REDUCING YOUR CANCER RISK:
A HOLISTIC APPROACH
A. brief conceptual framework for cancer
Understanding cancer prevention activities begins with a framework of public health concepts to put the ideas into context. This framework provides an easier way to understand specific prevention-related strategies, research and interviews with some of the holistic leaders. A more complete framework can be found in Helvie’s Advanced Practice Nursing in the Community that combines public health concepts with his Energy Theory of Nursing and Health and is available at Amazon’s or Barnes & Noble. +
Health/Illness/Cancer as Processes
Public health practitioners view health and illnesses (such as cancer) as processes that are dependent upon multiple factors in humans, the disease or disabling agent, and the environment that bring them (humans and the agent) together. Because of their interrelatedness it is possible for humans, communities, nations and the world to move up and down a health-illness continuum depending upon how well they deal with (resist or succumb) environmental/agent factors. If disease is to occur there must be a weakened host, a strong agent, and a favorable environment that brings them together. Thus, a three prong focus is used to move humans/communities/the world toward wellness on the health end of this continuum using interventions that:
1.Strengthen the person-increase the resistance of humans,
2.Weaken the risk factor-reduce the presence, forcefulness, or impact of the agent, and/or
3) Change the environment-make the environment less favorable/forceful for a human-agent interaction.
Intervening Points in the Process
It is possible to intervene with these multiple factors before or after humans interact with disease/ disabling agents in the environment. Intervening before humans interact with the environmental/ agent factors for cancer (before the illness) to make them more resistant and the environment/ disease agent less favorable is known as primary prevention. The major goal of primary prevention is
to protect humans from cancer and help them maintain and improve their health and wellness. In other words, primary prevention aims to stop the disease from occurring through either changing individuals by making them stronger or by changing the environment to remove the risk factor or both.
Figure 1. Health/Illness Process Levels and Intervention Types
Health/Illness Level———Healthy /// Early Disease /// Late Disease
Preventive Interventions—Primary–///Secondary——/// Tertiary
Secondary prevention occurs further down a health-illness continuum when individuals have interacted with a disease agent in an unfavorable environment and experienced a negative effect or diagnoses of cancer. Secondary prevention is sometimes called early intervention. The goal here is to identify the disease as early as possible in order to reduce the length and severity of illness and produce a better outcome. Secondary prevention includes interventions for those with early cancer such as stage 1 or 2 or before it has metastasized to other parts of the body where it would be more difficult to treat and the outcome would be less favorable. Secondary prevention also includes less invasive diagnostic tests such as the Navarro urine test and procedures such as breast and testicular self-examination.
Even further down the continuum would be tertiary preventive interventions for those with the most severe illnesses. Tertiary prevention include treatment to contain the disease as well to prevent the problem from returning after it has been treated. Also, in receipt years, quaternary prevention has been introduced into health care which describes a process to prevent the results of unnecessary interventions or complications of excessive treatment. Our focus in this presentation is primary prevention and secondary and tertiary interventions will be presented at a later time.
Risk factors. Although there are no known agent factors in a holistic approach to cancer prevention such as bacteria and viruses found in acute communicable diseases there are risk factors that may trigger different types of cancer and that you should be aware of. For example, in a holistic approach (humans-agent-environment) lung cancer is more likely to occur in a person who is not exercising or keeping the immune system in balance, not eating a proper diet or getting adequate sleep and rest, who is missing prayer, meditation and relationship experiences and other lifestyle activities that help maintain wellness. In addition, cigarette smoke may be a high risk (trigger) because it is present in over 90% of all individuals with lung cancer and may makes a difference between having or avoiding lung cancer even when most other holistic factors (diet, exercise, supplements, prayer, meditation, and others) are positive. Likewise, there are variables in cigarette smokers that may account for the differences between those who have or do not have lung cancer. These may include an individual smoking many cigarettes containing heavy chemicals daily for many years vs one smoking a few, weak chemical cigarettes daily for a short period of time. Thus, the risk factor varies depending upon whether the agent or trigger is weak or strong as it interacts with other human and environmental factors to cause cancer. The same can be said for ultraviolet rays from the sun and/or tanning beds as they influences skin cancer. Frequent long time exposure for many years vs short term exposure of less intense rays (early morning or late afternoon) for a few years can impinge upon humans and produce cancer or not. Although the risks (agent/triggers) of different cancers will not be discussed here, be aware that these do exist and research those that are most important to you. I have included some triggers under individual or environmental factors below.
Every positive lifestyle activity helps. It may not be possible for you to make all of the positive changes identified below, but do what you can to reduce the risk of cancer. Each change can help tip the scale toward health and away from cancer. Some changes are more important than others as far as risk. For example, Dr Lise Alschuler in her interview (under doctors interviews on this website) says 30 minutes a day of exercise can reduce cancer risk by 50% and proper diet can reduce it by 35%. Wow—these are big ones to focus on for change, if necessary. In addition, the triggers mentioned above are big ones. But do not ignore the other preventive interventions when you have time. Your efforts will be well rewarded.
Research findings: Research results for cancer causation/risk factors in the literature may seem to be contradictory. There are many reasons for these contradictions and a few will be identified here. First, research methodologies used in studies may vary and influence the findings. Some studies have large samples, use a random sample selection process to select subjects and controls, are prospective instead of retrospective or case studies, control for variables in subjects and controls and other factors that make the study results more reliable. When some or all of these and other research components are missing in a research study the results may vary, are usually less reliable, and cause variation in reported results.
A second problem is that studies carried out on cells, or animals (usually precede clinical trials and human research) may have the findings falsely extrapolated to humans. This may happen as a result of research reviewed by individuals without a background in research in general or cancer specifically. If this information is repeated in other articles or posts on social media and is shared by others it may add to conflicting results in print if further studies on humans are different from those on cells, for example—which does happen.
A third factor that causes conflicting results is the dishonesty of companies who sponsor research and have a vested interest. For example, those who sell soap, tooth paste and personal care products and make a profit from these items but also fund research on them may influence results that differ from findings if researchers are financed by different unbiased sources. Although there are many known instances, the following story of falsifying the results of the effects of laetrile at Sloan Kettering is well known and shows how this can be done. Doctored Results: The Suppression of Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research Therefore, you should review conflicting results to your satisfaction before making decisions about using products. I tend to error on the side of avoiding them if there is any possibility that they are unsafe for me and my family.
Notify me: if you find glaring omissions in this overview of holistic cancer causing factors, send me a note and I will research and add omissions and/or make changes as necessary. I will be revising this and other booklets periodically and adding new content, interviews and research, and making corrections as necessary, that will then be available as updated information.
B. Primary Prevention Interventions for Cancer: While there are three areas where primary prevention can be focused – the individual, the agent and the environment – the agent is most often interrelated with the environment. Because of the difficulty in considering an agent separately from the environment, it will be considered together as environmental factors in this discussion and we will focus on removing or limiting exposure to the environmental factor to weaken its risk. Following the discussion on environmental factors, there will be a discussion about ways to strengthen the individual to improve resistance to potential exposure to the agents or environment. Many people find it easier to remove a risk from the environment than to make a change in lifestyle, but changing both the environmental exposure and the individual strengths is the most effective strategy.
1. Environmental Factors: Preventive interventions in the areas of environment and toxic agents include making environmental/agent factors less favorable for developing cancer. These strategies involve ways to avoid or prevent exposure to the risk factors as well as ways to mitigate or reduce the impact of the unavoidable factors. This section will discuss some of the toxic agents along with ways to reduce or mitigate the exposure or risk and the research behind the interventions.
1a. EMF waves are most commonly found in computers, televisions, cell phones, microwaves, fluorescent lights, wired and wireless electronics, and even hair dryers. Although research is contradictory some studies found cell phones can cause cancer of brain and reproductive organs, and other sources of EMF waves may cause leukemia in children. In addition, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences EMF Working Group have classified EMF exposures as possible human carcinogens
What to do:
√ Stay as far away from source as possible
√ Turn off electronics when not in use
√ Do not use cell phone next to head, and do not store in pocket, or on body- connect them to an adapter when using.
√ Move WIFI out of bedroom or sleeping areas, if possible. If not, turn it off at night as it interferes with body rejuvenation and renewal that takes place during sleep.
Interview for overall information on EMF waves and dangers listen to the interview with Dr David Carpenter located on this site under resources→ interviews with doctors→ interviews with others who treat health concerns→ environmental issues→ Dr Carpenter.
1B. Selected toxic chemicals (found in pesticides in agriculture, industry, home, and gardens; industrial chemicals, waste, and waste byproducts; chemicals in consumer products that include building materials, furniture, food packaging, and cosmetics; and pollution from coal fired plant, automobile exhaust and others).
ﮭ Benzene (solvent used in chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and is released by oil refineries). Research shows it is linked to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); breast cancer; lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer). For additional research data from the World Health Organization see: www.who.int/ipcs/features/benzene.pdf
What to do:
√ When outside avoid, when possible, motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, fumes at gas stations, and tobacco smoke.
√ When inside avoid inhaling glue, paint, furniture wax, and detergents.
√ Avoid hazardous waste sites.
√Avoid drinking well water from sites near hazardous waste sites until inspected.
√ Wear protective equipment if working in industries using benzene.
√ Avoid tobacco smoke (see below)
ﮭBisphenol a (BPA), a building block of polycarbonate plastic is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world. (It is used in hard plastics, food cans, drink cans, store receipts, and dental sealants.) Research shows it is an endocrine disrupter linked to breast and prostate cancers. For addition research (over 120 studies) go to the following: www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103714?journalcode=publhealth
What to do:
√ Drink filtered water from glass or from stainless steel water bottles from companies like Nalgene or Sigg instead of bottled water in plastic that may leach from the container into water.
