18 August 2014

The Connection

Since this blog was first posted, The Connection has been released to the public and can now be purchased online - CLICK HERE.

A compelling new full-length documentary film on Mind-Body Medicine - and your chance to attend 2 fundraising world premieres that will benefit the Gawler Foundation. 

This is a very important film; particularly well made and probably the most important in the field of Mind-Body Medicine for many years. I highly recommend it to you.

So this week a review of The Connection, details of how you can attend the premieres and see a preview, then news of our next retreat, but first

    Thought for the day

At times you have to leave the city of your comfort 
And go into the wilderness of your intuition. 
What you will discover will be wonderful. 
What you will discover is yourself.

             Alan Alda

Personal crisis is often the catalyst for major personal change. Sometimes it even leads on to great things.

After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and frustrated by her interminably slow response to conventional treatment, almost out of desperation, journalist and filmmaker Shannon Harvey travelled the world in search of the missing link in healthcare.

Fuelled by her own need and recognizing the essence of a whole new way of understanding, Shannon gained interviews with a stellar array of world leading scientists and tracked down people who had remarkable stories of recovery from severe back pain, heart disease, infertility, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The Connection is the result. A feature length documentary with incredibly high production values, The Connection tells the story of the development of Mind-Body Medicine through the words of many of its pioneers. It then delves deeply into the link between our mind and body – explanations and clarity coming from experts and recovered patients alike.

                Dr Herbert Bedson, therapeutic meditation pioneer                     and author of The Relaxation Response

The film includes interviews and remarkable footage that documents the work and shares the insights of an internationally recognised line up of clinicians, scientists and researchers including Drs. Herbert Benson, Dean Ornish, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Andrew Weil.

The Connection also features compelling true stories, with Professor George Jelinek, the Professor of Emergency Medicine who has recovered from multiple sclerosis and leads the MS programs at the Foundation, Melbourne based Scott Stephens who recovered from recurrent melanoma and speaks so eloquently about the Foundation’s program, and my own recovery from aggressive bone cancer.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, pioneer of mindfulness in the Western world

Dr Craig Hassed of Monash University who many will know from his feature sessions at cancer programs, retreats and conferences with the Foundation, speaks particularly well and provides a major link throughout the film.

The Connection proves that through the way we use our mind we have more influence on our health outcomes than we ever thought possible – and it clarifies how to do it.

The film will be available to pre-order in September but before that the director Shannon Harvey will do a World Premiere Tour of the film starting in Melbourne and Sydney before traveling to the US and UK.

Also to acknowledge one of the Foundation’s Past Presidents, Robert Kirby and Village Roadshow for very generously making the theatres available, and to thank the Connection team for also designating the Foundation to be the recipient of these 2 premieres.

During both premieres, old friends and key people from the film will lead question and answer sessions. Unfortunately, Ruth and I will be on the road still so will miss both events, but if you do live within reasonable distance of Sydney or Melbourne, it will be a grand occasion.

Melbourne Premiere - Monday 1st September, 7.45pm at the Rivoli Cinemas, Hawthorn East. Q&A Speaker Panel: Shannon Harvey (filmmaker), Dr Craig Hassed, Professor George Jelinek and Scott Stephens.

Sydney Premiere - Friday 5th September, 8.15pm at the Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne. Q&A Speaker Panel: Shannon Harvey (filmmaker), Professor George Jelinek, Associate Professor Damien Finniss, Dr Craig Duncan and Scott Stephens.

Since this blog was first posted, The Connection has been released to the public and can now be purchased online - CLICK HERE.




Five days of meditation and gentle introspection   :     October 13 - 17
- all amidst the beauty and tranquility of the Yarra Valley

Details   :   CLICK HERE

Bookings   :   Contact the Gawler Foundation  03 5967 1730


Next public event is an evening public lecture in Mt Isa, Tuesday 19th August. This promises to be one of the delights of our road trip as if we were not travelling by car it would have been very difficult to get to Mt Isa in a way that would have worked financially for the people there. And it gives us the excuse to travel up to Karumba, Normanton and Burketown - all on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria!

Then Meditation in the Desert at the end of the month, with the last events of Le Tour being in Adelaide: Tuesday public lecture 16th September and day workshop Wednesday 17th September. 

11 August 2014

Radical Remission – The 9 key factors that long-term cancer survivors have in common

Obviously, no one wants cancer. But if you, or someone you love did happen to get it, how important would it be to know what is most likely to help you to beat the odds?

This week, 2 crucial books that tell you how – one new, Radical Remission - and we hear directly from its US author, Dr Kelly Turner in a guest blog; the other older, Surviving Cancer, but now easily available again. Both must read books for anyone affected by cancer.

