking here is that it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose breast abnormalities which sometimes requires the removal of tissue samples to study under a microscope (biopsy).  If this happens too many times, the scar tissue that is created can cause problems for mammography screening.

My Answers To Those 7 Situations

Using the above numbering system, I would like to go out on a limb and offer a new way of thinking. Again I remind you that this is simply my opinion (and everyone, as you know, has one!) I have years of mind-body research, a background in natural medicine, years of experience as a breast cancer coach, I fought the disease myself, and I am continually reading the latest research.

1.  If your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy because you have a strong family history, get a new doctor.  That is practicing fear-based medicine at its worst.  I had a strong family history – both my mother and her mother died from breast cancer.  And even though I did get it as well, I learned that there are many causes of breast cancer, it is a multi-factorial disease. I learned what those causes are and limited my exposure, I learned not to be afraid of cancer and how to take my healing into my own hands, and now I teach these things to others.

2.  If you have a personal history of breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that just because you got it in one breast, you will get it in the other.  It’s not too late to change your life by taking some positive steps towards health and wellness.  If you need more information about this, sign up for my free newsletters on the right side of this page and you’ll get my two free e-books as well.

3.  Ah, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  Would you be interested in knowing that the ONE single company that tests for these genes (and charges thousands of dollars for doing so, thank you very much) is presently trying to take out a PATENT on the genes?  Would they be doing this if there weren’t a lot of money involved here?  Read my article on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genesRead also the web page of Breast Cancer Action, an organization that opposes gene patenting.

4.  If you have had LCIS then you might have an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer.  But as I said in paragraph 2, it’s not too late to change your prospects by being very proactive with body and mind and immune system. Find out what things will take you back to a state of extreme good health.

5.  If you have had radiation therapy before the age of 30 but you still have healthy breasts, there are things you can do to minimize whatever damage that might exist.  Don’t undergo needless mastectomy if you have healthy breasts.

6.  Microcalcifications in the breast do not mean that cancer is present.  Again, there are things you can do to minimize any possible problems.

7.  On Aug 20, 2012, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that high breast density does not increase the risk of death among breast cancer patients.  If you have dense breasts and your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy, get a new doctor.

Here’s what I recommend if you’re on the fence about prophylactic mastectomy.  If you have healthy breasts, you have time to make your decision.  Subscribe to my newsletter series because I’m all about being proactive with your health, both body and mind.  I have lots of top quality information based on actual research in my newsletters, and they won’t cost you a thing.

Prophylactic Mastectomy: No Guarantee

Although prophylactic mastectomy is shown to greatly reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, it is not a guarantee. For one thing, it is almost impossible to remove all the breast tissue. Cancer can still develop in the tissue that is left on the chest wall or underarm area.

The latest paleoanthropological research shows that cancer was virtually nonexistent before pollution and poor diet became the norm.

Science is still no closer to finding out what causes cancer because I think they’re looking in the wrong place.  Cancer is a man-made disease.  It’s going to require us getting VERY proactive with our food and nutrition, our environment, our body products, and our minds to rid ourselves of cancer.

Resources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/03/cancer-not-found-in-ancient-mummies-appears-to-be-recent-disease.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/13/at-least-onethird-of-breast-cancer-cases-are-avoidable.aspx

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/prophylactic_mast.jsp?gclid=CIyom-iliLICFeg-MgodklEAAg

http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedfiles/Content_Binaries/806-356.pdf

http://bcaction.org/our-take-on-breast-cancer/politics-of-breast-cancer/gene-patenting/

Sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.