√ Avoid eating microwavable meals in plastic containers. For example, try instead something like Amy’s that uses a paper container. However, there are still questions about the use of plastic covers.
√ Use stainless eating utensils, ceramic dishes and glass instead of plastic.
√Avoid foods packaged in cans or at least use only those marked BPA free lining or are packaged in paper cartons (soup).
√ Avoid using plastic storage containers for left over foods. Instead use glass containers with BPA free covers.
√ Instead of using a plastic coffee maker (or coffee maker with a plastic drip basket), switch to a French press, ceramic drip, or stainless steel electric percolator.
√ Consider exchanging plastic cling wrap for glass jars, or parchment paper to cover left over foods.
√ Keep plastic out of the freezer, microwave, or dishwasher because BPA leaches from plastics at a higher rate in hot or cold temperatures.
√ Avoid aluminum soda cans that may be lined with BPA.
√ Request “no receipt” when possible. The BPA may transfer to your fingers and leach into other paper products touched.
√ Ask your dentist about the sealants and compounds he uses in your teeth that may contain BPA.
ﮭTobacco and tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco such as snuff and chewing tobacco) Research found causal factor of cancer in lungs, mouth. larynx, nose, throat, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, cervix, kidney, bladder, ovary, colorectal, and acute myeloid leukemia. It also increases the risk of lung cancer when combined with exposure to radon. Additional research data at: www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/tobacco-related-cancer-fact-sheet
What to do:
√ Stay away from all smoke-it can cause cancer in smoker and those around them
√ If you use tobacco products, quit. Tobacco cessation techniques have been found to be helpful. Quitting can mitigate and sometimes reverse damage caused by smoking. It is never too late.
√ Smoking Cessation techniques presented below.
Interview – On this website go to resources→ interviews with cancer doctors→ smoking cessation→ Dr Scott McIntosh.
ﮭFormaldehyde-(found in building and home decoration products, auto exhausts, preservatives, and disinfectants). Linked to leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer. More information on research and formaldehyde from the National Cancer Institute at: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet
What to do:
√ Avoid auto exhausts.
√ Avoid cigarette smoke indoors.
√ Buy formaldehyde free furnishings and construction materials when building houses.
Methyl Bromide used to sterilize soil before planting strawberries and tomatoes including organic ones and fumigation of ham and pork products. Phased out as a pesticide in most countries in early 2000’s but continued in USA until at least 2017 when it is to be phased out worldwide. It is considered a potential occupational carcinogen by OSHA and can cause cancer and death depending upon concentration. It has been related to prostate cancer risk.
What to do:
√ Avoid or limit strawberries and other foods known to be contaminated.
√ Research to determine if it is discontinued in 2017 before reintroducing these foods into your diet.
Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDS) found in flame retardants in furniture, computers, electronics, medical equipment, and mattresses). An endocrine disrupter, that may cause liver cancer.
What to do:
√ Avoid furniture and mattresses with flame retardants.
√ Check out computers and other electronics before buying.
Multiple chemicals-see discussion on multiple metals/toxins below.
Triclosan (May be found in Colgate’s total toothpaste and some antibacterial soap, cosmetics and other personal products.) Although research is contradictory animal studies show it may cause endocrine- disruption, may act in a way similar to bisphenol (BPA) discussed previously, and may promote liver and other cancers. Additional research at: www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2015/1/science-triclosan/ Pressure has been put on the EPA to ban the product: www.psr.org/environment-and-health/confronting-toxics/blog/new-research-on-triclosan.html
What to do:
√ Research your personal care products and avoid those with Triclosan as an ingredient, if desired.
√ Although ingredients in products change over time as a result of public scrutiny and the lists are long the following guidelines are a start.
√ Research especially soap products that are liquid in dispensable containers that often have Triclosan. .
√ Look closely at germ free products that say germ killing or antibacterial.
√ Go organic when possible. A good choice for soap is Vi-Tae antibacterial soap (certified organic) that is advertised as natural and aromatherapy herbal bars. Few toothpaste products are organic. Toms of Maine (a popular product) is marked natural (not organic) and some of their products contains Fluoride (see toxic metals below). Others are Fluoride free. None contain Triclosan. However, some also contain carrageenan (see discussion below under additives). So again review ingredients. Dr Bronner’s all-one tooth paste seems like a better choice because it is 70% organic, does not contain Triclosan, Fluoride, or Carrageenan. Himalayan Neern and Pomegranate toothpaste is also a good choice-organic herbal product with no Fluoride, or Triclosan but does contain Carrageenan.
√ Avoid also Trictocarbon ingredients in products because of similar actions,
Interview on chemicals and cancer. Listen to the interview with Dr Harry Milman Go to resources→others who treat health concerns→ environmental issues→ Dr Harry Milman. .
1C. Selected toxic metals-may be found in tooth paste, tooth fillings, antiperspirant, home pipes and walls, occupational settings, food and water, and other environmental sources.
A new service in June, 2016 for testing heavy metals, minerals and elements such as aluminum, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and others in food, protein powder, personal care products, water and other items is available at: www.cwclabs.com
ﮭAluminum (found in antiperspirants). Research data on risk of aluminum for breast cancer is mixed. Additional data at: www.prevention.com/beauty/skin-care/does-aluminum-antiperspirants-cause-cancer-and-alzheimers
What to do:
√ Avoid antiperspirants with aluminum.
√ Use aluminum free antiperspirants/deodorants-Toms of Maine have some but read label because not all Tom’s products are aluminum free.
ﮭAsbestos –(may be found in walls, ceiling, and floors of older houses.) Research shows asbestos can cause mesothelioma and lung cancer as well as cancer of the bronchus, trachea, digestive organs, and peritoneum. See the following research data from the National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet
What to do:
√ Have your house assessed for presence of asbestos. It may be o.k. if present but not moved or exposed.
√ If removal is needed, hire a profession to do the job.
ﮭFluoride🙁 Found in the water supply of many communities and in dental products such as tooth paste and mouth wash.) Inconsistent research findings regarding a risk of Fluoride for a rare type of bone cancers known as osteosarcoma especially in teen age boys, as well as bladder and lung cancer. For additional research on fluoride and cancer see: www.fluoridealert.org/issues/health/cancer/
What to do:
√ Decide for yourself based upon your collected data whether you choose to do the following:
√ Drink filtered water that removes Fluoride and use non-Fluoride tooth paste and mouth washes. Toms of Maine has some fluoride free tooth paste.
ﮭLead– (In the past lead in interior paint chipped and children ate the paint chips. Also found in water and soil, lipstick, and occupational sources). There is a weak connection to cancer but if it occurs, it may be found in lungs, stomach, and gliomas and other sites. See additional research studies at: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0274(200009)38:3%3c295::aid-ajim8%3e3.0.co;2-l/abstract
What to do:
√ If lead is found in old paint in homes, remove if children present.
√ Remove lead pipes and blinds in homes.
√ Wear protective clothing and limit exposure time if occupational exposure.
√ Avoid products such as lip stick that may have lead.
ﮭMercury– (Mercury can be found in the mercury-amalgam fillings in your teeth, lip stick, flu vaccines, power plant contaminants, batteries, fish/seafood, skin care products, florescent light bulbs, old fashion thermometers and more.) Research studies found mercury in high levels depletes the immune system and is a factor in kidney, lung and brain diseases. There is not enough research evidence to determine mercury causes cancer or that mercury in fish or dental fillings are unsafe for most people according to the America Dental Assn. and most research studies. However, one study by the Communicable Disease Center found that individuals with more amalgam fillings had significantly higher levels of chronic health conditions such as multiple sclerosis. epilepsy, migraines, mental disorders, diseases of the nervous system, diseases of the thyroid, cancer, and infectious diseases than those with less or none. Also, read the convincing evidence in the following: www.cancertutor.com/advdental/ As a public health practitioner/educator I recommend doing what you can to avoid cancer or any other disease.
What to do:
√ Have amalgam-mercury fillings removed by a specialist, if needed. See interview with Bill Henderson identified below.
√ Avoid skin care products containing mercury.
√ If you live around a coal powered power plant be alert to symptoms of mercury poisoning and take action, if needed. If you work in a plant use protective clothing and equipment.
√ Use published hazard cautions for removing and disposing of a broken thermometer or florescent bulb to eliminate pollution in the environment.
√ Avoid flu injections and vaccines or extend the period between them if given in a series, if possible. Find alternative non-metal ways to protect yourself from the flu and other illnesses (use a holistic approach to build up the immune system, follow a proper diet, exercise, have daily prayer, avoid crowds in winter, and use natural products such as colloidal silver for viral. bacterial infections, and other infections.)
√ Avoid eating large fish (large fish eat smaller fish and thus have higher levels of mercury) and limit all fish/seafood. Look for recommended weekly allowances based upon your age/condition. .
√ Although research is contradictory I recommend avoiding farm raised fish because of potential cancer producing toxins, inflammatory and chemical contaminants.
Interview on mercury and teeth; On this site go to resources→ interviews with doctors→ interviews with others→ cancer coaches→ Bill Henderson
ﮭRadon-(May be found in countertops, and in house seepage from external sources.) Research found radon to be a factor in some lung cancers. More research on radon and cancer at the following National Cancer Institute site: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/radon/radon-fact-sheet
What to do:
√ Have your house evaluated for presence of radon when buying or selling. See testing for presence of radon below.
