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Feeding the spirit and the
(from introductory booklet)
Western medicine has been, traditionally, more
concerned with the anatomy and physiology of the body
rather than with the less tangible forces that also
affect the way we feel. In the East these energies are
recognised as the "life force" or "the breath of life".
When they are balanced or flowing freely we are well;
when they become blocked or disturbed we become sick.
These inner resources can, to a large extent, be
controlled by the mind, and increasingly, orthodox
doctors are accepting the need to harness this power in
order to assist the body to heal itself.
There are many methods of healing. Through a local cancer
support group you will discover which is right for you. There is much more
to it than magic and miracles. Some people find that the help of a trained
"healer" is beneficial. Healers believe that energy channelled through the
hands can be activated by the mind of one person and trigger off changes in
another. Some act within various beliefs, seeing their gifts as a
manifestation of God's power; others believe there is no Divine intervention
and that the direct contact between patient and healer is a form of
bio-electro-magnetism. Either way it is an ancient phenomenon, common to all
faiths and all cultures and whilst instant miracle cures are rare,
improvements can sometimes be dramatic and inexplicable.
Cancer has been described by one great American
surgeon as a message - to change the whole approach to
your life. It is your choice - either to remain tied to
old patterns that have probably lost their meaning, or to
explore a new gentle path which could set free the
springs of self-healing within you and so transform your
life, however long or short it may be.
Lawrence Le Shan, the world authority on the
psychology of cancer, says "the people most capable of
recovery are men and women who can discover a new
wellspring of hope, whatever their past disappointments,
and move on to a fresh sense of themselves, a true
recognition of their worth as human beings". In other
words, you learn to sing your own song.
Often cancer patients have been emotionally lonely,
isolated and even filled with self-dislike since
childhood. Very often they come to live for someone else
alone. This is not enough - and it is why cancer
frequently appears to be triggered by a major stress such
as the loss of a husband or wife, by divorce or by sexual
problems within a marriage.
Finding a sense of purpose and self-confidence is
tough, but it is tougher if you have cancer. It can
seldom be achieved alone. However, with the help of a
friend, a priest, a counsellor, it IS possible to change
the emotional blueprint we are born with and steer a
course that makes us feel more at peace within
Stress is not something that happens from outside.
Life is full of challenges; these in themselves do not
constitute stress. It is what WE create by the way we
meet the challenge. Just as emotional tensions have a
negative effect on the body, suppressing the proper
functioning of the immune system, so laughter can have
the reverse effect. Mind can over-rule matter - remember
Snoopy's message "I am the sunshine of my life".
Relaxation, meditation and visualisation are steps on
the way to this self-discovery, and can be learned at
most local cancer support groups. Relaxation is the
first, simple stage towards the deeper, all-absorbing
exploration of the senses during meditation and
individual visualisation. These are techniques which
must gradually be woven into the fabric of everyday life;
not only do they have practical benefits - lowering blood
pressure and easing physical pain - but they also lower
the emotional "pain threshold" which reduces anxiety and
brings new awareness. New Approaches can advise on local
suitable teachers of these techniques.
If there is a message shining through the cancer
story, it is for more trust and teamwork between patient
and practitioner. The holistic approach to life, in
which body, mind and spirit are intertwined, does not
relate to cancer alone. But the emotive power of cancer
cloaks it in a special kind of responsibility. Since we
tend to give it pride of place, let it be a shop window
for a more positive view of health, in which the
important factor is how we live; not why we die. That is
the way to undermine cancer's hold on us.
next>> A five-step approach to
prevention & control of ill health