25 April 2016

To snack or not to snack, that is the question



To snack or not to snack, that is the question. 

Whether 'tis nobler in the tummy to suffer

The slings and arrows of snacking regularly,

Or to take arms against a sea of temptations,

And, by opposing, end them. 

In loving awe of the Bard
 – 400 years dead this year - RIP





Do you eat regularly through the day, or stay with 3 main meals? 
With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, strong new evidence indicates which is the better choice for everyone, and even to how overnight “fasting” for long enough can reduce breast cancer recurrences.

This week, a guest blog from Greg Fitzgerald explains what to do and why, but first


              Thought for the day

I am perfectly happy with all the people 
Who are walking around and just staring at the clouds. 
But I am looking at the ground, 
And I want to fix the pothole 

That is right in front of me before I fall in.

       Linus Torvalds – who transformed technology twice by developing Linux and Git




People today eat more food than ever and eat more frequently than ever
Despite (or because of) this, the problems of metabolism, overweight and blood sugar irregularities are worse than ever. The rates of obesity are climbing, diabetes is epidemic and chronic tiredness is universal.

It is no exaggeration to say that western society is eating itself into a stupor, chronic illness and an early grave, in that order.

Understanding Metabolism: Anabolism and Catabolism
Metabolism is the balance between two biological processes within the body called anabolism and catabolism.

On the one hand the body has to be continually renewed. New tissues, including the skin, the gut, bones and so on are continually rebuilding. This process is called anabolism. Bodybuilders are notorious for taking anabolic steroids to build bigger muscles. Well this is where the word finds its context.

Anabolism means building up and as part of this building up process, the body stores energy. Through anabolism, when food is plentiful, energy is stored in fatty tissues in a way that means it can be drawn upon later if food becomes scarce.

The second process is called catabolism. This is where the body breaks down old tissue, removes waste products and excretes them, a process closely linked to detoxification. Also, during catabolism, the body can release stored energy from those fatty tissues; a vital function when food is scarce.

For example, let us examine the metabolism of healthy bones. One type of bone cell, the osteoclast, clears away old, mottled bone - catabolism. This process is then followed by the second type of bone cell called an osteoblast, which builds new bone - anabolism. All body tissues undergo these processes, some more quickly than others. Thus the entire body replaces itself every few years.

The Importance of Catabolism
If our catabolic processes are compromised or inefficient, the cellular wastes and old, used tissue and materials are not efficiently removed, they accumulate in different parts of the body and we become toxic. What is called toxaemia results. This is where these waste products accumulate within the body tissues, fat and blood.

Toxaemia was officially accepted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in the United States in 2001. It is linked to inflammation, to premature ageing and to many chronic, degenerative diseases. It is an important thing to avoid if we wish to live a healthier, more energetic, disease-free, and of course, long life.

So what Does Snacking Have to Do with Catabolism?

When we eat, and this includes snacking, we promote anabolism, or building up, and we temporarily inhibit the process of catabolism. We divert energy away from the catabolic or clearing processes of the body and focus the body’s energy on building up.


When we do not eat, we rest our digestive system and promote detoxification and catabolism. This helps keep our bodies cleaner and less toxic, allowing our bodies to remove wastes and detoxify materials which otherwise could cause unwanted health issues.



To further illustrate this, catabolism explains why we often might notice a slightly off breath upon arising in the morning. This is because we have spent a number of hours not eating while asleep, and this has allowed the body the necessary rest to initiate its catabolic and detoxification processes. Not only is our breath stronger, but our urine is also a little darker in colour, a result of the kidneys having extra energy to help detoxify our blood.

It is also why we lose our appetite when sick, feverish, very stressed or exhausted. This is called anorexia, meaning lack of appetite. It has important survival value. Animals and young children automatically do it, but many adults and doctors encourage the opposite, which is to eat “to keep your strength up”.

Eat, fast and be merry
It is best to eat and then go without for a while. No snacking. The few hours away from all food allows our bodies to detoxify or clean the system. The body becomes less toxic, cleaner and lighter. Our normal and healthy weight is more easily attained.

Toxic hunger
Many people are on an “eat-all-day” diet. They are forever eating and drinking. Snacking is engaged in frequently. The problem is that rather than being truly hungry, they are governed by what Dr Joel Fuhrman calls “toxic hunger” in his books Eat to Live and Fasting and Eating for Health.

