Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Post: Ancient Holistic Options for Modern Cancer Patients

From time to time I have the opportunity to share a fellow blogger's work. Melanie Bowen writes on two blogs, Miladay and All About Health. Following is a post she wrote to share here. May this post be a blessing...

"The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope." -Samuel Johnson from tinybuddah

Many cancer patients -- whether they are dealing with breast cancer, leukemia, a disease like mesothelioma, which is triggered from asbestos exposure, or another malignancy – they are all looking for a new perspective. Integrating Eastern or Oriental therapies with traditional medical treatment may give them the answer they are looking for.

Many modern cancer patients are turning to ancient holistic therapies to supplement conventional therapies, like radiation and chemotherapy. Standard cancer treatments, while effective, can cause pain, low energy, and other side effects. Holistic therapies can combat these side effects.

Holistic healing such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has evolved over nearly three millennia, into a set of practices to treat illnesses and promote wellness. Cancer is viewed differently by TCM practitioners than Western oncologists, partly because holistic healing is based on the belief that everything in the universe is connected.

Eastern and Oriental medicine view the body as an energy system, with a life force that flows through invisible channels called meridians. Many TCM therapies are energy therapies that unblock the energy flow to promote balance and healing.

Cancer patients today have a number of holistic options, including several energy therapies. Yoga, acupuncture, and acupressure are some of the more common therapies. But modern cancer doctors also recommend therapeutic massage, healing touch, intuitive bodywork, and EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique).

A report by the American Cancer Fund takes a serious look at holistic options for cancer treatment. According to Lorenzo Cohen, director of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Integrative Medicine Program, energy therapies are, “focused on keeping the body balanced, to keep the [energy] flowing through the body and stop blockages … from happening.” In TCM, this is what leads to illness, including cancer.

Integrative energy therapies work to unblock the accumulations that cause tumors, and bring balance and harmony between a patient’s mind, body, and soul. EFT tapping, healing touch, and other energy therapies can be used before, during, and after cancer treatment to alleviate the side effects.

As more patients turn to integrative therapies, more research is being conducted. The result is a better understanding of how holistic care can be useful in the fight with cancer. Various clinical trials have looked at the effects of complementary medicine on nausea, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, and mood of cancer patients.

So far, studies have been conducted on patients with breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and other malignancies. The findings, which are promising for these cancer types, can mean good things in the future for people with other forms of cancer, including late-stage cancer and those going through mesothelioma prognosis.

Holistic care focuses on the body as a whole: body, mind, emotions, and spirit. From energy therapies and mind-body approaches to biologic therapies, nutrition, and special diets, holistic options are many for cancer patients today. The results -- from reduced pain and stress to an enhanced quality of life -- speak for themselves.

Melanie Bowen is an advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English with a specialty in Psychology and Medical Research, you will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illnesses in her efforts to spread awareness. To read more of Melanie’s articles you can visit her at Milady the blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not Having to Know

What a blessing it is, not having to know. Knowing the answer to things has kept me feeling safe for a long, long time, but it’s also sustained a level of mild anxiety that became so familiar I didn’t even notice it.

For people who've grown up in chaos, feeling like we know how to conduct life in a productive and stable fashion might seem to keep the demons of childhood at bay, but it doesn't. What I’m finding is that feeling driven to maintain control of the circumstances of my life really just feeds the old fear that things are going to fall apart and become dangerous. That is, of course, not the truth of my existence as I now understand it.

Having to know how to be a good enough employee, spouse, parent, friend or any other of life’s roles is demanding and stressful. It ultimately just gets in the way of divine intelligence within taking the right and perfect step in any situation in which we find ourselves.

The chief of medicine in the clinic where I work has a poster in her office that shows a cartoon picture of a chicken looking up frantically that says, “What if Chicken Little was right?” It’s so easy to fall back into those old fears that are sure in any moment something bad might happen, so we need to stay ever-vigilant and know what to do to head it off. But we might not know exactly what “it” is.

