31 March 2014

Ian Gawler Blog: Cancer prevention – it’s all in the mind - and the booze and the shopping!

The World Cancer Report 2014 has just been released and it is another major document that highlights the best way to treat cancer – prevent it. The report, compiled by over 250 leading scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR) emphasizes prevention through adopting a healthy lifestyle, including cutting down on alcohol.

So this week, we look at this new evidence and consider 5 ways in which we can use our minds to keep healthy – and in doing so, prevent cancer – along with most other illnesses you would rather not have! Then more news of the cancer residential program Ruth and I will present soon, but first

Thought for the day

Health is not just a matter 
of thinking happy thoughts.
Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing 
can come from jump-starting the immune system 
with a burst of long-suppressed anger
          Candace Pert author of Molecules of Emotion

The World Cancer Report 2014 compiles the most up-to-date analysis of data on all aspects of cancer. Included is a focus on lifestyle behaviors that contribute to cancer, and you probably know the main ones - smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, being overweight or obese, and lack of exercise.

Yet what controls our lifestyle choices and the choices others make? Simple! It is our mind of course. But who or what controls our mind? Is it our own habits and beliefs? If so, how well do they serve us? Is it our family and friends with their own particular views? If so, how well do they serve us? What about the advertisers? Many of them seem hell bent on having us eat and drink large quantities of unhealthy rubbish.

In response to the report, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) called for action, highlighting a "need to deepen the global commitment to cancer prevention."

"Decades of research have shown that cutting tobacco use is the single most powerful way to prevent many deadly cancers, especially in developing countries where smoking is most widespread. Tackling obesity, a key modifiable risk factor for many cancers, is another top prevention priority," ASCO said in a statement.

“In the United States, 1 in 3 cancer deaths is related to obesity, poor nutrition, or physical inactivity, and the problem will only increase as more countries and regions adopt the diet and lifestyles of more economically developed economies."

"We can take action, in part by making healthier choices in our own lives and helping our patients and their families do the same. But we also need to hold national and global leaders accountable for curbing tobacco use and encouraging and ensuring access to cancer treatment and prevention resources for everyone in need," ASCO commented.

Alcohol is way more damaging than many yet realize
The IACR has labeled alcoholic beverages "carcinogenic to humans" and listed them as a group 1 carcinogen. (follow the link to see the full list). This classification was first made in 1988, and then confirmed in 2007 and 2010. The IACR estimates that in 2010, alcohol-attributable cancers were responsible for 337,400 deaths worldwide.

Why does alcohol cause cancer? One of its major constituents, ethanol is metabolized to acetaldehyde, and this has a genotoxic effect. There may also be other mechanisms involved, including increased oxidative stress, increased estrogen concentrations, and changes in folate metabolism and DNA repair.

The agency says “cancers caused by drinking alcoholic beverages include those of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, and female breast.

What to do? Five ways to use your mind and be well!

1. Be informed 
You probably already know the risk factors, although the news on alcohol may be somewhat new and a bit disconcerting. For guidelines, see the earlier blog that clarifies safe recommendations around alcohol – CLICK HERE

Be reminded that enjoying a healthy lifestyle is the answer to long lasting good health and is powerfully preventive.

2. Develop an enthusiasm for looking after your self
How extraordinary to be in a human body! Yet how fragile it is. Delight in your body’s complexity and capacities. Take a modest but firm pride in caring for it.

3. Be diligent
Yes, this is the thing. Consistency in what you do mostly. Eat well most of the time, avoid alcohol most of the week, play up occasionally if that takes your fancy, and enjoy being vibrantly healthy.

4. Train your mind
Meditate, use affirmations and imagery if you need to change old habits or establish new ones (refer to The Mind that Changes Everything).

Seek out the company of like-minded people; avoid situations or people that are likely to lead you astray. Maybe join me and Ruth for one of the series of workshops I am presenting this year on the theme Health, Healing and the Mind. First one is in Warrnambool on May 4th. This and the others are on the website. For details CLICK HERE

5. Final tip - meditative shopping

Eating begins with the shopping!
If it ain't in the cupboard,
you can't eat it!
If home is full of good food,
you have a good chance.
Remember to be on guard when shopping
and make good choices when doing so.