Toxic hunger is not true hunger, but is characterised by feelings of weakness or discomfort, headaches, light-headedness, tummy rumblings and emptiness, which the person mistakenly interprets as hunger. Toxic hunger is really a symphony of withdrawal symptoms from food addiction. Eating relieves the discomfort only briefly, but then toxic hunger reasserts itself shortly after, and more eating is engaged in perpetuating a cycle which is ruinous to health.

To eat and snack regularly this way is to invite trouble: indigestion, reflux, overweight, headaches, fatigue, nausea and later on more serious problems.

True Hunger

True hunger is felt in the mouth and throat, not in the stomach. It is associated with salivation. It is not accompanied by any form of pain or discomfort.

Those in excellent health can miss a meal completely and still feel neutral - not incapacitated by discomfort or weakness. They just feel “hungry”. They go to their meal feeling energetic but “ready to eat”.



In fact, the Native American Indians had a saying: “the hungry dog hunts best!” When hungry, it had great energy and alertness, necessary for its continued survival.

The message? 
Wait until the next meal and enjoy that meal with a genuine hunger. Then you will relish the food.

Science Proves Snacking Shortens Life (at least in Rats):
The National Institutes on Ageing conducted a study published in Science Magazine in 2002, where they fed 2 groups of rats 7,500 calories of the same each per week. One group was fed regularly throughout the day (snacking), while the other was fed only 3 times per day (non-snacking).

At the end of the study, the non-snacking rats significantly outlived the snacking ones.

If Not Hungry, Do Not Eat
When we are not hungry, it simply means our body has no need for food. Pretty obvious really! To eat because of someone else’s opinion that we need to eat a particular amount, at a particular time, or with a particular frequency, is to risk overburdening the body and increasing toxaemia.
There is no adverse consequence to missing a meal when not hungry. The opposite is true. There is great benefit. You will set in motion catabolism, thereby enhancing detoxification.

One Exception
Elite athletes engaging in high-intensity or ultra-endurance sports and training might need to modify this principle, as their routines may require the judicious use of high-nutrient snacks. However, such athletes represent only a fraction of the population.

Recommendation
For the average person not engaged in ultra-endurance sport, it is best to eat and then go without eating. Your health will only improve. Of course, the occasional transgression is not a problem; the problems come when snacking is a routine, habitual part of our lifestyle.

Prolonged Nightly Fasting Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence
A new study has found that for women with early-stage breast cancer, fasting less than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% higher risk for disease recurrence as compared with fasting 13 or more hours per night.

A nonsignificant 22% higher risk for mortality from any cause was also observed among women who fasted for shorter periods in comparison with those who fasted for 13 hours or more overnight.

"Prolonging the overnight fasting interval may be a simple, non-pharmacological strategy for reducing a person's risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers," said author Catherine Marinac.

Reference: Marinac CR et al, JAMA Oncol. Published online March 31, 2016.

My Comments
While the usual cautions are being expressed given this breast cancer study is the first of its type (maybe it is not correct???), eating this way has no known risks. Given what Greg has offered above, it seems to make good sense and it is relatively easily to do.

Additional evidence suggests this pattern of night fasting might also help some people with sleep, metabolic health, weight management, or chronic disease risks – it could also be a significant part of a prevention or a wellness plan.

Night fasting does seem to be a relatively simple and useful thing women with breast cancer could do, and it does also seem to make sense for people with other cancers – no risk, quite possibly a good gain.

What to do?



Early dinner, late breakfast. For example, finish eating at 7pm, nothing to eat before 8am; or 6pm and
7am. You need a 13 hour break from food overnight. Most nights. Be gentle with yourself, but do what is ideal mostly. Or all the time if you can manage full on diligent

Early dinner, late breakfast and the job is done. An easy win for the body and good health generally.


Greg Fitzgerald is a highly qualified dual registered osteopath and chiropractor, as well as naturopath working in Southern Sydney. Greg has many years experience supervising fasting.

Link to his website; his phone number is (02) 95440445.

NOTICEBOARD

NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT

DEEPENING YOUR MEDITATION

A unique opportunity to experience 
the deep natural peace and clarity of profound meditation

5 Day Meditation Immersion with Ian and Ruth Gawler

JUNE 2016 – Monday 6th to Friday the 10th

While this retreat will include ample instruction, the focus will be upon direct experience; finding and immersing ourselves in the deep inner peace, the regenerative power and the clarity of our own stillness.

For details CLICK HERE


18 April 2016

Do today’s veggies have less nutrients than Granny’s?

