Satan and Cancer
The ABC’s of cancer part 3
Ok, I admit it. I took a lesson from the sensationalist media and used an attention grabbing headline. I kind of like it. But here is the real story. I have a very good friend I work with, who is involved in very high stress situations. Her simple and to the point observation? Stress is Satan. If, as it is asserted by certain religious groups, Satan is the ultimate force of negative impact in the world, then indeed stress could be considered the ultimate force of negative impact on your immune system, and thus, your health.
I have bypassed, for now, the other factors that can contribute to cancer and other chronic diseases and gone straight for number one. It is impossible to minimize or disregard the impact of chronic stress on health. Almost every single person I know who has been diagnosed with cancer can trace its origin to a specific period of long term intense stress. If you haven’t already, you can read about mine in the post from March “How I got cancer Part 1”.
To review the basics. When you experience acute stress – be it real or imagined, as your body cannot decipher the difference – your body releases stress hormones (such as cortisol) that prepare your body to either fight or flee the stressful event.
Because this process is considered a short term survival solution, your heart rate increases, your lungs take in more oxygen, your blood flow increases, and parts of your immune system become temporarily suppressed, which reduces your inflammatory response to pathogens and other foreign invaders.
When stress becomes chronic, your immune system becomes increasingly desensitized to cortisol, and since inflammation is partly regulated by this hormone, this decreased sensitivity heightens the inflammatory response and allows inflammation to get out of control. Inflammation, in turn, is a hallmark of most diseases, from cancer to diabetes to heart disease.
The sad irony to this is, what could be more stressful than being diagnosed with a serious disease? So now the very thing that contributed to the disease is being cranked up to a whole new level as you try to heal yourself. This will have serious consequence on your attempt to recover.
You have to find a way to use some kind of stress management, not only to recover from an illness, but to prevent it in the first place. I think a point that many people don’t get about this blog is that, all this stuff is not only about dealing with cancer (and other chronic disease) It is about preventing it in the first place.
So what are you going to do? Here are four commonly accepted methods to help deal with stress:
- Meditation and visualization. There are so many studies that have been done on the positive affects of meditation on brain waves and body chemistry that it is a no-brainer (pun intended). There are many different techniques available, and one size does not fit all. Some people prefer a very spiritual connection in their practice, and some are looking for a psychological or mental response that they can measure in some way. It doesn’t matter so much, on the physical level, because generally the process of meditation has a calming affect on the body and mind. You have to explore and find something that works for you. It is a discipline and does require a commitment, but people who develop the habit swear by it, and can’t imagine life without it. Although, it is not my practice, many people like Transcendental Meditation (TM), and from what I understand it is a simple, straight forward, method. On this subject I want to add something. So many cancer survivors, whose testimonials I read, swear by the power of their faith in a higher power. I am not here to condone or condemn this. I am only reporting what I have discovered in my research.
- Therapy. I can’t speak to this with authority because it is not something I have done. However, it goes without saying that huge numbers of people use therapy and counseling and love it. Here again you need to find the right person and the right situation. By the way, this does not include going to a psychiatrist and getting a Prozac prescription. I won’t get into why that’s a problem.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or “Tapping”. Tapping is a self-administered method of tapping on what you could call “acupuncture” meridians, while verbally addressing the problem you are tapping for (stress, sleeplessness, pain, etc.). When I first saw it I was like, really? but it is hugely popular and, after using it myself, it is amazing how well it can work. If you goggle EFT or tapping, you will find tons of stuff and the easiest is to find a video that you can follow along with for your situation. Mercola.com has a great page with many tapping videos for specific things.
- Exercise. One of the most easily available methods to reduce stress. Straight forward and obvious. Pick something you love to do. The only disadvantage is that you aren’t always in a situation where you can do it. That’s where the EFT or meditation come in.
Of course combining these is a perfect choice. In the fight for health you want to use every weapon you have.
This is probably the most important post I will ever give on healing. Because, I am sorry to say, all the diet and supplements in the world will not work if you are chronically stressed out.
I wish you the very best in your battle against “Satan”
Peace and Blessings