Ideally, treat shopping as a meditation in its own right – an active meditation that is done with a calm and clear mind and the welfare of your own good self and those you care for at heart. While this may take just a tad longer, it is worth planning for; and speaking personally, it turns shopping into something I really enjoy.

Book: You Can Conquer Cancer -  There is so much about prevention in this book. I would love it if more people who were well were to read it.

CD: Mind Training – How the mind works and how we can use it to best advantage – including developing healthy habits

Exercise - and how to do it

Alcohol, health and wellbeing

Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing 
This 8 day cancer recovery program residential program is evidence based and will be highly experiential. We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

Kawai Purapura - the beautiful location outside Auckland NZ where the program will be held

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE

24 March 2014

Size does matter! Dogs, telomeres, cancer and you

Ever wondered why dogs age so much faster than their owners? Interested in how it may be possible to help dogs with cancer through natural means – and what we may infer from this for us humans?

This week we go Out on a Limb and consider how telomere support may not only delay aging but may even be helpful against cancer. Also, an important reminder that the early bird discounted rate to attend Meditation in the Desert closes soon – March 31st, but first

               Thought for the Day

                      When another person makes you suffer
                      It is because he suffers deeply within himself
                      And his suffering is spilling over.
                      He does not need punishment,
                      He needs help. 

                            Thich Nhat Hanh

Remember how we often say one year of dog life is equivalent to 7 years of human life? Remember telomeres? They are the protective caps on the end of our DNA. I have written a couple of previous blogs on how aging in humans is directly related to the rate at which our telomeres shorten (see links below) so maybe it is not surprising to learn that research published recently showed that the aging of dogs, cats and horses is all directly associated with telomere shortening.

This research also found that in broad terms the telomere biology of canines and humans is similar, but that dogs lose telomere DNA about 10 times faster than humans. Also, the lifespan of each particular dog breed correlates positively with the average telomere length of that particular breed.

This is linked to another fact you probably are aware of and that is certain breeds of dogs are much more likely to die at a younger age and also to get more cancers than other breeds.

Boxers are a good example of this – they die young and are very prone to cancer – and as a breed they have relatively short telomeres!

REFERENCE: Fick L J et al. Telomere Length Correlates with Life Span of Dog Breeds. Cell Reports 2, 1530–1536, December 27, 2012

The original paper includes a  ‘List of Average Telomere Lengths and Life Spans for 15 Major Breeds Examined’.  To read it CLICK HERE      

Coming from a veterinary background myself, I have been very interested to hear from people giving their animals Product B. Product B is the synergistic combination of herbs that is the only Australian product currently registered as providing telomere support by the TGA.

I have a friend whose Golden Retriever was diagnosed about 2 years ago with an extensive and very difficult cancer. I had referred this friend to a top Veterinary surgeon who was able to operate where others had said they could not, but even so the operation was only partially successful and the prognosis was given that the dog was very unlikely to live beyond Christmas of 2012.

I remember visiting in October 2013. The dog was running around like a spring puppy, full of beans and showing no signs of the cancer. Sadly she did deteriorate rapidly just before this last Christmas and died having lived both very well and way beyond reasonable expectations.

Was the dog just lucky? Was it the Product B she was given twice daily?

Through my old veterinary friend Trevor Chatham who many will know is passionate about Product B, I have become aware of numerous other dogs that have been given Product B. It seems that in nearly every case the dogs have responded very well to the product and have started aging youthfully!

According to Trevor, conditions in dogs and cats that may be helped by giving them a Telomere Support product such as Product B include:
1.   Slowing down and decreased mobility due to old age

2.   Hormonal issues related to old age

3.   Some cancers

Trevor has collected some amazing stories that support his conclusions and you will find them inspiring. I would love to hear from anyone else who has an animal and Product B story.

