In 2006 a scientific study was published that dramatically changed our understanding about health. A group of men with low grade prostate cancer, who had chosen not to undergo conventional treatment, experienced a 12 week program of comprehensive lifestyle changes which consisted of:
- A largely vegetarian diet with a few supplements
- Moderate exercise – walking for 30 minutes a day 6 days a week
- Stress management techniques including relaxation
- A weekly support group
Dean Ornish published his results in several different journals. He went on to investigate heart disease, diabetes, depression and several other severely debilitating diseases. On his website he now says his “37 years of research has scientifically proven that the integrative lifestyle changes he recommends can:
- improve chronic conditions – such as heart disease, diabetes and prostate cancer.
- change gene expression, turning on health-promoting genes & turning off disease-promoting genes.
- lengthen telomeres — the ends of chromosomes — which begins to reverse aging on a cellular level.”
See more at: http://www.ornishspectrum.com/proven-program/
There is a quote from a doctor on Dean Ornish’s website which says: “Until I began delivering this program, I wasn’t used to seeing people actually get better.”
Those of us who work in healing are used to seeing people get better, although we have often had to be careful what we say about it.
In my personal experience, over the past 25 years since I stepped into the world of alternative health with my very first acupuncture session, I have found just a few keys that are essential to natural healing.
- Relaxation and reduction or elimination of stress on a daily basis.
Relaxating cleanses our body energetically. It opens us up to receive fresh energy and to release old energy that could otherwise get stuck in the body. It’s at least as essential as brushing our teeth every day as it helps us to let go of the old energy that is responsible for our negative emotional reactions. People who relax every day feel happier and more at peace and health increases naturally as a result.
- Education – learning the principles of natural health and healing.
I have found that education is almost more important than relaxation. If you understand the principles of natural health and the healing process there is a natural activation of this process in your body. The more curious you are and the more you learn, the more your ability for self healing grows. I have found that most people naturally improve their diet and exercise patterns through education.
- Asking questions and asking for help.
In any area of life where we want to improve, asking good questions and asking for help makes a huge difference. Many people spend a lot of time asking themselves questions like, “Why am I sick?” or “What’s wrong with me? These questions do not help very much, even if you find out the answers. By contrast, if your question is “How can I get healthy?” or “How do I need to change so I can be healthy?” you will find the answers much more effective in helping you heal. It’s far more useful to know what to do than what not to do.
- Receiving and giving support.
Being part of a supportive community is essential when you’re doing something new or out of the normal range. Healing is much more difficult if you’re surrounded by people who think it doesn’t work or you’re being conned – very common responses. I have often seen that the support people give each other is as significant as the support received from a teacher or healer. And a highly significant aspect of healing is helping other people. It’s amazing how it can lift your spirit to give help to someone else who is struggling – and this is very healing.
What’s so significant about the research I mentioned at the top is that lifestyle changes not only improve chronic health conditions but they actually turn off disease promoting genes and turn on health promoting genes.
This essentially means that the natural healing process works for genetic conditions, as well as stress related conditions. Of course, the earlier you make lifestyle changes the better – and prevention is even better still.
And even more significant than that is that the very same lifestyle changes help to reverse aging. A few years ago I remember regularly getting into trouble for talking about the possibility of reversing aging, but this is mainstream science now.
I hope you can see that you have more power now than ever before to take your health – and especially your future health – into your hands. You are not at the mercy of your genes, your environment, the government or the drug companies. You can make changes that are simple, doable and effective that will affect your health for the long term.
If you want help or have any questions about your health or someone else’s, please do not hesitate to email me.