I know that when I do not feel the need to be in control of what my future holds, what people think of me, or even how my loved ones will fare in their circumstances, a weight is lifted that I’m not even aware of carrying. I can breathe easier.

When I don’t feel pressured to always know the right thing to do or the best way to act, I can just be. And that is enough.

And so I release it all to God who lives within me, the fear, the uncertainty, the knowing, and the not-knowing. There is nothing I need to force, and I do nothing alone. Into every situation of my life all I need do is shine the light of my deepest truth, which is that through it all, God lives as me.

May you release all to the light of God within you, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Case for Logic

A teacher once told me that you can’t intellectualize spirit. I agree with this statement for the most part, because certainly spirit is experienced in the present moment only. As soon as we apply a label, our awareness of spirit becomes a construct of mind rather than the pure experience of being.

But we are human, and in this physical form we are self-aware, and we learn. We use the mind to process our experience and choose who we want to be. We are divine mind in action.

Most of you know that a favorite spiritual practice of mine is writing letters to God. A recent letter to God about forgetting caused me to make a case for logic as a spiritual tool.

God responded to me, in part, that “whether you’re remembering or forgetting the truth of who you are in any moment doesn’t change the truth. But the question becomes, ‘How do you experience your own expression in the world as infinitely good enough when earlier experience tried to teach you otherwise? How do you trust the truth of God within you when others can’t trust it either?’

“The truth stands unchanged in the midst of all; therefore, you need to question the voices that say you are anything less than God. Think about it – you are light, or you are not. You are perfect, or you are not. I live in and as you, or I do not. Since both cannot be true, which truth do you choose to serve? Your heart knows the truth and speaks it to you in countless different ways. “

Thank you, God, for appealing to logic when that was what I needed!

I’ve been facilitating a spiritual weight loss support group at Unity, following a book by Marianne Williamson. In a chapter on the importance of feeling our feelings in order to learn from and process them, she makes another strong case for logic as a spiritual tool.

Following is a delightful excerpt from her book, A Course in Weight Loss. She is talking about feeling overwhelmed as a natural consequence of failing to recognize a divine hand upholding all things.

“If you feel you must control everything by yourself – if you don’t feel you can ask for God’s help with the details – then no wonder you feel absolutely overwhelmed. You can’t exactly hold up the stars in the sky, but obviously someone does. So couldn’t that someone hold and harmonize the circumstances of your life? (I love this! Logic at its best. . .)

She goes on to say that “In fact, the entire universe is held safely in Divine hands. Planets revolve around the sun, stars stay in the sky, cells divide, and embryos turn into babies. Embryos don’t exclaim, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do this! I don’t know how to cell-divide!’ The embryo doesn’t have to know. An order bigger than the embryo moves it forward as part of nature’s blueprint.”

If that’s not a strong (and logical) argument in favor of God in all things, I don’t know what is!

Thank you, Marianne Williamson, and may this tool be a blessing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Here!! Daily Spiritual Tools, the Book

I am proud to announce that Daily Spiritual Tools is now available as an e-book.  I received feedback from many of this blog's followers that they would appreciate these tools in book form, and am happy to say that it has come to fruition!

Daily Spiritual Tools celebrates the existence of the divine in all human experience.  It’s a compilation of 79 meditations and simple practices that open our awareness to perfect and divine order within all things.  As humankind moves from a truth of spirituality “out there” to one of God expressing as each of us and in all things, the tools contained in the book help us accept that truth and know it as our own.  In doing so we help elevate others and our world.

I've said many times that I write to remember, and Daily Spiritual Tools has been a labor of love, and remembering, for me.  Through this blog I have had the opportunity to connect with amazing people from all around our wonderful world.  It's uplifting to know that there are so many like-minded souls working to raise the consciousness of the world one person at a time.  I am sincerely grateful for your kindness, insight and love.

Copies of Daily Spiritual Tools, the Book, are available through and  If you know someone who might enjoy reading my book, I would appreciate your spreading the word in any way that seems appropriate.

May this book be as much a blessing to you in reading it as it has been to me in writing it...