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Holism - The Body/Mind Connection

Dr Bernie Siegel had a group of cancer patients he called Exceptional Cancer Patients, or ECAP. These people all had a few things in common. For example, when asked if they wanted to live forever, they responded with an unqualified, "Yes." They did not say, "Well, if I'm healthy and active, yes." It was an unqualified, "Yes."

This is what made them Exceptional Cancer Patients and not the fact that they outlived all expectations, that their average life span was significantly greater than those who didn't make the cut (and join his ECAP group). 

How does one join his ECAP group? Well, first you give the right answers. Secondly, you take charge of your healing. You and your doctor form a team. In other words, he classified people by their willingness to heal. Those who passed his little tests were allowed into his ECAP group and he worked closely with them, supplying them information, coaching them, checking their progress, and just being there for them. 

One question he asked his patients is this: "What benefit are you getting from your cancer?"

For some of you who've experienced cancer or have taken care of someone who's battled cancer, this question will, at first, seem rather strange. 

To understand what Dr Siegel is getting at, first you have to know that he (as well as other physicians) has developed a series of questions to "profile" a person who is ripe for cancer. 

Now, keep in mind that this "profiling" was begun by Dr Siegel back in the sixties while today many physicians feel we're all cancer time-bombs just waiting to go off. If you watched the Bill Moyer's special on the chemical industry, you know that the average person has between 300 and 500 chemicals in their bodily fluids and tissues that weren't even around in the fifties. So, keep in mind that this "profiling," though significant, has lost a bit of significance due to the toxic swamp we're all living in right now. 

From the profiling done by Dr Siegel, we learn that "caretakers" are ripe for cancer. Cancer becomes a metaphor in their case. His ECAPs who were caretakers answered his question, "What benefit are you getting from your cancer?" with "Now I'm taking care of myself" or "Now others are caring for me." Dr Siegel tell us in his book Love, Medicine & Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon's Experience with Exceptional Patients, that when cancer hits a person who has been caring for others, that it is a very unsubtle message to "care for yourself now."

In chat rooms I've met people who don't like Dr Siegel because "he blames the patient for getting cancer." 

This is NOT true. Dr Siegel asks all of his patients to take responsibility for their cancer. There is a great difference between taking blame and taking responsibility. 

I realize we're getting into some touchy territory now, because whenever this subject is brought up in a chat room, it always winds up with someone screaming out, "Are you telling me I caused my own cancer?"

No, but we all have to be responsible for our health. How are we responsible? We are responsible for what we put into our bodies, for what we eat and drink. We are responsible for many (though not all) of the toxins in our lives (our kitchens and bathrooms). We are responsible for our toxic thoughts.

So, what if you truly believe that you have never consumed a carcinogen, have never had an unpleasant thought, and live in a bubble? Well, let's get back to this in another way in a few seconds here.

Dr Siegel's Exceptional Cancer Patients all take responsibility for their health, thus they have taken responsibility for their cancer. They also take much of the responsibility to beat their cancer. This is not to say that they caused their cancer; but those who live the longest all took responsibility for their cancer and for their lives.

This is a very hard concept to get across without people inferring that they caused their cancer. There are many "healers" who believe that we cause ourselves to get sick, so does this mean you asked for cancer? No, of course not. NO ONE ASKS FOR CANCER, but let's take a look at how we can cause ourselves to get sick.

What we think affects our immune system. This is a very simple concept that has been substantiated by our science. At Harvard Medical School, researchers discovered receptors on our immune system cells for brain chemicals. Our thoughts create our brain chemicals. Good thoughts improve our immune system and negative thoughts suppress our immune system. According to the Harvard research, this entire process is biochemical. The new science is called Psychoneuroimmunology. As far as science is concerned, Psychoneuroimmunology is the reason behind the Body/Mind connection. It's all biochemical.

If you've clicked on the link above (Psychoneuroimmunology) and viewed the page, always keep in mind that it is not so much what has happened to you that counts, but how you respond to what has happened to you. We have hundreds of examples in history of people subjected to the same cues and with a few individuals responding differently than the rest. My father used to point out the hundreds of people who lost everything during the Great Depression and leapt to their deaths; while one person (I don't recall his name) sat down and wrote a joke book. 

