Why Game of Thrones is Good For You

‘Record Game of Thrones!’ was my first diary entry for April.

I know I’m not the only one who’s been counting down the days for series 4 to start. The hit HBO TV show has garnered a global following and is one of the most expensive, most pirated and most talked about series of all time.

So what is it about the program – set in the mythical, medieval land of Westeros – that has us in its thrall?

Could it be its ability to catapult us from our ordinary lives into a fantasy epoch; where we can forget, temporarily, our deadlines, to-do lists  – and maybe doctor’s appointments – and lose ourselves in wonder?

When we fully immerse ourselves in an activity and lose track of time, we enter a brain state that health experts are just beginning to recognize as powerfully healing.

‘Do I have enough play in my life?’ That’s what patients need to ask themselves,’ says Dr. Bernie Siegel, best-selling author and cancer surgeon. ‘So find things that help you lose track of time. Because then you’re in a trance state, and that’s the healthiest state to be in.’

It sounds so simple, but with the relentless pressures of 21st century life many of us have forgotten what it means to let go. Cancer patients often ask Toronto-based physician, Dr. Alexander Mostovoy what they should do to relax:

‘I encourage patients to remember a time when they were little – perhaps playing with a doll- when nothing else existed and they had no care. It’s about finding that feeling again, that’s your place of healing.’

We tend to associate getting healthy with slogging it out at the gym and eating a joy-less diet, but the latest research is showing that giving in to pleasure can be just as important.

In fact, having a sense of joy is the second most important factor for predicting cancer survival, according to research from Sandra Levy, associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

In other research, ‘mirthful laughter’ has been compared to ‘internal jogging’ for its ability to lower stress, blood pressure and cholesterol.

So how can you infuse your life with more moments of bliss? Below you will find five suggestions for boosting your levels of ‘vitamin P’.

Fall in Love

‘You are generally healthier and more alive when you’re in love,’ says Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist who previously taught at Stanford.

In his latest book The Honeymoon Effect he explains that when we’re in love the brain secretes neurochemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and growth hormone into the blood. When these chemicals are added to cells in a laboratory, the cells exhibit robust, healthy growth.

Currently sleeping alone? Fear not – these same chemicals can be unleashed by falling in love with a project or following a passion, according to Lipton. That could be as simple as growing your own basil and tomatoes (endless bruschetta), braving a dance class and losing yourself in the music or babysitting someone else’s puppy – surely the quickest way to induce that ‘fall in love’ feeling.

Enjoy what you Eat

How often have you said something like the following? ‘ I just look at a piece of chocolate cake and gain weight.’ According to Pam Grout author of the New York Times best-selling book E-Squared, we ought to watch our words rather than count calories:

‘Those items on your dinner plate are not static lumps of nutrition, but rather morsels of dynamic energy that eavesdrop on every one of your intentions.’

Not buying it? A recent experiment from the Institute of HeartMath, a non profit organization that studies stress and human energy, found that a bowl of yoghurt, hooked up to electrodes, responded to human thoughts and emotions.

I cannot verify whether saying ‘this meal is slimming’ before demolishing a burger will make you drop a dress size, but if you repeatedly catch yourself saying something like ‘it’s really hard for me to lose weight’ you might be programming your subconscious to hold onto those kilos.

(You can hedge your bets by indulging in a healthy treat – like this Gluten Free Seeded Quinoa and Chia Bread from Saskia Gregson-Williams’, Hip & and Healthy E-Recipe Book. For more delicious nourishing recipes click here)

Swap the Treadmill for Trees

Too much high intensity exercise can raise our levels of cortisol – otherwise known as the ‘fat storage hormone.’

So why not go for a gentle stroll beneath a canopy of branches instead? The latest research suggests it not only soothes the soul, but can also heal the body at a cellular level. If you’ve read anything about ‘earthing’, you’ll know that taking off your shoes and plugging your feet into the bare ground can help reduce inflammation, thanks to the electrons on the earth’s surface. (NIB: A man in Mum’s local qigong class has not worn shoes for two years. He believes it’s helping him keep cancer at bay).

Day Dream

Teachers, parents and bosses might have told you to sit up and pay attention but when you allow your mind to wander you’re engaging your imagination – boosting your creativity and well-being.  By letting go of the present moment you are helping to cultivate a theta-brain state, which many experts including Brent Phillips and Dr. Alex Loyd, now believe is key to health and healing.

Make a New Playlist

I guarantee the process will make you:

A) reflect on happy memories associated with your favourite tunes

B) get your body moving first thing in the morning

C) incentivise you to have friends over for dinner; and, according to research from best-selling author Lynne McTaggart, staying socially connected might be a better predictor of health and longevity than diet or whether you smoke.

You will find more tips for changing your mental landscape and supercharging your health in my book ‘Mum’s Not Having Chemo. I am now offering private health coaching sessions over the phone – click here to find out more.

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Fermented Foods

Every health expert on the planet might extol the values of raw food but the process of fermentation can elevate the most humble vegetable to superfood status.

‘A week-old carrot will grow limp and grey, even when stored in the refrigerator,’ says Donna Gates, author of Body Ecology and high priestess of probiotics, ‘while a fermented carrot stays crisp, crunchy and bright orange.’

Today, our appetite for cultured food is growing as quickly as the beneficial bacteria they produce. Twitter is brimming with recipes for sauerkraut and coconut yoghurt, restaurants are responding to a demand for tangy side-dishes and even Red Bull makes a drink using a kombucha culture.

