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

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???


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 :)


  1. Interesting Ian,Ross too is able to regulate his afib and rhythms with meditation,he also set his heart monitor off when he was in hospital lowering its rate until the machine started beeping,funny at the time.Hope you are both well xo

    1. Yes Jennie, i enjoy lowering my heart rate and BP if in hospital - helps pass the time and amuse the nurses :)

  2. More of a question about cancer research and screening tools - I have found some very informative information about liquid biopsies and wondered if you have any in depth information about this and other less invasive interventions to gauge cancer specifically hepatacellular carcinoma? kind regards margaret

  3. My dad was fighting atrial fibrillation for eight years. he was on Coumadin. It has been a losing battle for us, and the last few years have been especially disappointing. It started when he was 60 years old.They did several tests to confirm it. They did echo, cardiac stress test, dobutamine stress test, x-ray, and EKG. My dad is was taking Coumadin/Warfarin, Digoxin, Cozaar, and Metoprolol. With Coumadin/Warfarin which didn’t work perfectly for him, some days it's all it can do to just show up. However, we didn’t give up. Until we found totalcureherbsfoundation.com which we purchase atrial fibrillation herbal remedy that cured him totally from atrial fibrillation, my dad thyroid is normal again, and the shortness of breath is gone. My dad blood pressure is normal now, he feel like a new person due to the help of the herbal formula.