Grief, loss of loved one, lack of purpose, depression, low self esteem, hypochondriasis as means of attention, need love for self and others, touching, be here now, sense of accomplishment, happiness, music, beauty, sexual satisfaction, forgiveness, etc…
SOLUTION: Create a new way of thinking (crisis=opportunity or danger)It was Hans Selye, MD who first scientifically showed that animals subjected to stress undergo thymic atrophy (immune suppression), elevations in blood pressure and serum lipids and erosion of the stomach lining (ulcers). Since then literally thousands of human studies have demonstrated that an angry, stressed, or depressed mind can lead to a suppressed immune system, which allows cancer and infections to take over. Drs. Locke and Horning-Rohan have published a textbook consisting of over 1300 scientific articles written since 1976 that prove the link between the mind and the immune system.
We are finally beginning to accept what philosophers and spiritual leaders have been telling us for thousands of years: the mind has a major impact on the body and health. Proverbs 17:22 tells us “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Over 100 years ago, observant physicians claimed that significant life events might increase the risk for developing cancer. In the 1800s, emotional factors were related to breast cancer, and cervical cancer was related to sensitive and frustrated women. Loss of a loved one has long been known to increase the risk for breast and cervical cancer. When 2000 men were assessed and then followed for 17 years, it was found that depression doubled the risk for cancer.
Researchers at the National Institute of Health, spearheaded by Candice Pert, PhD, have investigated the link between catecholamines, endorphins and other chemicals from the brain as they influence cancer. A reknowned researcher, Jean Achterberg, PhD, has demonstrated a clear link between the attitude of the cancer patient and their quality and quantity of life. In my years of experience, about 90% of the cancer patients I deal with have encountered a major traumatic event 1-2 years prior to the onset of cancer. This is especially true of breast cancer patients. There is even a medical textbook on the subject of “STRESS AND BREAST CANCER”
Not only can mental depression lead to immune suppression and then cancer, but there may be a metaphorical significance to the location of the cancer. Divorced women who lose a breast as they feel a loss of their feminity. One of my patients developed cancer of the larynx a year after his wife left him. He tried to get her to talk about it, but she said there was “nothing left to say”.
Your mind is probably the “lifeguard” that keeps cancer at bay, hence major stress is literally inviting cancer into the body. The good news is that the mind can be a powerful instrument at eliminating cancer. This is a frightening or empowering concept, depending on how you chose to perceive it. The cancer patient who knows that he or she can do something about getting well is more likely to beat the disease. Helplessness and hopelessness are just as lethal as cigarettes and bullets.
Norman Cousins cured himself of a painful collagen disease by using laughter and attitude adjustment, along with high doses of vitamin C. Bernie Siegel, MD, a Yale surgeon, noticed that certain mental characteristics in his cancer patients were indicators of someone who would beat the odds: live each moment, express yourself, value your dreams and maintain an assertive fighting spirit against the disease. Carl Simonton, MD, a radiation oncologist, found that mental imagery and other mind techniques vastly improved the results in his cancer patients. In a National Cancer Institute study conducted at the University of Texas, researchers were able to predict with 100% accuracy which cancer patients would die or deteriorate within a two month period–strictly based upon the patient’s attitude. While tobacco products contain carcinogenic substances, mentally handicapped people, many of whom smoke, experience a 4% death rate from cancer, compared to 22% for the population at large. Indeed, there may be a certain amount of bliss in ignorance.
Enkephalins and endorphins, also called “the mind’s rivers of pleasure”, are brain chemicals that are secreted when the mind is happy. Endorphins improve the production of T cells, which improves the effectiveness of the immune system against cancer and infections. Enkephalins increase the vigor of T-cells attacking cancer cells as well as increasing the percentage of active T-cells. Essentially, your immune system is a well orchestrated army within to protect you against cancer and infections. And your mind is the four star general directing the battle. Depending on your attitude, your mind either encourages or discourages disease in your body.
The take-home lesson here is: you can take a soup bowl full of potent nutrients to fight cancer while you are being treated by the world’s best oncologist; but if your mind is not happy and focused on the immune battle that must occur, then the following program of nutrition will not be nearly as effective as it should be.
We are all going to experience certain setbacks, losses and injustices in our lives. How we react to these life stresses will play a major role in our health and longevity. We all have to drive over the “bumps in the highway of life”. Your “shock absorber system” is your coping ability that makes stressful events less damaging to your well being.