Emotions & Cancer Healing (1)
I feel that the terminology frequently used in conjunction with a cancer challenge isn’t a happy choice. ‘Defeating cancer/winning one’s battle with cancer/beating cancer nutritionally’ and similar phrases all seem to come from a place of (very understandable!) fighting and tension. I rather feel that while a firm determination to “overcome” and the confident emotion/conviction that “it can be done” is probably THE major prerequisite in any type of healing, trying to relax as much as possible and asking “what is this challenge supposed to teach me” will contribute much toward starting a person’s healing journey on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.
Welcome to Healing Cancer Naturally's Emotions & Cancer Healing section centered on highlighting the vital importance of emotions in both disease and healing! Please take a particularly thorough look at the wealth of astounding and uplifting real-life cancer healing stories presented (under Emotions cancer healing testimonials and Mind power cancer [self-]healing testimonials) which show beyond a shadow of a doubt the close link between emotions, “falling sick” and regaining health!
Emotions seem to play a crucial part in the genesis and healing of serious disease such as cancer and other illness (and literally, laughter seems to be one type of medicine). Any kind of unexpected shock, for instance (and this includes a cancer diagnosis!), can have a devastating effect on health and/or the immune system - until it is resolved and healed in any of a number of ways. A similar mechanism seems to be true for living in fear and panic, so one of the first tasks at hand in a successful healing journey may be working at reestablishing the greatest possible measure of inner peace and confidence.
As a now healed former cancer patient wrote “For me the first and hardest part was healing the mind, losing the 'Cancer is Killing Me' idea and coming to terms with the emotional trauma...Once I believed with my heart that my body can overcome the disease there was an overnight improvement in general health.” You will find MANY tools and pointers here to both heal the emotional trauma AND the cancer.
Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer has posited what he termed “the iron rule of cancer”: “Any cancer starts with ... an extremely brutal shock, a dramatic and acute conflict, experienced in loneliness and sensed by the patient as the most serious he has ever known.“ See Dr. Hamer's "German New Medicine".
Dr. A., a naturopathic physician, lucidly observes: “...(cancer) patients do not want to die or suffer but they have no compelling purpose for LIVING. They submit passively to regimes and procedures to please their families or their physician but they spiral uncomplainingly downward. The litmus question to a cancer or AIDS patient "What real reason do you have for living?" is often unanswerable. The will to live must come from the patient and no amount of anguish, encouragement or threats from any family or friends will help if this will to live is not present. Often, such a situation is intimately linked to a lack of LOVE.”
“The Daily Guru” observes: “Many of us are carrying repressed memories of unhealed emotional wounds or traumas from childhood and sometimes from past lives. As long as these things are repressed within you, they will be activated from time to time, pulling you out of Presence or simply preventing you from being present. 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 to be allowed to surface into the light of consciousness for healing and release. When 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 are energetic approaches such as 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.
(excerpted from article previously published at:
Scientists say they have found that one of the body's "good mood chemicals" forces some cancer cells to commit suicide. They say that when serotonin is placed in a test tube alongside tumor cells of Burkitt's lymphoma the cancer kills itself. The scientists from the University of Birmingham add that when the chemical is produced by the body it prevents depression. Quote: "An exciting property of serotonin is that it can tell some cells to self-destruct. We have found serotonin can get inside the lymphoma cells and instruct them to commit suicide."
by W. Douglas Brodie, MD.
Evidence of a relationship between cancer and personality type has existed for centuries. Going back in history to the second century AD, Galen, a Greek physician famous for his astute observations of patients and for his accurate descriptions of diseases, noted that women with breast cancer frequently had a tendency to be melancholic.
In dealing with many thousands of cancer patients over the past 28 years, it has been my observation that there are certain personality traits which are rather consistently present in the cancer-susceptible individual. These characteristics are as follows:
1. Being highly conscientious, dutiful, responsible, caring, hard-working, and usually of above average intelligence.
2. Exhibiting a strong tendency toward carrying other people's burdens and toward taking on extra obligations, often “worrying for others.”
3. Having a deep-seated need to make others happy, tending to be “people pleasers.” Having a great need for approval.
4. Often having a history of lack of closeness with one or both parents, sometimes, later in life, resulting in lack of closeness with spouse or others who would normally be close.
5. Harboring long-suppressed toxic emotions, such as anger, resentment and/or hostility. Typically the cancer-susceptible individual internalizes such emotions and has great difficulty expressing them.
6. Reacting adversely to stress, often becoming unable to cope adequately with such stress. Usually experiencing an especially damaging event about 2 years before the onset of detectable cancer. The patient is unable to cope with this traumatic event or series of events, which comes as a “last straw” on top of years of suppressed reactions to stress.
[Compare Dr. Hamer’s “Iron Rule of Cancer”.]
7. Showing an inability to resolve deep-seated emotional problems and conflicts, usually arising in childhood, often even being unaware of their presence.
