30 June 2014

Truly remarkable healing – Sabina’s story including 12 key points for overcoming cancer

One of the things Ruth and I look forward to during the speaking tour up the East Coast that starts in Sydney on Thursday 3rd July in Sth Sydney, then Katoomba Saturday 5th,  Sydney again Sunday 6th, is catching up with family, friends and some remarkable colleagues.

Sabina Rabold trained with me and has led meditation and cancer groups in Sydney for many years. Recently her loved one was diagnosed with bowel cancer spread to the liver, thoroughly testing all the principles.

So this week Sabina provides a fascinating report on what they did and how things have turned out – an inspiring and informative read that includes her 12 key points for overcoming cancer – now honed by personal experience! Plus details of the tour (you can link here, or see the details below), but first

Thought for the Day

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift 
And the rational mind is a faithful servant. 
We have created a society that honors the servant 
And has forgotten the gift. 

We will not solve the problems of the world 
From the same level of thinking we were at 
When we created them. 

More than anything else, 
This new century demands new thinking.
We must change our materially based analyses of the world around us 
To include broader, more multidimensional perspectives. 
                                Albert Einstein 

I have a great deal of respect for Sabina Rabold. Sabina is a counselor and psychotherapist in private practice in Crows Nest, Sydney.  Sabina is authentic, deeply committed, and embodies what she teaches - mindfulness and meditation, as well as a 3 Day Living and Thriving Program for people with cancer and their support people.

So for her loved one to be diagnosed with a difficult cancer challenged all she does and all she believes in. How would all this stuff work when it involved the person she is closest to?

Sabina takes up the story as a guest blog:
Last August my loved one, aged 47, was diagnosed with Stage IV Colorectal Cancer with secondaries in the liver. For some years I had been running The Gawler Foundation’s 12 Week Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing Programs and other related programs and workshops in Sydney. I have worked with hundreds of people diagnosed with cancer and their support people.

I have learnt much from Ian and Ruth Gawler, the people at the Gawler Foundation, learned people in the field of cancer care and also from the many courageous people that I have come to know over the years. Those people who have faced up to cancer in an empowered way, working hard to become well and stay well. Now I needed this knowledge to support my loved one, helping him weather the storms of treatment, heal and stay well myself along the way.

With so much good information on board we were able to step straight into action. The full Gawler program started the very next day after the diagnosis - juicing, diet, extra meditation and more. We found an excellent holistic GP who did a number of tests to help us determine the regime of supplements needed. We bought a better juicer. We bought a sauna. My loved one started on IV Vitamin C. We bought mountains of organic veggies and other supernutritious food. I became the kitchen Goddess, spending hours juicing, sprouting, cooking every day.

The relief that came from knowing what to do was immense.

While I started to research this illness, its treatment and cure intensely, we also stepped on the medical merry-go-round: doctors, oncologist, radio-oncologist and surgeon. Each new meeting saw me give a little speech: ‘Dear Doctor, please assume that my loved one will be a survivor of cancer. While we realize that this is a life-threatening illness, we are doing everything we can to heal and recover. We are going all out for cure. Please support us in this’.

The response of each of the physicians was interesting: from doubtful, to silence, to enthusiastic encouragement (from the oncologist - we will always love him for this). 

Then came chemotherapy: six months of intense chemotherapy, IV for two days, every two weeks. Throughout this time we continued all out with the Gawler Healing Diet, six juices per day, as well as meditation, about 35 supplement tablets, IV Vitamin C, saunas, exercise and so on.

While my loved one lost a bit of hair, he gained a bit of weight. He worked part-time throughout the treatment, never threw up, never spent a full day in bed and continued to feel reasonable most of the time. Some unpleasant side-effects from the medical treatment came and mostly went again soon.

The first glimmer of hope came in October: the CT showed indication that the tumours were shrinking. This was confirmed by a PET scan in November that showed that the primary tumour as well as all five liver metastases had shrunk significantly. Hearing this was wind beneath our wings.

Despite the significant shrinkage of the tumours we agreed for my loved one to undergo five weeks of daily radiotherapy parallel to the chemo in January 2014. Despite being advised to cease holistic treatment during radiotherapy by the radiotherapy doctor we continued, after having done much research and in-depth discussions with our holistic GP.

