Beginning a Cancer Healing Journey
Have you been diagnosed with cancer or had a family member deal with this disease? If so, you know just how this can impact a family. There are so many opinions and options out there…so where do we begin on our cancer healing journey.
When beginning your journey to eradicate cancer from your body you must be prepared. You must put in your due diligence and learn about the strategies that are going to keep your body strong, healthy, and healing. If you are battling cancer, it is absolutely necessary to have a plan of action. So what are the critical first steps to get you started?
Everyone is under stress during the course of the day as they pursue their life endeavors. Some individuals allow the daily stresses to beat them down while others seem to thrive in the midst of their stress. The way you think, move and eat will play a significant role in your ability to thrive under stress.
Mental and emotional stress has the ability to elevate an individual’s life or to destroy it. The result depends upon the preparation, adaptation and recovery process the individual is able to go through with the particular stressor.
Throughout your healing journey this will be one of the foundational aspects of getting better. Deep in your essence you must see yourself as worthy of optimal health, grateful for the direction you are being led, and constantly reaffirm that you are getting healthier and stronger every day.
Changing Your Mindset
Adapting well to stress begins with your mindset. Most people are focusing too much on their stress and worry about all the uncertainties in their life. To thrive under stress, you must have confidence that you can overcome the hurdle. Developing prayers and affirmative statements that instill hope can infuse you with new found energy that helps you think more creatively and innovatively about the unique challenge.
One advanced strategy to help you overcome the mental hurdles would be anchoring on previous successes. We have all had success at certain times in our life and if you can recall a great success you had that gave you a great emotional charge than you can anchor in empowering emotions.
The Power of Visualization
Simply take time to visualize and re-experience the success and the emotional charge and then anchor it into your physical body through a certain posturism or physical activity. An example would be to clench your fist or draw your shoulders back as you experience the emotional charge.
Repeat this visualization and activity again and again until you can recall the emotional charge immediately when you do the physical activity that is anchored to it. This gives you incredible mental/emotional leverage that you can use anytime you feel overburdened or stressed about a life circumstance.
Life in the 21st Century is full of stress and environmental toxicity. We have over a hundred thousand toxic chemicals in our surrounding environment that we are interacting with regularly.
Researchers estimate through various studies that the average person living today is carrying a minimum of 700 known toxins in their blood, skin, fat tissue, brain tissue, liver, digestive and other organ systems. Many of them are classified carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and several others inhibit many of the body’s natural processes, including the ability to heal.
Generally speaking, we can view these toxins as a source of interference of the body’s natural function. If we want to maximize our ability to heal cancer, then we must address and remove these interferences. Some of the most generally applicable strategies for doing this have been outlined here.
This involves consuming 32oz of water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48oz of water before noon. For added benefit, squeeze the juice of a lemon into a warm glass of water to kick start your detoxification systems in the morning.
Oil pulling is an ancient technique where oil is swished around the mouth for 10-20 minutes. The benefit of this is that it eradicates the mouth of harmful bacteria and toxins while cleaning the teeth. A good oil to use for this purpose is organic extra virgin coconut oil.
Perform this each morning with a teaspoon of oil and spit out when finished. It is important not to swallow any of the oil because it will be full of toxins that have been collected from the mouth.
The skin is our largest organ and one of its important functions is to eliminate toxins through our pores. By removing the outermost layer of dead skin and waste, we are able to allow it to detoxify more effectively.
To dry brush effectively, begin by using a soft brush made of natural, preferably organic, materials. Begin with light strokes that begin at the extremities and move toward the heart. This technique has the added benefit of improving cardiovascular and lymphatic circulation.
Epsom salts can be a powerful detoxification tool. They are a naturally occurring combination of magnesium and sulfates that were originally discovered in hot springs. Magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin and into the body’s blood stream.
The skin is a highly porous membrane that both takes in minerals and eliminates toxins every day. Using a powerful mineral base such as Epsom salts in a bathwater medium creates a process called reverse osmosis. This process pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter into the body.
How to Take an Epsom Salt Bath
Fill up your bath with warm water. Be sure to have a water filtration system in your house as you don’t want to bathe in tap water that has toxic chlorine, fluoride, dioxins, and heavy metals. To determine the quantity of Epsom salt to add, follow these recommendations:
Children under 60lbs: ½ cup
Individuals 60-100lbs: 1 cup
Individuals 100-150lbs: 1½ cups
Individuals 150-200lbs: 2 cups
200+ lbs: 2 cups + ½ cup for every 50 lbs over 200
Engage in intermittent fasting strategies each day or every other day. This may include a 16-20 hour liquid fast each day where only clean water, herbal teas, fermented herbal botanicals, and green juices (without fruit) are consumed. Or one may choose to fast for 24-36 hours once a week. Intermittent fasting allows the body to shed off inferior cells and dump toxins out of the fat cells and deep within organ tissues.
