Lifestyle Changes For a Better Life

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Never Too Late

It is never too late to change. If you are trying to get well the struggle is real. We have our jobs, families, favorite foods, and activities that demand our attention. It is hard to make lifestyle changes and some even use sayings such as, “well that’s the way I was raised.” It is easier to accept what is comfortable, and look for the magic medicine or pill to make it go away. But that is a dangerous attitude. There are no quick fixes. Many illnesses are a result of lifestyle, toxins, and trauma in our environment. Still, it is never too late to make changes even if we are undergoing medical treatments.

Lifestyle

So where do we start? Many accept the mainstream answer that the increase in health problems are genetic. Granted, a small percentage are genetic, but that idea leads to a helpless viewpoint for many patients. It also keeps people dependent on prescription medications. Furthermore, today in the United States, our society is reaping the consequences of that behavior. The overuse of prescription drugs to solve physical symptoms is creating a big problem for healthcare. According to Mark Hyman, MD, “90 percent of chronic disease is driven, not by the genome, but by the “exposome,” or the build-up of disease-causing factors in our environments (p. 11, Beat Autoimmune, Kippola, P). It is nearly impossible to take in enough information to problem-solve our illness alone. Seek out professional advice from a Naturopathic Doctor, one who has earned an ND or NMD degree from a naturopathic medical school. He or she studies all the basic medical coursework an MD would study, plus nutrition, botanical medicine(herbals), and mental health studies like psychology or counseling.

Trauma

Life trauma is another stressor that can add to autoimmune problems. In a report by Irwin G. Sarason, Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, report, Stress, Anxiety, and Cognitive Interference: Reactions to Tests, April 1982, test anxiety was analyzed with a new test instrument. The scales of the Reactions to Tests questionaire, (worry, tension, test-irrelevant thinking, bodily symptoms) compared intellectual performance and thought interference. The results were consistent with the idea that the problem of anxiety is mainly a problem of emotional thoughts interfering with thinking. Evolving research is revealing the connection between emotions and illness. “…Illnesses of the emotions, actually illnesses of the brain, are also imbalances of the many brain hormones that work together to produce our feelings” (p. 74 The Balance WithinThe Science Connecting Health and Emotions, Sternberg, E.M. MD) So mental and physical health is a chemical response to our emotions, our environment, and our past experiences. Getting help when we need it, creating a less stressful environment, and eating healthy food will help our body maintain a healthy balance and improve our ability to enjoy life.

Journaling for Better Health

As a man thinks, so he is…Proverbs 23:7

Reflection

 As a young person, I was drawn to journaling. However, I had a younger brother and two sisters who were also interested in my notes. So I destroyed some of my journals from my teenage years; although, now I wish I had saved them.  It would have been interesting to visit myself in my teens. Still, I have kept many of my writings, and I am glad I have.  I go back and remember times and events forgotten, and I can also see how often my emotions affected my response to what I imagined was important.  Truthfully, sometimes I caused unnecessary pain for myself, but journaling gave me the opportunity to reflect on life, and each stage in life takes us on a new journey.  So the journey starts where we are now, and it can be designed it to accommodate our personality, needs, interests and goals or maybe all of those things.

Express Your Uniqueness

 No one person is exactly alike.  We are unique individuals with some interests in common.  Even in cases where identical twins have been separated, the influence of the environment has had an effect on the person. Therefore, journaling is a record of an individual’s response to life.  In addition, we can learn by looking at what others find are effective journaling techniques. Depending on our needs, we can experiment and discover what works. Personally, over the years, I have developed a mixed media approach to journaling.  I include materials, sayings, verses, and pictures or drawings to express my feelings.  I encourage others to let loose of rules and any critical voices, inside or out, and just express your thoughts and feelings.

Explore Interests

 Exploring interests can be a joyful journey even during difficult times.  For example, I love reading, art, poetry, nature, and growing in my spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus.  So I usually have more than one journal going on at a time.  I have a dream journal, an art journal, and a journal based on scripture readings.  Sometimes they overlap, and new idea or piece of art is born.  Also when I look back over what I have recorded, I can then reflect on my life or situation.  In fact, a verse that has been given to me more than once by friends and family is, “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” Nehemiah 8:10.  I do not think it is a coincidence, and I keep it close by as a reminder be grateful and joyful.

Dream On

 In conclusion, another benefit of recording thoughts, dreams, feelings, and creative impulses is that it can lead to new goals and adventures in life.  I enjoyed my years as a teacher, but now I am exploring new things.  It is never too late. Dream on, and let the joy and gratitude for life return.

