hypnosis for cancer podcast

Using Hypnosis in the Fight Against Cancer (part 1) Podcast

About a year a go I was offered the opportunity to host my own radio show. Needless to say that the prospect of hosting a radio show that focuses on healing and alternative medicine was truly exciting.

holistic boston and brooklineWhat was so appealing to me in the radio platform was the fact that people who tune in and listen to the show choose to do so because they share similar interests. This meant they really will listen and take to heart what they hear. The show aired via internet radio for a period of three month and I had a great time doing it.

My first guest was Stephen Parkhill the author of Answer Cancer – the Healing of a Nation. Steve is a noted hypnotist who’ve inspired a whole generation of new hypnotists to become more then just great technicians, he inspired them to become healers. As mentioned in my book The New Cancer Paradigm, Steve’s insights and teachings are the framework and foundation of Immersive Healing.

Some of the questions that Steve answered addressed the use of hypnosis as the adjunct modality in the fight against cancer. Doing so means acknowledging the role the subconscious mind plays in manifesting illness. Steve further stated that the best kind of medicine is preventative medicine and that we can improve the quality of our lives and health long before we cross the bridge from health to illness.

The show is no longer on the air but you can find many of its broadcasts on ITunes in a podcast format which you can listen to free of charge. Simply go to ITunes store and search by my name. You’ll be directed to the appropriate page.

As always, I encourage you to share and comment on what you hear and read.

positive and negative emotions

The Two Emotional Habits That Affect Your Health

In a previous post titled “Emotions that Kill, Emotions that Heal” I emphasized the importance of healthy emotional expression. Emotional expression is repeatedly tied in with health and well-being while non-expression and repression are repeatedly tied in with poor health and immune suppression.

healing brookline Massacusetts

We Do Not Consciously Make Ourselves Sick!

I seemed though to have missed the mark and in some way made few of my readers angry. I believe it was the notion that we consciously choose to suppress our emotions, thus manifesting illness in our lives that offended them the most.

Hopefully, this post will set the record straight and shed more light on the part emotions play in sickness and health.

The first thing I want to address is the difference between suppressing emotions and repressing emotions. It is the difference between the two that demonstrates that we did not consciously chose to be sick.

Though both suppressing emotions and repressing emotions are forms of non-expression which have shown in research to promote illness (Bleiker 1997, Temshok 1985), suppressing emotions refer to holding back emotions that we are aware of, while suppressing emotions refers to the psychological defense mechanism where we do not know which emotions are present.

It’s true that neither suppression nor repression releases emotions or resolve their intensity (energy), in fact, emotions intensity only increases when swallowed whole (Pert 1997). However, we cannot take direct ownership or responsibility for crafting unconscious psychological defenses. Those serve a purpose and are necessary for our sense of security.

Once illness is present, cancer or any other life threatening illness, we are faced with dire need of change and this is what Immersive Healing let us do. Part of this change includes revisiting many of our psychological patterns and defenses and questioning their necessity.

Some time ago I stumbled upon a good book that addressed exactly the topic of emotional toxicity and how they affect us; the book name is “Feeling Buried Alive Never Die’s” by Karol K. Truman. If my memory serves me well she struggled with brain tumor and lived to tell the tail.

For the most part, we as people tend to repress emotions which mean we are not fully aware of the fact we are doing so. This is an important statement that brings to a halt any attempt to further blame yourself for your illness. Having said that, now that you know better, and by that I mean that you know of the cost you are paying to hold yourself and your emotions back, you can do better.

If you have a safe and effective way to let your steam out, please share?

toxic emotions and illness

Must Read – Your Health is At Stake!

Emotions run the whole spectrum – from love to fear, shame to pride, joy to desperation and everything else in between. Of course some emotions are less pleasurable to experience than others and yet every single one of your emotions has a value, a meaning and a purpose. All emotions are good.

healing brookline

The Mind and Body are an Integrated System

We are all familiar with the five external senses sight, sound, touch, taste and smell; their input let us interpret and understand the outside world. In much the same way, emotions should be viewed as our inner set of senses. They help to guide us so we can better manage and care for ourselves – help us maintain our integrity as creative beings so we can get the most out of our lives.