√ If you are buying a new home, ask if radon resistant materials were used in construction. See radon resistance below.
√ Have your home repaired if the radon level is four picocuries or higher.
√ Radon levels less than that pose a threat but can usually be reduced by one of the following procedures.
√ Air pressure differences between inside and outside air drives the radon into the house through cracks. Thus, 1) Seal floors to eliminate entry. 2) Reduce radon levels before it enters the house by: using an under house sump system that collects radon in an area the size of a bucket and vents it outside; improve ventilation under suspended timber floors; and install positive ventilation systems that increase pressure and prevent seepage into the house. 3. Remove radon if it enters the house.
√ Testing for presence of radon can be done by the homeowner or a specified radon tester, often a home inspector. Two types of radon test are available: active or passive. Passive devices are put in a home for a specified period of time and then sent to the lab for analysis. They are usually inexpensive and can be purchased at: www.testproduct.com/safecart Active devices require power to function unlike passive devices and provide continuous monitoring, measuring, and recording of the amount of radon in the home. Both short term and long term methods are available. Short term testing uses a device in the home for two to ninety days whereas long term testing continues for more than ninety days.
√ Radon resistant materials can be used when a home is built and prevents radon seepage. You may wish to discuss this with your builder if you live in a high radon area of the country. A gas permeable layer is placed beneath the flooring or slab that allows radon to move freely under the house. This consists of four inches of clean gravel and is used only in homes with basements or slabs but not with a crawl space. Next, place clear plastic sheeting over the permeable layer and under the slab to help prevent seepage from the radon. Next, seal and caulk all below grade openings in the foundation and walls. Next, run a three or four inch PVP vent pipe from the gas permeable layer through the house to the roof to safely vent the radon and other gases to the outside. Place an electrical junction box in the attic so that a vent fan can be wired and installed.
ﮭMultiple metals/chemical overload– Research is very limited and controversial but most studies report the healthy body will adequately detox usual chemicals and metals but that detoxing may be necessary for alcoholics, or for removing lead from children. Many non-health professionals and some health professionals believe our bodies become overloaded with toxic metals and chemicals from our air, water and food and the body is thus unable to dispose of them properly and may develop cancer. They believe that periodic detoxing will help prevent this process. You may wish to use one or more of the following mild interventions. The following is a typical overview of detoxing and research from traditional medicine that is opposed to detoxing. www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-detox-scam-how-to-spot-it-and-how-to-avoid-it/ NB: this was written by an author with a masters of business administration and a doctorate in pharmacology. He is a pharmacist (who wants to sell drugs-right).
What to do:
√ First, get rid of some of the toxins in your diet/home including GMO foods, pesticides laden foods, processed foods, and toxic products (see the section on chemicals and metals). Go organic and whole food (see section on nutrition)
√ Exercise enough to sweat or sit in a sauna for 20 minutes. Try to sweat at least 20 minutes each day.
√ When I had lung cancer in 1974 my doctor recommended a detox of only juices one day a month as part of my natural treatment protocol. Try it and see how you feel.
√ Include detoxing foods in your diet such as fruits and vegetables. Have a lemon drink when you arise in the morning. Juice during the day to include greens and an array of colorful vegetables-also include Turmeric, garlic, and oregano in your diet but see precautions first if you have health issues.
√ Deep breath during the day to stimulate the lymphatic system and increase the absorption of fruits and vegetables.
√ Stay well hydrated to remove toxins.
√ Edgar Cayce recommended a 3 day apple diet for detoxing. He specified only apples, water and plenty of rest. The apples were to be of the Jenneting variety (Jonathan or Delicious work great). Eat at least 5 or 6 a day. At the end of the 3 days take 2 or 3 teaspoons of cold pressed olive oil. He said that if you are on an oil restricted diet you could extend the diet of apples to 4 or 5 days.
√ It is believed that toxic metals will replace needed minerals when they are in short supply. It is possible to test eight essential minerals and replace regularly as needed. The Bodybio liquid mineral test kit, instuctions and minerals are available at: www.livesuperfoods.com/liquid-mineral-taste-test-kit-bodybio.html
√ For more specific detoxing of organs google Dr Judy Seeger and attend one of her webinars.
Interview on detoxing. Listen to the interview with Dr Judy Seeger. Go to resources→interviews with doctors→interviews with others→Dr Judy Seeger.
ﮭ 1D. Ultraviolet rays (uv)- (Overexposure of untraviolet rays from sun and tanning beds. (research finds a link to skin cancer including melanoma from over exposure of sunshine and tanning beds. Additional research information at: www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/radiationexposureandcancer/uvradiation/uv-radiation-does-uv-cause-cancer
What to do:
√ Avoid midday sunshine, if possible.
√ Limit time in sun but get sunshine often enough to meet vitamin D requirements (research shows that low levels of vitamin D are a risk factor for melanoma and other types of cancer).
√ If long term sun exposure is necessary wear protective clothing.
√ Eat lots of antioxidant foods that will decrease damage by the sun.
√ Sunscreen use is controversial because of the chemicals in the sunscreens and its efficacy in preventing sun rays. Most research seems to advocate sun screen but do your own research. The following important information will help you pick a safer sunscreen, www.articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/04/ewg-sunscreen-guide.aspx
√ Consider an oral sun screen for protection against cancer. The latest research (2016) shows nicotinamide boosts energy levels in cells that allows them to repair DNA following ultraviolet radiation damage and reduces the risk of skin cancer by 23%. Best used in combination with red orange extract and polypodium leucotomos extract to reduce inflammation and with topical sun screen.
√ Dr Mercola recommends an oral sunscreen called Ataxanthin, a carotenoid, that will protects the skin from the sun. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants and he recommends starting with 2 mg daily.
2. Individual Factors (Lifestyle Choices)-Ways to Increase Resistance of Individuals and Reduce Cancer Risk. These are Most often Lifestyle Changes.
Besides environmental changes identified above there are things you can do to reduce the risk of cancer by making your body/mind/spirit more resistant to cancer. Some of these are identified below under physical aspects and mental/spiritual aspects.
ﮭ 2A. Physical activity-(may prevent obesity, reduce inflammation and hormone levels, improve insulin resistance and immune system functioning). Research has found a relationship between exercise and reduced risk of colon cancer (40-50%), breast cancer (30-40%), uterine cancer (38-46%) and lung cancer. Additional research information at: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/physical-activity-fact-sheet
What to Do:
√ Exercise 30 minutes daily for 5 or 6 days a week. The more vigorous and longer the exercise the lower the risk of cancer but research has not shown if there is a limit.
√ Exercises may include walking, swimming, biking, running and others including gym exercises.
ﮭ2.b. Fluids: water and milk (Fluids including water and milk come in different containers and have different processes carried out before you receive them). Research shows some chemicals found in drinking water from the tap or bottle water may be cancer producing. Some chemicals in bottled water may include BPA, phthalates, and arsenic causing endocrine disruption and breast and prostate cancers, as well as bladder, kidney, liver, nasal and others and tap water with fluoride and prescription drugs and other pollutants cause multiple diseases. (Milk may contain genetically modified growth hormones, blood, pus, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, and other pollutants). Drinking milk has been linked to breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers).
Water: What to do:
√ Avoid drinking tap water w/chemicals ( See the discussion on fluoride in water under environmental factors—chemicals above)
√ Drink filtered water from a glass or from stainless steel water bottles from companies like Nalgene or Sigg instead of bottled water in plastic bottles that may leach bisphenol (BPA) from the container into water (See the discussion on environmental factors -chemicals above)
√ Install a filtration system for drinking water.
√ Install filtered shower heads on your showers.
√ Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to nourish the cells and remove toxins.
√ Although controversial some people advocate maintaining an alkaline balance in the body to reduce the risk of cancer. Because this belief is so widespread some time will be spent on it. The American Institute for Cancer Research (www.preventcancer.aicr.org/site/news2?id=13441) says “the unsubstantiated theory of alkalinity and cancer is based on lab studies that suggest cancer cells thrive in an acidic (low pH) environment, but cannot survive in alkaline (high pH) surroundings. While these findings are accurate, they apply only to cells in an isolated lab setting. Altering the cell environment of the human body to create a less-acidic, less-cancer-friendly environment is virtually impossible. They continue on to say different parts of the body maintain different acid-alkaline levels and it would be dangerous to some organs in the body to force change even if it were possible. The process of maintaining body levels within a range and how change in a part affects other parts of the body and the whole that eventually can lead to dysfunction of parts and the whole is well described in Helvie’s energy theory books. www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2015/summer-2015/acid-test?p=2#sthash.os4wp8oq.dpuf The Canadian Cancer Society says the body has a complex system that makes sure the blood stays in its healthy, slightly alkaline range. If the blood becomes too acidic or too alkaline, the body automatically corrects this on its own. Your blood may become slightly more acidic or alkaline after eating certain foods – but it will stay within the healthy range without a special diet. Dr Mitchell L Gaynor, a medical oncologist says “all of these ‘high alkaline’ foods are good, not because you’re changing the pH of your blood, but because they’re promoting good bacteria in your gut. Dr Andrew Weil and most scientists agree.
√ If you choose to alkalize parts of the body such as the gut it might be done using simple food sources or more expensive equipment. 1) Many people squeeze 3 fresh organic lemons and add water and a bit of Stevia, if preferred, and drink first thing in the morning. It is very good for alkalizing the GI system.
