When I took in the new gum-tree-grey house, after a long flight from London, I felt a momentary pang for the old terracotta orange. But after a few weeks I became accustomed to the colour, and by end of the holiday, I appreciated just how much better it looked.
It’s a funny thing change. We will do anything to resist it – we’ll put up with toxic relationships, dead-end jobs and peeling paint – just to maintain the status quo. But when fate finally forces our hand, we wonder what took us so long to move on.
Painting the house is just one of the many ways Mum has embraced change since her diagnosis last March.
These days she no longer sweats the small stuff (she saves the sweating for the infrared sauna); she’s studying to be a health coach (after decades of dispensing advice for free) and she now can’t imagine life without green juices, coffee enemas and the many wise and inspiring people she’s connected with in treatment rooms, health food stores and through this blog.
From the vantage point of her new reality, Mum can now appreciate that getting cancer kick-started a series of positive changes in her life, and led her to shake-things up – both mentally and physically.
… Like a Polaroid Picture
Recently, both Mum and I have been shaking uncontrollably for twenty-four minutes, once a week, thanks to a new DVD by world-renowned yoga instructor, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
In Kundalini Yoga: Healthy Body Fearless Spirit Gurmukh instructs students to shake to the point that: ‘your innards are shaking, your lips are shaking, your eyeballs are shaking, your brain is shaking… like you’ve been plugged into a wall with high voltage.’
Shaking will fix ‘every single thing’, according to Gurmukh:
‘If you have disease, if you have depression, if you have anything going on that doesn’t keep you in harmony with your divine self – gone – with the shaking,’ she says.
If you’re worried that doing Gurmukh’s DVD will damage your street cred, a glance at her client list should allay your fears.
Some of the world’s coolest people have been taught by Gurmukh, including Gwyneth Paltrow, David Duchovny and Madonna. And although Gurmukh is based in LA – where she is the director of the Golden Bridge Yoga Centre – her influence extends beyond the Hollywood Hills.
At the age of 68 Gurmukh is still traveling the globe (she was recently in Iceland) leading kundalini workshops and encouraging followers to take up a spiritual practice and take themselves less seriously.
‘If you sweat and you laugh everyday, that’s what makes you healthy, happy and whole,’ Gurmukh says on her classic DVD Kundalini Yoga.
While I was back in Perth Mum and I would do Gurmukh’s latest DVD together – and alternate between laughing at each other and looking at the clock and wondering how the hell we’d manage to shake for another twenty minutes when our arms were burning after just four.
To take the edge off, Mum and I would take turns on her rebounder (mini trampoline) – and let the springs do the shaking for us.
While Gurmukh might see this as cheating, many experts now believe that rebounding is one of the best things cancer patients can do…
Rebounding strengthens the immune system, oxygenates the blood and dramatically increases lymphatic flow.
The lymph system helps remove toxins – such as dead cancerous cells, viruses and heavy metals – from the body. But unlike the blood (which is pumped by the heart) it takes physical movement to get fluids moving out of your lymph glands.
‘Rebounding has been shown to increase lymph flow by up to thirty times,’ writes Ty Bollinger in Cancer – Step Outside the Box. ‘…without muscular contraction, adequate exercise, and movement… the lymph doesn’t flow. Thus, the body’s cells are left stewing in their own waste products and starving for nutrients, a situation which contributes to cancer and other degenerative diseases as well as premature aging.’
According to Lee Euler from Cancer Defeated, one Mexican cancer clinic has a mini-trampoline in every room, and they consider it one of the most important parts of their treatment protocol.
It goes without saying that exercise is vital for cancer patients.
The journal Cancer Research also recently published a study showing that men with early stage prostate cancer who did not exercise were more than twice as likely to see their cancer come back – compared to men who walked three times a week.
So how does rebounding differ from other exercise?
‘All of the body’s cells become stronger in response to the increased ‘G forces’ during rebounding,’ writes Ty Bollinger.
While jogging on hard surfaces can put stress on your ankles and knees, jumping on a trampoline strengthens your joints without the risk of damaging them.
If you own a mini-tramp (or indeed, Gurmukh’s DVD) there’s also no excuse to avoid exercise: whether it’s raining or you’ve got a toddler in tow; whether you’re feeling the pinch financially or feeling time poor – you can find twenty minutes or so, to get your body moving.
Back in London, I’ve been shaking with Gurmukh while it’s been drizzling outside. My boyfriend warns that unless I put the blinds down, I’m going to end up on YouTube.
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