If we can express our emotions appropriately and learn methods for letting go of intense feelings, then our emotions will not pose any threat to us – they will simply flow as a part of our own unique experience of life. Emotions only become a problem to us if they become toxic and toxic emotions only occur when we reject, suppress or judge them.

Keeping emotions burrowed deep down inside leads to feelings of guilt, shame and resentment. These powerful emotions can have a detrimental affect on the body over time if they are not expressed in a way that is healthy.

Think about it – if you feel resentment towards someone it doesn’t feel good inside. The same goes for when you feel ashamed, guilty, hopeless or afraid. These feelings and associated thoughts are the seeds planted in the fertile soil of the subconscious mind and illness or a state of disease is their blossom. To ensure we maintain a state of health rather than illness we must address these seeds and that is what hypnosis for cancer and chronic illness is designed to do.

Failing to address these seeds, these mind sets affect the experience within the body – after all the mind and body are an integrated system. The brain adjusts its production of chemicals to correlate these negative states and then disperse them into the bloodstream.

What Research Says?

For example there is a great deal of research to be found about the link between the production of the hormone cortisol and prolonged stress. Higher levels than normal of cortisol in the body are linked to high blood pressure, lowered immunity and a susceptibility to increased abdominal fat. Increased abdominal fat in turn can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Suppressing our emotions literally makes them become toxic and this in turn affects our well being. Chemicals released by the brain are absorbed by the body’s cells and become poor quality building blocks for our bodies. Emotions therefore need an appropriate outlet.

When we suppress emotions we make the choice, intentionally or not, to do so. We are choosing to believe that our beliefs and opinions don’t matter and are not as worthy of recognition as those of others. This can endanger our health. You are worthy of happiness, comfort and good health. Your opinions, concerns and needs are valid and deserve to be expressed.

If your health depend on finding an appropriate way to express your emotions and acknowledging your self worth, will you do so?

cancer wellness

Emotions that Kill, Emotions that Heal

cancer wellnessAs human beings we feel a wide diversity of emotions, some are pleasant and some are not. Nevertheless it is my sincere belief that all of our emotions are good in the sense they serve a purpose.

Our emotions help us and guide us so that we can better care for ourselves; and our ability to feel the full spectrum of our emotions reflects our state of mental and psychological health.

Emotions only become toxic and begin to affect our physical well-being when we bottle them up inside. Picture a volcano, the pressure on the Earth, on the caldera as the magma chamber swells with liquid rock… eventually it will explode. This is what we do to ourselves when we bottle harmful emotions, eventually we won’t be able to contain this volatile sea of molten feelings and like the volcano they will erupt i.e. a state of dis-ease.

The actual eruption is not the only issue we will face if we choose to continuously repress our emotions. Like the volcano, as pressure builds, cracks will begin to appear at the surface long before we explode. The negative impact of bottled emotions includes immune system suppression thus making us more prone to illness.

The amount of energy we invest in keeping this pressure locked inside result in states of mind such as stress, fear and anxiety. These negative states of mind cause our brains to produce chemicals which are poor in quality. Dispersed through the blood stream; these chemicals make for poor cellular building blocks.

In the context of healing from illness, any illness, this insight brings much good news. Now we can finally begin to intervene and turn the tide of illness by taking responsibility for what we hold in our minds and hearts. If you hear yourself saying “this is easier said than done” you are probably right, nevertheless, taking responsibility this way beats undergoing treatment in every way.

Too often when people are given the option to participate in their own healing process such as in the case of Immersive Healing, they hesitate and even refuse to do so. One reason people choose to keep bottling up their emotions is their lack of self-worth, or rather the belief they are not “really” worthy of healing. This conclusion is the result of past conditioning, the way we were taught to view ourselves, the world we live in and how this world is with us in it.