Some people use a product called X2O made by Xooma. You add packets of this product made from magnesium, calcium and other trace minerals to your drinking water for the day, shake and let sit for 20 minutes before drinking throughout the day. It helps maintain alkalinity. Directions for mixing on the bottle and the product is available locally or at www.xooma.com/products-product-x2o.php
Another product advocated by Bill Henderson is the alkaline water filters that vary in price from under $100 to close to $3000. The more expensive models allows you to set your desired pH level. Information available at: https://www.ancient5.com
Note: some believe that candida, a potentially serious GI tract condition that can lead to leaky gut and IBS, is a result of an alkaline gut environment. Thus, maintaining an alkaline gut to prevent cancer may be causal of another serious health challenge-the fungal form of candida, and there is a concept of fungus as causal of cancer. So do your research. As discussed above, if you change one part of the body it will affect other parts and the whole and when the body is no longer able to adapt, illness may result.
Note 2: Worry, anger and other negative emotions will also increase acidity temporarily in some body fluids;
Note 3: Vegans and vegetarians who omit meat and other acid forming foods may have a slightly lower pH in the gut temporarily following meals than those eating the standard American diet (SAD),
My personal preference: I believe in the old adage of KISS—keep it simple stupid. Thus, use a lemon drink in the morning or other foods and overcome negative emotions but avoid the machines that claim to change your pH body level drastically. Although changing the body pH level physiologically is not possible according to researchers it may change the gut pH temporarily and cause the body to work harder to revert to the normal pH level. I believe this stress on a body part can eventually lead to an imbalance in the whole body. And once you have an imbalance or dis-ease some of the more harsh methods may be required to revert to a normal pH.
Milk: What to do:
√ Replace cow’s milk with a substitute such as rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk or raw goat’s milk (check for added chemicals that may be carcinogenic as discussed above). .
√ If you choose to continue drinking cow’s milk make sure it is non-genetic modified organic raw milk.
√ Reduce cheese intake and eat organic goat’s milk cheese.
ﮭ 2.c. Nutrition (The SAD is rich in animal proteins and fats, high in cholesterol and saturated fats, high in processed foods and sugar, and low in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables, and often contains genetically modified organisms, pesticides, growth hormones and other contaminants). Research shows that the standard American diet (SAD) can be a causal factor in cancer and an improved diet is a major factor in overcoming/preventing cancer.
What to do:
√ Eat plenty of fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables.
√ Eat smaller amounts of grains and nuts.
√ Use a good source of fat such as extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil for low/no temperature food preparation and extra virgin cold press coconut oil or other high heat oils for high temperature cooking. If you use canola oil or sunflower oil make sure they are organic. 90% of all canola oil is genetically modified. Check labels because potato chips, pop corn, and other prepared foods may be prepared with canola oil.
√ Eat organically grown foods as much as possible and locally grown if you know the farming practices of your source. If you can’t afford organic fruits and vegetables avoid the dirty dozen, a list developed each year of those with the most pesticides and chemicals. In 2015 this list included apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. On the other hand eat those that are the clean fifteen: avocado, cantaloupe, onions, mangos, eggplant, frozen sweet peas, cabbage, kiwifruit, pineapple, sweet potatoes, papaya, sweet corn, cauliflower, asparagus, and grapefruit. (Note that some of these are mainly GMO foods such as corn and papaya so again check for organic).
√ Eat anti-inflammatory foods to curb body inflammation such as fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines), whole (not refined) grains, dark leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens), nuts (especially almonds and walnuts), and soy (controversial-in the form of tofu, soy milk, and edamame). Dr Andrew Weil has an anti-inflammatory diet that can be viewed at: www.drweil.com/drw/u/art02012/anti-inflammatory-diet
√ Eat foods that are high in anti-oxidants such as berries (blackberries, strawberries, blue berries, raspberries) beans (pinto and red) Russet potatoes, red delicious apples, walnuts, cloves, spinach, cherries, grapes, prunes, and cranberries. (See information above about strawberries under chemicals→ methyl bromide).
√ Avoid farm grown products including salmon because of harmful toxins. .
√ Research safety of additives in foods. For example, carrageenan used as a thickening in almond milk, baby formulas, some foods and personal care products is controversial in terms of safety. Animal research is divided on its safety and although you will find it in baby formula in the USA, you will not in Europe.
√ Avoid eating large fish that eat smaller fish and, thus, have concentrate mercury levels. Limit number of servings weekly. If pregnant research further for guidelines.
√ Avoid genetically modified foods-look for the GMO free triangle on the box. If you cannot afford all GMO foods avoid the following that are most often GMO grown— soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini and yellow). In addition, many of these foods appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For example potato chips and popped corn is often fried in canola oil and 90% of all canola oil is genetically modified. If you like canola oil Trader Joes has an organic canola oil. If you want occasional potato chips fried in coconut oil (non-GMO) try Jackson purple potato chips fried in coconut oil: www.jacksons-honest.purple-heirloom-potato-chips
√ Eat simple sugars such as pies, cakes, candy, and ice cream only on rare occasions such as your birthday. Otherwise avoid them. Even though they may taste good, sugar is a known carcinogens.
√ Watch your glycemic index/load foods (those that raise blood sugar) because research shows a high glycemic load increases the risk of lung cancer compared to a low glycemic index/load diet. Avoid excessive servings or amounts of foods such as cakes, pies, candy, ice cream, bread, potatoes, muffins, pancakes, many cereals, and dates.
√ Many people are moving to a complete plant based diet that can be healthy and satisfying. If interested, you might consider trying it a couple days a week to start. You can supplement the fruit and vegetables, grain and nuts with juicing (below) and plant based protein powder drinks. Juicing allows you to get more fruit and vegetables that easily get to the cells and the Powder allows you to get adequate protein that is often a concern of a vegan diet.
√ More and more people are juicing regularly to obtain fresh juice that is quickly and easily available to the body cells in this form. If you haven’t tried it, you might want to consider it as a step in the direction of better health. Use a variety of green and colored fruit and vegetables and experiment for the right taste. I add a granny smith apple or whole lemon with rind for the right taste. Juice should be consumed shortly after preparation for optimum benefit.
Expert interviews; Listen to several interviews on nutrition (plant-based, vegan, raw, organic, and others with some interviews related to cancer) and one interview on vitamins & antioxidants related to cancer and one on genetically modified organisms/foods (GMO’s) To listen on this site go to resources→ interviews with cancer doctors→ interviews with others→nutrition and vitamins & antioxidants and GMO’s.
ﮭ 2.d. Some useful supplements/vitamin-minerals/herbs/others used as preventives. (Many practitioners recommend getting vitamins-minerals from food, if possible, instead of relying on supplements or avoiding supplements if you are in good health and have a good diet. Nothing is written in stone currently). Research presents conflicting findings on specific supplements and cancer causation/prevention due to different dosages, length of time used and other factors difficult to control in a research setting. Some tentative research findings are presented below.
ﮭ Multivitamin (Research is contradictory on the relationship between cancer and multivitamins and minerals). Some research related to specific vitamins and cancer prevention follows with recommendations.
Beta carotene/vitamin A– A research study shows it protects lungs against cancer producing toxins. Another study reported that ex-smokers who ate green and yellow vegetables high in beta carotene daily decreased their risk of stomach and lung cancer and a 3rd study reported that beta carotene reverted precancerous breast cancer cells to normal cells. NB-when I had lung cancer in 1974 my doctor prescribed high dose beta carotene therapy for 1 years to revert precancerous cells to normal cells as part of my therapy. This practice was confirmed in the research above. By high dose I mean the following: I started with 200,000 IU daily for a week, then 100,000 IU daily for a week and then 50,000 IU daily for a year (the recommended daily dose is 5,000 IU)
What to do:
Eat orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables and if you do not get enough vitamin A consider taking a supplement.
Vitamin C: Research shows there is strong epidemiological evidence of a protective effect of vitamin C for non-hormonal-dependent cancer. In a review of 46 studies in which a dietary vitamin C index was calculated 33 found statistically significant protection with a high intake conferring a twofold protective effect compared to low vitamin C intake. In many additional studies using fruit high in vitamin C similar results were found. Results showed protection against a variety of cancers including stomach, rectum, breast, cervix, lung cancer, esophagus, larynx, oral, and pancreatic. Several concluded that some ascorbic acid, carotenoid foods and other factors in fruit and vegetables act jointly.
What to do:
√Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet, if needed.
Vitamin D3 (Research is conflicting on vitamin D3 and cancer prevention. a current large study on colorectal cancer prevention and vitamin D3 will be completed in 2017. One study in 2011 reported 75% of all cancer patients had low vitamin D levels and those with the lowest levels had the most advanced cancers)
What to do:
√ Because of the above research physicians often recommend that patients with low vitamin D3 levels take high weekly doses of vitamin D for cancer prevention. Ask you physician for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test to determine your level.
√ If your level is low your doctor will prescribe a high weekly dosage to bring the level up to a normal level usually within 6 weeks.
√ Once you reach a normal level continue a daily supplement to maintain it, if necessary.
√ Get some sun daily when possible, See discussion under ultraviolet rays above.
Omega 3 According to the Cancer Research Institute Omega 3 may reduce cancer risk and also has cancer fighting properties.
What to do:
√ Fish such as salmon are recommended twice weekly.
√ If necessary take a fish oil supplement. Supplements should not be taken by those on blood thinners or with diabetics unless approved by your doctor.
Probiotic The American Institute for Cancer Research reported a study showing the value of probiotics in colon cancer prevention/ treatment but say further research is needed.