Emotions, Lifestyle, and Health

I felt I was fading…

Emotions and Cancer

How could this be me? As I lay on my bed, unable to sleep because of the pain in my body, especially my joints, it seemed unreal that I was in this state.  I had been a healthy and active person, so how did this happen? Instead of going from work activity to more activity as I had for years, I lie on the bed or stumbled to the couch to read, watch TV, or rest.  My enemy was my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me.  I looked like a skeleton without hair; a broken doll that was beyond repair, but I knew that those images and thoughts could be my worst enemy.  I realized that this was a moment to re-evaluate what I was thinking and doing.  How we view the world and our situation is powerful. Our health is affected by the state of our body, our emotions, and lifestyle, and if we give in with a fatalistic mindset, cancer will eat us up.

Lifestyle

First of all, I thought about my body.  I was getting older, and I felt like I was always trying to catch up.  I had fallen into the snack trap to keep my body going and to get the quick energy to meet deadlines.  However, most of those snacks are full of sugar or carbohydrates that turn to sugar.  Except for the quick energy boost, they are usually devoid of the nutrition that our bodies need.  Even though I had been overweight, now I was losing weight and not sleeping well. Even my digestive track had turned against me, or so it seemed.  I was afraid to eat and especially to go out and eat.  In addition, I was at a point in life where hormone changes were taking place.  To sum it up, my body was affecting my emotions and my emotions my body, and the drug treatments for cancer were adding insult to injury.

Health

As one painful day blended into another, I knew that I had to take charge of my thinking.  A proverb came to mind, “As a man or woman thinks in their heart, so they are,” Proverbs 23:7.  In psychology, there is something called the self-fulfilling prophecy.  I did not want to fall in that negative pit. As long as there is life there is hope.  James 5:13- 15 says, “Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray.  Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him or her and anoint him or her with oil, in the name of the Lord, (which represents the Holy Spirit), and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him or her up.”  So I did go to the elders and they prayed the prayer of faith over me.  I chose life and healthy eating and thinking habits. In addition, this writer, Jennifer Delgado, has some good information on emotions and feelings, so check out her site.

The Gerson Diet Continues…

Charlotte Gerson spreads the good news about natural healing.

The Politics of Research

Max Gerson, M.D., in 1946 with the support of Senator Pepper and Senator Neely, presented his research on diet before the U.S. Senate. Senator Pepper then called a press conference. However, lobbyists for the wealthy Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, (PMA), the American Medical Association, (AMA) and the American Cancer Society asked reporters to attend a cocktail party instead.  The only reporter who heard the Gerson presentation was Raymond Gram, an American Broadcasting Corporation newscaster. Raymond Gram Swing put out his network radio broadcast, and when it was over, people from all over the nation were calling.  However, the pharmaceutical companies—members of the PMA—were also calling. They threatened to cancel all radio advertising contracts.  Raymond Gram Swing was fired from his position as a newscaster for the ABC network, and Max Gerson’s research was set aside. However, his research was still published before his death in 1959.

Starting The Gerson Therapy

The Gerson Therapy is based on a natural organic plant-based diet, and it can be a difficult program to follow.  The menu plan is work-intensive and not easy to do for someone who is ill.  After trying it myself, I would suggest a support group that understands and believes in holistic and alternative methods of healing.  It is also a good idea to find a doctor that is supportive of holistic medicine.  https://gerson.org/gerpress/i

In conclusion, even if you do choose the traditional treatment of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, the nutritional approach will still give you a better chance of survival. I have tried the Gerson diet, and I would recommend it.  I believe this natural approach helps detox the body and gives back micronutrients that the body needs to help it heal.  

[i]Gerson, C., Walker, M. The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program For Cancer and Other Illnesses. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2006, pp. 13,14.


      

The Gerson Therapy: A Dietary Approach to Disease

What is the Gerson Therapy?

       The Gerson Therapy is named after Max Gerson, a doctor who attended the universities of Breslau, Wuerzburg, Berlin, and Freiburg for his medical studies.  He completed his internship in Hoechst, Main, and then worked as an assistant to Professor Albert Frankel. M.D., in Berlin.  From 1909 until the beginning of the First World War, he worked in with many well-known doctors.  Finally, ten years after establishing his own practice in Bielefeld, Dr. Gerson treated three hopelessly ill people suffering with cancer. One of them was dying from inoperable stomach cancer. All three recovered and went on to tell other cancer patients that successful treatment was at hand.  