Again, my loved one came through this ordeal with flying colours, worse for wear of course but nothing like what had been predicted. Then a Godsend break from treatment and a further PET scan that confirmed that there was no observable tumour activity in the colon or liver.
This was confirmed by the biopsy done on the remaining tumour tissue that was removed in an operation some weeks later - no live cancer cells detectable. Phew.

Now we are under no illusion; cancer is an unpredictable illness and these are early days. But we are trying to stay a step ahead. We are continuing indefinitely with all the things that we have found to be helpful; the holistic treatments, the check-ups, the diet and juicing. If need be we will draw in any medical treatment that seems helpful.   I am also researching preventative treatments that will see the cancer ‘nipped in the bud’ should it decide to come back. So the effort continues.

Twelve things that I have been confirmed in through my experience so far:
*    After a cancer diagnosis how we respond matters a great deal. The sooner we respond the better.
*    In order to heal from cancer, we need to consider all options that are available.
*    Knowledge is power, the better informed we are the more confident we are in making good choices.
*    A holistic path is essential, for healing and for wellbeing and conventional medicine is a powerful ally.
*    Listening to the needs of the body, the mind and the heart is confirming of self and healing.
*    The Gawler Program offers a solid foundation for this holistic path, other aspects can be added from other sources. A good holistic GP is important.
*    It takes an empowered and courageous person with cancer to participate fully in the healing journey and go all out for cure.
*    A good support team is worth their weight in gold. It takes a dedicated, knowledgeable, determined and resilient support person or team to last the distance.
*    The task of the support person is different but also enormously challenging and we often do not get the care and attention that the person with cancer gets.
*    It is important to ask for help and support and let people know what help is best at what time
*    It helps to hold 2 realities lightly: the reality that the future is uncertain and life is finite; and the reality that there is much that can be done to be well and healed each day.
*    To accept that this is a difficult journey and to be ok with ‘whatever gets you through the night’
There is of course so much more knowledge, experience, insight and understanding that this last year has added to my understanding of the Cancer Healing Journey. 
I have re-commenced offering my 3 Day Living and Thriving Programs for people with cancer and their support people in Sydney, and I will teach this program with renewed energy, increased depth of faith in the possibility of healing and greater knowledge in how to approach the healing journey.
Right after the journey with cancer started, Ian and Ruth advised me to prepare for a marathon, that this is the long haul….. and they are right. I am happy to say that so far, I have lasted the distance. And in this moment my loved one is cancer free.
If you know someone who needs some inspiration, some hope, some direction; perhaps this is a blog to share.
Next Living and Thriving Program starting in July 2014

The 3 Day 'Living & Thriving" Program is a unique educational program specifically designed for people with cancer (whether newly diagnosed or long-term survivor) and their support people. The program brings together the best of the various holistic methods and approaches available and introduces participants to various lifestyle medicine options that help to live well with and overcome the challenges of cancer. There are no prerequisites for this program and everyone is welcome. The approaches taught are additional and complementary to any other treatment choices.

  •Day 1: 26.7.2014
  •Day 2: 3.8.2014
  •Day 3: 17.8.2014

More information about the program can be found on www.WellforLife.net.au
or contact Sabina on 0419 980 923, or email: Sabina@WellforLife.net.au.



CD and Download : The Gawler Cancer Program


– from JULY onwards

Only a few days now and Ruth and I will in Sydney for the first of our series of speaking engagements up the East Coast.
Thursday July 3rd we are in Sth Sydneyfor an evening public talk.
Saturday July 5th it is Katoomba for a day workshop.

Sunday July 4th Sydney again – this time centrally at Camperdown for another day open to all.

Then we head for Pt Stephens on Saturday 12th, before continuing right on up to Cairns with a few talks along the way, across to Mt Isa and Alice Springs for Meditation in the Desert, then down to Adelaide. A road trip with a difference.

Know someone who might benefit from attending? 

Hope to see many of you along the way. There will be the chance for a refresher, to help get back on track if needed; but also exciting new information and the opportunity to meditate together and to deepen the experience of what meditation really is.

A good opportunity to share what we do with family, friends and colleagues.

FULL DETAILS CLICK HERE  and please do share the link.

2. Meditation in the Desert : August 29 – September 7

Still a few spaces available, so come, join Ruth and myself along with like-minded people for 7 days of meditation in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Central Australian desert, followed by several days of close contact with senior local indigenous leaders.