1. Vicky’s dog had a Grade 2 Mast Cell Tumour :  Click here.

2. Margo’s 18 year old dog :  Click here.

3. Garth’s 10 year old dog :  Click here.

The significance of telomeres and their length is becoming more and more evident. The faster your telomeres shorten, the more rapidly you show the signs of ageing and the more likely you are to get any of the chronic degenerative diseases. For anyone who does happens to get cancer, the evidence is clear. The more you can protect or lengthen your telomeres, the more likely you are to survive.

Speaking more generally again, the evidence also suggests that the more you can protect your telomeres and maintain their length, the more good health is likely to last into a long and vibrant old age.

We know that a healthy lifestyle and meditation can protect telomeres and both have been associated with actually lengthening them. Both make sense on telomere grounds!

Product B is the only product to have been registered to date with the TGA (Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration) as a formulation that provides telomere support as well as for its other potential benefits. I have been recommending it to others for around 18 months now and have had nothing but good feedback,

Speaking personally, I have been taking Product B myself for over 18months and notice real benefits. I am convinced my memory has improved, my energy levels are higher (they were already pretty good) and from all the science, it is highly likely the telomeres are longer! It is the only supplement I take these days unless travelling when I usually take some extra multivitamin/minerals and Vit C.

Also, if cancer came again, Product B would be the one herbal combination I would take. This is based on the research collated on the HerbalTS website I put together where Product B can be ordered: CLICK HERE www.herbalts.net

Wishing you and your animals long and healthy lives!

Is this the elixir of youth?

DNA and the dangly bits

Meditation in the DesertEarly bird discounted rates close March 31st, 2014

Dates: Friday August  29th; meeting at 4pm, to Sunday September 7th around 4pm, 2014.

For thousands of years, deserts have been places of inspiration and renewal for those on the spiritual journey. Join like-minded people and share a unique experience in the Central Australian Desert. Immerse yourself in meditation, join in noble conversation amidst noble company, and take the opportunity to reconnect with the essence of who you really are.

After a week of meditation in the desert north west of Alice Springs comes an extraordinary invitation to enter into the spirit of this land sharing several days with its senior indigenous custodians. The experience of a lifetime.

Hamilton Downs, an historic homestead 1 ½ hours drive from Alice Springs that looks out over the Western MacDonnell Ranges (photo above). This is a remote location and as such basic good health is a pre-requisite to attend.

Departure and return point: The Chifley Hotel, Stott Terrace, Alice Springs. Special rates are available at the Chifley.

Includes accommodation* and dinner at the Chifley for August 29th along with breakfast August 30th. Also included is bus transport from Alice Springs to Hamilton Downs and back, the retreat, basic bunk style accommodation or choice of using a swag to sleep under the stars (swag complementary), high quality vegetarian meals and the Indigenous cultural exchange content.

More details CLICK HERE

Enquiries and Bookings
Email info@insighthealth.com.au or call +61 (3) 59666130

This retreat is very popular and regularly fills, so we recommend early booking secured with your deposit. Remember, the early bird discounted rate closes March 31st.

Add on Tour
Many people take the opportunity to visit other places of significance when they come to the Central Desert. We have negotiated a specific post retreat tour that you may like to consider and participate in with your fellow retreatants. This tour will need to be booked directly with the organizers Wayoutback Safaris LINK HERE

17 March 2014

Eating meat or smoking? Which is worse for your health?

“Animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking”.

This was the startling headline in The Guardian newspaper recently following the release of a new study that ran over 18 years and reported that people under 65 who eat a lot of meat, eggs and dairy are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes. Those younger than 65 who ate the most animal protein had a 74% increase in their risk of dying from any cause.

Given I have been recommending just such a diet for over 30 years, this week let’s go Out on a Limb once more, look at the evidence more fully, the way this study has been reported including mainstream reactions, and how we and our families can eat to save a great deal of future problems.

Then news of how you can receive a 20% discount for this year's Happiness and its Causes conference that I highly recommend, but first

Thought for the day

Nothing will benefit human health
And increase chances for survival of life on Earth
As much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet

Albert Einstein

Why did I use a low protein, plant-based, wholefood diet to help me to recover from my own difficult cancer, and why did I begin to recommend such a diet way back in 1981 when I first began helping others to either recovery from cancer or to prevent it?