My love of gardening really began with my Grandmother. While my mother was a keen gardener and I grew up amidst suburban gardens, my Granny had her backyard filled with veggies, fruit trees and quite a few ornamentals. Helping her as a teenager was a delight; and the veggies tasted terrific.

So how do today’s commercial crops compare? Is the sense many of us have that they are not so good, actually true? This week we examine the evidence and what we can do to ensure we are getting the nutrients we need from our food, but first




           Thought for the Day

       Let yourself be silently drawn 
      By the strange pull of what you really love. 
      It will not lead you astray.

                                Rumi






                         My favourite photo with produce                            from our summer garden


Most of us will be aware of the steady rise in the chronic degenerative diseases and the fact that more and more younger people are affected. Many ask me “is it because our food is becoming depleted or denatured by modern farming practices? Have modern farming practices affected the mineral and vitamin content of what we eat?

The raw facts
In 2011, Donald Davis, then a biochemist at the University of Texas compared the nutrients in US crops from 1950 and 2009. 

Davis found notable declines in five nutrients in various fruits, including tomatoes, eggplants and squash. For example, there was a 43 % drop in iron and a 12 % decline in calcium. This was in line with his 1999 study — mainly of vegetables — which found a 15 % drop in vitamin C and a 38 % fall in vitamin B2.





Other studies have shown similar depletions.

A 1997 comparison of data from the 1930s and 1980s found that calcium in fresh vegetables appeared to drop by 19 %, and iron by 22 %.

A reanalysis of the data in 2005 concluded that 1980s vegetables had less copper, magnesium and sodium, and fruit less copper, iron and potassium.



Tomatoes grown by organic methods have been shown to contain more phenolic compounds than those grown using commercial standards. One study compared the phenolic profiles of tomatoes grown using ‘conventional’ as opposed to organic methods. Those grown under organic conditions contained significantly higher levels of phenolic compounds.

The introduction of semi-dwarf, higher-yielding varieties of wheat in the green revolution of the 1960s means that modern crops contain lower levels of iron and zinc than old-fashioned varieties.

Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that organically produced apples have a 15 % higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples.

Storage is a big factor
Another study evaluated the nutritional content of broccoli kept in conditions that simulated commercial transport and distribution: film-wrapped and stored for seven days at 1°C, followed by three days at 15°C to replicate a retail environment. By the end, the broccoli had lost between 71 and 80 % of its glucosinolates — sulphur-containing compounds shown to have cancer-fighting properties — and around 60 % of its flavonoid antioxidants.

What is causing the decline?
Part of it may well be related to the broad-spectrum systemic herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) that shall be discussed more in a coming post (that is still being researched).

Also, contrary to what we often read - that there is no evidence of dangers to health from GM foods and crops - peer-reviewed studies have found harmful effects on the health of laboratory and livestock animals fed GMOs. Effects include toxic and allergenic effects and altered nutritional value.

Speed of growth
Davis and others offer a simpler explanation. They assert that high-yielding crops produce more food, more rapidly, but these fast growing plants cannot make or absorb nutrients at the same pace, so the nutrition is diluted.

To test this notion, researchers measured the concentrations of 11 minerals in 14 commercial varieties of broccoli launched between 1950 and 2004. They grew old and new varieties of broccoli side-by-side.

The year that a particular cultivar was released made no difference, however, there was a dilution effect: the varieties with bigger heads – as favoured today - had lower levels of some minerals relative to the 1950 variety called Waltham 29.

But, as the study also noted, Waltham 29 is less tough than modern cultivars and so would be unlikely to succeed if grown in the same way.

The dilemma
So here is the problem. While modern agricultural methods may mean that our vegetables contain less nutrients than those of our grandparents, they have led to a huge increase in food supply. If you are hungry, this is a distinct advantage. For putting food on the table, modern practices are very efficient; there is just a question regarding the long-term cost.

“There is a chance that ready prepared vegetables may have a lower content of some vitamins,” says Judy Buttriss, director general of the British Nutrition Foundation in London. “But if their availability means that such vegetables are consumed in greater quantities, then the net effect is beneficial.“

“The most important thing you can do is eat more fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, and cut down on highly refined, human-made foods, vegetable oils and added sugars,” says Davis. “If you’re worrying about nutrient losses from cooking or whether your food is straight from the farm — those differences are minor compared to the differences you’d get from eating unprocessed foods."