Secure your place with a deposit. For details CLICK HERE


23 June 2014

What happens when an oncology nurse attends a cancer self-help program? Kathryn's story

Over the years, many doctors and nurses have attended programs Ruth and I have presented. Recently we led our first Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing residential program in New Zealand and it was a real treat to have Kathryn Deacon attend – an oncology nurse with a deep passion for helping the people she cares for. Kathryn has a growing interest in the principles and techniques of Integrative Medicine, and she has kindly offered to share something of her experience as a guest blog.

Also, a reminder Ruth and I will be speaking twice in Sydney soon – July 3rd and 6th, and Katoomba on the 5th. More details below, but to book for these and the other East Coast tour events - CLICK HERE.

                        Thought for the day

                                      I am not young enough
                                     To know everything

                                                    Oscar Wilde 

Kathryn writes:
It always amazes me the way synchronicity plays out in our lives.  Or as the clichĂ© goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. It was synchronicity that led me, a Registered Nurse, to Oncology.  I never had any plans of getting into this specialty, let alone staying for these past 9 years. Then, last year a colleague handed me a book, “The Dragons Blessing”, Ian’s biography.

And so began the chain of events that took me to the Gawler Foundation’s conference in Melbourne last November. Then in May I joined the 8 day “Cancer, Healing and Wellbeing” retreat Ian and Ruth were presenting in Auckland; the first of these cancer programs they had led in New Zealand.

Although it was primarily for cancer patients and their support partners, Ian and Ruth allowed me to attend in the capacity as student and observer. To be immersed for 8 days in this new found passion of supporting the cancer patient from a place of wellness, was for me the most incredible learning experience.  Strip away the clinical environment, the uniform, the time demanding tasks, and I learnt as much from the other participants as I did from Ian’s teachings.

For some time I have dabbled with meditation, mindfulness and diet, while having a fairly regular Yoga practice, so on a personal level it was a way of kicking my own lifestyle up a notch. But I was there primarily to learn how holistic practices can empower the patient by fostering a lifestyle of wellness as they travel through their cancer journey of conventional medicine.

Ian and Ruth, with their two facilitators Liz Maluschnig and Stew Burt, provided the most nurturing of environment’s and guided us with humor, integrity, love and the utmost professionalism.

A daily diet of vegan and almost entirely organic food starts the natural detox of the body.  I loved Ian’s analogy of a sinking ship, jettisoning all the unnecessary cargo to lighten the load.  And it is the same with our bodies; when we fast a little or purify our diet, it begins to rid itself of toxins that are stored in our systems.

Now, you must understand that I am not a morning person so it came as a bit of a surprise to learn that a bell would be waking us up at 7.15am so that we could all get to our morning meditation session at 7.45am. However, the reward for getting up at this time was a warm lemon drink prepared each morning by Stew.

This was followed by a wonderful meditation session led by Ruth, Liz or Ian.  The huge fireplace was crackling and giving out its warmth while we all sat or lay and learned how to scan our bodies, notice our thoughts, let the thoughts go and return to our ‘silent’ space.

Breakfast was next, and there were always herbal teas available and Dandelion tea which for some, replaced coffee.  I have to admit that for me, Dandy tea can never replace my morning latte!

Another brief meditation before commencing our morning workshops with Ian.  The sun would shine
though the stain glass windows while the leaves would float down from the Oak tree outside the door. We would all be listening to Ian share his wealth of knowledge that spans many years of personal and professional experience.

After lunch we would have down time, a space for resting, journaling, chatting, or a bit of laundry.
Then, as optional extras, Ruth ran Yoga classes; Liz held Qi Gong and Stew led walks through the surrounding bush.

Another work shop took us into the early evening when after our vegan dinner, we would have topic related movies, a question and answer session or speakers. These amazing people, who came to share their stories, had a profound effect on my own learning from both a personal and professional perspective.

One of the presenters, Dr Robin Kelly, said “You can learn a lot by listening”.  Never a truer word was spoken, which was why I learnt so much from the other participants. Just having the opportunity to really listen to what they felt, their wants, needs, wishes, ideas and experiences, held so much learning for me.

When I first arrived at the retreat, I was feeling very self-conscious.  I am blessed with good health and I was not there in the roll of support partner. I was there as student.  However, my feelings were unfounded as the group embraced me and what I was there to do. On my last day, a participant gave me the most heartwarming hug and said “Thankyou for being here, it gives me hope that a nurse like you is wanting to learn about this and use it to support people like me”.  It was incredibly humbling.