Don’t take my word for it, ask yourself this question “am I worthy of being healed?” and if the answer is resounding yes, revisit your actions i.e. what you have done and are still doing to bring upon this healing? In other words, check to see if your beliefs and actions match or not.

Many people feel they are not worthy of expressing emotions, that they betray loved ones by telling them the truth (their truth). Unfortunately, holding on to negative emotions only serves to reinforce already existing negative perception.

The best way to create a positive change in our lives is by first admitting that we are worthy of feeling good and worthy of healing. By keeping our toxic emotions inside we only reinforce the lack of self worth and continue to weaken our body’s defenses.

Once expressed (in a healthy way), our emotions can no longer hurt us, as the saying goes “the truth will set you free”. Emotions then will only be emotions and no longer toxic that is.

Where did we learn that by hurting ourselves we love someone more? When did we come to believe that we are not worthy of health and well-being?

If you know please share with us, your truth may light the way for others.


The True Power of Placebo, Can it Help Heal Cancer

Before a new drug can be released to the public it must go through rigorous testing. Part of that testing involves a clinical trial in which half the patients involved receive the actual drug and the other half receive a sugar pill (placebo).

holistic cancer brooklineAmazingly many of the patients who receive the placebo still see a positive impact on their health. Obviously it’s not the sugar in the “fake medication” that is causing the positive change (otherwise we’d be treating cancer patients with candy by now), so what, you may ask, is the mechanism of action in placebo? the answer is Hope.

In my new book The New Cancer Paradigm I look into the science of Hope and Helplessness, but for now let’s focus on the basics. Contrary to popular belief hope is not a state of denial and blind optimism, hope is a state of mind that promotes action. Studies show that people who cultivate home and feel hopeful about their recovery are more likely to take care of themselves: exercise, eat well, and follow doctor’s orders.

These actions alone could greatly help improve the quality of life for those with cancer and chronic illnesses. This state of mind called hope, stimulates the brain and helps strengthen the body and more importantly the immune system. A patient who is actively taking part in the treatment of their illness whose immune function has been awakened is in a much better position to have the healing process take place.

The Issue of False Hopelessness

Many traditional medical practitioners believe that non medical therapies such as hypnotherapy, offer patients a false sense of hope. It is important for the sake of discussion to make clear that false hope exist only alongside with a false or unrealistic guarantee of recovery from illness.

In reality patients are given the same expectations when they receive a holistic treatment as they are when they receive traditional medication. There is always room for hope but there are no guarantees.

The real threat for a patient’s well being lays not only when a patient receives false hope, but also when they receive false hopelessness. Patients are told that there is nothing more that can be done for them and therefore sent home to get their affairs in order.

Hopelessness is the point at which the patient gives up, and once a patient stops taking action the results are unfortunately inevitable.

Facing your illness, do you feel hopeful? If so, does hope strengthen you or weaken you?

beliefs and illness

Warning: Your Beliefs Can Make You Sick

We are born into this world with an empty mind, waiting to be filled with knowledge, experience, and awareness. As we grow up, we acquire this knowledge and awareness from those around us. Through day to day interaction, feedback, statements and suggestions they shape our view of self, the world and how it function with us in it.

Complementary Medicine for cancer BostonThose statements (which are basically suggestion) which we hear over and over again form our perception. Our perceptions (positive or negative) compounded over time become our beliefs, what we believe about ourselves and the world around. Our beliefs then shape our outlook and attitude and ultimately our behavior.

Often enough, as kids, we were compared to other kids and were measured in a way that hinted or suggested to us that “we not good enough.” This is an innocent mistake which is hard for parents to avoid, and yet the result can be devastating.

Children who grow up with the mantra “you’re not good enough,” become adults who live by that belief. This belief has the power to either spawn a negative outlook on life or support an already existing negative outlook on life which creates toxic emotions such as shame and guilt.

Worse still a person who goes through life with a negative outlook will be less likely to take risks, and participate in new activities.