Our choice
So how fortunate are we. So many of us have the possibility of growing much of our own food in our own veggie gardens – like my Granny really did do! And if not, we can afford to buy organic produce… A wise choice it would seem. And great for our home – this planet we all live upon.


NOTICEBOARD

NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT

DEEPENING YOUR MEDITATION

A unique opportunity to experience 
the deep natural peace and clarity of profound meditation

5 Day Meditation Immersion with Ian and Ruth Gawler

JUNE 2016 – Monday 6th to Friday the 10th

While this retreat will include ample instruction, the focus will be upon direct experience; finding and immersing ourselves in the deep inner peace, the regenerative power and the clarity of our own stillness.

For details CLICK HERE

28 March 2016

Meditation in the Forest – a visual essay

Rest, relaxation, regeneration. Seven days pre-Easter. The deep, natural peace that comes with retreating from our daily life, joining with like-minded people and journeying inwards.





                 This is the meditation












Then there is the Yarra Valley.
Remarkable natural beauty complemented by years of being tended by loving gardeners.





                   This is the forest











So this week, a celebration in photographs and a few words of this annual highlight of our calendar, Meditation in the Forest, plus details for next year but first

  Thought for the day


   We are what we think.
   All that we are arises with our thoughts.
   With our thoughts we make the world.


   Speak or act with an impure mind
   And sorrow will follow you 
   As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.


   Speak or act with a pure mind
   And happiness will follow you 
   As your shadow, unshakeable.

                 The Buddha

Each meditation retreat Ruth and I present focuses on the stillness of meditation (good plan for a meditation retreat!), and then has its own specific focus. For 2016, during Meditation in the Forest we gave attention to guided imagery which is the cover phrase for addressing how the active, thinking mind works and how we can use it more effectively.

How do our habits and beliefs develop? How does our memory function? How do we draw on memories and how do we plan for the future? And how do our habits and beliefs assist us in some situations, yet bind us or even work against us in others?



Great material to have a week to consider, and speaking personally, I feel this last retreat was the most effective yet for the people attending. Seems many had significant break-throughs in understanding and went away feeling confident of making significant personal changes in their lives.

So enough words.




      We gather at the Gawler Foundation's
      Yarra Valley retreat centre…















 Some of the locals remained nonplussed…














      Others somewhat indifferent…













But we gathered and discussed the mind and its workings…









       Entered into the purpose built
        meditation sanctuary

        to meditate together regularly
        throughout the day…











   Extended the sitting into walking…












          Some also walked the labyrinth
          with its curious way
          of aiding contemplation…













Some joined Ruth for the gentle stretching of body and mind that is yoga…














      Some explored their body
      and its movement
      through Feldenkrais with Julia...












Some just paused a while, and watched the river flow; the Little Yarra River that is…













      While all experienced the delight
      of sharing with like minds…













Very comfortable accommodation, either doubles with ensuites or more economical shared spaces…










   
              And the food!



                    Just what people expected!

                                                 :)








    Actually...

    much direct from the flourishing gardens…












     That for those who have not been
     to the Centre for a while,
     now extend way up the hill.

                  So productive…









Backed up by a big new hothouse so that more home-grown organic produce is available for more of the year…












    And of course,
    fresh herbs from the magical herb garden...













Then more free time to reflect,
to regenerate,
to experience the peace...

and watch the river flow by some more...











       Rounded off by the wisdom of a tree

                           - you had to be there …












         What a great group of people!!!
















                       Deep, natural peace



          Meditation in the Forest…











With thanks to Jane Treleaven for sharing 3 of her photographs from the retreat



NOTICEBOARD

MEDITATION in the FOREST 2017

FULL DETAILS CLICK HERE

NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT

DEEPENING YOUR MEDITATION
A unique opportunity to experience the deep natural peace and clarity of profound meditation

5 Day Meditation Immersion with Ian and Ruth Gawler
JUNE 2016 – Monday 6th to Friday the 10th - Yarra Junction

These days, many people have had some introduction to meditation and the power of the mind. Soon comes the realisation of the extraordinary depth and breadth of it all. And often we get a sense there is more to it …..   More to experience ..…

So while this retreat will include ample instruction, the focus will be upon direct experience; finding and immersing ourselves in the deep inner peace, the regenerative power and the clarity of our own stillness.

This process will be enhanced by being in the wonderful, peaceful and majestic forests of the Upper Yarra Valley, by being supported by the staff and amenities of the Gawler Foundation’s Living Centre, and guided by Ian and Ruth Gawler along with Julia Broome.