The best way to begin fasting is by giving your body 12 hours between dinner and breakfast every single day. This allows 4 hours to complete digestion and 8 hours for the liver to complete its detoxification cycle. After this is a standard part of lifestyle, try taking one day a week and extending the fast to 16-18 hours. Eventually, you may choose to do a full 24 hour fast each week.
During the fasting period it is great to drink cleansing beverages such as fermented drinks, herbal teas, water with infused superfood extracts, water with lemon or apple cider vinegar, etc. These enhance the cleansing process by providing anti-oxidants and micronutrients that enhance healing and detoxification.
What we put in our bodies when we eat gets broken down and eventually becomes the raw materials needed for our body to function. Designing a meal plan around our body’s needs can be one of the most effective health strategies that we employ every day. Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, there some critical dietary strategies that should be implemented promptly to maximize your health.
In the case of cancer, we know that cancer cells are very glycolytic. This means that cancer cells use sugar exclusively as an energy source. Unlike the majority of healthy cells, they do not have the ability to utilize fat as energy. This characteristic can be capitalized upon by adopting a more ketogenic style meal plan.
The ketogenic diet replaces the carbohydrate-rich Standard American Diet with an eating style that utilizes healthy fats as the primary source of calories. When we drastically lower our carbohydrate consumption and compensate with healthy fats, our bodies adapt to burn fat as energy. By making sugar relatively scarce in the body, cancer cells have a harder time growing and multiplying.
In addition to drastically cutting out sugar and carbohydrates from the diet and increasing healthy fat intake, it is important to flood the body with vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients from nutrient-dense vegetables.
Keep grains, sugars, bad fats and commercialized meat out of your diet. Load up on non-starchy veggies, low-glycemic fruit (lemons/limes, grapefruit, berries, granny smith apples), organic meat, good fats (coconut, grass-fed butter/ghee, olives, olive oil and avocados).
Nutrient Rich Foods
In addition to the general guidelines above, it should be made a point to consume sprouts every day. We tend to focus on the nutritional value of vegetables while the sprouts of those vegetables get overlooked. Sprouts are one of the single most concentrated sources of nutrition one can consume.
The sprouts of vegetables contain all the same nutrients of the vegetables but in much higher amounts. For example, broccoli sprouts are an incredibly rich source of glucoraphanin which, after digestion, is converted into sulforaphane; an antioxidant with anti-cancer, neuroprotective, and detoxification supporting properties.
Another aspect of nutrition that is often overlooked is the use of herbs and spices (fresh or dried) in your culinary creations. Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and basil all have unique nutrients profiles and are abundant with antioxidants that can significantly boost the nutritive value of a meal.
Additionally, spices like turmeric, black pepper, and ginger all add flavor as well as anti-inflammatory properties to any meal. Use herbs and spices abundantly in your cooking to enhance the flavor and healing potential of your meals.
To top it all off, add in some fermented vegetables or beverages like kefir and apple cider vinegar for beneficial enzymes and probiotics. These things help maintain a healthy digestive tract that more effectively breaks down and absorbs nutrients from food. Avoiding all inflammatory foods and incorporating a number of anti-inflammatory foods will help you to heal faster.
Healing cancer is an amazing feat for the human body. The complexity of genetic interactions constantly occurring demands a significant amount of energy. If you want to prime your body for healing, then optimizing your sleep is absolutely critical.
My Top 6 Tips for Optimized Sleep Are:
- Healthy Nutrition: Eliminate foods high in carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. Blood sugar imbalance can lead to sleep disturbances. It is also important to avoid consuming caffeine or chocolate within 6 hours of your intended bedtime. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then this window may need to be extended.
- Consistent Schedule: Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Work hard to make sure you are going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and night. By doing so you help regulate your circadian rhythms so your body will naturally wind down around bedtime.
- Dark Room: Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Even a small amount of light can disrupt your brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycles. Use an eye mask to cover your eyes and maximize your melatonin secretions. This mask helps me tremendously.
- Block Blue Light: Download the f.lux program onto your computer, laptop and cellphone can help see a 70% increase in melatonin secretion before bed. Blue light especially (from electronics and artificial lighting) disrupts melatonin production so either avoiding electronics or wearing blue light blocking glasses 2-3 hours before bedtime can help tremendously.
- Make Your Room Cool: Keep your bedroom at a temperature between 62-70 degrees F. Your body naturally cools when you are sleeping and sleeping in a temperature that is too hot or cold can stress the body, disrupting sleep.
- Gratitude: Take a few minutes before bedtime to reflect and express gratitude. For example, keep a journal and write down three things that happened to you that you are grateful for and allow any negative emotions from the day to release. This has the added benefit of improving your mindset if practiced long-term.