I recently wrote a feature for the The Sunday Times Style Magazine looking at just how beneficial these living foods can be and thought I would share with you some snippets from it this week.

The Forgotten Food Group

Fermented foods have been an essential part of traditional diets for centuries: Genghis Khan fed fermented vegetables to his plundering hordes, Captain Cook took sauerkraut on his epic sea voyages and Hippocrates – the founder of modern medicine – was said to use apple cider vinegar to control bacterial infection.

Science is now confirming ancient wisdom about cultured foods and the beneficial bacteria they contain. We know that up to 80  per cent of the body’s immune system is located in and around the gut and studies suggest restoring our intestinal flora could help with everything from diabetes and heart disease to colon cancer and chronic anxiety.

Personally I try to consume some kind of fermented food every day (usually a good scoop of sauerkraut) and I encourage all my clients to do the same – whether they are trying to prevent urinary tract infections or sort out digestive issues.

Here are just a few ways the forgotten food group can bolster your health:

Heart Health

Fermented foods not only reduce inflammation – a key cause of heart disease according to Dr. Mark Hyman – but studies suggest they can also help lower triglycerides (British Journal of Nutrition, 2006) and cholesterol (Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2010).

Weight Loss

Heidi Klum and Halle Berry have spoken of their love of sauerkraut and studies (British Journal of Nutrition, 2013) suggest  it might be the secret tool to weight loss: ‘The probiotics in fermented vegetables aid weight loss by balancing your inner ecosystem,’ says Donna Gates.

Fermented foods can also help cut sugar cravings – after a few weeks you’ll be hankering for that sour tang instead.

Protection during Chemotherapy

If the gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, the chances of survival increase exponentially,’ says Jian-Guo Geng, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, who has been studying a new drug which stimulates cell growth in the intestines.

Your Mind and Mood

You may have heard that probiotics are great for soothing the stomach, but did you know a daily dose could also calm your mind? A recent human study found that eating probiotics daily reduced stress and anxiety while holistic physician Dr. Kelly Brogan says that disruption of our gut ecology may be a ‘major player’ in depression.

To read the original article in the Sunday Times, click here

For those who want to learn how to make cultured foods at home I highly recommend Kevin Gianni’s E-book ‘Cultured.’

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Broccoli Sprouts

When I think of childhood dinners I think of crumbed chicken, salmon mornay and broccoli.

My siblings and I would be served a few florets with dinner almost every night – often bribed with the promise of a chocolate Freddo or given the option of dipping the ‘trees’ in ketchup, if we were looking particularly gripey.

I’m sure many of you have similar memories of being goaded to eat your greens. From childhood we learn that vegetables are good for us, but it’s only in the last few decades that science has recognized how crucial cruciferous vegetables are for our immune systems – and when it comes to anti-cancer research, broccoli is the undisputed star.

Recent research has shown broccoli can:

Take on Cancer Stem Cells: The germ cells suspected of driving tumour growth.

Provide a rich source of isothiocyanates (ITCs): compounds that can target and block the p53 gene – associated with half of all human cancers.

Activate Glutathione: Known as the ‘mother’ of all antioxidants glutathione is also ‘highly-cancer protective’ according to British nutritionist, Patrick Holford.

Fight H Pylori: A common type of bacteria believed to cause stomach cancer.

Boost Sulforaphane: This substance helps the liver break down and destroy cancer cells. In 2011, the September Oncology Report, found that sulforaphane suppressed breast cancer cell proliferation and growth.

Indeed sulforaphane may be the most important compound in broccoli. But, if you’re really serious about upping your levels, you should eat broccoli sprouts.

Why Broccoli Sprouts are Better

Three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain 10-100 times higher levels of sulforaphane than a mature head of broccoli – that’s a radical leap in potency, and it can make all the difference.

Multiple studies show that broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane show promise against cancers of the prostate, bladder, liver, ovaries, colon and lungs.

But it’s not just cancer. Broccoli sprouts are also a beauty food.

They help seize toxins and usher them out of the body and promote radiant skin and luscious locks thanks to the beta-carotene, selenium, glutathione, zinc, vitamin C and folate they contain.

These little powerhouses of goodness can also alleviate:

Digestive discomfort

Aid poor vision

AND may even prevent osteoarthritis, by slowing the destruction of joint cartilage and interfering with the inflammatory process linked to condition, according to a study in the latest edition of What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You.

If that weren’t enough, recent research suggests that our stomachs ( residence to 80 percent of our immune cells) contain a ‘broccoli receptor.’

In a short video on GreenMedInfo.com Dr. Michael Greger explains that when we eat broccoli – and other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and mustard greens – it leads to the ‘activation of our immune foot soldiers.’

While the broccoli we eat often suffers from being over-steamed and soggy, broccoli sprouts are left with their enzymes intact and their sharp mustardy flavor provides a pleasing piquance to sandwiches and salads.

But I find the best way to get a regular dose is to simply shove a handful through the juicer.

The online downside to broccoli sprouts? They are fiendishly hard to find. In my experience, Wholefoods stocks them sporadically as do local farmers markets. If you’re having trouble getting hold of them I would highly recommend broccoli sprout juice from Tonic Attack: www.tonicattack.com

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Six Life Saving Tests

January is a time when even the most relied upon party-lovers suddenly revel in the opportunity to have a night in, shun alcohol and embrace soups, salads and sushi.

