The Appleseed Project 2016

The Annie Appleseed Project

If you are interested in learning about Complementary Medicine for Cancer, there is no better place for you to do so then The Annie Appleseed Project website.

The Appleseed Project 2016

Ann Fonfa and Avinoam Lerner at The Appleseed Project 10th Evidence-Based Conference for Complementary Medicine for Cancer

The Annie Appleseed Project was founded in 1997 by Ann Fonfa, a breast cancer survivor herself. The purpose of the project was and still is to inform, educate, advocate and raise awareness around (Complementary Alternative Medicine) CAM for cancer. Through its annual conference on Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies the project offers patients, caregivers and medical providers the opportunity to join, share and learn from one another.

My acquaintance with Ann started back in 2011 when I was invited to place an article in the Conference magazine. This year (2016) I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters and share with the audience some of my case studies on hypnosis for cancer recovery.

Below, you can find the presentation in a PDF format. Since the conference was videotaped, I will post the video as soon as they’re done with the editing and I have the final version.

It was a real treat to be a part of the Appleseed community this year. I met some very courageous people and can only hope I have inspired few to take action and learn how to mobilize their mind and inner resources to promote wellness and advance recovery.

If you have any question with regard to the presentation below, please feel free to contact me.

Annie Appleseed Conference Presentation:

online cancer worksho

Online Support and Classes for Cancer Patients

In a group discussion held at the end of my recent “Advancing Cancer Recovery” workshop, one topic in particular was on participants mind. It was the sense of isolation many cancer patients feel and the need for more effective ways to break that invisible barrier.

cancer self help classes onlineI found this notion intriguing because, especially in the Boston area, there is no shortage of support groups or communities that cater to cancer care.

It became clear that participants wished to connect with and engage with others like-minded people, who also happened to be with Cancer, outside the hospital environment. Furthermore they wanted more freedom to be who they were before they were diagnoses, and showcase their before-cancer identity/personality.

The discussion, in its creative way, eventually led to an interesting idea. Why not use the tools we already have and use, such as the internet, to form a community, an online community, a community that offer support and education to anyone in need.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and with the help of few participants, I was able to package this wonderful idea into a series of online gatherings. Using current video-chats platforms such as Google-Hangout and Skype, which I already utilize in my own practice, we can meet on a regular basis, and more importantly, we can do so without ever leaving the house.

Now, if you live in a warm weather state, this may not sound like a big deal for you. But if you lived through the last winter in Boston where we had a new snow fall record, believe me, this is a very big deal.

So why am I writing all of this? Well, it’s my kind of shameless and tactless promotion of course J

Humor aside however, I wanted to put this information out there so it can be found and shared with those who can benefit it the most. If you or someone you know is facing cancer and wish to feel and be more proactive, then this kind of engagement may be for you. If you wish to learn tools and skills for self-care and quality of life then this Cancer Self-Help Class is for you. It is especially valuable for those who live far away or are challenged with limited mobility.

So here is a short list of upcoming Cancer Self-Help classes we will hold:

Cancer Class #1. Calm Your Mind, Calm Your Body: Overcoming the shock of cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Class #2. Improving the Odds for Recovery: Coping skills for effective treatment.

Cancer Class #3. Overcoming the Fear of Reoccurrence.

Cancer Class #4. Mobilizing the Mind for Successful Surgery.

Cancer Class #5. Mobilizing the Mind for Successful Chemotherapy.

Cancer Class #6. Mobilizing the Mind   for Immune Enhancement.

Cancer Class #7. Mobilizing the Mind for Successful Radiation.

Cancer Class #8. Overcoming Insomnia

Cancer Class #9. Healing Imagery for a Healthy Body Image

This is just a sample of the classes I will offer this coming weeks and months. If you feel you or someone else might benefit from joining us, please feel free to contact me at

Beyond this series of classes I will convert one of my more popular services i.e. the EFT for Cancer one-on-one sessions into an EFT for Cancer Study Group. If you wish to learn more about EFT and how this wonderful tool can support your wellness click here.

As always, I am interested in what you have to say. If there is a service or course you feel will be helpful to others, please let me know.

With joy,
Avinoam Lerner

joni aldrich and avinoam lerner

Facing the Holidays with a Heavy Heart

With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share with you the empowering message of Jodi Aldrich. Joni is a devoted advocate, author, speaker and radio supporting both patients and their loved ones. Her words are printed here with her permission.