What to do:
√ American Institute for Cancer Research advise using probiotics, if desired, as a preventive but make sure the product selected contains over 1 billion bacterium daily.
√ Continue other preventive activities such as exercise and nutrition.
Garlic– Garlic may reduce the risk of certain cancers, has immune boosting properties, and suppresses growth of and fights certain cancer cells in the lab. It may also reduce risk of prostate cancer, stomach and colorectal cancers and has many positive health benefits.
What to do:
√ Use garlic freely in cooking. It tastes great with vegetables, eggs and on bread.
√ Research/talk with doctor before using if you are on a blood thinner for heart or other conditions. It thins blood and may cause bleeding.
Green Tea: Green tea contains polyphenols that are believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Preliminary research suggests a possible protective effect against bladder, esophageal, pancreatic, ovarian, and possibly cervical cancer, with as little as 3-5 cups a day. Evidence for breast, stomach, and lung cancer is mixed.
What to do:
√ Drink your tea daily as it is good for you.
√ If unable to consume tea consider taking a supplement for some protection.
Tumeric/curcumin Research shows some cancer prevention by using these supplements. In a clinical trial curcumin was given to 25 patients with pre-cancerous changes in different organs. This study showed that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes before becoming cancer. Another study showed lower rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people ate curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time. In addition, several animal studies suggest that turmeric prevents colon, stomach, and skin cancers in rats exposed to carcinogens.
What to do:
√ Use some turmeric in your cooking.
√ Consider taking a supplement, if preferred.
√ Turmeric is a blood thinner so avoid it if you are taking warfarin or other thinners unless approved by your doctor.
√ There are many counter indications including some chemotherapy agents so check before using if you have health issues.
ﮭ2.E. Immune builders–Many people believe cancer occurs when there is a failure or compromise of the immune system which, holistically, occurs when there are multiple factors acting upon the human, agent, and environment triad discussed previously. Yet, despite the strong evidence for protection of a healthy immune system against bacteria, parasitic worms and virus, there is contradictory evidence on protection from cancer. However, Dr Corthay, a scientist from Norway presents evidence in favor of this theory. Some of his rationale includes: immunodeficiency in rats and humans is associated with an increased cancer risk; organ transplant recipients treated with immunosuppressing drugs are more like to develop cancer; and those with immune deficiency due to HIV are at a higher risk of cancer. He continues to present 5 more convincing arguments for this connection.
It may be helpful to eat food or take supplements that will help maintain the immune system as a preventive action. There are different options available. Some are identified here.
Host defense– a mushroom preparation called host defense-my community is made of 17 types of organically grown mushrooms. I have used these successfully for many years and used in combination with many of the other suggestions here I almost never experience health issues. I take 2 daily. One well known cancer clinic also used this product to build the immune system of patients as part of their protocol. It can be purchase on Amazon or through a Google search.
Colostrum-some people, especially athletes, use colostrum as an immune builder but the research on its effect on the immune system is inconsistent, I used it periodically for several years but since it is made with bovine milk it is now inconsistent with my vegan diet. If selected you can use 6 capsules daily.
Beta-1,3d Glucan as recommended by Bill Henderson to stimulate the immune system. Avoid aspirin and NSAID while on this product. Available at https://ancient5.com
Enzymes- have also been used to boost the immune system. As we age, we may experience stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and other challenges and as a result enzymes may become deficient in the body and supplementation may be necessary. Dr Steven Lamm on the Dr Oz show recommends taking the digestion test available for free at www.digesttest.com before selecting an enzyme. Symptoms of enzyme deficiency include gas, constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, bloating, gastric upset and a lowered immune function. Enzymes are usually in pill form and may support the immune system, those gluten sensitivity, lactose intolerance, or support carbohydrates, fats, and protein digestion separately or in a blend of all. They are taken just before a meal to boost your own enzymes.
Expert Interview. Listen to the interview on immune building on this site under resources→ interviews with cancer doctors→ interviews with others→ immune system→ Dr Mark Moyad.
ﮭ 2.f. Sleep –(is important to maintain the immune system and prevent cancer). Research reports that the risk of cancer is higher if sleep is inadequate and/or disrupted such as when working nights. Read additional research on sleep on the website- under research on physical aspects→ other aspects→ sleep.
What to do:
√ Turn off televisions, computers, cell phones and other distractions an hour or two before bedtime to quiet the mind and prepare for sleep.
√ Avoid exercising, eating and drinking for several hours before sleeping.
√ Best to avoid caffeine drinks in the evening.
√A warm bath and a glass of warm milk before may be helpful. For those who do not drink milk, a cup of calming decaffeinated tea such as chamomile or lemon balm may help.
√ Massage before bedtime, if available, is always helpful.
√ Meditation and prayer before bedtime may help provide restful sleep.
√ Get from 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly.
√ Infuse the sleeping room with lavender or Jasmin oil before sleeping.
Expert Interview –An interview with additional suggestions for sleep is available on the store page of this website and is available as a gift when making a tax exempt $15 donation. It also includes an hour of information on stress and stress management. Both by Dr Carl O Helvie.
ﮭ 2.g. Smoking cessation-cigarette smoke was discussed above under environment aspects but because of its importance in cancer and other diseases and the effort needed by individuals to cease smoking it is repeated and enlarged upon here.
What to do:
√ Preparing to quit: 1) review your smoking history; 2) determine your nicotine reduction schedule (cold turkey, slow/fast reduction), 3) start a smoking diary; 4) learn/begin relaxation exercises, 5) start exercise program a couple months before starting smoking cessation, 6) learn and use imagery such as imagining a place where you usually smoke and replacing it with you in the same place but drinking a glass of water, chewing gum. or drinking a calming herbal tea such as chamomile, peppermint, or lemon balm. 7) write a self contract with positive and negative consequences of success or failure for every 7 days or 14 days such as giving up something or rewarding by a night out or dinner out. Also think about negative thoughts and ways to replace them with positive thoughts that are motivating such as replacing “I am more nervous since I quit smoking “ with “I am aware of the changed mood since I quit smoking and I am replacing it with relaxation and imagery that make me feel better and healthier,” 8) find a support partner to utilize during the rough times, if possible, 9) establish a plan to visit family or friends during the first day of being smoke free for moral support, 10) determine your reason for quitting smoking that may be a strong motivating factor such as a reduced risk of cancer or heart disease, 11) decide the best way to quit-cold turkey, slow timed nicotine withdrawal, or with outside help, 12) research coenzyme Q10, vitamins and herbs that may be useful to correct smoke-related deficiencies such as vitamin C to protect against cell damage, vitamin B12 to improve liver function, or coenzyme 10 to protect the heart and as an antioxidant to protect the cells.
√ Quitting 1) implement your smoking cessation plan, 2) review self-contract, 3) combine smoking cessation with a cleaning program that includes frequent bathing to remove toxins and frequent drinking of water to flush the system, 4) include the environment in the cleaning program. Replace filters in heating/cooling system, and also clean the carpet, drapes, clothing and interior of your car, 5) implement or continue the exercise and relaxation programs, and use positive affirmations such as “I am happy to be a non-smoker,” “My lungs are now clear and I can breathe easily” and “I am now healthy and happy,” 6) change your daily routine. On a sheet of paper identify triggers for smoking and replace these with new triggers such as replacing a cup of coffee with a cigarette with a new one of drinking a cup of tea or chewing a stick of gum, 7) watch your diet so you do not gain excessive weight.
Expert Interview: You can listen to an interview with Dr Scott McIntosh on smoking cessation on this site by going to resources→ cancer doctors→ others who treat→ smoking cessation→ Dr Scott McIntosh.
ﮭ 2.h.sound (music) (A recent quote on Facebook by unknown—It is with your body that you dancer, but with your soul that you feel the music→ that recognized the interconnection of two parts of the mind-body-spirit triad. Thus, a reason why it is sometimes difficult to put a topic under one overall category instead of another). Research shows music can help reduce pain and stress; can improve coping, mood and sense of wellbeing; lower heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate; and can relieve chemo induced nausea and vomiting. Read additional research under research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ sound/music research and cancer.
What to do:
√ Listen to classical, meditation or other soothing music regularly.
√ Avoid rock, and rap music or any music that is unpleasant to you.
√ Sing in a church choir, if desired. Research shows that 1 hour weekly will decrease stress hormones and increase protein in the immune system.
Expert Interviews: Listen to interviews under Resources—-interviews on mental/spiritual→ sound/music.
Elsewhere on this website you will find research on the relationship of mental/spiritual interventions and cancer prevention, and can listen to the interviews with Dr Lise Alschuler, Dr Francisco Contreras, Dr Veronique, Dr Gawler and interviews with several survivors (especially Dr. Carl O. Helvie) who all use a holistic approach to cancer prevention/treatment including mental/spiritual interventions with physical interventions. These combined interventions form a holistic approach and are more effective that physical interventions alone. Some mental/spiritual interventions for preventing cancer or reducing potential causal symptoms are presented below.
ﮭ 2. I. Affirmations-(Affirmations have been used effectively for many years to improve self-concept, lose weight, gain friends, find a new job or place to live and other individual needs). Although there is little research on the value of affirmations for cancer, limited research shows affirmation improve memory, and reduce blood pressure, heart and breathing rates. Dr Anne Marie Evers used affirmations to reduce the effect of chemo symptoms during her cancer journey and wrote about this to help others who choose chemotherapy for their cancer intervention.
What to do:
√ Use affirmations or positive thoughts to counteract negative thoughts. For example, instead of saying “I feel so alone because I have no friend.” Say” I am a wonderful person who has many friends.”