Most of us renew our health vows, get the juicer humming and try to absolve the sins of the silly season through rigorous detox regimes and exercise. It’s dull, but it’s Ok, because everyone’s doing it – see the ubiquity of the following on twitter #5:2 diet #liverflush #greensmoothies.

While a few ‘Kale Mary’s’ might be enough for some, for those who have had cancer, getting on top of their health in the new year often means booking in for blood tests to see how they’re doing. Always scary, never fun, and increasingly confusing with the choice of diagnostic tools currently available.

It’s worth remembering that many routine scans come with the risk of radiation (mammograms, CAT scans, PET scans) and that conventional blood marker tests can be extremely unreliable. To give you just one example, less than twenty five percent of patients with early stage colon cancer show an elevated CEA level.

Thankfully we are living in the dawn of frontier oncology. There are now tests that can detect cancer years earlier than previously thought possible; tests that can pick up tumours at just 1-2mm in size and identify circulating tumour cells before they form a mass in the body.

One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime according to current statistics. Imagine the millions of lives that might be saved if cancer was picked up in micrograms, rather than at the stage of metastasis?

I discuss these groundbreaking tests and techniques in detail in my new book Mum’s Not Having Chemo.  But for those who missed getting their hands on a copy before Christmas (in Australia demand outstripped supply) below you will find some basic details so you can take action, find out what’s really going on, and then make informed resolutions for 2014 that are right for you.


Greece: Research Genetic Cancer Centre (RGCC): At the forefront of molecular oncology, this lab picks up cancer at minute, molecular levels. More specifically RGCC offers analysis of circulating tumour cells and cancer stem cells. These high tech tests can also identify which treatments, both conventional and alternative, will work best for you. That includes a list of the most effective chemotherapy agents as well as the top natural treatments – like IV C, Artemisinin and curcumin – for your cancer. www.rgcc-genlab.com

UK: Dr Wendy Denning in London, www.thehealthdoctors.co.uk and Dr. Nicola Hembry in Bristol www.drhembry.com send patients blood for testing at RGCC in Greece.

Australia: RGCC has a branch in Melbourne which undertakes the sampling and shipping of blood to Greece. www.nutripath.com.au

USA: America Metabolic Laboratories offers sophisticated cancer profiling using a range of blood and urine markers including the PHI test and sensitive HGC test: www.Americanmetaboliclaboratories.net.

Oncoblot: This brand new test only became available in January this year. Dr. Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) says: ‘Oncoblot tells anyone if they have any cancer years before CAT scans or PET scans. It gets it when it is only 1-2mm in size, when I expect nearly 100 per cent can reverse the test.’ www.oncoblotlabs.com

Germany: Biofocus Institute for Laboratory Medicine runs similar tests to RGCC in Greece including analysis of circulating tumour cells, chemo-resistance testing and ‘alternative agent’ testing: www.biofocus.de

Denmark: Humlegaarden Cancer Clinic now offers CellSearch – testing of circulating tumour cells in the blood. www.humlegaarden.com

Japan: Dr. Tsuneo Kobayashi offers early detection – through his Tumour Marker Combination Assay (TMCA) test. Kobayashi, who believes his innovative test could save ‘seven million’ people are year also offers a range of cutting edge therapies for those who travel to his centre in Tokyo. ‘He [Kobayashi] is an unrecognised hero,’ says Dr Thomas Lodi, integrative oncologist and founder of An Oasis of Healing centre in Arizona.

Nobody likes blood tests and it can be so tempting to procrastinate, postpone and jam your fingers in your ears and sing ‘la, la, la’ – rather than discover something you would rather not know.

But knowledge is power and with the smorgasbord of therapies now available to the discerning cancer patient – ozone, hyperthermia, curcumin, PEMF, all of which I discuss in my book – there’s no need to despair whatever the result.

Dr. Garry Gordon, believes sophisticated tests are key: ‘It’s only when people fail a test that they’re going to spend money, change their diet, give up the sugar, start to walk, stop the smoking – nobody is going to do these things until they have a problem.’

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Are you holding your breath while emailing?

A little while ago, I made the decision not to look at my inbox until 9 am.

I now try and meditate for ten minutes, exercise (even if it’s just 20 minutes bouncing on the mini tramp) have breakfast and jot down any ideas I have before I hit the emails.

This simple rule has made such a difference to the way I feel and how much I can get done. It gives my body a chance to relax and digest, and my mind the opportunity to roam free, before my thoughts are hijacked by the inbox.

I always assumed it was the distraction of the messages themselves that put paid to productivity, but new research suggests that the act of emailing can literally take your breath away, robbing the brain of the vital oxygen it needs to function properly.

In fact, 80 per cent of people are thought to suffer from ‘email apnoea,’ a phrase coined by Linda Stone, a writer for the Huffington Post.

Apnoea is usually associated with sleeping and is characterized by a sudden pause in breathing – and snoring.

This common condition not only wreaks havoc on your sleep (and possibly relationships) but on your health too.

Shallow breathing, shorter life?

In one recent Spanish study, researchers found that people with severe sleep apnoea had a 65 percent (almost two-thirds) greater risk of developing various types of cancer.

They discovered the missing link was oxygen.

After following 5,200 people for seven years they found that the more oxygen depletion participants experienced at night, the more likely a patient would be diagnosed with cancer during the study.

