support system for cancer patients

Can Your Support System Save Your Life?

A growing body of evidence suggests that a strong support system and positive interactions with others is a key factor in recovery from illness.

boston hypnosis cancer support

boston hypnosis cancer support

An intriguing and important aspect of the healing process relates to our sense of connection to other people. This works on two levels, firstly the relationships we have with close friends and family and secondly the relationships we have with our wider communities.

At first glance it may seem somewhat trivial to suggest that there is any link between ill health and our friendships and relationships but this factor is actually emerging as an important indicator when it comes to who is more likely to heal and who isn’t.

There are many studies that have found that people who have more positive social connections tend to live for longer. People who are less sociable and especially those who are isolated have a higher mortality rate than normal from any kind of disease or illness including cancer.

It seems that it is the quality of your friendships and connections that is what’s important and not the actual number of friends and acquaintances. The amount of involvement a person has in social activities in the wider community also counts.

The Value of Social Interaction

So how may a good quality of social interaction and social support contribute to better health? The obvious answer is that being able to share your worries with a trusted friend provides some sort of emotional relief – feelings are not kept inside where they may go round and round endlessly in the mind. A good level of social support may help to lower your levels of distress and worry and thus help you to cope better with an illness.

Positive interactions within the wider community can help you feel your connectedness to the outside world in general. It can serve to remind you that we are all the same and that all kinds of people go through difficult life experiences.

On another level giving something back to the world in someway results in increased self-esteem. Whether you volunteer formally or just use your interactions outside your social circle to spread positivity or compassion, giving something back positively is a powerful way to maintain your mental health and possibly your physical health.

It’s important to remember that some people function very well and very happily without the need for lots of social interaction. Some individuals do not feel ‘lonely’ when they are alone. If this is the case and this is a long term pattern that has always worked for you then the chances are you may not be affected in the same way a person might do who is lonely in the true sense of the word.

However if you have a chronic illness, would like more positive social interaction and you feel well enough it may be worthwhile pushing yourself a little to see if increased contact with others makes you feel better in general. Developing social ties by volunteering, joining a club or spiritual group of any denomination that appeals to you could be beneficial.

If you are ill, pushing yourself in this way may feel like too much of an effort and that is understandable. Feel free to contact my office for any level of support you may need.

The bottom line is that positive interaction with others seems to be a factor in recovery and it may just help you to maintain good health and ultimately live for longer.

Is your support system the most important asset in your journey toward health?

overcome the negativity of cancer

Learn How to Avoid the Trap of Negativity When Recovering from Cancer

You may have heard the saying that holding a grudge hurts the grudge holder more than it hurts the recipient. It’s like holding hot coals with the intention to throw them at someone else, only to suffer the burn ourselves. While it’s easy to agree with the logic of this statement it’s not so easy to implement it when someone has done us wrong.

Boston cancer brookline cancerAnger and resentment are emotions that, when bottled up, turn toxic and affect every aspect of our lives i.e. mental, emotional and physical. Holding a grudge and silently seething on the inside is a taxing process on our psyche and biology and we end up paying the bill.

In previous blog posts we talked about the power of the mind to influence the body, for better or worse, for health or sickness. In that context, the aggravated state of mind of holding a grudge is especially unnecessary and will only leave us run down and drained.

The first step toward forgiveness is acknowledging that we do most of the suffering. Once we realize this truth we can finally free ourselves from the chains of negativity and exchange despair with hope. Now we can create the life we want and deserve, life that is free from the physical, mental, and emotional side effects of anger and resentment.

Recognizing that we are the one who benefit from forgiving others will make it easier to let go and release the toxic anger and resentment we shackled ourselves to.

When you are ready to move toward forgiveness, take the following steps:

1. Look at the situation from all angles, see the big picture. Imagine that a friend of yours was there with you; would he or she come to the same conclusion about the meaning of that moment?

2. Consider your role in this a situation, which thoughts or actions contributed to this event. Avoid the mind trap of self blame; just consider how your actions may have contributed.

3. Find the good in this unfortunate situation; focus on solutions for they are inherently positive and resolve to understand the some of the limitations which lead the other person to act out.

Not only will this process help you to release the toxic emotions that have built up inside, it will also help you to grow as a person.

Forgiveness, first and foremost is a decision to live free of negativity. In truth, you only forgive yourself; it could be for perceiving things in a certain way or not standing up for you, etc.

Recognizing your role in the situation you may be able to stop yourself from repeating this pattern of behavior in the future. With this insight in place, the only question remains is: Do you want to be happy or right?

If you need further assistance in how to forgive, please contact me. There is so much to gain and nothing real to lose.


radical remission

3 Hidden Secrets to Successful Healing and Recovery from Illness

holistic boston cancer hpnosis

Secrets for Recovery from Illness

Why some patients fully recover and others do not is a mystery that still cannot be fully explained.
The field of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) explores the logical possibility that the mind and the body are interconnected and seeks evidence to show that the brain intervene and influence the immune system.