Well, the truth is that it was a combination of first principles and personal experience. As a veterinarian I had been well trained in nutrition, but perhaps even more importantly, also trained in comparative anatomy.

The fact is that we humans are omnivores and as such, our digestive tracts are best designed for a relatively low protein diet. (See the previous blog Would you eat like a dog? for details - link below). Fortunately I also knew that unlike in the dog, the metabolic waste products from a high meat diet place a heavy burden on our human bodies.

However, even more than the science, what was most convincing for me personally was that when first diagnosed with secondary cancer, I ate a very pure diet for some time and meditated a lot (several hours per day). This made me very aware and very sensitive to what I ate. I soon found that if I did eat high protein I felt heavy, even toxic; low protein, I felt much lighter and had more energy. It was clear what suited me best.

Once I began working with others, I told them of my personal theories and experiences and suggested they might like to try them. Many found the same thing – low to medium protein intake, avoid meat, eggs, dairy and they felt better. Many seemed to “co-incidentally” do much better than their doctors predicted.

Of course, the full details of the overall diet I recommend for prevention, management or recovery have been in You Can Conquer Cancer since 1984 and these recommendations were expanded and given more detail in the recent new edition.

What has been gratifying, and I guess somewhat re-assuring, is that over the last few years more and more high quality research is confirming these recommendations (see the recent blogs Let food be your medicine Parts 1 and 2 - links below)and I do plan another research based blog soon – the evidence is compelling).

So let’s restate this latest study’s findings “high levels of dietary animal protein in people under 65 years of age was linked to a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes, and almost double the risk of dying from any cause over an 18-year period.

So what is the commentary?
“Nutrition experts have cautioned that it's too early to draw firm conclusions from the research”.

“Gunter Kuhnle, a food nutrition scientist at Reading University, said it was wrong "and potentially even dangerous" to compare the effects of smoking with the effect of meat and cheese as the study does.

“Heather Ohly at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Exeter said: "Smoking has been proven to be entirely bad for us, whereas meat and cheese can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, contributing to recommended intakes of many important nutrients."

Ho hum. I guess the paper has to give voice to caution and the prevailing way of thinking. I guess.... This is certainly the way of journalism these days.

Yet if we dig further into this research, we find that the harmful effects from the high protein diet were almost negated if that protein was derived from plant sources, such as beans and legumes; except in cancer where the risk was still three times as high in middle-aged people who ate a protein-rich diet, compared with those on a low-protein diet.

And there are more important suggestions from this research. It suggests that once you are over 65, things may well change. Over 65 and your protein needs tend to go up, so once over 65, increasing your protein levels seem to be protective against cancer, diabetes and other diseases. According to this study, doing so cuts the risk of death from any cause by 28%, and reduces cancer deaths by 60%.

So how did this study define a low protein diet? 
No more than 0.8g of protein a day for every kilogram of body weight, which means 48g for a 60kg person, and 64g for an 80kg person. These are very close to the amounts that result from following my Wellness Diet or the more specific cancer recovery diet.

According to The Guardian “most people in Britain eat more protein than they need. The British Dietetic Association recommends a daily intake of 55g and 45g of protein for the average man and woman respectively. But according to the British Nutrition Foundation the average protein intake per day is 88g and 64g for men and women.”

When I had cancer, the recommendation was around 120gm per day! The mainstream scientist's understanding of protein has changed over the years.

Full reference: Levine ME, Suarez JA, Brandhorst S, et al. Low protein intake is associated with a major reduction in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in the 65 and younger but not older population. Cell Metab. 2014; 19:407-417. DIRECT LINK HERE

What to do? A summary:
1. IN GENERAL TERMS, the way I recommend to eat is best described as a plant-based, wholefood, organic diet.