The link between cancer and low oxygen levels has been known for over 80 years.

The theory was first put forth by the Nobel Prize-winning physician Dr Otto Warburg in the 1930s.  He believed that cancer cells are normal cells that have been forced to adjust to a low oxygen environment in order to survive.

Instead of being aerobic, they become partially aneorobic and become dependent on glucose (sugar) for energy production.

It’s for this reason that so many leading cancer experts recommend oxidative therapies – like intravenous ozone, hydrogen peroxide and rectal ozone – which work at the cellular level to encourage better uptake of oxygen.

Oxidative therapies are real game-changes for cancer patients, and there is barely a week that goes by when I don’t receive a message from someone letting me know how crucial these treatments have been for their recovery.

Just yesterday a lady from Melbourne posted a comment underneath one of my articles, mentioning how she had used ozone therapy, vitamin C and heat therapy to successfully overcome tongue cancer.

In my book Mum’s Not Having Chemo I share how other survivors have benefitted from oxidative therapies and provide the names of practitioners and clinics – around the world – who offer them.

But there are also simple ways you can boost the body’s intake of oxygen -without booking an appointment. You will find a list below…

Top 5 Ways to Oxygenate your Body:

Start humming: Walking and humming dramatically increases oxygen intake, according to Marcus Freudenmann producer of Cancer is Curable NOW: ‘The vibrations from humming soothe the nerves while helping to increase the flow of oxygen through the body,’ he says. There’s even a clinic in Denmark where patients walk through the garden humming and singing twice a day.

Drink your greens: Green vegetable juice has become more ubiquitous than skinny jeans – but it’s more than just a fad. Drinking a potent green cocktail floods the body with vital enzymes, antioxidants and chlorophyll – which improves oxygen transport throughout the body.

Ditch stress: ‘Stress will cause you to take shallow breaths,’ explains New York-based cancer researcher Dr Kelly Turner. ‘After ten years of intense stress, you’ve got cells that have been starved of oxygen enough that their mitochondria might be damaged.’ Dr Turner thinks we can learn a lot from babies: ‘They take these beautiful belly breaths – they sleep a lot, they take naps, they’re not working all day and they’re moving,’ she says.

*Download the APP: Breath Pacer, an iPhone application monitors breathing and displays optimal breathing rates. Slower deeper breathing not only switches on the parasympathic nervous system (think rest and digest) it can also help alkalize the body.

Exercise: ‘One of the best ways to oxygenate the body is by exercising,’ says integrative oncologist Dr Thomas Lodi. Going for a run, doing a few downward dogs or jumping on a mini tramp not only floods your body with oxygen but it also stimulates your lymphatic system – vital for removing toxins from the body – an helps de-clutter your mind, giving it a chance to re-set before it’s reloaded.

Ploughing through emails often feels like a chore, but this week it’s been pure pleasure.

Thanks to a feature in the Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, I have received a slew of messages from alternative health aficionados, natural cancer survivors… and even my old Montessori kindergarten.

I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch and I wish all my new subscribers a very warm welcome.  Many of you have asked where to purchase the book so I’ve created a list below of key stockists.

AUSTRALIA: Dymocks, Collins and The Book Depository. Amazon does not have an Australian warehouse so the shipping costs are very expensive.

UK: Waterstones, WH Smith and Dubray as well as Amazon.co.uk.

AMERICA: The book will be re-released in America by Red Wheel, but for now you can purchase it online at amazon.com

In the meantime I hope you all enjoy the festive season – remember to keep breathing (a few deep breaths before bed might even help the hangover) – and I’ll see you in the New Year!

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‘Science helped me say no to chemo’

Some say that mainstream media is going the way of dinosaurs. I tend to disagree.

Although the internet and new media have revolutionized our relationship with news, it’s very easy to get lost in the vortex; and while google and #hashtags might be useful highway guides, there is no satnav for searching, and no direct postcode to help connect those looking for a kindred spirit.

A newspaper or magazine article on the other hand can draw, with magnetic force, thousands of like-minded people together.

Knowing this, I was hugely grateful to those editors who defied the usual blanket silence on alternative cancer therapies and mentioned my book in their pages last month. As a result, I received a flurry of emails from people who, like Mum, had overcome their cancer naturally.

One of them was Cliff Russell, a 6 foot 6 police officer with three science-based degrees who also said ‘no’ to chemo.

Here is his story, in his own words….

Cliff Russell, 46, London

‘I had a particularly bad stage 2 colon cancer with a poor prognosis and I was strongly ‘encouraged’ to undergo chemotherapy.  But, having done my research I knew that chemotherapy wasn’t going to increase my chances of being around in a few years – I actually ended up getting the head oncologist to admit that chemo might ‘theoretically’ only add an extra 2-3% to my 5 year survival chances! I remember thinking at the time that just drinking the odd cup of green tea would probably outperform that statistic.

The point I would like to highlight is that for me, not having chemo was not actually a brave choice, it was actually the most logical and rational choice to make. The real tragedy is that when I asked my oncologist how many patients had rejected his advice to undergo chemotherapy, he said I was the first.

What alternative treatments have you tried since your diagnosis?

I’ve tried a wide range of self-treatments over the last 3.5 years – unfortunately I’ve not really had the money to treat myself any other way.