Health: A Personal Journey

     The treatment that Dr. Gerson used was based on his own health problems. While he was a university student, he suffered from severe migraine headaches throughout his undergraduate years.  So he embarked upon a search.  He read numerous books and medical papers and consulted with many authorities.  Finally, he found a case report in an Italian medical journal about a woman whose severe migraines were relieved by a change of diet.

Experimentation: An Elimination Diet

      With this information, he began experimenting with his own diet.  Because a human’s physical structure is similar to that of vegetarian animals, he thought that they should probably live on fruit, vegetables, and grains. He decided to try an all-apple diet, and the migraines disappeared.  He continued, with what today we would call an elimination diet, and slowly removed foods that he was sensitive to. Later, he suggested to patients that they try the diet.  Some patients told Dr. Gerson that they were also healed of skin tuberculosis known medically as lupus vulgaris.  So with the help of Dr. Ferdinad Sauerbruch, M.D., Clinical trials were set up for 450 “incurable” skin tuberculosis patients using Dr. Gerson’s Method.  Of these patients, 446 recovered fully.  

War

    Even though Dr. Max Gerson was progressing with his medical research, in 1933 he had to leave Germany.  He and his family barely escaped the Nazi death camps.  In 1938, he was able to emigrate with his family to New York City.  After arriving, he passed the New York State board examinations for medicine and opened a practice on Park Avenue where he continued to develop his therapies for serious health difficulties, especially cancer.  Before chemotherapy, Dr. Gerson treated many patients given up to die after receiving surgery and radiation . The Gerson Therapy brought really sick people up to a 50 percent rate of recovery for even far advanced cancer.

www.gerson.org/gerpress

Gerson C. and Walker M. D.P.M., The Gerson Therapy, The Proven Nutritional   Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses.  p. 23-24. Kensington Publishing Corp, NY, 2001-2006

Knowledge Is Power

Pain

As I lay in pain on a bed in the back bedroom, I knew that, as a teacher, I would have to finish putting in final grades.  Just sitting made me exhausted and uncomfortable, so it took me hours. I could only work for short periods of time. However, somehow I managed to finish and send in my last grades. After that, things just started deteriorating in my body, and I was weak and my balance was off. One time I fell while reaching for a book. How could I live like this?  I started researching online.  Knowledge is power, and I wanted to understand why my body was heading downhill so quickly.

Support

Interestingly, my younger sister, who has a time-consuming job, sent a book.  She said she found it at a yard sale. It was Raw Energy by Leslie and Susannah Kenton. Because the cover was slightly faded, I checked the copyright date.  The first printing was 1984.  As I read the forward the second paragraph caught my attention.  It stated, “Healthy eating is a timeless science, researched for thousands of years in different civilizations but surprisingly neglected this century.” (p. 9) However, in the introduction, the authors also said that some people thought they were wasting their time writing about munching carrots, and others smiled indulgently and maintained a polite silence (p. 11).  I was hooked. Why were people so nonchalant about their health? Why would more knowledge about causes of illness create disdain in some?  My life was on the line, so I wanted to find out more.

Alternatives

So what did the investigative authors discover?  Through their investigation of the enormous quantity of European research, they confirmed that fresh, uncooked food has health-promoting effects on the body.  They delved into the hundreds of books and research papers on biochemistry and on the clinical uses of uncooked foods.  In addition, evidence shows that when 75 percent of our foods are taken raw, bodily degeneration which accompanies long-term illness is not only reversed, but slows the rate at which we age, and gives the body more energy and even makes us feel better emotionally.  Therefore, I definitely wanted to know more.

Take Responsibility

It was time to take responsibility for my health, and not just blindly follow what others were doing. I had been reading the long list of side effects on the prescription labels that came with the cancer treatment.  It was a chemical and physical nightmare.  So when I asked about the drugs and what I was reading, one nurse said, “You read that!”  But then their answer was that it didn’t always affect everyone in the same way, and they reassured me that I would be okay.  I didn’t feel okay.

A New Chapter

I finished Leslie and Susannah Kenton’s book.  It renewed my hope, so I bought a juicer since it was hard for me to digest food, and I headed in a new direction.  Before becoming ill, I was an active person, and now I realized I was not ready to give up on life. The book had sparked a new interest in living a mindful and healthy life.  A new chapter was beginning.

Leslie & Susannah Kenton, Raw Energy, Arrow Books Limited, London, 1984.