2. READ  and LEARN: In the new edition of You Can Conquer Cancer you will find both the Wellness Diet (for those who are basically well, interested in prevention and living a long, happy and healthy life) and the more specific Healing Diet are set out in detail.

3. LISTEN to the 2 food CDs (or download the MP3s) Eating well, Being well and Eating for Recovery

4. ENJOY the recipes in the Gawler Foundation’s book Eat Well, Be Well

5. SEEK personal help if needed - see the resources below

6. DELIGHT in the fact, and the tastes of eating well

To locate a doctor trained in nutritional medicine, refer to
i) The Australian College of Nutritional Medicine (ACNEM)

ii) The Australasian Integrative Medical Association (AIMA)

Would you eat like a dog?

Let food be your medicine - Part 1

Let food be your medicine - Part 2

1. Meditation in the Forest
There are just a couple of places available for our Pre-Easter meditation retreat in the Yarra Valley. This annual event is a highlight for Ruth and myself; this year as well as relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, we will be delving into that most useful of personal tools, contemplation.

For details CLICK HERE
For bookings, call the Gawler Foundation +61 3 59671730

2. Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing 
This 8 day cancer recovery program residential program is evidence based and will be highly experiential. We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE 

3. Happiness & Its Causes - 29 & 30 May 2014 - Seymour Centre, Sydney

Have an inspiring and productive 2014! Revitalise, refresh, learn, explore, network and be motivated at the world's leading happiness event – celebrating its 9th year - Happiness & Its Causes 2014 - with 30+ world-renowned international and local speakers – leaders in psychology, science, education, business, the arts and more.

As I have endorsed this conference, I have been able to secure a 20% discount for all my readers!

Book before 28 March and save $300 off the full 2 day conference fee and $500 off the full 4 day gold pass fee (including workshops)

Book online using promotion code RMEE or call (02) 8719 5118 to register.

Go to www.happinessanditscauses.com.au

• Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, USA, one of the greatest psychologists of our time, pioneering researcher into optimal experience or ‘flow’ on a rare visit to Australia!
• Matthieu Ricard, Nepal, inspiring humanitarian monk and best-selling author Happiness: 
A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill.
• Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, UK, legendary primatologist, environmentalist and UN Messenger of Peace.
• Professor Jean Twenge, USA, psychologist and leading researcher into narcissism and youth mental health.
• Professor Roy Baumeister, USA, respected social psychologist exploring self-control, 
self-regulation, meaning and happiness.
• Professor Felicia A. Huppert, UK, international expert in wellbeing and author of The Science of Wellbeing ... AND 25+ AMAZING LOCAL MINDS TOO!

10 March 2014

Ian Gawler Blog: Enough with gratitude

Gratitude may well be one of the most positive forces for good in our lives. New research is even showing it has potentially major benefits. Yet let’s be practical, how much gratitude is enough? How to develop gratitude as a regular state of mind? How to be grateful when life is not so easy?

This week I am on retreat once more and so I have called for a guest blog. Roxy Lebsanft was motivated by her personal and clinical experience that many women these days are feeling over whelmed, exhausted and isolated as they struggle to cope effectively with stress, relationships, work and family.

Roxy responded by helping to set up Bare Hands with the aim of assisting women to build sustainable relationships through practical education, see her website below.

Here is what she has to offer us, but first

Thought for the day

The mind is its own place,
And in itself can make a heaven of hell,
A hell of heaven

                John Milton, Paradise Lost

Gratitude - it is more than an attitude.

Ian suggested I write on something dear to my heart and as our passion with the Bare Hands Project is to build sustainable relationships through practical strategies, I thought I would discuss one strategy that I believe is fundamental to finding balance, wellbeing and contentment - gratitude.

This week, one of our lovely workshop participants, Katrina, heard a quote that struck a deep chord with her and she shared it with our group. It made all of us stop, take a breath and become present.

Gratitude is what makes what you have, enough! (Source unknown)

In our current culture, gratitude comes naturally when things are going in a seemingly positive direction - success, recognition, reward, ease, abundance, health, happiness, joy, excitement, etc.