Five Ways to Show You Care During a Darker Christmas Season

The holidays are meant to be filled with light, laughter, and good cheer. But when a friend or loved one is seriously or terminally ill, those things might seem to be in short supply. Here’s how you can prepare to face this season with purpose and compassion.

By Joni Aldrich

joni aldrich and avinoam lerner

Joni Aldrich

Take a look at any storefront window or television special: the holidays are meant to be a joyous occasion filled with frivolity and good cheer. It’s a time to believe in miracles, to return to our core beliefs and values, and to spend quality time with family and friends—all while eating plenty of sweets with no heed to calories! But what happens if there is no “merry” in Christmas? How do you face “the most wonderful time of the year” when someone you love is either seriously or terminally ill? It’s a question that many of us are facing as we watch our neighbors’ tree lights twinkle and listen to happy holiday tunes playing on the radio. The fact is, you might not feel like participating in these holiday rituals yourself when seasonal celebration collides with personal trauma.

When the harshness of reality assaults your everyday existence, there are bigger concerns than how to decorate your tree or which wrapping paper to buy. The thing is—unless you move to a cave!—the holiday season will impact your life, whether you want it to or not. But if you step back and think about the true reasons for the season—mercy, caring, and humanity—the holidays that seem so difficult can also hold invaluable gifts.

I speak from experience. In 2006, my husband Gordon lost his two-year battle with cancer. My book, The Saving of Gordon: Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer (Cancer Lifeline Publications, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4392550-3-2, $19.95), tells the story of my family’s experiences while simultaneously offering valuable step-by-step advice that will give readers the tools they need to have a fighting chance against cancer. The memories

of the last Christmas my husband and I spent together are both precious and painful.

I’ll be honest: some of those gifts that come from the holiday season will be painful, but they can also develop into lasting memories of love and faith. Through my own bittersweet experiences, I learned a valuable lesson: that the joy of Christmas truly is

what you make it within your heart and soul. No, it won’t always be easy. It’s unrealistic to believe that every holiday season will be enjoyed without pain. Yet, time and space will allow these difficult remembrances to be tempered with a silver lining.

As this special season approaches, you or someone you know may be going through a dark holiday. If you lend your support to help your loved one through these difficult times—even though it may be hard—you will give and receive special blessings to cherish. Read on for guidelines that you may find helpful when visiting an ill patient during the holidays:

Five Ways to Show You Care

Don’t wait for the “right time”—just go. The fact is, there will never be a “convenient” time to visit a family member or friend who is battling a serious illness. Even good days are filled with difficulties and discomfort. Furthermore, you might not feel the same level of ease that you once did. Ultimately, though, you will both be thankful that you spent time together.

Visiting an ill loved one is going to be hard. Know that, and choose to move forward anyway. When you do visit, consider the needs of the patient and his or her family. Call in advance, and take your cues from the family regarding the duration of your visit. Consider the well-being of the patient, and err on the side of caution when choosing to visit. If you are under the weather yourself—even if it’s just a sniffle or a cough—consider a phone conversation instead, or wear a mask. Also, avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes.

Visit the patient and the caregivers. Remember, your loved one is not the only one whose daily life has been affected by his or her illness. The routines and priorities of family and/or caregivers have changed drastically as well. Follow their leads when interacting with the patient, and make sure to focus your attention on them as well.

Whatever you do, don’t avoid the family because you are uncertain of how to approach them in a difficult situation. Call often, bring food, and offer prayers. These “gifts” will be appreciated by the patient and by his or her family. It is very painful when the family expects that support, and ultimately doesn’t receive it.

Avoid preconceived expectations. Imagine this: you’ve scheduled a visit with an ill friend, and you have grand plans for watching a favorite holiday movie and chuckling over the characters’ foibles. After all, it will do your friend good to think about

something else, right? Perhaps so, but it turns out that your friend more urgently wants to talk about her memories, fears, and uncertainties. You’re thrown completely for a loop and don’t know how to respond.

Always gauge the patient’s mood as acutely as you can. It’s helpful if she is forthcoming about what would give her the most comfort, but she may not be able to express her

feelings and needs that easily. Make the visit about the patient, whether that means that you end up laughing, crying, reminiscing, or even leaving until a more convenient time.