√ Affirmations should always be present oriented starting with “I am” or “ I have” statements instead of future oriented ones starting with “I will have” or “I want”. Future oriented affirmations are never attainable because our mind will keep them out of reach.
√ Some affirmations may be useful for you to start a change process. Examples include “I am healthy and happy at my ideal weight.” “I am at the ideal weight for me” or “I am attractive at the ideal weight I have obtained.” Or I am at the right size and weight for me” if you want to lose weight; or “I have a wonderful fulfilling job” or “I have a wonderful boss and co-workers who support and respect me” for those who want to improve relations in their job; or “I am a wonderful person who has many friends” or “I am a loving person surrounded by love” for those wanting more friends. One that my friend Dr Evers told me recently is “I am 1% healthier (or 2% or 5% or any other number) today than I was yesterday.” You might also say “I am happy and healthy and free of cancer and other diseases.” If you doubt the potential effectiveness of using affirmations as part of a preventive regime read about epigenetics and the amazing effect of thoughts on our genes.
Expert Interview: To listen to interviews with experts on affirmations on this website go to resources→ mental/spiritual interviews→ affirmations
ﮭ 2J.Compassion: (Compassion has been defined as the emotional response when perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help). Research shows that expressing compassion increases DHEA, a hormone that reverses aging, by 100% and decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, by 23%. It also increases your happiness and the happiness of others around you. It has been identified as one of the main tools for developing happiness. In a study with cancer patient’s the compassion of health professionals reduced anxiety in cancer patients. For additional research see research on the website at research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ then under compassion.
What to do: the following will help you develop this important spiritual attribute. (You will note that many spiritual practices here have similar components and you may be able to combine some of them or work on some one week and different ones another week).
√ Start each day with happy thoughts. The Dalai Lama offers an affirmation that may be helpful. “Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
√ After you become comfortable with the above you may develop your own affirmation using the guidelines presented under affirmations earlier. One might go as follows: “It is a wonderful day-I am alive, rested, and have lots of energy for which I am thankful. I will be aware of others today and will have kind thought for them. I will avoid getting angry and will be understanding of those who disagree with me. I will accept things as they happen and will thank God for the many opportunities.”
√ Look for things you have in common with others such as a need for love, a need for food and shelter, a need for attention and happiness. After reflecting on commonalities in general you could go through a list of common needs you share with others you meet in day to day life. Think mentally to yourself just like me, this person is seeking love and happiness. Just like me this person is trying to avoid suffering and humiliation. Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill his/her needs. Just like me, this person has felt sadness, loneliness and despair.
√ Empathy is an important part of compassion and can be learned using visualization. Visualize daily a loved one suffering pain as a result of an accident or some other terrible situation. Visualize the suffering in as much detail as possible. After a couple weeks visualize someone else you know beyond your loved ones and repeat the above process. At a later time you might also consider a prayer box in which you place the names of all who request prayers and pray for all of them daily. I have a few hundred names in my prayer box and hold the box during meditation every evening. At the end of my meditation I pray for the group in the prayer box and channel energy from my meditation to them. In closing I ask for the best for all and add “For the good of all parties concerned.”
√ After you can visualize suffering of others reverse roles and visualize you going through the suffering. Visualize how much you want that suffering to end. Then visualize another person wanting your suffering to end and does something to end it. Feel the happiness and joy of their support and comfort and open your heart to that person. Reflect on any feelings you have. Obtaining this feeling will grow with practice. After you become good at visualizing these roles do something small for another person each day such as running an errand, doing a chore, smiling at a stranger, or listening to their problems. After you become good at this make it a part of your daily routine and later expand your good acts throughout the day to those who mistreated you or who you mistreated. Reflect on someone you mistreated and who reacted with kindness, Visualize your responded to that person and replay the experience with a more positive feelings and emotions that you might use next time . Use this as a model for future behavior so that you slowly react with kindness when mistreated by another.
√ At the end of each day take a few minutes to review the day including the people you met and talked with, and how you interacted with each other. Did you act with compassion? Could you improve your practice? How? Can you use the improved practice the next time you encounter similar situations. Congratulate yourself.
Expert Interview: For an interview with Simon Fox on compassion go to resources→ mental/spiritual aspects→ compassion.
ﮭ2.K. Faith: (Faith is the “confident assurance that something we want is going to happen”. According to the living bible “it is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead”. Faith cannot be learned by reading about it. It must be used with positive results). For research on faith go to research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ faith and prayer.
What to do:
√ Because faith is the opposite of doubt and worry start with a situation in which this occurred in your life. 1) Bring the situation to mind such as fear of loss of a job, a significant relationship, money worries, or other concerns. 2) Relive the experience including feeling the emotions. 3) Next replace the negative feeling with faith or knowing that God will bring only the best to you. 4) Would you have faith in a similar situation in the future?
ﮭ 2.L. Forgiveness: (Many unforgiving individuals have anger and hatred feelings that create chronic anxiety that in turn produce excess adrenaline and cortisol that deplete killer cells production needed by the body to fight disease. Some cancer hospitals have begun offering support groups for those who are unable to forgive.) Research reports that people who forgive are more likely to have higher self-esteem, lower blood pressure, fewer stress-related health issues and better immune system function, among other health benefits) Sixty one percent of all cancer patients have forgiveness issues and 50% of these are severe according to Dr Michael Barry, pastor, author of the Forgiveness Project
What to do:
√ Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Use the following affirmation: the individual I need to forgive is_______________, and I forgive him/her for ________________. Say this over and over. Then imagine the person saying to you “I set you free and I forgive you for your kindness.” Do this for 5 or 10 minutes at a session. Repeat this process for each person and each transgression in your mind. After you finish search for the experiences you have harbored and release them.
√ Sit quietly in a meditative state. Think of the person you believe has harmed you. Visualize him/her and say “i forgive you for not being the way i want you to be. I forgive you and i set you free.” (Hay,1984) you will feel a burden lighten from your heart and chest.
√ Forgiving self is also important. Repeat over and over for a few minutes the following “I forgive myself for _________________. It may be necessary to uses the affirmation to forgive self and others over a number of days or weeks until a new pattern has evolved.
Hay, Louise (1984) You Can Heal Your Life. Hay House.
Expert Interview Listen to the interview with Dr Fred Luskin, Head of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, and author of Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness (2002) On this website go to resources→ interviews mental/spiritual→ forgiveness.
ﮭ 2.M. Gratitude (Gratitude has been defined as the quality of being thankful; or a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The best way to benefit from gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day.) Recent research reports that people who practice gratitude regularly have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and fewer symptoms of illness. They generally sleep better and can also better tolerate their aches and pains. Gratitude encourages resilience after difficult experiences, strengthens relationships and promotes forgiveness. Read some additional research on this website at research→ mental/spiritual→ gratitude.
What to do:
√ Keep a gratitude journal. Write things that you are grateful for daily or weekly.
√ Reflect regularly on how the things you are grateful for are often taken for granted or how life would be different if they were not present.
√ When you are unhappy or stressed review and reflect on your grateful entries to help the brain revert to a grateful mode..
√ When you wake up in the morning use one or two grateful affirmations such as I am grateful for this beautiful sunny day to start your day. .
√ Be mindful of things as they occur that make your day brighter such as a beautiful sunset or a chance encounter and discussion with a friend. This reflection facilitates mindfulness of the good around you.
√ Periodically think of others who brought good into your life and consider the effort they made to do that. Perhaps they spent time purchasing a gift, or saved time for you in a busy schedule, Confirm your gratefulness for these people in your life mentally or by a telephone call, email message, or note to say hello. Expressing gratitude is important so thank others in your daily interaction when appropriate.
√ Find positive quotes that express the power of gratitude and share with others such as on Facebook or Twitter. I have several friends who do this and it is something I am grateful for.
√ Use prayers of gratitude daily to acknowledge the good things in your life. I find this the most important aspect of gratitude. .
Expert Interview: For an interview with Dr Phil Watkins on gratitude go to resources→ mental/spiritual aspects→ gratitude.
2.N. Meditation. (Meditation for me is blanking the mind so that God can speak with us. It differs from prayer in which we speak with God. There are several types of meditation and I have followed the Cayce method for almost 50 years.) Much research on meditation over many years shows results for cancer patients including improved quality of life; reduced stress, depression, tiredness; being more positive and optimistic; improved sleep, and reduction of chronic pain among others effects. For additional research go to the research tab→ mental/spiritual tab→ then meditation.
What to do:
√ Preparing for meditation varies from person to person. You may choose to cleanse the body with soap and water. Some people eat certain foods before meditation or a light meal. Some do a series of deep breathing (Cayce recommends #3 brief relaxation below). Some do a series of head and neck exercises before deep breathing. In these, you sit straight in a chair. Close your eyes. Drop the head forward and return to normal position 4 times. Then drop it backwards and return to normal position 3 times. Then repeat to the left three times and to the right three times. Then roll the head in a circular pattern from left to right three times, and then right to left three times. Some people have recently been concerned about rolling the head too far back and thus, move it in a more horizontal position as they move it back and forth. However, I continue to roll it as before.
√ Some people like sound and smell as part of the process. You may choose to listen to Gregorian chants or meditation music and also burn incense such as Sandalwood during the process.
√ Some people like to meditate alone and others prefer to meditate with groups. A couple good groups to meditate with are Edgar Cayce Search for God groups that can be found worldwide, or a traditional Friends (Quaker) silent church service where members meditate until the spirit moves them to speak. Edgar Cayce groups can be located by emailing the address on the website www.edgarcayce.org or calling toll free 800-333-4499, or 757-428-3588 and ask for the study group office.