How To Write A Joke Book While Everyone Around You Is Jumping

There is a "new age" concept of "staying in the body," that I've finally understood due to the wonderful book I've recommended for some time now: The Power of Now. If you have trouble with New Agers, just keep in the back of your mind that there is nothing new about it; it is ancient wisdom and philosophies that are making a revival just as ancient Chinese medicine is making a comeback. Why? They work. So if you have trouble with the concept, it goes against your religious convictions, then just accept this as ancient wisdom that has no religious flavor attached to it.

Staying in the body is opposed to being in the mind. Too often we are prisoners of our thoughts. These thoughts are usually about the past or about the future and are rarely about the present, the now. Living in the mind makes us slaves to that mental broken record skipping over and over and over and over....

Eighty percent of the thoughts you have today you had yesterday. 

If we're not trying to repair the past, we're stuck worrying about the future. This is always a fruitless endeavor because 99% of what we worry about never comes true anyway. And we certainly cannot change the past, though knowing this still doesn't help because once again, most of us are prisoners to our thoughts that go on and on and on . . . 

This is unconscious living. And when something happens; our stability is threatened, our ego is attacked, or our beliefs are attacked, we become even more unconscious and go on "auto pilot." We get angry, we fight back, we basically dive right into our dramas and repeat old behaviors completely unconsciously. 

Being "in the body" allows us to stand back when attacked or confronted and change our behaviors by mastering our thoughts. If you want to change a behavior, change the thought. But if we're so wrapped up in our dramas, slaves to our thoughts, change will not and cannot come about. 

Why do some people complain about the same things throughout their entire lives: people who constantly get into abusive relationships, people who consistently complain about people taking advantage of them, people who are stuck repeating, "Why me?"

To change a behavior, first change the thoughts and you DO have the power to change a thought. You have the right to change a thought. You have the power. 

Your thought this minute is creating your future. If you want to change your future, change your thought. The only way you can do this is to stay in the body and refuse to be a slave to your thoughts. 

I'm going to give you some tools. With the right tools, anyone can do anything. 

But first, there is one more thing I want you all to know, and this goes back to my question above: So, what if you truly believe that you have never consumed a carcinogen, have never had an unpleasant thought, and live in a bubble? How could you possibly have gotten sick?

Let's look at this a different way and get a new heading here:

What To Do When Nothing Works?

You've done chemo. You've done radiation. You've done surgery. You've tried some alternatives. You've changed your diet. 

You're doctor says the cancer is growing and you are going to die. 

What do you do? Believe your doctor and die?

Maybe we need an even better heading, you think?

How To Cure A Terminal Illness

Keeping in mind that sometimes nothing will work because your spirit simply wants to return to your creator, we'll jump right into this next section because we do not know what the spirit wants and there is still a lot left for you to do.

The first thing we do is go back to the basics: detox and fast. Fasting makes cancer stop growing. We quit feeding the cancer. To ensure that our body doesn't turn on us and start feeding the cancer we can try Hydrazine Sulfate. When used properly, it works greater than 50% of the time; it makes sure your body doesn't feed the cancer while you're consciously not feeding the cancer. 

Fasting means juice fasting with fresh, organic vegetable juices and superfoods. No fruit juices just yet, we want to stop the growth and give ourselves a bit of time to work the rest of our program.

Louise Hay was diagnosed with cancer. The surgeons did what they could do, but she was considered terminal. They gave her just a few short months to get her things in order. Today she helps other heal their terminal cancers. Her beliefs will probably grate against the beliefs of most of you out there, but just accept what she says with an open mind. Let's face it, no one is asking you to change religion or join a cult, she's just asking you to go inside and do some "inner work."

Please; what Louise Hay has to say is very controversial, so far fetched (to some) and to many it is a slap in the face. The reason I give it to you is that IT WORKS. What Louise Hay gets her patients to do works greater than 50% of the time and all the chemotherapy in the world cannot make that claim. It works when the chemotherapy doesn't work. Do not attack her for trying to help you heal. If you don't want it, walk away. But if you want to take control of your life and your health, this "sort" of therapy is powerful medicine.