When relationships are ‘up’ – it is relatively easy to feel confident, connected, accepted, loved and loving. This is the perfect time to practice gratitude as a strategy, so that when the going gets tough, you have built a habit of mind that can rapidly get you ‘unstuck’ from feeling overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. This is the preventative side of this phenomenal tool.

Strengthening the ‘gratitude strategy muscle’ requires amplifying the positives. Too often we forget to express gratitude and appreciation when life is busy and full of distractions. However, these are the times when you have golden opportunities to be present, to appreciate, connect and build resilience in your relationships, the glue that will hold things together during ‘stormy seasons’.

Develop a habit of noticing and sharing, (internally about yourself and externally to others) things that are working and going right. Express your appreciation. In can be the simple, small things - a smile, someone offering to do a chore first, silence, whatever tickles your fancy. Let people know that you notice.

But what if things seem bleak? Some days may not be a bed of roses and for as many ups as there may be, there will be an equal number of challenges. Such is the natural balance and order of life.

It can be really difficult to be grateful when you are unwell, unhappy, stressed and doing it tough. The mind can get stuck in a rut of looking at how bad things are and focusing on everything that seems to be going wrong.

Michael Yapko, PhD, who specialises in treating depression, suggests that simply going through a gratitude list of three things, once a day for a week (either on waking or before going to bed), can dramatically improve depression, (even if it is severe) and even more remarkably, if the exercise is discontinued after only a week. (Depression is Contagious, 2009) The results last for months and there are no side effects! This is the curative side of gratitude.

How does it work? It is our natural instinct to resist challenge, discomfort and displeasure and yet, “What we resist, persists”. For any situation there are equal positives and negatives. All we have to do is lean into what is happening, get really curious rather than defensive or resistant.

The mind is a master at finding balance if we allow it to observe wholeheartedly. If you can trust that in the most dire of circumstances, the most challenging situations, there are an equal number of opportunities and positives to be found, engage your curiosity to find them, very quickly, meaning and purpose will appear along with a solution.

In this space, exactly what you have, where you are and what is happening, is enough. From here, you are empowered to either accept things as they are and find true contentment or you have the freedom to change and make different choices.

Thank you for listening and warm wishes,

Roxy Lebsanft  GDipCouns, BHSc. Co-founder Bare Hands www.barehands.com.au

Reference: Yapko, M. (2009), Depression is Contagious, Free Press, USA.

Curiosity, humour and exercise

CD (or MP3 download)  Emotional Health – where I speak on a 2 CD set about how to develop manage and transform destructive emotional states, and how to maintain healthy emotions, healthy relationships.http://www.iangawlerwebstore.com/cds-dvd

Meditation in the Forest - Yarra Junction - April 11 - 17, 2014
There are only a couple of places left on this pre-Easter retreat so call soon if you wish to attend - The Gawler foundation 03- 59671730 or click on the link above.

Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing - Auckland - May 16th - 23rd , 2014

Ruth and I are very pleased to have been invited to New Zealand (Aussies welcome!) to present an 8

day cancer recovery program residential program in May. This program, while being evidence based, will be highly experiential.

We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE

Understanding Death, Care for the Dying
A residential retreat building resources for Spiritual and Emotional support

I had the good fortune to meet Christine Longacre (CV: Click here) many years ago and know her well enough to highly recommend a rare opportunity to attend a seminar with her in Australia that focuses on caring for the dying – as individual carers or health professionals.

Maybe it seems a little strange to include details of a seminar on Understanding Death, Care for the Dying along with a post on gratitude, but awareness of death serves to heighten our gratitude for how precious life is, and how fragile it can be.

The basic premise of this training is that when others are suffering, what helps them the most, more than anything we say or do, is how we are. Thus the training introduces contemplative methods and practical skills that enable participants to develop qualities of compassionate caregiving: presence, authenticity, and confidence.

Methods of mindful listening and communication are practiced throughout, so integration of these skills into work and daily life becomes possible.