The constants have been; The love of my wife and family, organic food, a quality multivitamin/mineral, iodine, high dose selenium, high daily doses of Vitamin C and D, trace minerals, as much sunshine as possible, a very low carbohydrate diet, green and white tea, coffee enemas, green vegetable juices and smoothies and about 5mg of melatonin every night.

Along the way I have also dipped in and out of other treatments, including; Raw milk, meditation, visualisation exercises, binaural beats, Far Infra Red Saunas, structured water, ionized water, a grounding sleeping mat, Tai Chi, the Budwig Diet, growing and juicing my own wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, St John’s Wort, NAC, glutathione, Beta Glucan, Vitamin B-17, turmeric, fish oil, colloidal silver….you name it, I’ve tried it! I’m also pretty much a teetotaller nowadays.

Which alternative treatments do you think have worked best for you?

I’ve felt that I’ve needed different things at different times. However, the number one thing for me is always maintaining a low carb/sugar (mainly organic) diet – Otto Warburg didn’t win that Nobel Prize for nothing!

I was also lucky to be diagnosed in the Spring, and it was a warm one in 2010, so for 5 months (until I had to go back to work) I spent every spare minute with my shirt off sunbathing – put it down to Vitamin D or celestial photons, whatever it was, the sun really made me feel better, and it has done ever since.

When I’m not sunbathing I take a minimum of 10,000 units of Vitamin D a day, and between 5 to 10 g of vitamin C. Of all the other ‘interventions’ the green juices and smoothies always make me feel great (being a typically ungrateful bloke I have christened them ‘Green B@@tards’) And of course the treatment that dare not speak it’s name…the coffee enema, I feel has been an amazing support. I have some affectionate names for this procedure too…

Were there any surprising benefits from the treatments? For instance some people reach for the coffee enema kit when they feel a headache coming on…

I feel like my immune system is hard as nails now – I’m never ill with colds or flu. Another more profound by-product of my illness has been the ability, most of the time, to put things in perspective. I feel like I have been to the edge, had a quick peek into the abyss, and nothing is going to phase me now.

You mention that you really related to the chapter in my book about the ‘cancer personality.’ Which parts resonated with you?

I’m not sure if everyone who knows me would necessarily agree, but I think I’m the type of person who always wanted to be liked, and by everyone, and all the time. I think the pressure of wanting to be constantly perceived as a ‘nice person’ can take its toll – I now think it’s beneficial to be a selfish git occasionally.

It hasn’t escaped my attention that psychopaths and Nazi war criminals seem to live quite routinely into their 90′s – go figure. What have I done about it? Well, it’s a work in progress, but I do generally spend less time worrying if people like me or not, and I’m much more likely to be honest about my opinions with people.

How have your changed your diet and environment? (i.e. have you got rid of anything in your house that might have hindered your recovery?)

We now cook with titanium-coated cookware- no nasties leaking into our food any more. We also try to only cook with organic coconut oil – but my wife still uses other oils when she thinks I’m not looking. My wife has also chucked out nearly all the household cleaning products and we now clean with ‘Enjo’ microfibre cloths and water. I’ve also learned how to make my own natural soap (for shaving and washing) and deodorant, and I use a chemical free shampoo.

I’ve cut down on my fluoride exposure through a whole house water filter, fluoride-free toothpaste, and a reverse-osmosis drinking water filter. I’ve also recently got a water alkalising machine, as I realised that the RO water comes out very acidic.

I’m still learning about electro-smog issues, but have already ditched our cordless phone for an old-fashioned corded one. The wifi is next on my hit list, but for the time being we always switch it off at night.

What do you believe is the most important factor for healing?

For me everything flows from your attitude. Having a loving family around you helps too. It’s easy to crumble after the initial shock of the diagnosis, I certainly did. I was numb for days.

Luckily my spirit managed to kick back in again, and just in time to make some pretty important decisions. The default pathway for shell-shocked patients would appear to be doing exactly what they are told by their doctors – which isn’t necessarily always the best thing for them. As for chemotherapy? I have realised, certainly for colon cancer, that what is constantly being hailed as a life-saving wonder intervention, is in fact largely a redundant pile of pants (and a very lucrative one at that).

This shattered illusion has naturally led me to take a fresh look at the rest of the world around me, and ask what other pant-like rubbish we are being peddled. How about Quantitative Easing, SSRI’s, Statins, low-fat diets, vaccines, the apparent need for constant wars..

My daughter was a little over 12 months old at the time of my diagnosis, and the thought of her growing up without her dad chilled me to the bone. At a certain point I made a commitment to myself that I would do absolutely anything to maximise my chances of survival, and I haven’t looked back since. So no more carbohydrates, ‘green b@@tards’ for breakfast, some coffee ‘where the sun don’t shine’, bring it on.

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Defeating Cancer on the Cheap

‘Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.’ Dr Andrew Saul, health educator and author of Food Matters

In Britain, Australia and the United States, you are punished financially if you choose alternative medicine over conventional treatment.

Chemotherapy drugs are expensive – often tens of thousands of pounds– but since they’re covered by national or private health insurance, the patient usually pays only a small portion of that amount. Nevertheless, someone is footing the bill.

In 2011 Americans spent over $23 billion on cancer drugs. Yet despite the promises, these shiny new drugs consistently underdeliver. ‘Standard therapies, although free, condemn the patient to low survival rates,’ says Dr Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). ‘Metastatic cancer five-year survival is 2.5 per cent; alternative doctors prove 38–60 per cent [five-year survival] is possible.’

