During this week, October 3-7 2022, there is a repeat free airing of the Radical Remission Docuseries https://www.discover.hayhouse.com/radicalremission/, created by researcher and author, Kelly Turner, PhD.
I commented daily on each episode as it was launched back in March 2020 in order to elaborate on my personal experience and hard-won convictions regarding cancer and cancer treatment and they are all still available here on my blog, Reflections. All of the episodes will be available for the duration so perhaps my commentary will give you a sense of which you want to dip into. I am sure that after this timeframe the documentary will be available through Hay House in other forms.
One of the reasons for writing my play, Breastless, was to share the perspective that healing from cancer takes many forms. Even the writing of it played an important role in my healing of breast cancer.
I use story to reflect on these matters and to encourage others to ask themselves what they would do, what they believe and how they might help others. Kelly Turner uses her 15yrs of research into hundreds of cases of remission from life-threatening disease.
This documentary leads us through the 10 elements that people who put themselves into remission had in common. It includes interviews with some ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Out of the ordinary, because their stories do not fit into our modern-day assumption that the scientific Western medical model has all the answers. These people all heal themselves as they embrace a wide range of approaches, including mainstream and “alternative” methods.
For many years there has been a move amongst practitioners to avoid having their work described as “alternative” and instead use the word “complementary”, but I would even like to call into question that term too. To complement means to use Western medicine as the mainstay of treatment and to add into it other modalities to enhance it. What would happen if instead we started to view Western medicine, with all its brilliance and applications, as a complement to our own internal healing abilities; as just one of a broad spectrum of choices with which we can boost our own healing potential?
I would like to help shift our bias away from solely relying on Western Medicine, and instead see each person getting encouragement to first look within themselves for clues to solutions. Then, from that empowered place, seeking professionals whose perspective and approach feel in alignment with the person’s desires and needs. This would constitute taking responsibility for our own health and healing, as opposed to relying solely on an expert to tell us what we need based on the parameters of their specific training.
I am not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but equally I would like an end to obscuring the issue with words like “complementary” to appease the medical gods of the past 200 years. It is time for a revolution; turning things around. It is time for some evolution in our thinking and actions. And it is time for the resolution of us individuals who experience health differently to speak up and be counted.
I am grateful to Dr Turner for doing her part.
EPISODE SEVEN: Deepening Spiritual Connection
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the greatest texts of the yoga tradition states;
“The acceptance of our suffering as an aid to purification, the study of great wisdom teachings and complete surrender to the divine force within each of us. These three things are yoga in practice.”
And in this episode we witness how suffering can be turned into a tool for transformation.
Charles Goodman, diagnosed with ALS and given 2 yrs to live, and Ken Hatten diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, both did just that. All the way to radical remission.
“But”, says Ken, “the medical community doesn’t know what to do with people like me…I got rid of cancer [in just 3 months] without chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Shouldn’t the science community be interested in me?”
And Jeffrey Rediger MD has hope; “The spiritual side calls this a miracle or spiritual healing. If you are on the science side you call this spontaneous remission and you have been taught with your training that these are flukes with no medical or scientific value. I think that these terms are really black boxes and science is all about mechanisms for unpacking the mysteries. We have the opportunity to now unpack these black boxes, terms that we’ve used for thousands of years, and really understand the mechanisms so that they can be more widely understood and accessed.”
There is much description of how we can put ourselves in different mental states and how that puts our physiology into a different state too. Personally, I meditated when my brain was incapable of much else. And then as my health improved I found journalling and writing poetry to have a cleansing effect. I took a course, Writing to Awaken, which helped me to uncover the depths of my own heart; a truly transformational process. It re-awakened in me my love of writing.
It affects us “all the way down to our cells”. Aaron Teich, Healer and Meditation Teacher offers; “The fundamental principle is about getting out of our heads, getting out of our minds.”
And there is now a field of psychoneuroimmunology which, according to Shamini Jain PhD, proves that getting into states of quiescence – silence, reverence, stillness, being with ourselves and with something that we consider to be greater than our conditioned minds – actually allows for the healing response to take place.
Both men went deeply into their faith. Charles Goodman felt a shift the moment he said, “God if it’s going to be 2 years, I’ll give you the 2 years.” As the months passed and he focussed on living, he eventually entered the seminary and is now a Pastor in Atlanta – 19 years later!
And Ken Hatten (because of his wife’s actions it must be noted!), made a large shift from disinterest to a deep trust in spirituality. “It doesn’t matter what religion you are, what’s going on in your head is also going on in your body.”
Both stories are enormously uplifting and a beautiful opportunity to see the effect that faith has on the physical expression of us.