Dates: Friday 20th June 2014  at 9am to Tuesday 24th June at 5 pm
Group leaders: Christine Longaker, supported by Alexandra Yuille and Wendy Wright
Where: Foothills Conference Centre, Mooroolbark, Melbourne, Australia
Fee: Includes accommodation and all meals
Early bird: $1300 twin-share or $1500 single
From 1 April: $1450 twin-share or $1650 single

Certifcate of Completion, Continuing Professional Development by request.
Bookings: Click here https://registration.rigpa.org.au/index.php?option=com_users&view=login
Note: Registration is managed by Rigpa - you will be prompted to create a login before you can sign up to the course
Enquiries: SCP Australia via australia@spcare.org

03 March 2014

Ian Gawler on ABC TV; Compass - A Good Life

This week, unadulterated good news. ABC television with their presenter Geraldine Doogue and the Compass team made a series investigating the question “what makes for a good life?” They featured my story and reflections in one of three half hour programs.

In compiling this documentary, they managed to cover my history, work and beliefs. They have now granted permission (for a modest fee which we paid - it is free for you) making the program available for public viewing via my website.

This is probably the best representation of what I do, how I came to be doing it and the context in which it all sits. Some of you may have seen it when it first came out in 2009. If not, or if you care to re-view it or share it with someone interested in this work, please follow the link below.

Also this week more news of the 8 day cancer residential program Ruth and I have been invited to present in Auckland New Zealand - Aussies welcome!,  but first

Thought for the day

Conscience is the inner voice 
Which warns us that someone might be looking. 

The thing that feels bad 
When everything else feels good.
                          Unknown author

The Compass TV program, Ian Gawler – a Good Life was one of a three part series examining the question of what makes for a good life through the life stories of 3 Australians, yours truly included.

Compass obtained and reproduced some cool old archival footage including me in my veterinary days, some of the early cancer groups from 1983, the famous (or is that infamous) Couchman Show of 1989 where I was challenged by medical adversaries to present my 50 best cases for review (which I did but the review collapsed on the pretext that no funding was available, so I published those people’s stories in the book Inspiring People. It does seem remarkable that so many years down the track there is still the need to defend Lifestyle Medicine and the ability of people with cancer to learn how to help themselves).

Anyway, there are also scenes of my visit to shamanistic healers in the Philippines (where you get to see my body at its all time low weighing in at around 45Kgs) and to the Hindu mystic Sai Baba in India.

There is rare footage of Dr Ainslie Meares as he demonstrates and explains his meditation methods. Then the focus moves to more modern times with film from the Gawler Foundation’s Yarra Valley residential Living Centre including people at a cancer group there.

Woven through all this I am prompted by Geraldine Doogue’s skillful questioning to discuss the paradigm I work with and how the cancer programs particularly have developed over the years.

Being the Compass program, there is also a welcome investigation of spiritual values and meaning, and yes I do offer my thoughts very directly on what constitutes a good life.

So maybe this is something to view for those who really are interested in what I stand for, for those who may be in need of some inspiration, or those who just need a better idea of the range of options available to them.

Please do consider sharing this post and the link (it is very easy to view via the link on the homepage of my website: www.iangawler.com) and enjoy some good news!

DIRECT LINK to the Compass TV program, Ian Gawler – a Good Life 

Cancer survivors? Cancer thrivers

Cancer, transformation and meaning - Ilana’s story

The Dragon’s Blessing – Guy Allenby : my biography – if you want the full story :)

CANCER, HEALING and WELLBEING :  16th  - 23rd  May 2014

Eight day residential program with Ruth and myself in Auckland - Aussies welcome!

Ruth and I are pleased to have been invited to new Zealand to present this 8 day cancer recovery program. The program is evidence based and will be highly experiential. We will cover the full range of Integrative Medicine options, with the emphasis on what people can do for themselves – therapeutic nutrition, exercise and meditation, emotional health, positive psychology, pain management, the search for meaning and so on.

I will personally present the majority of the content but along with Ruth, participants will have the additional support and experience of Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt; two very experienced and committed New Zealanders.

For details on this and the other cancer related residential programs for 2014 CLICK HERE