Be sensitive to changes in the holiday routine. Chances are, you’re feeling less festive than in years past—and the same goes for the patient and his family. Remember that not only their enthusiasm but also their finances are likely to be impacted. Be prepared for the possibility that you might not receive a Christmas card or gift this year, and check with the family beforehand regarding gift exchanges and get-togethers.

If a holiday party does take place, take extra care not to go off into a corner to whisper with other friends and acquaintances. The last thing your ill loved one needs or wants is to feel like he is the cause of speculation or sadness. Similarly, there will be tears, so let them come. Sometimes the patient won’t want to see them, so you may have to steal some private time. Whatever you do, don’t shut yourself off completely from the patient or from your feelings.

Remember that the best gifts can’t be wrapped. It’s trite but true—the most valuable things in life aren’t things. Your care and support will mean more to an ill friend and her family than any amount of material presents. And when it does come time to break out the wrapping paper and bows, think about what might be truly needed. Blankets, shawls, a baby monitor, a sensible gift basket, or a heating pad and warm socks will be greatly appreciated, perhaps more so than traditional holiday trinkets. Keep in mind that flowers, including poinsettias, should be avoided due to their smell and the care that they require.

Don’t forget that a hug is one of the most powerful gifts that can be exchanged. A kind word is another. A sympathetic ear is often the best present you can offer, along with a strong shoulder to cry on. Make sure that your ill loved one and his or her family know that you are available to help at any time, whether that means a grocery store run, an extra pair of hands to help hang holiday decorations, a night out for the patient’s family, or going to get a prescription filled. Prayer is the most blessed gift of all—pray together, pray separately, and pray often.

Ultimately, you will be blessed because of the comfort and love you have given to a family who needs it. You will have experienced the true meaning of Christmas—giving a gift to others that is much more valuable than anything you could ever wrap in a box.

This holiday season, the precious time you spend with your ill loved one will offer hope and comfort, and it will supply precious memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

About The Author:

Author, Speaker, Radio Host, and Health Cause Advocate Joni Aldrich, is the CEO of Cancer Lifeline Publications. She has published six books on surviving cancer, caregiving, brain illness and grief. Joni is an international radio host on,, and, with programs including Cancer SOS and Advocacy Heals U. Joni advocates for cancer families, caregivers, and cancer legislation in honor of her husband and mother who were lost to cancer.

Joni’s New Book Now In Stores


“Our legacy does not end with the closing of the day or even with our final breath; it continues through infinite possibilities for hopeful tomorrows—one cause, one person at a time.” ~Joni Aldrich

Advocacy Heals U is the first book ever written on personal advocacy bringing it into a much-needed spotlight…FOR advocates and BY advocates Joni Aldrich and Chris Jerry, who have a combined twenty years of experience. They believe that, in this world of open borders, there has never been a better time to reach people around the world for a cause. In addition to sharing the crucial details from Chris and Joni’s own personal journeys, this book includes 95 other advocates and 58 foundations.

TEDx 2015 Avinoam Lerner

TEDx Talk – Hypnosis for Cancer Recovery

TEDx 2015 Avinoam LernerLast week I had the privilege to speak at a TEDx event here in Boston. Few months of preparations and countless revisions of my talk boiled down to twelve minutes on stage. My initial thought to the invitation to speak at the event was it should be easy to talk about what I do day in and day out for a living, in theory Yes, in practice, oh boy, I was in for a surprise.

The challenge wasn’t being on stage or speaking in front of such a big audience, this I was comfortable with. The challenge presented itself when I thought about introducing the topic of utilizing hypnosis for Cancer recovery to an audience who knows little or nothing about the mind, its nature and relationship to the body. If I was to be successful of delivering this message it had to be done in a clear and interesting way. I had to avoid professional jargon and find a way to make this information accessible.

I was fortunate to have the support I needed, both from the organizers as well as from my wife. They helped me sift through the material and make this talk both accessible and meaningful. Now that the actual talk is behind me I can see how important it was for me to be able to distill the core message from the vast amount of information I wanted to share.

I wanted people to hear that the potential for recovery, from any illness but especially cancer, goes beyond simply submitting their body to treatment, and that their mind is their greatest ally in the recovery process. I wanted people to recognize that harnessing and mobilizing their inner resources through hypnosis can and will have transformative effect.