For details CLICK HERE

MEDICINE of the MIND
Accelerated healing and peace of mind

Probably my only day seminar in MELBOURNE for 2016

Ancient wisdom combined with the latest research in a way that has immediate application in our modern world.

This workshop brings together the best of what I have learnt about healing over the last 40 years.

Intended for those dealing with illness, those keen to avoid illness and be really well, along with health practitioners and anyone interested in our personal power to heal.

Please share details of this event with anyone you know who may be interested as Ruth and I are focusing more on our retreats this year and there will not be many opportunities like this to join us for day workshops.

For details CLICK HERE





14 March 2016

Cancer thriver - Jane Treleaven

Meet Jane Treleaven – another cancer thriver with a great story. While working as a highly stressed barrister, Jane was diagnosed with a slow-growing “incurable” lymphatic cancer in 2013.  Recently, Jane interviewed me and so this week, a link to the interview Essentially Being, and more, but first

Thought for the day

Do you have a daily practice?

Yes.

What is it?

I set a conscious intention at the beginning of each day to benefit everyone I come across.

Richard Davidson
Neuroscientist

Upon diagnosis, and recognising her life was more about “Doing” than “Being”, Jane came to the Foundation, trained as a meditation teacher with myself and Ruth and transformed her life.

Now Jane holds a certificate as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and works as a wellness coach and meditation instructor helping people to be happy and well while living with cancer; thriving with cancer.  The focus?  Just being, essentially being.

You can read more of Jane’s recovery and current work via her website or her informative blog.



But now, sit back and watch as Jane and I discuss my own recovery from cancer, the work this led me to do and how to give yourself the best chance after a cancer diagnosis. We also talk about the very recent scientific developments on the link between cancer progression and stress.
Here is THE LINK

All of what we discuss applies equally to preventing cancer (and recovering from other illnesses associated with inflammation). As we know, the incidence of cancer is on the rise and there are things you can do now to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

Please feel free to share this post widely, and to comment below about your experiences.

RELATED BLOG 
The stress of cancer stress research

NOTICEBOARD

MEDICINE of the MIND

Accelerated healing and peace of mind 
- an inspiring and practical day seminar 

Date : Sunday 17 April 2016       Starts 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue : Melbourne Rigpa Centre, 7/200 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Enquiries : Call 0402 586 360 or email melbourne@rigpa.org.au

BOOKINGS    Link HERE

RESOURCE 

INTERVIEW WITH IAN GAWLER AND JANE TRELEAVEN

This link is to the page on my website where other interviews and programs I have been featured in can be accessed - such as the Geraldine Doogue interview on the ABC TV Compass program

07 March 2016

The stress of cancer stress research

Even when you are a natural-born optimist, sometimes the predominant response to good news can be a feeling of regret.

Recent research coming out of my own hometown of Melbourne has claimed to be a medical breakthrough; one that the researchers are hoping will lead to new ways of treating cancer in a more holistic way.

My regret? Since day one of the Melbourne Cancer Support Group, that later grew into the Gawler Foundation, all of us involved encouraged our participants to take advantage of the approach that now, 35 years later, is being regarded as a breakthrough.

My regret? I really feel for all those people who were influenced by the medical hierarchy’s vehement opposition to this notion for so many years, and that collectively we failed to more skilfully bring about change earlier, meaning that many, many thousands of people did not get the full care they would have benefited from.

So this week we examine the research, the “breakthrough”, highlight some of the opposition, and do celebrate that at least for those affected by cancer in current time, there may be new hope; but first




      Thought for the day

The real voyage of discovery 
Consists not in seeking new landscapes 
But in having new eyes 

                    Marcel Proust





Transcript from The Couchman Report, ABC TV, 1988

Peter Couchman
If you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, would you put your life in the hands of orthodox medicine and all that involves or would you go to someone like Ian Gawler – who won’t use drugs, who’s not trained, who’s not registered, but who can produce a lot of people for you who claim to have been cured by him?

Dr Paul Niselle, Medical Protection Society
On the one hand a very uncomfortable treatment that has a predictable chance of success; on the other hand you are being offered treatment that is much, much more comfortable, with grandiose claims for efficacy that cannot be supported.

Dr Ray Lowenthal, Oncologist
He lists his type of treatment as being quite non-toxic as opposed to medical treatments which he lists as toxic whereas some of the treatments which he offers have considerable potential for doing harm.