√ The process of meditation also varies. There are many types of meditation but I present the meditation process advocated by Edgar Cayce. Sit quietly-preferably in the same place at the same time each day. Clear the mind of usual thoughts such as today’s daily activities or those planned for tomorrow. Focus on an affirmation or phrase from the bible such as “Not my will, but thine, O lord.” In the Search for God book used by study group members there are affirmations for each chapter being studied on such bible passages. Empty your mind of all thought and as your mind wanders come back to the affirmation and again blank your mind. Continue this process for at least 20 minutes. Over time you will find that it becomes easier to sit, clear your mind, and listen for God.
Interview: for interviews on meditation go to resources on this site→ interviews on mental/spiritual aspects→ meditation.
ﮭ 2.O. Optimism/positive attitude-behavior. (Optimism has been defined as hopefulness and confidence about the future. Because of the difficulty in separating the concepts of optimism and being positive, they are combined here.) In a research study cancer patients defined positive attitude as optimism for the day and getting though everyday events of the journey by taking control rather than focusing on the future. Research on optimism has been shown to increase health and prevent illnesses, is inversely related to distress, increases the quality of life and longevity of cancer patients, and decreases the cancer antigen (ca125). Additional research studies may be found at: research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ optimism.
What to do:
√ Practice gratitude discussed above because it helps you focus on being more positive and optimistic.
√ View your life as a journey in which you look forward to new experiences and are optimistic about those experiences.
√ Spend 5 minutes each morning thinking positive thoughts about the upcoming day including the people and events that will bring you happiness. What parts of the day that will be most enjoyable? What do you look forward to? Carry this optimism with you throughout the day.
√ Each evening write in an optimistic journal about 2 or 3 good things that happened during the day.
√ Surround yourself with optimistic people that you meet in person or interact with on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media. Be influenced with these and other positive people. When faced with negative situations talk with one you trust and ask/receive honest feedback.
√ Remove or discourage negative people in your life either those you meet in person or on social media such as Facebook. Recently I had to remove the fifth negative person (non-friend) on Facebook so in general they are few for which I am happy.
√ Reduce or eliminate your reading about or listening to the news or other media programs/articles that may have a negative influence on you. I do not have television in my house and have not seen a movie at the theatre for over 25 years. I spend my free time reading or watching movies from the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s when there was less sex, violence, and controversy in them.
√ In general, pay attention to the old saying “Avoid discussing politics and/or religion.” This can influence your emotions in a negative way unless your discussions are with others of a like mind. When I visit my sister over Christmas there is a rule that there will be no discussions of politics and that is a good one because of the differing views and emotions engendered.
√ Fill you mind with so many positive thoughts there is no room for negative ones. When you wake up in the morning say to yourself “What a wonderful day—I feel so great today—I look forward to being together with my colleagues” and other positive thoughts. Repeat these and other positive thoughts through-out the day. If you have a negative thought immediately replace it with a positive one. For example, when someone cuts in front of you while driving to work, mentally bless them, and wish them a great day.
√ Affirmations discussed earlier may assist in remaining positive and optimistic.
√ If you have a recurring negative thought or feeling such as fear of flying you can try the following. Do this exercise for 3 to 7 days until the negative feelings stops. Close your eyes. Choose a stressful situation such as the fear of flying. Bring the thought to your attention. Imagine a situation in which it could occur such as when you are flying. Interrupt the though by snapping your fingers, repeating the word stop, or setting off an alarm., replace the negative thought or feeling with a positive one such as visualizing yourself flying and looking out the window at a beautiful mountain or lake.
√ Listen to uplifting music. Or if you can sing, try that. It can also be uplifting and according to research it has positive effects on you. I remember when my mother was alive and living upstate New York, I always sang the last hundred miles of driving because I was so happy for the opportunity to see her. I also search Facebook for uplifting music and share that on my page. I replay it often and read the positive comments from friends.
√ Do something nice for someone else to take attention off your own problems. You will feel good to do something for someone else.
Read positive quotes. I always look for these on Facebook and share them on my page. I go back and review them periodically and look at comments from other positive people.
Interview I have no interviews at present but will add to the website when available.
ﮭ 2.P. Prayer (In her book, Dreams Your Magic Mirror, Elsie Sechrist said meditation does not lessen the need for prayer, because it does not take the place of prayer. Prayer is a mental activity on our part addressed to God. Meditation is a listening state so that we may hear God speak to us. Prayer comes before meditation, before the affirmation; and we may pray, if need be, all day long as we go about our daily work. Jesus found it necessary at times to pray for long periods. Certainly prayer should be a constant activity of the religious heart).
Research shows that people who pray live healthier lives, are sick less often, recover faster, are less often depressed, and have a lower death rate from cancer and heart disease .Read research on prayer under research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ faith, prayer and cancer research. There are two types of prayers: praying for self and praying for others. These prayer practices are discussed below.
What to do:
√ There are four types of prayers that should be used often: petition, thanksgiving, praise, and confessional.
√ Some people think prayer is asking for something. This type of prayer (petition) is the most used prayer, it involves asking for what we want such as a new house, improved health, resolving a problem in a relationship, a new position, and others. Jesus said ask and you shall receive and I believe all prayers are answered. However, it may not be answered within your time frame and by the time it is answered you may have moved on to something else. Receiving what we ask for may also depend upon how deeply we want it. It also must be in our best interest. In my prayers of petition I always end with “If it be thy will, O Lord. Bring only the best to me and others.”
√ A second type of prayers is prayers of thanksgiving. This involves expressing gratitude to God for what we have and for what he has provided. When we are thankful in our lives, we develop an attitude of gratitude and become more content with what we have. This keeps our mind filled with positive thoughts and away from the negative. These prayers also build faith/ you should offer prayers of thanksgiving daily and may be thankful for your health, your home, friends, job, family, weather, spiritual awakening or whatever is appropriate in your life. You will recognize gratitude that is widely discussed now as close to prayers of thanksgiving.
√ A third type of prayer is praise that involves giving honor and devotion to God for who he is. It means putting God first above all others and is an automatic response to awe and amazement. It can be in the form of singing (Psalms 9:2, 149:1; Mark 14:26); verbal praise )Psalm 103:1); lifting up of the hands (Psalm 63:4, and 134:2); clapping (Psalm 42:1); kneeling (95:6); bowing (95:6) or with music (Psalm 150:3-5).
√ The final type of prayer is confessional and may mean asking for forgiveness for wrongdoing, or recognizing and articulating to God your feelings, attitudes, and problems. These prayers allow you to feel God’s acceptance and support.
√ If you have a problem with another person or dislike someone try the following. 1) Pray for that person daily for one week. Pray for his/her health and prosperity and the best in life for him/her. 2) After one week evaluate how you feel about him/her. Often it will seem like they have changed but usually you have changed in your feelings toward him/her. And as you change your feelings and attitudes you will move to a higher level of consciousness that will be reflected in your interactions with him/her and he/she will react to your changed actions in a different way. This outcome has a positive effect on your health because the anger, resentment or other negative emotions are gone.
√ It may be helpful to do some of the preparatory exercises prior to prayer that were mentioned under meditation. These include; head and neck exercises, deep breathing, relaxation exercises, incense, if desired, and background music. I prefer having my prayer session following meditation when the energy has built and can be sent to others through prayer and healing. Like meditation I pick the same time and place daily for prayer.
√ Try the following: pray at the same time daily for one week. 2) try including the four types of prayer identified. 3) after one week evaluate any changes that have occurred. Do you have more energy? Do you feel happier and more optimistic? Are you less incline to worry or have negative feelings?
√ A second prayer session for one week could focus on the following. 1) identify a problem that you have been concerned about. 2) during daily prayer ask for guidance from the higher being. 3) whenever you think of the problem during the week, think a positive thought or use a positive affirmation. 4) evaluate any changes in your attitude toward the problem or movement toward solution of the problem after one week. .
Expert Interviews: listen to the interviews under resource→ mental/spiritual interventions→ faith,. love, balance, spiritual healing that includes Dr Harold Koenig and others.
ﮭ 2.Q. Relaxation exercises– (Different authors include different practices in relaxation exercises/techniques. For example, Cancer Care includes deep breathing, meditation, and visualization under relaxation techniques. I separate meditation, and visualization from exercises and may include breathing.) Research shows that relaxation exercises may reduce anxiety and comfort levels of cancer patients. Other research showed it reduces stress, headache and insomnia. Research studies on relaxation exercises and health/cancer can be found at: research tab→ mental/spiritual aspects→ relaxation exercises.
What to do:
√ Brief relaxation 1 exercises. Carry these out 3 times a day. Sit comfortably in a chair and close your eyes. Concentrate on remembering the most peaceful setting you have been in. This might be sitting on a mountain overlooking a quiet village, sitting by a pond watching ducks swim by, or fishing in a river in an isolated setting. With each breath think to yourself relax, relax. With practice, your worries will float away.
√ Brief relaxation 2 exercises. -Carry these out 3 times a day. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply through the nose, hold, then exhale through the mouth. While exhaling mentally say the work “peace” or “one.”
√ Brief relaxation 3- close your eyes. Breath in deeply through your left nostril and exhale through the right (you will need to hold one nostril with your finger). Next breath in through the right nostril, and exhale through the left. Next breath in through the nose (both nostrils) and exhale through the mouth. Repeat 3 times.