When I described Illness as a call for us to take action it resonated with many. Intuitively we know that illness, or for that matter symptoms in general are the tangible evidence of what really goes in our minds. They highlight the need to live more authentically, more in tune with ourselves, more aligned with our sincere and relevant core values.

If feedback from attendees is any form of measuring success, I am satisfied that my message was heard. Now, I can only hope my talk will somehow make its way to the TEDx mother-ship, that is the TED.COM platform so more people can learn their mind can and does intervene with their immune system and that there are ways for them to play a more active role in their recovery.

hypnosis for surgery cancer

Surgery Preparation Secrets Your Surgeon will Never Share with You

Any surgical intervention, even a minor one, can be a trying life event. The very thought of going under the knife and surrendering control has the power to provoke a wide range of challenging mental and emotional responses.

cancer surgery hypnosisWhile severity changes from one person to another, it is common for patients scheduled to undergo surgery to report elevated levels of stress, fear, anxiety and even depression. These are likely to increase when the surgery date is nearing or the procedure is considered to be major or lifesaving.

Your Mindset Matter

Unresolved mental patterns and emotions can produce a negative mind-set that may affect our quality of life and limits our experience. Essentially, a negative outlook and attitude can negatively impact treatment outcome and inhibit recovery. A more optimistic mind-set, as study suggests, means patients recover more rapidly and show an increased survival rate.

The study, which looked at 431 colon cancer surgery patients, found that the 13% of patients who had quality-of-life deficit and scored below 50 on a 100-point scale were almost 3 times as likely to have serious post-surgery complications to those who scored 50 points or above. In turn, those with complications were hospitalized an average of 3.5 days longer than the others.

Hypnotherapy for Surgery

Helping patients successfully attend to quality of life issues is critical for a favorable outcome. Having utilized many therapeutic tools over the years, I can say with confidence that hypnotherapy is the most suitable tool for the job. It is the tool of choice because it works in the realm of the subconscious Mind where the root cause of the beliefs and perceptions fueling a negative mind-set can be identified, addressed and resolved.

“Quality of life as measured in the study (mentioned above) is about more than happiness and how well people feel physically”, says Dr. Bingener or the Mayo Clinic. “It also includes the financial, spiritual, emotional, mental and social aspects of their lives and whether their needs are being met.”

Though hypnotherapy can help patients prepare for surgery in several ways, I wish to highlight the two most common challenges I see in my practice. These two challenges are fear/anxiety and grief. While each has its own set of characteristics, they are often weaved into a debilitating cycle that defines patient’s experience and outcome.

An example for such cycle is as follows: fear of being under anesthesia can lead to feelings of loss; loss of control. Loss of control bring about more fear, fear of waking up during surgery and feeling the pain or fear of not waking up from surgery at all… this in turn can bring about grief over loss of health, independence, identity which feed into fear of being a burden, disfigured etc…

The list, we keep going over and over in our mind, of things that can go wrong seems without end, but the reality is that with the advancement of technology and medicine surgery is for the most part a safe procedure.

Conscious VS Subconscious

If the above statement did not comfort you or lessened your fear you are in good company. The truth of the matter is that knowledge isn’t enough to put our minds at ease. Everything we know about hospitals, illness, surgery and recovery, for good and for bad was learned. A headline in the paper, conversation around the dinner table, a developing story watched on TV etc. and for all intended purposes it would not have been a good headline or topic of conversation if there was no real drama, a real punch of negativity and fear embedded in it.

If we harbor negative beliefs around surgery despite the fact we ourselves never had any bad experience to reference; it means we acquired these beliefs from someone or somewhere else. This is precisely why hypnotherapy is such a valuable ally in addressing, resolving, creating and maintaining the right attitude and mindset because it allow us to work in the realm of the subconscious mind where these erroneous beliefs and perceptions reside.

While conventional therapy (as in talk therapy) primarily engages the conscious mind, hypnotherapy primarily engages the subconscious mind. It therefore allows us to recall, review and override erroneous beliefs and perceptions, address the root cause of negativity and establish a mind-set conducive to recovery. Changing the cause from negative to positive means changing the effect and thus establishing a healthy mind-set vital to favorable outcome.

avinoam lerner dr. belanger

Integrative Mind Body Medicine and Cancer Recovery

If you happened to miss my recent discussion with Dr. Belanger on his radio show “Cancer Concepts and Complement” you can do so below; or use the link at the bottom of this page to visit his show’s web page on

“We know conventional medicine is not enough because the cancer comes back too often.”
Avinoam Lerner

Click To Listen:

Join Dr. James Belanger from the Lexington Natural Health Center as he explores the benefits of Integrative Mind Body Medicine with his guest Avinoam Lerner.

