It has opened my mind so much that I want to share it, even though I would normally have kept such things very private. So here goes…
A part of me believes my family should always be happy and healthy. After all, I clearly believe that I have the ability to help others become healthier and happier. I have helped enough people, to know that there is some truth in that belief. So a part of me, feels we should always be leading from the front, always full of health and happy. I know that Debbie often thinks the same, as she has also mentioned feeling the same way.
So one of our guilty secrets is that our 3 year old daughter, Honey, would wake up most mornings crying and distressed. It seemed to me in particular, that every morning started early (around 4 to 6 am) with a crying unhappy child and it was getting to me. I was noticing thoughts I did not want, “it’s always like this”, “here we go again” and I knew thoughts like this would not help.
For over three years I felt a bit powerless to change it. I had a feeling that it all stemmed from the family tragedy that occurred just before Honey was born. At the time, which was just weeks from Honey’s expected delivery, we used hypnosis and emotional freedom technique daily to try and shield our unborn daughter from the flood of emotions that coursing through Debbie’s veins. These emotions, grief at the loss of her younger sister and unborn nephew during childbirth, fear that what had previously seemed safe and natural may now be a life threatening event, had overtaken those of joy and anticipation of the arrival of our baby girl.
We were both experiencing our versions of the natural feelings of grief, sadness and loss wrapped up with those of fear. I feel that we did the best we could, but it is also my belief that Honey had learned that life was scary and distressing even before she was born and so maybe that was why she woke up each morning sounding distressed.
Now over the past three years there have been a sequence of events that has pushed me towards believing in our bodies subtle energy systems. Possibly being more open to that concept, I also came across EFT Founder Gwyneth Moss’s talks on surrogate tapping. This is where you use Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping for someone else, by imagining you are them! I’ve discarded this idea in the past without any real thought, but Gwyneth’s background is in science, she graduated from Cambridge in physics and worked worldwide as an oil exploration geophysicist and project management consultant before retraining as a therapist. Her thoughts mirrored mine when she explained her initial reaction to surrogate tapping which was “that’s too weird, that’s for Reiki people, not me”. So if someone with a proven record as both a physicist and a therapist can observe the benefits, would I be able to? After yet another morning of being woken early to the sound of Honey crying and distressed, I very strongly suggested to Debbie that we should try surrogate tapping for her.
How We Did It
As I said before, surrogate EFT involves tapping on yourself on behalf of someone else, so we decided I would ‘pretend’ to be Honey and Debbie would be the therapist. EFT works best when you are not attached to the outcome though, so we spent some time clearing our own issues and emotional responses over Honey’s behaviour. Then I pretended to be Honey and Debbie acted as practitioner. We ended with the choices method around feeling safe and happy in her room. I just imagined myself as Honey and said what came into my mind, in the kind of words she would use. Our session probably lasted for around an hour and half, with around 1/3rd of it being the surrogate tapping.
The Following Morning
Around eight hours later at about 6:45 I almost cried as I lay in bed listening to Honey chat away to herself contentedly. I finally got up and popped my head around her door to be met with a cheery “Morning Dad”.
This blew me away. It was a like a dream. I had expected a change, committed myself fully to the process and believing in it, but such a profound difference, so quickly, was beyond my expectations.
Friday she woke with a cold and feeling ill, but still wanted to stay in her own room…
To date, each morning (to date around six weeks later), she has woken with a much more contented state of mind.
How Could This Work?
Some of you reading this will believe it a mysterious consequence, or wishful thinking. Personally I believe now more than ever, that we are all energetically linked in some way and this is why it has worked.
For now I’m avidly reading postings and books by those who understand what might be happening better than I do.
But I wonder, have you experienced anything like it?
There can be few things scarier than being diagnosed with Cancer, I still remember when my mum was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and given a few years at best to live. As a family we functioned, but in shock and with an almost paralysing sense of fear dragging me down everytime I awoke in the morning. I have regrets over that time because I did wrong, but it was a long a time ago and I lacked the knowledge I have now.
So if I could turn back time what would I do differently? In truth I believe there are many things that contribute towards self healing and being healthy, but I would start with these:
Firstly I believe hope is the most important thing to foster. So watch this now.
Doctors seem paranoid about this and and scared of giving false hope, personally I would be more scared of living without hope because studies have shown that when it comes to beating cancer even ‘denial’ is better than the stoic acceptance that some people think you should have. Hope is crucial because without hope what is the point of doing anything?
I would recommend reading books like: Radical Remission, How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter etc to read about stories of how other people have survived against the odds and the theories behind how it maybe possible. Once you become open to the possibility that you can survive and thrive in spite of a prognosis to the contrary, you may be surprised at how many others have done so too and maybe you can be one of them. Here is the story on Youtube of one chap who did not consciously do anything, but still survived against the odds.