I went to this Retreat with an open mind and an open heart and feel my life has changed for the better.  I feel my career path has also changed. I do not know how it will all play out but I am sure synchronicity will play a part as it has in the past.

Oh, and I am still meditating every day and continue to eat a vegan diet.  However, I do still enjoy my morning latte, but with soy milk!

Kathryn Deacon
June 2014

My hunch is that many who read Kathryn’s account and find themselves in hospital, will be hoping to be cared for by someone of her ilk. Integrated Medicine is nothing new. It is what good medicine always was; always will be – it takes account of the whole person – body, emotions, mind and spirit, and it works collaboratively with a full health team. Natural really!

Cancer survivors? Cancer thrivers!

BOOK You Can Conquer Cancer

CDs and Downloads : The Gawler Cancer Program

What to do when someone you love has cancer



Only a few days now and Ruth and I will in Sydney for the first of our series of speaking engagements up the East Coast.

Thursday July 3rd we are in Sth Sydney for an evening public talk.

Saturday July 5th it is Katoomba for a day workshop.

Sunday July 4th Sydney again – this time centrally at Camperdown for another day open to all.

Then we head for Pt Stephens on Saturday 12th, before continuing up to Cairns, across to Mt Isa and Alice Springs, then down to Adelaide. A road trip with a difference, giving talks along the way.

Hope to see many of you along the way. There will be the chance for a refresher, to help get back on track if needed; but also exciting new information and the opportunity to meditate together and to deepen the experience of what meditation really is.

A good opportunity to share what we do with family, friends and colleagues.

FULL DETAILS – CLICK HERE  and please do share the link.

2. Meditation in the Desert : August 29 – September 7 

Still a few spaces available, so come, join Ruth and myself along with like-minded people for 7 days of meditation in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Central Australian desert, followed by several days of close contact with senior local indigenous leaders.

Secure your place with a deposit. For details CLICK HERE

16 June 2014

Passion, health and details of the 2014 Tour with Ian and Ruth Gawler

Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald are passionate about the health and wellbeing of their community. Greg is a highly experienced naturopath and Dawn runs the practice. One of the expressions of their commitment is to organize regular seminars and they will host Ruth and myself for our first speaking event as we head up the East Coast in just a couple of weeks.

So please do support Greg and Dawn and all the other amazing people who have made the effort to invite us to speak in their areas. Full details follow, or you can link here.

Maybe you can attend one of the events yourself and meet up with us once again. Maybe it is time for a refresher? Need to get back on track? Yearning to deepen your experience of meditation? Learn more about good health, natural healing and how to be happy throughout the ups and downs of a busy modern life?

Maybe you can introduce family, friends or colleagues to what we are on about? How the mind plays such a central role in our health, healing and wellbeing and how we can use the mind and its potential to build a happier, healthier and more satisfying life.

Maybe you can forward details of the events to someone you know who would benefit from attending?

So this week, details of the 2014 Tour and how it came about, but first

                             Thought for the Day

                                          The mind has 2 aspects
                                          - the active mind 
                                          And the still mind.
                                         We need to learn to use both
                                         - unless we choose to be halfwits.

The 2014 Tour – how it came into being

While going to the big cities is always good, it is wonderful to go to country areas – especially the more remote ones. So when an invitation to speak in a place like Mt Isa comes in, the thought is, “great, but how to get there and how to make it work for the locals financially?” We do not want to have to charge a fortune just to cover the travel costs.

Truth is Ruth and I receive invitations from all around the place, and so this year we decided to put most of the events together, combine them with our love of travelling this extraordinary country we live in, and make a road trip out of it.

Hence the 2014 Tour  – driving and speaking all the way up to Cairns, then across to Mt Isa and on to the red centre. There we will lead the unique and truly wonderful retreat, Meditation in the Desert, and share more time with local Indigenous elders before heading down to Adelaide for the last of the presentations.

The theme for the tour is Health, Healing and the Mind
Sure, you will learn more about the latest research findings on mindfulness and meditation and it is true that advances in neurophysiology and Mind-Body Medicine are moving ahead at a cracking pace. Fascinating and very relevant. But the real trick is to apply this knowledge amidst the busyness, the distractions, the stresses and the delights of modern life.