A negative outlook can do far more than inhibit a person socially and emotionally; it can also cause poor health. Negative beliefs lead to a negative outlook which translates to negative states of mind such as stress, hopelessness and fear. These states of mind allow the brain to produce chemicals that correspond to their quality, in this case negative and poor.The chemicals released by the brain are dispersed throughout the body via the bloodstream and are eventually absorbed into the cells.

In my book The New Cancer Paradigm I dedicated a whole segment to beliefs, thoughts vibrations and their effect on the physical body but this post focus on the biological process. Essentially, the chemicals released by the brain are the food that sustains the body’s cells. The chemicals created by a brain with a negative outlook and stressful state of mind are like feeding your cells a steady stream of junk food, poor in quality.

Many of us have seen the effects of a poor diet on our bodies; we gain weight, tire easily, and tend to be less resilient when we become ill. The same thing happens to our cells when they are fed the poor diet of chemicals produced by a stressful state of mind; they become weak and less resilient which in turn leads to greater instances of disease and mutation.

Tracing a negative state of mind to its root i.e. the beliefs that formed it, offers us a unique opportunity to care for ourselves. By identifying, reviewing and eliminating our negative belief system we can better manage our mind and mood and therefore our health and well-being.

If you could point out one belief (or more) that may have allowed or promoted your illness, what would it be?

Psychosomatic Illness

What You Must Know About Psychosomatic Illness?

The term psychosomatic is often misunderstood. If we say someone has a psychosomatic illness it is easy to assume that we mean the condition is all in a person’s ‘mind’ – a figment of the imagination – unreal. This is not the meaning I attach to the concept of psychosomatic illness. I believe that many illnesses have their origin in a particular subconscious process; in other words that certain emotional patterns and psychological factors may contribute to the appearance of a physical condition in the body.

cancer psychosomaticFor example if I were to suggest to you to imagine eating a food that you dislike intensely – and I mean really imagine it vividly – thinking about the smell or texture of that food, or whatever it is that puts you off the most, you are likely to feel physically nauseous.

Such is the power of thought and I present this view in my book The New Cancer Paradigm. In a nutshell, a metal patterns or even a thought process can lead to a physical experience in the body.

Author Marilyn Hunter says that “it is impossible for us to be sick or injured and not have an emotional response to that, it is also impossible to be emotionally distressed or overjoyed and the body not respond to that.”

Basically what I am saying is, that if something is psychosomatic it simply means that the body and the mind are connected – that the body and mind are a complete integrated system. One does not exist without the other. If the mind is affected then the body will be too and vice versa – mind and body cannot be separated. Therefore virtually everything that we experience has a psychosomatic definition.

When considering the psychosomatic origin of chronic illnesses or cancer – surely we have to open our minds to the possibility that certain emotional or psychological factors have promoted the presence of these conditions within the body?

It is important to point out that this is not about attaching blame to illness. I am not saying that anyone who has a chronic disease or illness has ‘given’ himself or herself that illness by being negative. It is more likely that a mental reaction to a stressful situation has perhaps changed the chemistry of the body in some way or suppressed immune function thus allowing disease to become present.

The field of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) supports this theory. PNI is the study of the interaction between the nervous and immune systems and psychological thought processes. PNI has its’ origins in France in the 1800s but was advanced and developed in the mid 1970s by Dr Robert Ader at the University of Rochester.

In relation to psychosomatic disease PNI acknowledges that illness is very real and definitely experienced. However because an organic origin cannot be found PNI assumes that psychological factors, emotional patterns and a certain state of mind must be responsible for the appearance of the physical illness.

So if you are told you are suffering from a psychosomatic disorder at least explore the possibility that the person is referring to the relationship between your mind and your body, and the role that the mind plays in any physical experience we suffer from.

Many medical professionals do take an interest in the field of PNI and accept that the mind can contribute to illness. They are now taking their interest further and looking into how much the mind plays a part in illness.