Typical of the cancer-susceptible personality, as noted above, is the long-standing tendency to suppress “toxic emotions,” particularly anger. Usually starting in childhood, this individual has held in his/her hostility and other unacceptable emotions. More often than not, this feature of the affected personality has its origins in feelings of rejection by one or both parents. Whether these feelings or rejection are justified or not, it is the perception of rejection that matters, and this results in a lack of closeness with the “rejecting” parent or parents, followed later in life by a similar lack of closeness with spouses and others with whom close relationships would normally develop. Those at higher risk for cancer tend to develop feelings of loneliness as a result of their having been deprived of affection and acceptance earlier in life, even if this is merely their own perception. These people have a tremendous need for approval and acceptance, developing a very high sensitivity to the needs of others while suppressing their own emotional needs.
These good folks become the “caretakers” of the world, showing great compassion and caring for others, and going out of their way to look after the needs of others. They are very reluctant to accept help from others, fearing that it may jeopardize their role as caretakers or that they might appear to have too much self-concern. Throughout their childhood they have typically been taught “not to be selfish,” and they take this to heart as a major lifetime objective. All of this benevolence is highly commendable, of course, in our culture, but must be somehow modified in the case of the cancer patient. A distinction needs to be made here between the “care-giving” and the “care-taking” personality. There is nothing wrong with care-giving, of course, but the problem arises when the susceptible individual derives his/her entire worth, value and identity from his/her role as “caretaker.” If this shift cannot be made, the patient is stuck in this role, and the susceptibility to cancer greatly increases.
As noted above, a consistent feature of those who are susceptible to cancer appears to be that they “suffer in silence,” and bear their burdens without complaint. Burdens of their own as well as the burdens of others weigh heavily, often subconsciously as well as consciously, upon these people because they, through a lifetime of suppression, internalize their problems, cares and conflicts. The carefree extrovert, on the other hand, seems to be far less vulnerable to cancer than the caring introvert described above.
How one reacts to stress appears to be a major factor in the development of cancer. Most cancer patients have experienced a highly stressful event, usually about 2 years prior to the onset of detectable disease. This traumatic event is often beyond the patient's control, such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a business, job, home, or some other major disaster. The typical cancer victim has lost the ability to cope with these extreme events, because his/her coping mechanism lies in his/her ability to control the environment. When this control is lost, the patient has no other way to cope.
Major stress, as we have seen, causes suppression of the immune system, and does so more overwhelmingly in the cancer-susceptible individual than in others. Thus personal tragedies and excessive levels of stress appear to combine with the underlying personality described above to bring on the immune deficiency which allows cancer to thrive.
These observations have given rise to the term psychoneuroimmunology.
[Compare articles on psychoneuroimmunology and immune system.]
In my experience, one of the most difficult and most important hurdles to overcome in cancer patients is how to make major changes in their life-styles. Not only is it necessary to make changes in the physical aspects of their lives such as eating habits, but major changes need to be made in the way they react to stress. The way they react to stress is due largely to the way they think about life. There can be no lasting changes of behavior without first having a change in thinking and in belief systems. It is often extremely difficult for these patients to make substantial changes in these ingrained patterns of thought. Many find it too difficult or too disagreeable to make such alterations in their settled way of thinking and reacting. Many likewise find it too unpleasant to make changes in the physical aspects of their life-style, even in the face of life-threatening illness.
In my office patients are counseled to address their problems and to make the appropriate adjustments to the best of their ability. A psychologist with extensive experience in dealing with these unique problems is readily available to our patients.
These patients are encouraged to take charge of their own health and to be active participants in their care. They are urged to learn as much as possible about the disease and all of the treatment options, including the various conventional modalities.
© 2001 W. Douglas Brodie, MD, 601 West Moana Lane, Ste. 3, Reno, NV 89509
Also compare Laughter Is Medicine: Seriously!
Excerpted from BBC News Online
Optimists have a longer life-span than pessimists, researchers have concluded.
They found that people with a positive outlook live, on average, 19% longer than those who are miserable.
More than 1,100 patients attending the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota, USA, between 1962 and 1965 completed a personality survey, which gave them an optimism ranking according to their views of the causes of events in their lives.
By looking at the patients 30 years later, the researchers discovered that those who had been classified as optimists had a 19% higher chance of still being alive than the pessimists, reports the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Optimists were less likely to suffer depression and helplessness and were less fatalistic about their health chances.
Commenting on the report, Dr Martin Seligman, of the University of Pennsylvania department of psychology, said: "Now I believe we have converging and compelling evidence that optimists and pessimists differ markedly in how long they will live."
Pessimism was identifiable early and could be stabilised by therapy which changed the individual's thinking about bad events, he said.
Philip Tata, head of adult psychology at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, in London, said: "Optimism and pessimism are more complex than people think. Most people think they are opposite ends of one scale, but you can actually have high levels of both at the same time.
"A lack of optimism, rather than a negative outlook, can be just as problematic. Having a reason to live rather than just seeing terrible things coming down the road at you is important."
More scientific data on the value of positive attitudes can be found e.g. in the study "High morale is associated with increased survival in the very old" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25779630) and "Positive attitude towards life and emotional expression as personality phenotypes for centenarians" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22626632). Also compare Laughter Is Medicine and Cancer Healing & Your Mind.
This is a picture from an article called “The Rescuing Hug”. The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Apparently, each were in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal.
Let us not forget to embrace those whom we love.