So all of the presentations will be highly experiential, providing the opportunity to experience mindfulness and meditation more directly. Deeper, more satisfying experience. And there will be good time for questions and discussion.

                          Speaking recently at a beautiful old country hall near Warrnambool

Ruth and I love meeting up with those we know before and after these events and we love the opportunity to meet with new people and to have a glimpse into the lives of the local communities as we travel and speak. So if you are close enough to one of the events do come along, join in, support the organizers like Greg and Dawn, and please do share the details below with people you know who will appreciate joining us.

                                       IAN GAWLER 2014 TOUR DETAILS

South Sydney Evening Public Talk  -  Medicine of the Mind 
The Complete Game Plan for Inner Peace, Health and Happiness

Date: Thursday 3rd July, 2014  from  7 – 10 pm
Venue: Doltone House, 223 Belgrave Esplanade, Sylvania Waters
Enquiries: Phone Dawn on 02 9540 1962
Bookings: Online, go to www.healthforlife.com.au or phone Dawn on 02 9540 1962

Contact: Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald
Phone: W : 02 9540 1962

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

KATOOMBA Day Workshop  Health, Healing and the Mind

Date  : Saturday 5th July 2014  from 10am (Registration 9.30) - 4pm
Venue : The Carrington Hotel  -  Katoomba  (Ballroom)
Enquiries : events@cancerhelp.net.au or phone 02 4782 4866
Bookings : Send cheques (payable to Blue Mountains Cancer Help Inc.)
                     to - PO Box 18  Katoomba NSW 2780
                    or pay online via PayPal : www.cancerhelp.net.au    
                    Or call 02 4782 4866

Contact Person: Robyn Yates
Phone: W : 02 4782 4866

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Sydney Day Workshop   Health, Healing and the Mind

Date: Sunday 6 July 2014 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue: Webster Theatre, Sydney University, Camperdown Campus, NSW 2006
Enquiries: Tina Rae (02) 4294 8361  OR  Anne Alkin 02 9416 5109
Bookings: Register online at www.rigpa.com.au
                    By mail : send a cheque or credit card details addressed to: Ian Gawler Seminar, Rigpa, PO Box K56  Hay Market, NSW 1240
                   By telephone call Tina Rae (02) 4294 8361 OR  Anne Alkin 02 9416 5109

Contact Person: Tina Rae
Phone: W (02) 4294 8361

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Port Stephens Day Workshop    Health, Healing and the Mind

Date: Saturday 12th July 2014 10am (arrive from 9.00am) to 4pm
Venue: Tomaree Education Centre. Salamander Way. Salamander Bay.NSW 2317
Lunch: Pre purchase on line, provided by Momo Wholefood Café.
Morning and Afternoon tea will be available for purchase on the day.
To arrange special diet orders, phone Linda on 02 49 337 849  or Email:   lodue@internode.on.net
Enquiries: Elizabeth Scheimer, Salamander Bay Natural Health Services: 0428 821 236              
Bookings: Online – go to www.iangawlerwebstore.com/events
                  Via telephone with credit card (Visa, Mastercard) - call Angela on (03) 5966 6130.
                 Tickets may be purchased from Salamander Bay Natural Health Services, 271 Soldiers Point Rd,      Salamander Bay.

Contact Person: Liz Scheimer
Personal phone: W : 0428 821 236

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Coffs Harbour Evening Public Talk   Health, Healing and the Mind

Date: Tuesday 15th July, 2014.  Starts 6.30pm (arrive 6pm) to 9.30pm
Venue: Cavanbah Centre, 191 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour
Enquiries: McRae Health, Coffs Harbour - David or Samantha, 02 6699 2073
Bookings:  Online go to iangawlerwebstore.com/events
                    Or telephone David on 02 6699 2073

Contact Person: David McRae
Phone: 02 6699 2073, 0431 622 823

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Brisbane series of presentations at the Relaxation Centre

Thursday 17 July, 7.15 - 10pm – Meditation – The Power Within Stillness
Friday 18 July  10.00am - 1.15pm - Understanding Death - Helping The Dying
Saturday 19 July, 10am - 4.30pm – Using Our Minds – They were meant to be our servants
Sunday 20 July, 10am - 4.30pm Cancer  – Insights, Wellness, Healing