Your nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and all of the nerves that travel between the brain and the body. The nervous system is responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to various parts of the body and back again. It is these signals that tell the various systems of our body (digestive, immune, cardiovascular etc.) how to operate and when.
The nerves that travel to every inch of our body originate first from the brain and travel through the spinal cord where they branch out to innervate different organs and tissues. To ensure that the proper signals are being distributed at their full strength, it is important to evaluate and correct abnormalities in the alignment of the spine.
If you are dealing with a chronic health issue such as cancer, it is likely that your nervous system is not functioning optimally and being evaluated by a corrective care chiropractor may be an important first step toward maximizing the healing tendencies of your body.
Although the diet should be addressed first as the primary source of nutrition and healing. There are key nutrients that have been indicated as particularly effective in supporting the body to fight cancer. Several foods, superfoods, and supplements have been addressed throughout this book and some seem to show up over and over.
These recurring supplements seem to support our ability to heal cancer through several mechanisms and may be the best to implement immediately.
Vitamin D may be the most crucial nutrients to heal and prevent cancer. It is a critical component of central nervous system responsible for both development and function. Vitamin D continues to astound researchers in its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities and is associated with reducing autoimmune complications through limiting natural killer cell secretion during certain conditions such as a woman’s pregnancy. (1)
Perhaps one of the most important functions of vitamin D is its ability to regulate inflammatory pathways associated with cancer and is especially crucial in the proper develop of an immune system regulating protein known as GcMAF (1, 2).
Vitamin D is required for the body to synthesize GcMAF. GcMAF influences the ability of tumor cells to proliferate and for the very same reason also can reverse the effect of certain cancers including breast cancer. Clinical studies support the ability of GcMAF to treat symptoms of a variety of cancers including bladder, ovarian, head and neck and other lymphomas. (2)
Curcumin & Piperine
Clinical studies have shown that herbal constituents like curcumin which is created from turmeric are powerful anti-inflammatory agents and can treat cancer symptoms (3). In fact, these studies show that turmeric exhibits similar inflammation prevention control as do synthetic drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin and over 570 research studies support the ability of curcumin to have anti-cancer properties (4).
When combined with piperine, found in black pepper, the bioavailability of curcumin is increased which means your body can absorb it more effectively in the digestive tract. In addition, piperine has cancer benefiting properties of its own.
Activating the NRF2 Pathway
Cancer is largely suspected to be a result of prolonged and abnormally high levels of oxidative stress and toxicity. NRF2 is what is known as a transcription factor and it is one of our strongest activators of antioxidant and detoxification pathways in the body.
To provide an immediate effect in the body to help slow the progression of cancer development and lower the incidence of side effects from traditional treatments, the NRF2 pathway should be activated maximally.
Four compounds I rely on exclusively for the purpose of activating the NRF2 pathway are curcumin, stilbenes, catechins, and sulforaphane. You can find these nutrients in turmeric (curcumin), resveratrol in grape skin and berries (stilbenes), green tea and dark chocolate (catechins) and cruciferous veggies (sulforaphane). It is highly advisable to consume these compounds every day to keep anti-oxidant systems in balance.
Supplements for Enhanced Immune Support
The presence of cancer in the body is a major sign that your immune system is compromised. From the moment you receive your diagnoses all the way through treatment, maximizing your immune system will be a top priority.
While diet, lifestyle, and the previously listed supplements will serve as a strong foundation for immune support, there are select compounds that can give you an extra boost.
1, 3D Beta Glucan:
Beta Glucans are a group of polysaccharides found in yeast, bacteria, and fungi. Contrary to many substances that have been deemed as Immune boosters beta glucans are more accurately represented as immunomodulatory. What this means is that Beta glucans have the ability to not only boost immunity but also to calm an overactive immunity, making the immune system more efficient.
This immunomodulatory characteristic also makes beta glucans a very safe addition to cancer treatment because even high amounts will not stimulate any autoimmune response. In the case of cancer, 1, 3D Beta Glucan has displayed tremendous cancer healing potential. This specific form of beta glucan should be used in all stages of the cancer healing process to prevent the development of new cancers, prevent metastasis, and improve the efficacy of other cancer therapies. I use and recommend Transfer Point Beta Glucan.
Colostrum can be one of the most nurturing substances for the body. Also known as “mother’s milk” it is the first milk produced by a nursing mother and is responsible for activating and rapidly developing the infant’s immune response shortly after birth. While infancy is the most critical time for receiving the nurturing benefits of colostrum, evidence suggests it has tremendous healing potential beyond childhood.
Associated with its ability to defend from the invasion of cancer, colostrum increases bioactive compound called lactoferrin which powerfully defends against cancer. Not only does it contain anti-inflammatory compounds, but it also upregulates the same GcMAF pathway associated with the anti-cancer effects of Vitamin D. I personally use the highest quality colostrum in the form of our supplement called Gut Defense here.