When you open your mind there is so much out there, and some it from forward thinking Doctors, like that talk from Doctor Lissa Rankin which I find amazingly inspirational.
Secondly it is vital to get into the right state of mind to heal by acknowledging and reducing any fears, stresses or negative beliefs, while promoting positive thoughts and emotions. This is an area that I now specialise in because I know how important it is to regaining health. In simple terms every thought you have, conscious or subconscious starts as an electrical impulse, then creates chemical messengers that flood every cell in your body. Telling your cells which genes to switch on and off, which immune cells to create etc. There are now plenty of studies linking emotions like anger, and fear with various illness and it is well understood that stress or the fight or flight response drastically changes our biological systems which long term have a negative effect on our bodies. So it is vital that you get help to let these go. Find someone with a good reputation, who resonates with you, that can offer techniques such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that really do help you let to go of unhelpful thoughts.
As every thought you have does result in chemical messengers that flood every cell in your body, so replacing your fears with more positive thoughts is also important. Starting a gratitude diary may seem tough after a diagnosis of cancer, but blogger Gabi MacEwan credits the practice to her survival and it is a good way to foster positive emotions. Read more in my post: Three Strategies for Gratitude If Your Life is Tough.
Practising a daily meditation/self hypnosis to encourage your body to heal is also vital and there are many such tracks available commercially. Email me if you would like one of mine to listen to.
Thirdly, start eating the right foods! This will probably involve you forgetting everything you have previously been told from ‘authority’ figures, but the evidence is there for doing so. Many people attribute changes to nutrition, often drastic changes, as being responsible for beating cancer. One of those I stumbled across recently is Fred Hatfield, who was given three months to live when he came across the idea that adopting a ‘ketogenic’ (high fat) diet would help him. The story I came across was written a year after he adopted that way of eating and he was still free of cancer. Others like Kriss Carr have found a diet of plant based nutrition has helped them. So here is the dilemma, how should you eat to beat cancer?
Now although initially these may look like drastically different approaches, which they are, if you look at the detail there are many similarities. So while one approach predominately involves starving the cancer sells of their primary energy source and the other predominately involves increasing anti-cancer vegetables, they both have similarities in what is avoided (and I have posted about that before).
In 1931, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Otto Warburg, who discovered that cancer cells and malignant tumours tend to feed on sugar (glucose and fructose). This theory has been expanded upon by others such as Dr Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and is the basis of using a diet that is high in fat, causing the body to use fat derived ketones for energy. As cancer cells cannot use ketones they die, while the rest of the body functions well, if not better on ketones than glucose.
So while diets like Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet do not aim at ketone generation, many of the meals involve only sugar derived from carbohydrates, which when combined with increasing the intake of vegetables known to be beneficial in fighting cancer, may be enough for you to beat the cancer.
However, after doing a lot of research into healthy eating I would say that the ketogenic approach seems to make more sense and that is what I now recommend. Here are lots of resources you may find useful.
To Round Up:
Other people have survived and thrived and you could be one of them. Nurture your hope and do what ever it takes to believe that you can survive and thrive too. Your thoughts and emotions are vital to your bodies ability to heal and fight cancer, get the help you need to let go of fears and develop a rock solid vision of a healthy happy you. Ditch the standard western diet and follow a ketogenic diet.
If you would like to know more please see my website.
Just as the mind can help us with health treatments and healing, so too can it hinder. A poor outcome that had been totally generated by a subject’s negative expectation of a drug or treatment is known as a ‘nocebo’. For example research shows that negative suggestions that lead to anxiety over a condition, can activate a peptide hormone called CCK that will intensify pain. Another example is highlighted in Daniel Moerman’s book Meaning, Medicine and the ‘Placebo Effect’ (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology) where he discusses Tagamet, a drug once popular for treating stomach ulcers. Initial trials on Tagamet found it to be 70-75% effective, but once a newer drug came along that was marketed as much better than Tagamet, subsequent Tagamet trials found it to only be 64% effective even though the chemical formulae had remained unchanged.
If better advertising of one product can diminish the positive effect of another, because of ‘negative expectation‘, just imagine what effect some of the following statements might have:
“You’ve passed the deadline, according to the statistics you shouldn’t even be alive now”
“You will experience pain afterwords and it will be several weeks before you’ll be able to move around”
“You can’t possible be ready to deliver. You’re not in enough pain yet.”
“You need to accept that you’re not going home.”
They are sentences that have been told to people. Take that either way you like!
Words such as these delivered by people in positions of assumed authority, like medical staff, can create powerful nocebo responses and I often find myself working with people to undo the harm done by words such as these.
So my advice is to be careful what you listen to to and believe, think about whether you are you being told a fact or an opinion, because predictions of your future potential for health are often opinions rather than facts.