Venue: Relaxation Centre of Queensland, 15 South Pine Rd, Alderley (between Alderley Ave & Wakefield St)
Enquiries: (07) 3856 3733  or  Email: relaxcentreofqld@powerup.com.au
Bookings: (07) 3856 3733  or  Email: relaxcentreofqld@powerup.com.au

Contact Person:  Lionel Fifield
Phone:  W (07) 3856 3733

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Toowoomba Evening Talk   Health, Healing and the Mind

Date:  Tuesday 22nd July, 2014, 6.30pm (arrive 6pm) to 9.30pm
Venue: Toowoomba City Golf Club, The Eagle Room, 254 South St, Toowoomba
Enquiries: Judith McDougall  (07) 4632 0686 or 0433 811 424 or devine_jude@hotmail.com
Bookings: Online go to www.eventbrite.com.au/directory/Australia/Toowoomba Ian Gawler
Or call Judith on (07) 4632 0686 or 0433 811 424

Contact Person:  Judith McDougall
Phone: M  0433 811 424

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Toowoomba  - Clinical Forum – Medicine of the Mind - Hospital staff only

Date: 23rd July 2014 10am - 12pm
Venue: Gary Davies Service Centre, Open area Baillie Henderson Hospital
Enquiries: Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, Coordinator: Sheryl Campbell 07 4699 8768
Bookings: Please pay directly to the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation using the registration form by 16th July

Contact Person: Ratna Duray
Phone: M  0412 775 839

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Bundaberg   Evening Public Talk   Health, Healing and the Mind

Date:            Tuesday 29th July 2014:  6pm (arrive 5 30) to 9pm.
Venue:         Theatre, Wide Bay Institute of TAFE, Walker Street Campus, 118 Walker Street Bundaberg,      Faldt Street Entrance
Bookings:     Admission free, bookings not required. Donation to the Gawler Foundation appreciated
Enquiries:    Margaret on 4156 3281 or 0428280908, Robyn on 0414 269 319, or Sue on 0415 302 255

Contact Person:  Dr Margaret Van Hennekeler
Personal phone:  W & H 07 4156 3281

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Bundaberg Morning Talk  - What has Meditation to offer Dementia?

Date:   Wednesday, 30th July 2014:  10.00am – 12 noon.
Venue:  Police Citizens Youth Club, 37D Maryborough St, Bundaberg South QLD 4670
Enquiries:  The co-ordinator, Lyn Acquasanta
 on  07 4130 4120
Bookings:  Please register with Lyn Acquasanta
 on  07 4130 4120

Contact Person: Lyn Acquasanta

Phone: W  07 4130 4120

No flier is currently available for this event


Cairns Day Workshop    Health, Healing and the Mind

Venue:  Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Centre, 348 Severin Street, Cairns
Date:  Saturday 16 August, 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Enquiries: Call 07 4041  5556 or email info@yuloling.com
Bookings: Online, go to :  www.yuloling.com    or call Rinchen on 07 4041 5556

Contact Person: Rinchen Wangmo
Phone: M  0408 415 556

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Mt Isa - Evening Public Talk   Health, Healing and the Mind

Date  : Friday, August 22nd from 7pm (arrive 6.30) to 10pm
Venue : Mt Isa Civic Centre- The Studio,  23 West St, Mt Isa
Enquiries : Janine O’Sullivan : 0487 320 191 or janine@yogawithjanine.com.au
Bookings : Online, go to www.iangawlerwebstore.com/events
                     Tickets available for purchase at yogawithjanine, TLC building , 74 Camooweal Street, Mt Isa and some local stores or call Janine on 0487 320 191

Contact Person:  Janine O’Sullivan
Personal phone: W : 0487 320 191

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

Alice Springs  -  Meditation Retreat - Meditation in the Desert

Date  : Friday, August 29th from 4pm to Sunday September 7th around 4pm
Venue : Hamilton Downs via Alice Springs
Enquiries : Online at www.iangawler.com/events
                    Email – info@insighthealth.com.au
                    Or call Ruth Gawler on 03 5966 6130
Bookings  : Online at www.iangawlerwebstore.com/events or call Ruth Gawler on 03 5966 6130