The question, it seems, is no longer whether the mind plays a part in illness but more like “can we harness this capacity of the mind to reverse the process of illness and heal the body from chronic illness and cancer?”

Hopefully, Psychosomatic Medicine or PNI may provide us with the answer to this question very soon.

Hope and False Hope

Cancer, Hope and False Hope?

My belief is that hope is absolutely vital when considering the healing process, yet, it is important to establish that hope is not the same thing as positive thinking. I do not suggest that anyone who is facing the challenges of cancer or other chronic illness merely tries to think in a more positive way and that all will be well.

complementary cancer bostonHope
The opposite of hope is hopelessness and hopelessness is a state of mind in which a person feels like nothing more can be done – they give up. Hope promotes activity, so if you feel hopeful you are more inclined to take action. An active state of being can boost and promote the efficient function of your immune system. And when you have a stronger immune system your body is better equipped to defend itself and fight any condition of ill health.

There are two powerful negative expectations that surround cancer and they are:

1. Cancer = Death
2. Cancer = Strikes randomly and is beyond your control

These are outdated statements which are no longer true. Advancement in medicine and technology as well as non medical practices such as hypnosis for cancer as prescribed in Immersive Healing ensure more people overcome the cancer today than ever before. This is not to say that everyone win this battle or that it’s easy to do so, just to state and acknowledge the progress we’ve made and that hope is empowering and vital component in the healing process.

Having said that, I want to emphasize that it’s not a simple matter of saying to a client “be hopeful and you’ll get well”. Rather to understand that if a person has hope in their life, feel hopeful and empowered, they will find themselves in a better position to heal.

False Hope
Some medical professional would argue that using complimentary alternative therapies in cancer treatment only give people false hope. As mentioned in my book The New Cancer Paradigm my answer to that is that false hope only exists when one guarantees an unrealistic treatment outcome.

My whisper to you is to avoid at all costs those practitioners who claim they can cure an illness. Instead, look for those practitioners who advocates reasonable hope – this is very different to false hope.
Reasonable hope is logical, after all the medical profession cannot guarantee that their approach will work either. None of us in any of the healing professions have all the answers.

False Hopelessness

holistic cancer brooklineIn his book Healing Psyche, Rob van Overbruggen discusses the possibility of false hopelessness. False hopelessness occurs when someone is told that their illness is untreatable and that nothing more can be done for them.

Many people store so much faith in the medical profession that this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The simple truth is that no one really knows who will heal and why they heal, but the fact is that some people do.

Hope and your ability to heal
All my clients know that I make no guarantees – my approach to healing may or may not be enough.
I do believe wholeheartedly that I can help a person with cancer or chronic illness takes control and ownership of their health.

The human body and spirit are more powerful than anyone at this time can fully understand. I aim to tap into this potential for the body to heal and help people move forwards into a state of mind that promotes reasonable hope and may facilitate the healing process.

The alternative to reasonable hope is false hopelessness – the idea that people should just give up.
Hope is a part of the human psyche. A life without hope is not realistic it is pessimistic – hope offers us a full, rich and more active way to experience life.

I believe it is fair to offer people the opportunity of reasonable hope, do you?

complementary alternative medicine cancer

Benefits of Complementary Alternative Medicine for Cancer

Cancer patients can benefit tremendously from a realistic and multidisciplinary approach to healing cancer or any other chronic illness for that matter. This is why it is essential that Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners will be open to and committed to working alongside with the researchers, scientists and doctors.

Holistic cancer bostonConventional cancer treatments, despite their high cost to patient’s quality of life (both physically and emotionally) do save many many lives and that’s the bottom line. This may explain why most doctors would not offer their patients any valid alternative. This is a missed opportunity because about 73% of patients will seek some alternatives therapy to supplement their medical treatment. Why is it a missed opportunity? because patients are left to figure things on their own and may end up wasting valuable resources in the wrong places, not to mention precious time.

