04 February 2019

Reversing atrial fibrillation naturally

A dear old friend, Jean Fraser, had inoperable, untreatable pancreatic cancer diagnosed in 1985 and recently died in her 90’s. She had no medical treatment but used the principles and techniques in You Can Conquer Cancer. I did document Jean’s story in the book of survivors Inspiring People (out of print; but there is Surviving Cancer) yet despite her brother being a senior doctor it was never recorded in a medical journal.

So while Jean remained an “anecdote” it would be hard to estimate how many people her story inspired. And as they say “better to be a live anecdote than a dead statistic”.

Anyway, reflecting on Jean’s life and inspiration has prompted telling a personal story of using Mind-Body Medicine to reverse atrial fibrillation. Sure it is another anecdote, but maybe it will provide a clue for something you or someone you know is working on recovering from. Also, Ruth will be presenting a meditation retreat pre-Easter (link here; more details below) where these and other meditation principles and techniques will be taught and practised, but first

 

      Thought for the day


           The world of reality has its limits.

           The world of imagination is boundless


                            Jean-Jacques Rousseau






Went into atrial fibrillation for the third time while on retreat in January. 

The previous 2 times were around 10 years ago, seemed exacerbated by stress and resolved with some deep relaxation naturally and within about 24 hours.

While an ECG and blood tests confirmed no heart damage, this one was going on and heading into its 3rd day. Deep relaxation made me feel better, but the arrhythmia persisted. So decided to use some imagery…

Did a bit of mild exercise first then lay down, relaxed and imagined being back in the old athletic training days. One of the hardest things we did was 8 repeat 400m metres in under 60 seconds with either a walked or jogged 400m in between. The jogged version, especially if it was hot weather would push things considerably!


So I spent some time - 5 minutes or so - imagining doing that once again, feeling the extreme exertion and figuring that for a heart to perform at that level it needs to be functioning at its best and not fibrillating. Did not measure the heart rate to see where it was at - in retrospect that would have been interesting - but did remind my heart that it was a good heart, strong and reliable. It has been through quite a lot over the years and in general has stood up very well.

Then after this 5 minutes I imagined running smoothly but at an easy tempo for another 5 - 10
minutes.

Then checked my heart.


Now any serious advocate of evidence based medicine will tell you this is just an anecdote, but the heart was back in normal rhythm.

For me the coincidence will do.

And the heart remains in good rhythm and has survived a couple of heavy days in the garden since.

The message? 
In my experience imagery can be remarkably powerful. It works best when we are deeply relaxed in body and mind; and the more we can focus our mind the better. If focus is an issue, then make up for that with repetition. Also, with imagery, it can pay to be innovative.

No idea whether what I did for my flutters would help anyone else, but the example and the principles may.

If you are interested to learn more about guided imagery, my book The Mind that Changes Everything may be useful.

A final thought
Back in 1985 Jean was told there was nothing medically that could be done for her or her pancreatic cancer. Her life expectancy was put at just a few months. She then had the extraordinary experience of learning how to use her own resources and effect a remarkable recovery; surviving over 30 years without any medical treatment. What an empowering experience! And by the way, her diagnosis and recovery were both confirmed by biopsy.

Why are people with “anecdotal” stories like Jean not being recorded in the medical literature and studied more closely???


RUTH'S NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT

RECLAIMING JOY - April 12 - 18 2019, Yarra Valley Living Centre.

Details - call the Foundation - 03 5967 1730 or link here for DETAILS



The legend of Meditation in the Forest lives on!

This classic 7 day meditation retreat is on again for yet another pre-Easter.

In 2019 it will be lead by Ruth Gawler and Melissa Borich.


Some will have had the good fortune to have shared time with Melissa in some of our previous retreats. Melissa is a highly accomplished yoga teacher with a wonderful capacity to tailor yoga for beginners or the advanced. Melissa has also trained with me as a meditation teacher and is one of the people I highly value and recommend.



These two women will present a wonderful retreat - lucky you if you get to be there :)



07 January 2019

Is an easy life the best option?


Ever wondered what it would have been like if your life had been easier?

I sometimes do…

January the 8th is the anniversary of the day my right leg was amputated. This year - 44 years ago. Changed my life radically. Yet so much good came out of it.

So here we are at the start of another new year, and what to wish for ???

And at the start of a new year, maybe time to plan for a retreat, but first

       Thought for the day

When I was a novice, I could not understand why, 
If the world is filled with suffering, 
The Buddha has such a beautiful smile. 
Why isn’t he disturbed by all the suffering? 

Later I discovered that the Buddha has enough 
Understanding, calmness, and strength; 
That is why the suffering does not overwhelm him.
He is able to smile to suffering because he knows 
How to take care of it and to help transform it. 

We need to be aware of the suffering, 
But retain our clarity, calmness, and strength 
So we can help transform the situation. 

                      Thich Nhat Hahn

Speaking personally it is hard to imagine I could have learnt all I have in this life and accomplished all I have without having my leg amputated. And yes, there is so much that has been missed out on due to the amputation.

Clearly that operation back in 1975 changed my life irrevocably. Much good has flowed into my life as a result of all the learning the change provoked. And hopefully this life has contributed somewhat to that of others as a consequence.

So would I have wished for this huge change to visit my life?

Certainly not before it happened! But in retrospect? That is a harder question.

The sense is my life actually tried many times before the surgery to steer me in the direction the surgery demanded. This is speaking personally; for others it may well be very different. However, for me I know I was too young, too pig-headed to listen. I kept on the track I was going until my life, courtesy of the surgery, demanded that I change direction. You can guess by observation what that direction was…

Cancer is an uncompromising illness and it brought the best out of me. One of the delightful things about cancer if is you do approach it with awareness, it demands you attend to your body, your emotions, your mind and your spirit.

So what to wish for? An easy life, or something else???

At the start of a new year, we commonly wish each other good health. Maybe if that is not associated with clear awareness and some resolve, something else may be preferable.

Now there is a radical thought…

In fact, my wish for you IS for a year of good health and that you use the blessing of this good health to best advantage - for self and for as many others as possible. Also, the wish is for prosperity so you have the capacity to do what is best for self and others, and that in the process of living a serviceful life you find contentment, meaning and fulfilment.

With love to you all…



RUTH'S NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT

RECLAIMING JOY - April 12 - 18 2019, Yarra Valley Living Centre.

Details - call the Foundation - 03 5967 1730 or link here for DETAILS



The legend of Meditation in the Forest lives on!

This classic 7 day meditation retreat is on again for yet another pre-Easter.

In 2019 it will be lead by Ruth Gawler and Melissa Borich.


Some will have had the good fortune to have shared time with Melissa in some of our previous retreats. Melissa is a highly accomplished yoga teacher with a wonderful capacity to tailor yoga for beginners or the advanced. Melissa has also trained with me as a meditation teacher and is one of the people I highly value and recommend.

These two women will present a wonderful retreat - lucky you if you get to be there :)