Several psychological responses or reactions have been noted in those who do heal from cancer or other chronic illnesses and what they have in common is that the person changes certain attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

These powerful inner changes could be what tips the scale in favor of improved health.


Resolution occurs when a person consciously decides to change certain behaviors or makes up their mind to be a new kind of person – to be truer to himself or herself.

For some individuals facing chronic illness and their own mortality changes everything and all the usual rules can go out of the window. A person may feel that they now have options that they didn’t have previously – possibly because of commitments to others or to a certain way of life that was no longer truly working for them.

This feeling is very freeing and can give a person their sense of power back, particularly if they find that the world does not collapse around them when they don’t continue to do what they always did.
Depression or feelings of hopelessness may disappear once a person feels that they can break all the normal rules and that they have the power to choose for themselves.

The illness has given this person the permission to change, to change for their better.


A life-threatening condition will almost certainly make a person think differently one way or another. For some individuals a whole new perspective is formed.

Self imposed rules and out-dated beliefs may be shed as the person reevaluates their life. Things that once seemed important may now be viewed as insignificant or petty when an individual is forced to face their own mortality.

Again, as with resolution, the condition allows the person to say no, to express held in anger, to feel free to be whom they really want to be – the illness allows the person to become more assertive. They are no longer a passive victim.

The body follows the mind

When these new attitudes and belief sets are in place in the mind it may be that the body follows suit. A renewed sense of hope combined with the desire to live the life the person has always wanted to live may be one of the stepping-stones towards improved health.

Some individuals speak of a sense of relief that the illness gave them the permission to speak up, speak out and be more assertive. The word relief suggests that certain emotions and feelings had been held in for too long and had become toxic. Letting them go frees the soul/self from a heavy burden.

Since PNI suggests that mind, emotions and body act as an integrated system a change to the psychological state could very well result in a change to physical state.

If the above patterns resonate with you or you know of some I have left out, please let me know?

expecting to heal from cancer

Warning: Your Expectations Can Heal You

A diagnosis of life threatening illness such as cancer is often accompanied by negative expectancy for poor quality of life and even death. Most medical practitioners, when talking to patients or their family members prefer the honest approach where the worst case scenario must be taking into consideration. After all we know that cancer can and does kill.

Holistic treatments boston

Inspire Your Body, Expect the Best

Truth be told it is challenging to “sell” positive expectancy because it’s hard to measure it, and we can never be sure if a person with a chronic illness really believes he or she have the ability to heal.

If they really do believe they poses the resources to heal, well, their chances to heal are so much higher. If however they say they do because they feel it’s what their loved ones want to hear, these words are empty and meaningless.

Phrases such as “I’m going to beat this” or “I’m going to fight this thing” may be verbalized but if the person with do not fully believe they can beat or fight their illness they won’t.

It’s hard to believe what we do not see or understand, but the study of Psychoneuroimmunology changed that equation. Now we have facts and evidence of the power of our psyche, quality of mood, state of mind and expectations to affect illness. What this study makes clear is that a positive state of mind and positive mental expectancy boost immune function and therefore health.

Information is one thing, following through is another. The PNI findings in themselves means little if we do not take ownership of our minds and hearts.

This means matching our thoughts and words with actions – for example going about our daily lives as normally as possible rather than taking to bed – then it would appear that we really do not hold a firm expectancy that we can heal and get well again.

Of course I am not talking about the times when one undergoes medical treatment and cope with its adverse side effects. There are times when bed rest is absolutely necessary. But even when bed rest, it is our “job” to maintain a positive mental expectancy for recovery.

It’s Not Your Fault!

If you do not know whether you hold negative expectancy toward your healing process or not, listen to your inner dialog. Is your inner dialog one of fear and anxiety or one of self assurance and trust?

I heard someone saying that if you don’t like your life you should change your beliefs. While I agree with this statement it is easier said than done. In fact this is what people seek my help for. Whether we like it or not, fear is a natural reaction to life threatening illness – again we all know that life-threatening illness can be and is at times fatal.

Society’s negative expectations can also contribute to a person’s thought process. Many people with cancer report that some friends started to avoid them because they do not know how to speak to them or how to handle the situation. The possibility of death is difficult to face for all of us, let alone speak freely about.

People with chronic illnesses and cancer pick up perhaps more easily on other’s negative feelings and it doesn’t always stop with family and friends. Medical professionals may also contribute to the feeling that the possibility for healing is minimal.

My thoughts on this subject are not to condemn anyone however I do believe that by encouraging a positive expectation that is grounded in reality we can improve the patients quality of life.

As I have said previously promising recovery is promising false hope, and yet by helping people to change their expectations and beliefs about disease we can work wholeheartedly towards a more positive outcome.

That positive outcome may be the strength and courage to face death or it may even be the path back to wellness. The main aim is to make the journey as peaceful, as positive and as healing as possible.

If this post inspired you to revisit your expectations please let me know?

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?