So much has been written about the physical side effects of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatment. These are well documented and anyone who’s been through this medical process need no further evidence. It would have been to the benefit of the patient if their medical team would be able to guide them to some extent and teach them about their options.

Complimentary alternative Cancer treatment

hypnosis for cancer in Brookline and BostonIn a general way, CAM practitioners view the cancer tumor as only a part of the problem, a symptom of something that runs far deeper. For the most part, CAM practices aim is to heal the whole person not just one part of the person; this way health and wellness may be restored.

I could probably quote here a whole range of statistics showing the harmful impact of conventional treatment such as chemotherapy on the body. Likewise I could find a bunch of statistics showing that CAM is not a viable treatment for healing cancer.

However, if you read my blog before you already know I am not interested in proving who is right or who is wrong with statistics. My belief is that we must all work together to provide the optimum care program, with the common goal of healing the cancer.

The medical profession is waking up to the fact that CAM is a powerful partner for conventional medical cancer treatment. The hierarchy should be clear, medical care first and CAM second. Those who wish to integrate CAM practices into their treatment will maintain their safety and will benefit from this order in this relationship.

An example for this successful relationship can be seen just up the road from my Brookline  MA office, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This impressive medical facility is working medical miracles and provide a wide spectrum of CAM practices in its Zakim Center.

In my research I have found many other respected organizations recommending meditation, visualization acupuncture and hypnosis as an effective method for coping with the side effects of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Patients are the one to really benefit from this exciting partnership.

Here is why CAM such as Hypnosis for Cancer may be right for you;

• First, it’s designed addresses the the root cause of illness. In doing the body’s stress level is lessened and the immune response is revived. This will increase the effectiveness of medicine and improve your odds for recovery.

• Secondly the therapeutic aspect of  many CAM practices can help to alleviate some of the physical and emotional distress caused by illness.This ensure you can follow through on your treatment and maintain your quality of life before, during and after treatment.

• And finally CAM empowers you to see the bigger picture, take control of your health by taking part in your healing. It will and view your illness as a call to action.

Healing is more than just a medical process; the mind and body are powerfully interconnected so it makes sense that treating them both and using a multi-targeted approach to healing is the realistic option.

If you used any of form of CAM please share your impression with us?

biology and belief

Can our beliefs affect our biology?

New research shows that that DNA may not be entirely responsible for steering the biological ship, so to speak. DNA is actually greatly influenced by energetic messages (including those coming from our own beliefs, thoughts and emotions) coming from outside of our cells.

Thoughts and emotions are energy, mind’s energy. The type of thoughts we think i.e. stressful or comforting, negative or positive stem from our beliefs. If our beliefs system is toxic it is more likely to produce negative attitudes and limiting thoughts which will result in poor health. If however our belief system is healthy, we are more likely to enjoy a positive outlook on life and think the type of thoughts that cause a feeling of health and well being.

alternative cancer brooklineThe kind of thought “energy” we allow in our mind, signal the brain to produce either health promoting or health deteriorating chemicals and disperse them into the blood stream. These chemicals when absorbed by the cells strengthen the cell or weaken it thereby leaving it vulnerable to attacks and decay.

In the context of chronic illness and cancer, our ability to understand these factors that influence our biology means we may be able to prevent illness from appearing and progressing.

Currently we are still operating by the old cancer treatment paradigm which has remained more or less the same since the 1940s; remove as much tumor as possible and pump the body full of cytotoxic agents to kill what remains.

Imagine you needed a hip replacement surgery and your surgeon saying he wants to perform a seventy year old procedure on you? Would you allow it?

Thankfully, the field of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) proposes a more integrated approach to the treatment of cancer and chronic diseases. This approach looks at the body as a whole incorporating multiple disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, behavioral medicine, pharmacology, and any other discipline relevant to the treatment of a specific disease in a specific person.

One of the few certainties in the medical field is that “one size fits all” medicine does not work; each person has a unique set of circumstances that must be addressed on an individual level, our beliefs about life and who we are included.

Can you find evidence of this relationship between your beliefs and physical experience?