Lerner is an integrative Medicine practitioner and a Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in cancer care. His innovative approach to cancer recovery highlights the multidimensional nature of illness and the need to treat not only the body but also the Mind. Failing to do so; he argues, mean separating the person from the illness and thus failing to treat the root cause of illness. This result all too often, in cancer resurfacing in secondary medical condition.

Tune in and learn about the role of the Subconscious Mind in sickness and health and how you can engage your own Mind to improve your quality of life, resiliency and the rate of recovery.

avinoam lerner dr. belangerClick on the image to visit Dr. Belanger’s webpage.

It features many other topics of interest related to Complementary Medicine for Cancer.

Can the Mind Help Us Heal

The article below appeared in the February addition of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. In my view it highlights a very important technological breakthrough which has the potential to save many lives. And yet, because technology is missing the human factor and cannot address the Mind wounds that influenced the internal biological environment, made it vulnerable thus allowed illness to develop in the first place, it will not free us from the bondage of illness.  In fact it may produce more of it.

Thought-Controlled Genes Could Someday Help Us Heal

Scientists combined a brain–computer interface with an optogenetic switch to create the first-ever brain–gene interface

Feb 12, 2015 |By Simon Makin

People can control prosthetic limbs, computer programs and even remote-controlled helicopters with their mind, all by using brain-computer interfaces. What if we could harness this technology to control things happening inside our own body? A team of bioengineers in Switzerland has taken the first step toward this cyborglike setup by combining a brain-computer interface with a synthetic biological implant, allowing a genetic switch to be operated by brain activity. It is the world’s first brain-gene interface.
The group started with a typical brain-computer interface, an electrode cap that can register subjects’ brain activity and transmit signals to another electronic device. In this case, the device is an electromagnetic field generator; different types of brain activity cause the field to vary in strength. The next step, however, is totally new—the experimenters used the electromagnetic field to trigger protein production within human cells in an implant in mice.The implant uses a cutting-edge technology known as optogenetics. The researchers inserted bacterial genes into human kidney cells, causing them to produce light-sensitive proteins. Then they bioengineered the cells so that stimulating them with light triggers a string of molecular reactions that ultimately produces a protein called secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP), which is easily detectable. They then placed the human cells plus an LED light into small plastic pouches and inserted them under the skin of several mice.Human volunteers wearing electrode caps either played Minecraft or meditated, generating moderate or large electromagnetic fields, respectively, from a platform on which the mice stood. The field activates the implant’s infrared LED, which triggers the production of SEAP. The protein then diffuses across membranes in the implant into the mice’s bloodstream.Playing Minecraft produced moderate levels of SEAP in the mice’s bloodstream, and meditating produced high levels. A third type of mental control, known as biofeedback, involved the volunteers watching the light, which could be seen through the mice’s skin, and learning to consciously turn the LED on or off—thereby turning SEAP production on or off.“Combining a brain-computer interface with an optogenetic switch is a deceptively simple idea,” says senior author Martin Fussenegger of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, “but controlling genes in this way is completely new.” By using an implant, the setup harnesses the power of optogenetics without requiring the user to have his or her own cells genetically altered. Fussenegger and his co-authors envision therapeutic implants one day producing chemicals to correct a wide variety of dysfunctions: neurotransmitters to regulate mood or anxiety, natural painkillers for chronic or acute pain, blood-clotting factors for hemophiliacs, and so on. Some patients would benefit greatly from having conscious control over intravenous dosage rather than relying on sensors—especially in cases such as pain, which is hard for anyone but the sufferer to measure, or locked-in patients or others who are conscious but cannot communicate.

This article was originally published with the title “Thought-Controlled Genes.”

To read the original article: CLICK HERE

Viktor Frankl

The Problem with Cancer Care #2

This is the second video in this series. It continues to explore the failure of researchers to identify the root cause of cancer, address illness as a multidimensional event and produce the “cure”.
If you have not seen the first video, CLICK HERE.