√ Progressive relaxation- relaxes 15 to 20 major muscle groups from your feet to your head. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and loosen clothing, if necessary. Close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing and be aware of breathing in and out. Say the words “in and out” while breathing if not distracting. When you are calm, begin instructing your muscle groups to relax. Begin by thinking “feet relax, feet relax.” Then “calves relax, calves relax.” And “legs relax, legs relax.” Continue up the body until you finish the neck and head. Then again focus on your breathing. Do some deep breathing as before. Now you are ready to sit up or stand up and should feel relaxed.
√ A variation of this is as follows. Do this once a day. Tense each muscle hard for 7 to 10 seconds, but do not strain, and visualize the muscle group if desired. Relax the muscle group abruptly and relax the muscle for 15 to 20 seconds letting them go completely limp. You may repeat the phrase “I am relaxed” as you relax the muscle, if desired. Repeat the muscle relaxing and tensing for each muscle group.
ﮭ2.R. Serving/helping others. President Monson of the Church of the Latter Day Saints said “I believe that love is shown by how you live, how you serve, and how you bless others. When we serve others, we are showing them that we love them, and we are also showing Jesus Christ that we love Him.” I believe when serving others we benefit more than the person being served because God has given us a wonderful opportunity to help another human being.
Although I believe motivation to help others is an important part of cancer prevention and recovery I found little research in this area although the American Psychological Association noted that research to answer why people volunteer and research in other related areas are forthcoming. . Possibly because it overlaps with spiritual attributes of gratitude, compassion and others that are included here and that may be easier to study. When I do find research I will be back to work further on this section. There are many ways to help others and some will be identified below. You will think of many others.
What to do:
√ Provide transportation when needed. For example, I live alone and when I need a medical procedure such as minor surgery or a hospital procedure where I cannot drive afterwards there are a couple neighbors I know will take me, wait, and bring me home. This support means a great deal to me.
√ Find time to talk with others and help them resolve issues, if appropriate. I know a waitress who always has time to talk with customers and many return week after week for this interaction.
√ Invite someone to dinner or take dinner to a shut in neighbor.
√ Volunteer for Meals on Wheels or for Serving Meals at a Homeless Shelter. A friend in Florida told me today she as filling in for someone who was sick and was enjoying the experience with. Meals on Wheels.
√ Provide assistance to someone stranded on the highway. Several years ago my brother and family broke down on their way to visit me in Virginia-this was before cell phones, I phones etc. Someone stopped and helped them continue on their way. My family were so grateful for the assistance.
√ Cut grass or shovel snow for an elderly or house bound neighbor. A few years ago I went by rescue squad to the hospital. At about 8 p.m. they discharged me from the emergency unit but there were no buses, taxis, or other transportation moving because of a snow storm. I finally reached a neighbor who came to pick me up and also shovelled my drive way when we got home. What a relief this was to me over the next few days until the snow melted.
√ Take baked goods to work or to a community or organizational affair.
√Talk with people at parties who seem uncomfortable or out of place.
√ Pay for a strangers coffee in line behind you. This has become a popular concept recently.
Expert Interview: Listen to the interview with Simon Fox under compassion again as he and his wife run a volunteer organization that provides clowns to cheer up hospital patients and discusses the benefits of helping others.
ﮭ 2.S. Social support/isolation: (A support system is one of three components of successfully resolving a crises situation in a healthy way. From personal system it is also important when an individual is initially facing a diagnosis of cancer.) Although there is not convincing research evidence of a relationship between social support/isolation and the development of cancer there is evidence of a relationship between social support/isolation and the progression of cancer.) Thus, it is important to develop a support system when healthy (during the primary prevention phase of health). Additional research under Research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ social support/isolation.
What to do:
√ A support system begins with building relationships and the most important of these is with yourself because you cannot love or care for another until you care for yourself. Learning to love one’s self is a long complex process but a simple way to start is to look at yourself in the mirror and repeat, i love you (your first name) just as you are. Repeat several times each session and several times throughout the day. Repeat this process daily until you feel the effect. You might also use i approve of myself. I approve of myself and repeat several times daily. There are many helpful books to improve your self-esteem but one I like is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay who discusses the above process. .
√ If you need to establish relationships, assess areas of interest in your life and find clubs or organizations in your community that match. Then join and become involved.
√ You might also attend classes or workshops of interest at the local university or appropriate organizations in order to meet others of like mind.
√ Join a church or spiritual/positive group such as the Edgar Cayce Search for God Group or the Optimist Club.
√ If you need to focus consciously on building/maintaining relationships with others try the following. 1) mark your calendar or appointment book with special days such as birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends and acknowledge/celebrate those days with them.
√ Establish a goal of meeting and talking with one new neighbor, club member, church member, or other person each week.
√ Join at least one new organization or club of interest each year.
√ Regularly send a note or email to a friend just to say hello.
√ Invite a friend to dinner at least monthly.
√ Share problems and successes with family and friends regularly.
√ Acknowledge births, deaths, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions with cards or phone calls.
√ Call elderly or disabled friends regularly and offer assistance.
√ Volunteer at local organizations such as meals on wheels or a homeless shelter at least once a month/.
2.t. Stress reduction/management-(There are multiple aspects to stress requiring a holistic approach for long term management.) Research shows contradictory results for a relationship between stress and cancer but a strong link between stress and cancer progression and metastasis. Thus, it is important to develop techniques to reduce stress in one’s life. Find research studies on stress and cancer at: research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ stress and cancer. Many of the holistic things to do ro reduce or eliminate stress offered below are long term processes that take time to learn but are worth the effort.
What to do:
√ Eat an alkaline diet that will reduce acid reflux and other physical stress situations in the body. Edgar Cayce suggested an alkaline diet comprised of 80% alkaline producing foods and 20% acid producing foods. Alkaline producing foods include fruit, vegetables and milk products (for those who use dairy products). Acid producing foods include meat, grains, and sweets. See the discussion earlier under nutrition and alkaline diets.
√ In stressful situations walk around the block or count to 10 before reacting.
√ Obtain adequate sleep and rest. Seven to eight hours sleep are recommended.
√ Do regular relaxation exercises (discussed earlier).
√ Learn visualization techniques and use them as needed.
√ Work on changing your attitude from negative to positive. For example, if someone cuts in front of you when you are driving, wish them well and say a little prayer that they will arrive safely instead of a more usual verbal response of physical gesture. You will find that as you become more positive the driving experience becomes more enjoyable. Use this approach in all aspects of your daily activities for a relatively stress free life.
√ Use affirmations (discussed earlier) to help stay positive and stress free.
√ Pray for others who are difficult. If you pray for someone who is difficult for a week you will believe he/she has changed. However, it may be you who has changed and as you changes the other person changes to accommodate the new changing you. As you become more positive, he/she becomes more positive and there is less stress.
√ Develop spiritual attributes such as forgiveness and faith (discussed above).
2. U. Visualization/creative imagery. (There are two types of visualization-process and outcome. Process visualization involved imagining in detain each of the action steps needed to obtain the desired outcome or goal and outcome visualization involves envisioning yourself obtaining the desired outcome or goal in great detain using all of your senses. In reality they are best used together for overcoming illnesses or stress situations and obtaining what you want in life. Research shows visualization works because neurons in our brains, (electrically charged cells that transmit information) cannot distinguish between imagery and real life and thus, interpret imagery as a real-life action. When we visualize an action, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway causing our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined. Thus, without actually performing the physical activity your body achieves a similar result.) Research shows that visualization can help alleviate nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, extend life, mobilize the immune system and reduce pain of cancer patients, and obtain other goals. Further research can be found at: Research→ mental/spiritual aspects→ visualization.
What to do:
√The following process outcome visualization exercise should be practiced three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. It has been used for such conditions as anxiety, asthma, headache, viruses, reducing pain, and enhancing the quality of life. It works well with affirmations. 1) close your eyes. 2) imagine the illness or stress and visualize it in any way you prefer. For example, you may see cancer cells as black blobs in your arteries, a headache as marbles rattling around in your head, or viruses as jelly in your arteries. 3) picture treatment in your mind and see it eliminating the attackers or strengthening your body. For example, treatment may be visualized as increasing the number of knights on horseback that attack, kill and carry the dead cells away or the treatment may be visualized as white cells that eat the jelly and clean the arteries; it may be visualized as pushing the marbles out of the head by way of the nose or mouth, or it may be visualized as receiving healing from God or some other higher being as you visualize his laying his hands on you. Treatment may also be imagined as a cool throat and warm chest for chest congestion, peace and love for anger, or coolness in hot areas. 4) imagine the body free of pain and healthy. 5) pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that you have done a good job of eliminating the condition.
√ Practice daily for five minutes and use your imagination to see yourself as successful, having the relationship you want, closing an important deal, crossing the finish line at a race, owning your dream house, getting an A on an exam, remaining healthy, overcoming a headache or whatever you wish to manifest. Always imagine you already have the outcome you wish for (see affirmation process). Do not hope for something or imagine one day you will have it but instead imagine you already have it because out subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined and if you visualize something as happening in the future it will always remain in the future. For example, if you want an A on an exam, imagine yourself looking at the grade sheet and seeing an A by your name, feeling the excitement of the event, seeing yourself calling your parents with the news, seeing yourself celebrating with friends and smelling and eating your favorite food, or other images appropriate to the event.
√ It works best to combine the two types of visualization and use them with appropriate affirmations.
Expert Interview: see Interviews with 3 experts under resources→ mental/spiritual aspects→ visualization. In addition, read about epigenetics.