Contact Person:  Dr Ruth Gawler
Phone: W : 03 5966 6130

To download the flier, CLICK HERE


Adelaide Evening Public Talk   The Mind that Changes Everything

Date:   16 September 2014, pm 7.30 pm (arrive 7pm) to 10 pm
Venue: Police Social Club, 27 Carrington St, Adelaide
Enquiries:  Moira Joyce 0432 764 151 or Susan Hillier 0419 034 578
Bookings:  Online, go to www.trybookings.com and search Ian Gawler
                  OR call Moira Joyce 0432 764 151 or Susan Hillier 0419 034 578

Contact Person: Moira Joyce
Phone: M   0432 764 151

To download the flier, CLICK HERE 

Adelaide Day Workshop     Health, Healing and the Mind

Date:   17 September 2014, 10am (arrive 9.30) to 4pm
Venue:  Unley Town Hall, 181 Unley Road, Unley SA
Enquiries:  Cancer Care Centre (08) 8272 2411
Bookings:  online: www.trybooking.com/EMEJ      by phone: (08) 8272 2411

Contact Person: Jane Horton
Phone: W  (08) 8272 2411

To download the flier, CLICK HERE

09 June 2014

Ian Gawler Blog. Cancer stem cells - what you need to know

Cancer stem cells have been controversial but they may provide an important key in understanding why cancer can recur years after apparently successful initial treatment and point to the need for new treatment approaches.

Obviously this is directly relevant to anyone with cancer, but for those who are well, are lurking cancer stem cells a concern?

So this week, what are cancer stem cells? Where do they come from? What can we do about them? Did you know for instance, that turmeric is one of few things claimed to be able to destroy breast cancer stem cells and as such it make sense for anyone with breast cancer, or concerned about breast cancer, to consume it regularly.

Cancer stem cells are one of the fascinating areas of new research I have been studying, updating and preparing to share with a wider audience during the rapidly approaching speaking tour up the East Coast starting in early July. So more details on that this week too, but first

Thought for the day

If your mind is empty, 
It is always ready for anything; 
It is open to everything. 

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, 
In the expert’s mind there are few.

Suzuki Roshi, Zen master

Given not so many people know about cancer stem cells, this may be a useful blog to share.

There is a mystery in cancer medicine that is not spoken of much, probably because up until recently, no-one really knew the answer. The question is, how is it that cancer can be treated, all sign of it removed, and then years later it recurs? And how can we stop that happening.

To understand we need to consider basic cancer theory. 
As most will know, cancer tends to begin in one location and then, if left unchecked, has a habit of spreading to other places. In the past, the classic way this spread was thought to happen was by cancer cells separating from the initial mass of cancer, and then by them gaining access either to the blood stream or lymphatics and travelling to other parts of the body to re-establish themselves there.

This is why “follow-up” chemotherapy is often recommended after initial surgery – to “mop up” any stray or so-called “rogue cells”. Clearly, however, cancer can lie dormant for years after a first occurrence before appearing again as secondary cancer. How?

What is a stem cell?
Stem cells are precursor or basic cell types. Generally, stem cells are able to develop into many different cell types in the body. When a stem cell multiplies, the resulting cells either continue on as stem cells or, under the right conditions, they can develop into a particular type of cell – muscle, blood, brain, breast etc.

There are two types of stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can make all the different types of cell in the body, while adult stem cells generally can only make the types of cells they directly relate to – so a muscle adult stem cell only leads to muscle cells.

What is a cancer stem cell?

Some cancers are thought to develop from ‘rogue’ faulty stem cells. Cancer stem cells were first
positively identified in 1998. Cancer stem cells share many characteristics with normal stem cells, including self-renewal and differentiation and while hotly debated for years, recent studies have shown that cancer stem cells do have the ability to regenerate new cancers.

For a good general reference paper: Lobo et al. The biology of cancer stem cells.  Annu Rev Dev Biol. 2007;23:675-99. CLICK HERE

Just last month, a team from University of Oxford and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, claims to have proven conclusively that cancer stem cells exist.

Why are cancer stem cells important?
If cancer stem cells are as significant as thought, cancer could be eliminated by eliminating cancer stem cells. Targeting cancer stem cells would also mean any cancer cells left over from initial treatments could not sustain themselves.

Dr. Woll, the lead author from the Oxford study says that while the findings are not sufficient to offer patients new treatments today, they do pave the way for developing more effective therapies that target specific stem cells to eliminate cancer.

He also cautions that their study only looked at cancer stem cells in one type of cancer, and that the "identity, number and function of stem cells in other cancers are likely to differ from that."