However, holistic medicine often comes with a hefty price tag. After just a few weeks of intravenous vitamin C injections, ozone therapy, and investing in a far infrared sauna, mum’s credit card had already taken a battering. And that was before she flew to Germany for expensive blood tests.

While mum has been lucky enough to be able to afford these things, for many people alternative cancer treatments can be financially crippling. ‘It’s okay for you,’ people will say, ‘but I don’t have the money to see that specialist/order that supplement/travel overseas.’

Notwithstanding that money is a very real issue for a lot of people, there are effective solutions that don’t cost the earth. In fact, some of the best things a cancer patient can do cost nothing at all. For Professor Jane Plant giving up dairy led to recovery.

For Jane Wallis, a six-year bladder cancer survivor, apricot kernels and Essiac tea were, largely, the answer. ‘In a cash market the first step in stopping cancer is diet,’ emphasises Dr Garry Gordon.

Giving up sugar – cancer’s fertiliser – doesn’t cost a penny, and filling up on green juices, although time-consuming, is relatively affordable – even if it means budgeting in other areas.

Engaging with the natural environment also bestows positive health benefits and, in some instances, leads to profound healing. In Peace, Love and Healing, Dr Bernie Siegel discusses one case where Mother Nature contributed to a patient’s ‘spontaneous remission’:

‘Working outdoors, John maintains what I call a celestial connection and, like patients in the hospital who have shown to heal faster when their room has a view of the sky, he became healthier because of it.’

Changing your mental landscape can also change your life. Alternative cancer literature abounds with stories of tumours vanishing thanks to visualisation (Dr O. Carl Simonton, Getting Well Again), affirmation (Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life) and meditation (Ian Gawler, You Can Conquer Cancer).

While these books remind us of what is possible, for many people it is simply incomprehensible to rely on non-tangible treatments to heal cancer. The large majority of people crave radical action in the face of a terrifying diagnosis.

So what is available for those on a budget? In researching this topic I’ve learned that our world is rich in cancer-fighting substances. From broccoli sprouts and dandelion tea to shark cartilage and turkey-tail mushrooms there is a universe of affordable and effective options out there.

However, there are five treatments that have consistently cropped up in the expert interviews, survivor stories and the medical research I’ve done. These include turmeric, marijuana and salvestrols. Here are just a few things you may not know about them…

Turmeric:  You will find over 4000 studies on Medline about this ancient healing powerhouse and the molecule, curcumin, it contains. According to Professor Bharat Aggarwal, head of the Cytokine Research Group in the department of experimental therapeutics at MD Anderson, ‘So far there is not one cancer, at least in the test-tube, that curcumin cannot stop.’

Marijuana: Now legal in several US states marijuana has been shown to cut lung cancer tumour growth in half – according to a 2007 Harvard Medical study.

Salvestrols: These potent plant compounds offer the possibility of anti-cancer treatment ‘without the horrible side-effects’ according to one British expert I interviewed.

Extract adapted from the final chapter of Mum’s Not Having Chemo (Piatkus, £13.99 ) available in the UK from Thursday 7th of November (12th November in Australia).

In Mum’s Not Having Chemo I share the full story; I detail where you can get vitamin injections and how much turmeric to take, I provide practical advice from others who have beaten the odds and I share where you can go for molecular blood tests which will reveal the best treatments – alternative and conventional- for you.

The aim of the book is not to provide all the answers, but to raise your spirits along with a few important questions you might not otherwise have asked. Whatever road you decide to take, I hope it provides some comfort along the way.

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8 Things You Might Not Know About Breast Cancer

The pink ribbons are out, the starting guns are off and newspapers and magazines are filled with testimonials from breast cancer survivors.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone from fashion designers to NFL football players are getting involved.

While I have nothing against putting a spotlight on disease – indeed Mum was motivated to see the doctor back in 2011 after reading a testimonial during Ovarian cancer awareness month – I sometimes feel that new research and important messages are lost in a deluge of pink marketing.

So this week I bring you the latest news on breast cancer that I hope will empower you to make healthy choices and give you some food for thought:

Get Enough Selenium

‘If every girl in this country took 200mcg of selenium in one generation we’d eliminate breast cancer by 82 per cent,’ says Dr Peter Glidden, a naturopathic physician and author of The MD Emperor Has No Clothes. It’s a bold statement, but research reveals people who live in areas of selenium-rich or magnesium-rich soils are indeed many times less likely to get cancer. Boost your levels by stocking up on brazil nuts, sardines and button mushrooms.

Try a Vitamin C Shower

Not to ward off the flu, but to cut your exposure to chlorine: ‘Chlorine is a very well-known cancer- causing agent,’ says the widely respected naturopath and clinical nutritionist David J. Getoff. A study carried out in Hartford, Connecticut found that, ‘Women with breast cancer have 50 per cent to 60 per cent higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination by- products) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.’ The bonus? Reducing chlorine content, by investing in a Vitamin C shower filter, can also promote healthy skin and hair.

Genes Don’t Make the Decision

Today, the lifetime risk of breast cancer among females with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene is 82 per cent. But the statistics haven’t always been so dire.

Before 1940 the BRCA2 gene only expressed in about 24 per cent of cases, according to research (Science, 2003, 302, pp. 643–50).