Aggressive Therapies for Advanced Cancers
If you have a fast growing cancer than it is wise to look into more aggressive therapies to help the body slow down the growth and/or eliminate the tumor all together. There are well-over 20 advanced therapies that are being used in integrative medicine but here are a few that are most common and have a history of effectiveness.
You should consult with a natural health care practitioner to discuss which of these would be most beneficial for you.
Ketogenic Diet with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
A synergy of health benefits further results when a ketogenic diet is coupled with hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy. Results involve a decreased rate of tumor growth, improved state of ketosis and lower blood glucose concentration (3).
A hyperbaric oxygen chamber helps to remove two of the major physical problems which contribute to cancer: lack of oxygen to cells and excessive acidity. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment reduces cellular hypoxia, or the deprivation of oxygen to cells and therefore also decreases acidic conditions (2, 4).
Unlike cancer cells, healthy cells cannot flourish without an adequate oxygen supply. Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy is an effective strategy to increase the oxygen flow to all cells and organs and also buffer the pH of your body’s environment to better equip cells to maintain their normal functions.
A similar effect to IV Vitamin C can be achieved by ingesting hydrogen peroxide orally. Hydrogen peroxide (chemically denoted as H2O2) is produced endogenously by the body in small amounts to provide the immune system with oxygen radicals that can be used by white blood cells to attack foreign bacteria and viruses.
When H2O2 is ingested it is readily broken down into water and oxygen radicals. The oxygen radicals then are used as a moderate oxidative-based therapy against the cancer cells. Not only do these radical molecules attack bad bacteria and cancer cells, but they also help to increase the oxygen content of the blood over time.
To perform this therapy, begin with a 35% hydrogen peroxide solution. Consumed in this concentration, it can be very harmful and burn the throat. Dilute 35% hydrogen peroxide 1 part peroxide to 10 parts water and begin with 4 drops in a glass of water before meals. Eventually this amount can be bumped up to a 1-2 teaspoons before meals (3-4 times daily). This is a good brand of 35% hydrogen peroxide to use.
High-Dose Intravenous Vitamin C
Vitamin C is mostly known for helping get over a cold, when it is administered in high doses through an IV however, the reaction in the body is very different. When vitamin C is introduced into the bloodstream through an IV, it interacts with iron and other metals in the blood to form hydrogen peroxide.
Similar to how chemotherapy and radiation work, hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxidant that damages the structures of cancer cells. IV Vitamin C separates itself from conventional treatments because of its selective toxicity.
Even when administered in very high doses, healthy cells remain unharmed because they are able to convert hydrogen peroxide to inert substances very quickly. While this treatment is safer than other conventional treatments, it must be performed by a licensed professional.
Cancer cells are highly anaerobic, meaning they thrive in an environment that is very low in oxygen. There are certain natural treatments that attempt to capitalize on this characteristic by saturating the blood with oxygen. By doing so the body’s internal environment becomes less inhabitable and the cancer cells begin to die off.
Ozone is a molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen (chemically denoted as O3) that is commonly used for saturating the blood with oxygen. This can be achieved in one of two ways: By infusing the blood with an O3-rich solution through an IV, or by pulling blood from the patient’s body, infusing it with ozone and reinjecting it back into the patient. Ozone therapy has demonstrated the ability to boost the immune system and activate NRF2 antioxidant pathways that strengthen cancer healing potential (5).
Just as with IV Vitamin C therapy, ozone therapy must be performed by a qualified healthcare professional.
Sources For This Article Include:
1. Siniscalco, D., Bradstreet, J. J., Cirillo, A., & Antonucci, N. (2014). The in vitro GcMAF effects on endocannabinoid system transcriptionomics , receptor formation , and cell activity of autism-derived macrophages. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 11(1), 1–11. PMID: 24739187
2. Thyer, L., Ward, E., Smith, R., Branca, J. J. V, Morucci, G., Gulisano, M., … Pacini, S. (2013). GC protein-derived macrophage-activating factor decreases α – N -acetylgalactosaminidase levels in advanced cancer patients, (August), 1–7. PMID: 24179708
3. Shanmugam, M. K., Rane, G., Kanchi, M. M., Arfuso, F., Chinnathambi, A., Zayed, M. E., … Sethi, G. (2015). The multifaceted role of curcumin in cancer prevention and treatment. Molecules (Vol. 20). PMID: 25665066
4. Linnewiel-Hermoni K, Khanin M, Danilenko M, Zango G, Amosi Y, Levy J, Sharoni Y. The anti-cancer effects of carotenoids and other phytonutrients resides in their combined activity. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2015 Feb 21. PMID: 25711533
5. Sagai, M., & Bocci, V. (2011). Mechanisms of Action Involved in Ozone Therapy : Is healing induced via a mild oxidative stress ? Medical Gas Research, 1(1), 29. PMID: 22185664