Reference: Woll P S, et al. Myelodysplastic Syndromes Are Propagated by Rare and Distinct Human Cancer Stem Cells In Vivo. Cancer Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.03.036, published online 15 May 2014.

What risks are involved?
Unfortunately, it seems most cancer stem cells are resistant to current cancer treatments. More disturbingly, there is growing evidence that the classic treatments of chemotherapy and radiation actually increase the activity and aggressiveness of breast cancer stem cells – “enrichment” as it is called.

It seems that while chemotherapy may reduce the size and volume of breast cancer, in doing so, it increases the cancer stem cell ratio, making whatever may be left even more malignant.

Reference: Lagadec et al. Radiation-induced reprogramming of breast cancer cells. Stem Cells. 2012 May; 30(5):833-44. doi: 10.1002/stem.1058.

What natural answers are available?
At last some good news! Several herbs and vegetables have been shown in basic research to target breast cancer stem cells specifically.

1. Tumeric and black pepper

Curcumin (in turmeric) and piperine (in black pepper) separately, and in combination, inhibit breast stem cell self-renewal but do not cause toxicity to differentiated cells.

Reference: Kakarala et al. Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2010 Aug;122(3):777-85. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0612-x. Epub 2009 Nov 7.

2. Cruciferous vegetables (cauli, cabbage broccoli), particularly broccoli sprouts
These vegetables contain high levels of sulforaphane that has been reported to inhibit pancreatic tumour-initiating cells and breast cancer stem cells. The reference here is a particularly good one for those who like the science!

Reference: Li Y et al. Implications of cancer stem cell theory for cancer chemoprevention by natural dietary compounds. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Sep;22(9):799-806. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.11.001. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

3. Soy – especially the fermented types
Contains genistein which as well as significantly targeting breast cancer cells by promoting apoptosis or cancer cell death, also has been shown to inhibit breast cancer stem cells.

Reference: Fan P et al. Genistein decreases the breast cancer stem-like cell population through Hedgehog pathway. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013 Dec 11;4(6):146. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Resveratrol

Found in the skin of red grapes, dark chocolate and blueberries, reseveratrol significantly suppresses breast cancer stem cells.

Reference: Pandey PR et al. Resveratrol suppresses growth of cancer stem-like cells by inhibiting fatty acid synthase. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Nov;130(2):387-98. doi: 10.1007/s10549-010-1300-6. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

For a thorough account of recent theory relating to breast cancer stem cells by Velasco-Velazquez et al, CLICK HERE

Many questions remain to be answered about cancer. 
More studies are needed to determine precisely how different cancers grow and how they resist treatment. Do all tumours contain cancer stem cells? What genes, proteins or other molecules are involved in their development and behaviour? Does a cancer’s immediate surroundings, or ‘microenvironment’; do epigenetics affect how cancer stem cells behave? How can we be free of cancer stem cells? Do natural therapies offer real hope?

The answers to these questions will shape future cancer treatment strategies.

1. Meditation in the Desert  : August 29 – September 7 
Come, join Ruth and myself along with like-minded people for 7 days of meditation in the extraordinary atmosphere of the Central Australian desert, followed by several days of close contact with senior local indigenous leaders.

Secure your place with a deposit. For details CLICK HERE

2. Cancer and Beyond – Last minute opportunity!

This is the 5 day follow up cancer residential program Ruth and I present at the Gawler Foundation’s Yarra Valley centre in just a couple of weeks. This program was fully booked 2 months ago, but some unfortunate last minute cancellations mean you may be able to attend.

Call the Foundation on +61 3 59671730 or see the details on my website, CLICK HERE.

                             Yoga with Ruth - one of the great opportunities of this program


 HEALTH, HEALING and the MINDfrom JULY onwards

Starting in early July Ruth and I will be travelling right up the East Coast to Cairns, across to Mt Isa and Alice Springs, then down to Adelaide. A road trip with a difference, giving talks along the way.

Hope to see many of you along the way. There will be the chance for a refresher, to help get back on
track if needed; but also exciting new information and the opportunity to meditate together and to deepen the experience of what meditation really is.

A good opportunity to share what we do with family, friends and colleagues.

FULL DETAILS – CLICK HERE  and please do share the link.

                                                                With Lionel Fifield at the Brisbane Relaxation Centre last year.