Louise Hay discovered that, for herself, cancer was caused by resentment. Her resentment grew and grew and ate at her until it formed a cancer that began eating away at her body. 

My own personal story is very close. In 1993 I was having a "set back." I know my body and I felt it coming on. I contacted a friend in Israel, a wonderful healer who healed her own cervical cancer. I flew her in to work with me. She did a superb job, reminding me that I am what I eat, I am what I drink, I am what I breathe, and that I am what I think. We went back to the basics. The kicker was this: she left me with two things that changed my life (mainly because I was open to changing). One was a wonderful book by Dr Gerald Jampolsky called: Teach Only Love (it has since been updated and revised). This book taught me forgiveness. The most important person I had to forgive at this juncture in my life was myself.  

The other important gift my friend left me was a tape by Louise Hay called: Cancer: Your Healing Power. When I heard this tape for the first time it moved me so much that I knew my healing was complete. I broke down crying, hugged my friend the healer, and took her off to the airport the next day. It was such a powerful experience. Something inside me clicked and I knew it was time for my friend to go back home. 

What do we do when nothing works? How can we cure the incurable? We get back to the basics and then go inside and do some inner work. 

Sometimes we have to do some really deep inner cleansing and get rid of that old emotional baggage. Hypnosis, meditation, guided imagery, even taking chemo with friends along to pray that the chemo does its job (statistically improves your chances of success dramatically) or talking to the chemo, imagining it killing the cancer cells, picturing it in your mind.

Then there are daily routines in the morning or evening or both: qigong, yoga, meditation, and/or tai chi followed by affirmations (Hay and Siegel both employ them, with their patients and in their personal lives) and ending your routine in a prayer of thanks. A prayer of thanks is said to be the most powerful prayer in the universe. 

Some cancer patients might wonder what we have to be thankful for. Sadly, it is this cancer patient who will never be a member of ECAP. There is so much to be thankful for even on your last day on this planet: the skies, the lilies, the roses, the frogs, those magnificent apples by Cézanne, puppy kisses, the eyes of a child, a cool breeze on a hot summer day and most of all, the chance to be here, if only for a moment, to witness the wonder of life.

Bless you, keep you, and heal your lives. It's all within your reach. 

If you would like to read a bit further into the spiritual connection to healing (I say this because touching upon the spiritual sometimes involves challenging "religious" beliefs) then you may click here: The Spiritual Connection to Healing.

More References and Links:

Mysterious Light: A Scientist's Odyssey: The personal story of a scientist as he discovers spirit.

The Spindrift Experiments: Prayer is taken into the laboratory and using our Western style science "proving" its existence and power.

Conversations With God (Volumes 1, 2, and 3) These are life changing books, translated into 28 languages and on the NY Times best selling list for over 3 years.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle. One healer once told me, "We live our lives 60% in the past, 30% in the future, and 10% in the present. Do you have any doubts as to why we get sick when so little of our energy is focused on healing which can only take place in the present?" This book, if you follow its advice, take time to absorb its content, can not only heal your life, but it will bring you boundless joy that no disappointment can ever erase. I've not only read the book, but I often listen to Eckhart Tolle read his book with The Power of NOW on 7 CDs.

Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation. This is one amazing book. Along with The Power of Now, you can change and heal your life, today. Simply written, simply understood, there is magic in these pages.

Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Approach by Dr Larry Dossey. This book will open your eyes to things undreamt of. Just avoid the introduction; it is unreadable.

Staying Well With Guided Imagery by Belleruth Naparstek. This is a great introduction to how to use guided imagery to do some very deep healing or to simply stay well while all around you are dropping. 

Health Journeys: A Meditation to Help You Fight Cancer by Belleruth Naparstek. This tape will amaze you. It is a very hypnotic tape, just sit back and allow Naparstek's wonderful, healing voice to flow through you. If there are two tapes every person should own, every person who wants to take back their health, it is this tape and Louise Hay's tape Cancer: Discovering Your Healing Power. Warning: do not listen to these tapes while driving!

Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon's Experience with Exceptional Patients by Dr Bernie Siegel. This is the audio tape version. We live in a fast paced world and if you find yourself spending more time in your car than in your home, then this is the perfect companion. 

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