Also, news of the new edition of You Can Conquer Cancer going to all the super powers, but first, the longest ever, but very worthwhile

Thought for the day

How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. 
An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step-by-step, and needs no imagination. 
That is all wrong. 
The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers. 
                               Isaac Asimov

Long term survivors everywhere!
Travelling the country as Ruth and I have been doing these last few weeks, it is both heartening and inspiring to meet so many long-term cancer survivors.

Some recognise us on the street and stop us to say hello and share their stories. Many have come to the various talks we have given.

So many of them. Each one with a story that warrants a book in its own right. Hardly any that have been recorded in medical journals. None that I know of that have been studied for what their story may reveal that could save the lives of others.

All praise then to Dr Kelly Turner from the USA who has researched these stories in depth and written what I consider to be the most important new book in the cancer arena for some time.

Then there is Paul Kraus – one of Australia’s longest known survivors of mesothelioma and another author. Paul interviewed 28 long-term cancer survivors from the Gawler Foundation and tells their stories in the exceptional Surviving Cancer. This book has been hard to get for some time, so it has been added to my webstore, along with Radical Remission.

I have had the good fortune to correspond with Kelly Turner now for some time, and she kindly agreed to write about Radical Remission. Here is Kelly:

Whether you are dealing with cancer directly or have lost loved ones, cancer is a disease that touches everyone – which is why I was shocked ten years ago when I discovered that no one was really studying people who healed themselves from cancer.

Radical Remission – also called ‘spontaneous remission’ by doctors – is any cancer remission that is statistically unexpected.

This includes:

1)    People who heal from cancer without using any Western medicine at all.

2)    People with cancer who first try Western medicine, but it does not work, so they are forced to switch to other methods, which do work.

3)    People who use Western along with complementary and/or alternative medicine at the same time in order to overcome a very serious prognosis.

After researching more than 1,000 cases of these cases over the past decade, I have learned that radical remission survivors such as Ian have 9 key healing factors in common.

These 9 healing factors, which include physical, emotional, and spiritual elements, are described in my book, 'Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds.'

Seven of the nine most common healing factors that emerged from my research were mental/emotional in nature -- which tells me that the mind is so much more powerful than we think.  The radical remission survivors I study very much paid attention to the state of their mind and believed in the power of their mind to heal the body.

This is why they spent so much energy working on releasing suppressed emotions, increasing positive emotions as much as possible, tuning into and listening to their intuition regarding health choices, deepening their spiritual connection to divine energy, focusing on why they wanted to keep living, allowing themselves to ask for and receive love from others, and finally taking an active (as opposed to passive) role in their healing process.

The techniques that they used to achieve these mental/emotional goals differed from person to person -- some people used meditation, others guided imagery, psychotherapy, energy healing, acupuncture, prayer, etc.  However, those were simply techniques used to achieve the mental/emotional goals listed above.

While we may not yet understand all of the mechanisms behind Radical Remissions, the sheer fact that they happen at all tells us that it is possible to turn around even the most advanced cancers - and that it is a fact worth celebrating.

Kelly Turner has set up a research database where new stories are most welcome: www.RadicalRemission.com.


Need more inspiration? Want direction from those who have done it? Want to know what is possible?

For many years, while working at the Gawler Foundation, I gathered stories of remarkable recoveries. Paul Kraus, himself Australia's longest mesothelioma survivor, then interviewed 28 of these people and in Surviving Cancer, warm-heartedly recounts their stories.

These stories are unique in the way they relate healing journeys from first diagnosis to ultimate recovery. Yet behind each person's story there are certain common threads. Chief among these is that above and beyond medical treatment each individual received the benefits of self-empowerment by adopting strategies learnt from the wonderful therapeutic team at The Gawler Foundation.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is full of inspiration, hope and direction. In my opinion Surviving Cancer is a must have book for people affected by cancer. Great to read, then keep on hand and dip into whenever the need for a lift is there.

Reading the accounts of recovery in Surviving Cancer provides a recipe for hope and healing.

You Can Conquer Cancer goes global – again
What do the super powers have in common? Not so much it seems some days, but at least they are all soon to publish the new edition of You Can Conquer Cancer! 

The old edition went into over a dozen translations, and as the new edition is such a big step forward (it is virtually a new book the re-write was so thorough), I must admit to being very pleased that it has been taken up by China, Russia, the USA and the UK. So far, translations/new editions are also set for Taiwan, Hungary, and Malaysia. Fascinating!

The road trip/ speaking tour continues to be a delightful mix of meeting wonderful people, travelling this extraordinary land (this week we are in Cooktown - how cool is that!) while speaking in capital cities and some parts we would never normally be able to get to.

Next public event is a day workshop in Cairns, Saturday 16th August

Followed by an evening public lecture in Mt Isa, Tuesday 19th August

Then Meditation in the Desert at the end of the month

With the last events of Le Tour being in Adelaide: evening public lecture Tuesday16th September and day workshop Wednesday 17th September.