Dr John Zalcberg, Oncologist, Repatriation Hospital
To meditate, to relieve stress, to alter the immune system, is not going, I mean the evidence does not support the fact that that will lead to control of breast cancer, lung cancer or colon cancer.

Ian Gawler
Something very specific happens. Perhaps we haven’t got the explanation right, because we haven’t studied it enough, and perhaps meditation is working through some other mechanism.


Chronic stress accelerates the spread of cancer 
by Julia Medow,  The Age, Melbourne newspaper, 2016

Australian researchers have revealed in a study that could dramatically change the way people with the disease are treated.

For years, patients have suspected that high levels of stress may cause cancer and or accelerate its growth, but neither hypothesis has been proven by rigorous research showing how this might occur.

A team of researchers from Monash University have now shown that chronic, persistent stress in mice sets off physiological changes that cause cancer cells to move faster and spread to other parts of the body.

The team, led by Dr Erica Sloan and Dr Caroline Le, discovered that adrenaline – a neurotransmitter triggered by stress to increase alertness and rapid reaction to threat – has a downside for animals and people with cancer: it increases the number and size of lymphatic vessels in and around tumours, while also increasing the rate of fluid flow through these vessels. Both of these combine to increase the capacity of lymphatic "highways" to carry and spread tumour cells throughout the body.

"We found that chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) – better known as the 'fight-or-flight' response – to profoundly impact lymphatic function and the spread of cancer cells," said Dr Le of the study published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

"These findings demonstrate an instrumental role for stress ... and suggest that blocking the effects of stress to prevent cancer spread through lymphatic routes may provide a way to improve outcomes for patients with cancer."

The study also reported that a cohort of patients on drugs often used to treat anxiety and high blood pressure (beta blockers that block the actions of adrenaline) were less likely to have secondary cancer that had spread from its primary site.

A clinical trial is now underway at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to see if such a drug alters the course of breast cancer in people with the disease.

Dr Sloan said the mice in the study were restrained in a way to make them feel like they would not cope with their circumstances. This was done to mimic the way people feel if they are under significant stress brought on by caring for a sick relative without enough resources, for example. She said it was not designed to mimic an acute and temporary episode of stress such as being chased by a dog.

"What we're talking about is prolonged, ongoing situations where you can't cope," she said.

The mice who were stressed had a much higher rate of their cancer spreading, compared to control mice with cancer who were not put in stressful situations.

Stressed mice experienced more metastasis (cancer spreading from its original site) compared to otherwise healthy (control) mice. Source Le et al., Nature Communications.

Dr Sloan emphasised that cancer patients should not feel responsible for their own stress because it can be very difficult to control, especially when diagnosed with a serious illness. However, she is hoping the research will lead to new ways of treating cancer in a more holistic way that reduces stress as much as possible along the way. This could be done with drugs like beta blockers, as well as complementary therapies such as meditation or yoga.

Channel Nine TV News, 2 March 2016
Jane Treleaven explains how she felt stress played a major part in the onset of her cancer, and how learning meditation has made such a difference to her life. Jane is a cancer survivor.

Watch this lovely short piece : CLICK HERE

“Regrets, I’ve had a few… but then again, to few to mention… “

Remember the old Frank Sinatra song. Well, when I reflect on my years working with people affected by cancer, I have two. This is one of them… That for many years I seemed to have invoked hostility from the cancer hierarchy in response to the suggestion that stress needed to be taken seriously in cancer medicine, both as a causative agent and as an influence that would impair the capacity to recover.

So I do deeply regret that both personally and with all the good people at the Foundation, collectively we were unable many years ago to instigate the research that has just been published. I suspect that if we had, many people would be the better for it.

Let us hope that this new “breakthrough” research does in fact lead to better cancer management in the mainstream and that many people benefit.

As an aside, I have written to Professor John Zalcberg who appeared on The Couchman Show to ask how his position may have changed. Prof Zalcberg was the Director, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for 17 years prior to taking up the position of Professor of Cancer Research in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University in 2014. I have asked him if he knows of any current research, or planned research, that will examine the role of meditation in managing stress, given meditation is known to be highly effective as an antidote to stress and may be worth exploring along with the beta blockers.

RELATED BLOGS
Mind-Body Medicine and cancer

A volatile mix – stress, alcohol and cancer

RESOURCES
You Can Conquer Cancer – where the role of stress in the onset of cancer is discussed, and the role of stress management for people diagnosed with cancer is presented, along with how to cut through the adverse affects of stress