The Nocebo Effect: How Negative Thoughts Can Harm Your Health
An fMRI study on the neural mechanisms of hyperalgesic nocebo effect,F. Benedetti et al, J. Neuroscience 2006 , 26(46), 12014-22
My journey back to full health from the misery of ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was unfortunately longer than it could and should have been. If we (my husband, Pete, and myself) had known back then what we did now, the trial and error we went through could have been avoided and we could have honed in on those things which not only really helped me but also have since been scientifically proven to help.
One of the therapies I tried back when I was ill was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) otherwise known as Tapping. I will be blogging more about this technique in upcoming blogs but, in a nutshell, EFT is a simple yet highly effective self-help tool based on energy psychology. It is based on the Eastern philosophy of gently tapping on energy meridian points throughout the body, the same meridian points used in acupuncture and acupressure. When I was ill, exactly how or why EFT worked was irrelevant to me; what I simply recognised was that I felt better after using it. EFT is simply amazing at helping with emotional, physical and behavioural problems, as well as helping to overcome negative thoughts.
I was taught EFT by an experienced practitioner who showed me where the tapping points were and how to tap effectively, for maximum benefits and health gains. Once I was taught it I could then use it myself at home whenever I needed to. There were times when it did not seem to be as effective as it could have been and it was then that I knew it was time to see the practitioner again as she seemed able to ask the right questions to bring up emotions that might have been hiding under the surface and which I was too reluctant to tackle myself. However, in general, tapping at home several times a day seemed to really help me feel more relaxed, which ultimately helped me feel physically better as well.
As I said, at the time, I did not really care how EFT was helping me, only that I knew that it was. However it is really interesting now with hindsight to read emerging research on EFT which scientifically demonstrates the physical effects EFT can have and why it was so helpful to my recovery.
A randomized, controlled trial study(1) has recently shown how EFT can have a physical effect on the body by affecting the biochemical marker of stress called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ as it is often elevated when we are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. In this study, 83 participants were divided into three groups. Group 1 were given one hour of traditional psychotherapy, ‘talk therapy’, group 2 were given one hour of EFT and group 3 were the control group and given no interventions. The cortisol levels of each group were measured before and after treatments.
The results were staggering. There were no changes in the cortisol levels for participants in group 1 and 3, but in group 2, the EFT group, the cortisol levels decreased by 24%. The researchers were so amazed by this response they thought that there must be an error in the readings and they recalibrated their equipment and retested. After a lot of retesting which showed the same results, they finally accepted that there was nothing wrong with their equipment: EFT worked!
If one single session of EFT can have such a dramatic reduction in cortisol levels, imagine what regular tapping could do for your health?
As we have seen in our webinars, the stress response which is responsible for elevated cortisol levels has wide-ranging, debilitating physical affects on our body. Something which starts life as an emotion or a negative thought can actually impact in a very real, physical way on how we are feeling, exacerbating our symptoms and hindering the body’s natural healing response. In my case, the insidious impact of cumulative stressors which had crept up on me and which not only meant then when I got ME/CFS my body was already in a compromised, weakened state but which also kept me ill for so long, was a key factor in my illness. Working with our clients, we know that I was not alone. So many sufferers are hindered by the effects of stressors which are keeping them stuck in ill-health, it is really tragic and frustrating that not more is being done to make sufferers aware of what can be done to help them.
Looking back with the knowledge we now have from the researchers, I am convinced that learning and using EFT was a key factor in my recovery. (In fact, it is now a key factor in my life, as when I recovered I went onto qualify as an Advanced Practitioner of EFT!) We now know how important this simple tool is for our clients and teach it to them so that we are really putting control of their health back into their hands, or rather at the tip of their fingers. If you would like to know more about this amazing tool which can revolutionise your health see Pete’s YouTube video and join us for one of our workshops and tap yourself back to health 🙂
1. Garret Yount, Audrey Brooks and Dawson Church,The Effect of Emotional Freedom Technique on Stress Biochemistry; A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease,2012
Being ill and in pain is bad enough, but when you are told you need and operation it can be a really worrying time. It is totally understandable, unless you are part of a surgical team, having an operation is completely new experience and one that quite naturally triggers a stress reaction in many people. Even if you are part of a surgical team, being the patient is a very different perspective.
I bumped into one such lady the other day at a local leisure centre, she has been told she needs a replacement knee, but she was saying how anxious and worried she was about the surgery and rehab. It came as quiet a surprise to her that I had worked with many people in similar situations, helping them be more relaxed before and after the surgery. It came as more of a surprise when I told her that using the techniques I taught were often linked with less post operative pain and increased healing according to many studies. Certainly several of the people I have worked with have reported recovering faster than expected and even surprising their medical team.
If you would like to know more have a look at the website or give me an call/send an email.