‘Genetically humans don’t change . . . the only thing that’s changing is our environment,’ says Dr Alexander Mostovoy, Toronto-based physician and thermographer.

Junk food and junk thoughts, coupled with increased pollution and radiation all have a hand to play in disease.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Women with low levels of vitamin D  in their breast tissue have a much greater risk of breast cancer AND in 2013 researchers from St Louis found that vitamin D blocked a pathway linked to the development of breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 gene.

Jump on Mini Tramp

Rebounding slows ageing, oxygenates the blood and increases lymphatic flow, which may help prevent cancer.

‘Increasing lymph circulation gets white blood cells moving – which are critical for cleaning out your system and also killing cancer cells,’ says Marcus Freudenmann, producer of the hit documentary CANCER is Curable NOW.

Have a blueberry smoothie

In 2010, scientists discovered that blueberries cause programmed cell death in triple negative breast cancer cell lines. To find out more about the benefits and for a delicious basil and blueberry smoothie recipe, click here.

Remove Root Canals

Some of the leading cancer centres in Europe won’t accept patients until they have their root canal teeth and mercury fillings removed.

In the years 1995-2000 Dr. Thomas Rau who runs the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland checked the records of the last 150 breast cancer patients admitted. He found that 147 of them (that’s 98 per cent) had one or more root canal teeth on the same acupuncture meridian as their original breast tumour.

Ditch Stress

Science is increasingly urging us not to overlook the impact of stress.

In 2009 Chinese researchers revealed that adrenaline – the fight or flight hormone – actually makes cancer resistant to treatment (Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics).

So why not use this month to slow down, reflect and maximize moments of pleasure by avoiding multitasking? Watch Downton Abbey without replying to a text at the same time, read a whole chapter without getting up to unload the dishwasher (I’m loving Deborah Moggach’s Heartbreak Hotel) wonder at the beauty of autumn and leave your mobile at home…

Take in this information and then detach from the subject of cancer.

It’s good to be aware, but it’s also good to let-go.

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The Cure is the Immune System

We’ve collectively bought into the idea that to beat cancer, we need to wage a war against our body – regardless of the collateral damage to healthy cells.

But the old thinking is shifting, and it’s shifting fast.

In a new report, heralded as a ‘milestone of cancer research’ scientists from Germany reveal that the immune system is the best cancer ‘fighter.’

Researchers from the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany, have shown that the immune system has the ability to drive tumours and cancerous cells into a state of permanent dormancy.

‘It is very likely that we can’t win the ‘war on cancer’ by exclusive military means,’ says Professor Dr. Med Martin Rocken who led the research. ‘Instead, it will be an important milestone to restore the bodies’ immune control of malignant tumours.’

Immunotherapy was front-page news last weekend.

In London, the Mail on Sunday led with the headline ‘A cure for skin cancer.’

The cover story focused on breakthrough drugs reported to have ‘spectacular’ effects in seriously ill melanoma patients.

One scientist said it was ‘amazing’ that researchers could talk of ‘using the C-word- cure’ for the first time.

The two new drugs – ipilimumab or ‘ipi’ and anti-PDIs – work by stimulating the immune system and breaking down cancer cells’ defences. When combined, they are reported to ‘cure’ more than 50 per cent of patients. Traditionally, when melanoma has spread to other organs it is regarded as incurable.

So should we be excited?

Yes, I think so. I believe mainstream medicine is finally focusing their massive research budgets in the right direction – and these drugs certainly look promising. However, I would be interested to know more about possible side-effects and long term benefits.

Dr. James Larkin, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying:

‘It’s difficult to know that we have actually ‘cured’ people, because we have to wait to see if they die from something else. But all the new ipi data points to the fact that if you respond to the drug and are still alive three years after treatment, then it’s very likely that you are clinically cured.’

Currently the word ‘cure’ means living five years beyond diagnosis.

Phillip Day, a UK based health researcher and author of Cancer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth is wary of the word:

‘My aunt – who had all the chemo offered – is forever immortalized as a breast cancer ‘survivor’ says Day. ‘She survived the five years, but died six months after that. So she’s ‘cured’ and dead.’

Twenty-five years ago Day embarked upon a worldwide quest to find the answer to cancer. The result? He discovered the clinics getting the best results were focusing on nutrition, stress management and lifestyle changes. ‘They weren’t doing chemotherapy and radiation at all. That surprised me,’ says Day.

Mother Nature’s Pharmacy

For decades, alternative medicine has been focusing on the power of the immune system to overcome cancer, and there is now a wealth of research showing the benefits of immune boosting therapies like ozone therapy, hyperthermia, haelan and high dose vitamin C.

We all know that vitamin C can ward off the flu and fight viral illness – in fact vitamin C injections recently saved the life of a New Zealand farmer who was at death’s door from swine flu – but clinical research shows it’s a powerfully ally for cancer patients too.

Since 1980, numerous studies have reported that high dose vitamin C is selectively toxic to melanoma cells.

Another study from Japan, found that those suffering from uterine cancer lived fifteen times longer if they were having intravenous vitamin C.

My own mother, who was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer in March 2011, opted to have 60,000 mg of vitamin C injected injected three times a week.

She believed doing so would supercharge her immune system, help with healing and mop up rogue cancer cells left in her body following surgery.

There is now compelling clinical evidence that high dose vitamin C can kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells in tact.

A 2008 paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that intravenous vitamin C reduced cancerous tumours in mice by 43 per percent to 51 percent. The mice had ovarian, pancreatic and brain cancer.

The study was led by Dr Mark Levine, from the American National Institutes of Health.

So is vitamin C a magic bullet?

I don’t believe there is one, but I am convinced it was an important part of Mum’s recovery.

Six months after Mum started intravenous vitamin C – along with a series of other non-toxic therapies, which you can read about here – she was thriving, and still is.

But she also worked hard to change the internal environment in which the cancer grew by ditching dairy, nurturing her psyche, pulling out toxins, getting enough sunshine and overdosing on nutrition.

So is natural medicine as powerful as blockbuster drugs?

I think we should be open to the idea and offer patients the freedom of choice.

Sadly, the government is not of the same mind.

While the drug ipi is already available on the NHS, under the brand name Yervoy, the governments £200 million-a year budget doesn’t cover vitamin C – even though it retails for around 5 cents per gram.

Nor does the budget stretch to turmeric, hyperthermia or hydrogen peroxide – even though scientists from Nottingham Trent University recently concluded that the latter substance can act as ‘an anti-cancer drug with two distinct advantages: it produces minimal short and long term side effects and is relatively cheap and cost effective.’

As health educator and author Dr. Andrew Saul so aptly says ‘Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.’

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Turning around Terminal

Until you take your last breath, there is always hope.

That is the conclusion I’ve come to after spending two years interviewing over 60 experts around the world – most of whom were doctors – and speaking to countless cancer survivors.

Through my research I was astounded by the number of people who turned their situation around, after being told they had weeks or months to live.

‘Terminal’ cancer patients – with metastases to the bones, lungs and liver – have been known to fully recover, pancreatic tumours have vanished and those who’ve been sent home to die have gone on to live.

So what did these people do? Frustratingly, there is no simple answer. There is no ‘magic bullet’ no Elysium like ‘health repair pod,’ that will bring every patient back from the brink.

Nonetheless there are treatments that come up time and time again as the ones to try when all else fails. They won’t work for everyone, but rather than leave your health in the hands of fate, why not do your research, weigh up all your options, and take a chance on recovery?

In my forthcoming book, Mum’s Not Having Chemo: Cutting-edge therapies, real-life stories – a road-map to healing from cancer, I provide an in-depth account of the latest protocols along with an extended resources section to help you navigate through the dark.

But for those of you who need answers now, here are four treatments worth considering when the doctor says ‘there is nothing more we can do.’

Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia has gained a reputation as the therapy to try when the prognosis is poor, and Dr Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), swears by it:

‘If a patient has cancer that is so out of control they’re supposed to die in ten days – if it’s in every part of their body, they’re living on IV morphine – if they have the money, I would fly them directly to Munich and I would suggest they go to see Dr Douwes to have hyperthermia.’

Hyperthermia is a form of heat therapy where the patient’s body temperature is raised to around 41 degrees for four or five hours.

Cancer cells can’t take the heat, it weakens them, but healthy cells are left untouched.

So when cancer cells are in that weakened state doctors use small doses of chemotherapy or natural treatments like high dose vitamin C to finish the cancer cells off.

For more details go to: www.fachklinikdrherzog.de/ and www.klinik-st-georg.de/en/

Haelan 951

This fermented soy beverage is for ‘the ugly cancers’ according to Walter Wainright, a world-leading expert on Haelan 951. Preliminary research shows Haelan can:

Cut off the blood supply to cancer cells

Reduce cachexia (the wasting away process that haunts end stage cancer patients)

Take on ‘treatment resistant’ cancers

The National Cancer Institute has certified and accepted one very interesting case study of a terminal liver cancer patient who started taking Haelan and who was, seven months later, cancer free.  According to the report his doctor was dumbfounded; he did not know of any other survivors of the cancer (cholangiocarcinoma).

A course of Haelan 951, on average costs about $900 (USD) and that’s not including shipping. It’s a serious investment, but then cancer is no trifling condition and, as Wainright pointed out in a recent interview, the chemo drug Avastin costs $100,000 — and perhaps extends life for two to six months, with extreme side effects.

Mum has been drinking half a bottle of Haelan a day, since July last year. She has noticed a radical shift in her health and feels this is one thing that she will continue to take indefinitely.

(For those new to this blog, Mum is now thriving. She has no sign of the ovarian and uterine cancer she was diagnosed with in 2011. You can read a summary of her story here).

For more details go to: www.haelan951.com/

Gonzalez Protocol

Dr Nicholas Gonzalez has been prescribing daily coffee enemas for his patients – along with individualised diets, enzymes and targeted supplements – for the last twenty-five years.

One of his patients is a twenty-four-year survivor of metastatic breast cancer. ‘I know of no other patient with stage-4 inflammatory breast cancer, that failed chemo, alive twenty-four years later,’ says Dr Gonzalez.

The highly sought-after physician has had phenomenal success with a wide variety of cancers, including pancreatic cancer. You can find published case reports of his patients on his website.

For more details go to: www.dr-gonzalez.com/

Marijuana

While illegal in the UK and Australia, treating cancer with marijuana is big news stateside: ‘One literally has to be a fool not to consider using medical marijuana in one’s cancer protocol after reading the research,’ one international expert shared with me.

For further details you I’m afraid you will have to wait for the book but in the meantime I suggest your read Ruby Warrington’s feature in The Sunday Times STYLE this weekend.

This blog just might get a mention too…

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