By David Quigley
Many folks have the mistaken impression that cancer is a dangerous enemy that rarely strikes, but when it does so, it attacks with rapid and lethal power. In fact, researchers agree that cancer cells emerge in our bodies all the time, and are the result of simple errors in the reproduction of normal body cells. In most cases, cells of the immune system, which are well programmed to spot such aberrations, destroy these cancerous cells before they have time to do lasting harm. Scientists believe that a cancerous cell becomes dangerous only under unusual circumstances. One example is when physical irritants like cigarette smoke in the lungs create a large number of distorted and polluted cells, similar to scar tissue, and sometimes called squamous cells. The immune system cells in this mess of scar tissue and smoke fail to recognize the first cancer cells that emerge from this toxic clutter, and in time it’s too late for the immune system to destroy them without medical help. This is also how the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays can lead to skin cancer by overwhelming the immune cell’s responses. Our diet has a lot to do with cancer as well. Lots of research studies indicate that a diet low in animal fats and high in fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to prevent cancer.
Some cancer cells can wrap themselves in estrogen receptors to avoid detection by the immune system. This means that the tumor is disguising itself at a biochemical level as an embryo. An embryo is a collection of rapidly growing undifferentiated cells. What saves it from the attack of mother’s immune system is its estrogen receptors, which are attracting lots of estrogen, saying to the immune system “Don’t hurt me, I’m your baby!” Scientists are still discovering different chemical signatures by which cancer cells can hide from the ever present immune response. But the frequency of the estrogen receptor in cancer cells suggests it is a common strategy. It also explains why estrogen based hormone therapies always show a significant cancer risk. Patients with compromised immune systems because of age, ill health, or immune system diseases like AIDS are also extremely vulnerable to cancer. But remember that most of have an immune system that is tough enough and smart enough to defeat cancer, once it is directed to do so.
Unfortunately many cancer treatments (especially chemotherapy and radiation because they target all of the body’s cells that are reproducing) are very destructive to the immune system because immune cells are constantly reproducing and dying out as they fight infection and destroy tumors. So paradoxically, many cancer treatments damage the very system the body needs to recover from cancer. In addition, these treatments are so toxic that they produce cancer in many lab experiments and hospital patients. Many of these chemicals are so dangerous they are labeled as carcinogenic. The big challenge in oncology has been to keep the patient alive through these treatments long enough for the cancer to be destroyed. Some physicians are convinced that the high rate of recurrence of cancer in their patients is connected to the high toxicity of these treatments. For many years increased survival rates of patients have been measured in months, rather than years, because of these factors.
Fortunately, great progress is being made in refining these treatments. Dosage reductions, aiming radiation and chemotherapy more precisely at the tumor mass, even hormone based chemotherapy - all have made these treatments safer and more effective than ever. Some new treatments are being designed to enroll the client’s immune system rather than damage it, treatments that include vaccines and tumor specific antibodies, although most such treatments are still in the experimental stages.
Even greater strides can be made in cancer treatment, however, if patients are willing to explore and clear the underlying causes of their tumor within the subconscious mind. Hypnosis is obviously the ideal medium for this exploration, because it can be experienced by most people easily, and helps us safely connect to subconscious motivations. It is relatively inexpensive and has only positive side effects, like increased calm and improved self esteem.
There are three challenges that currently limit the popularity and success of this approach.
First, the client must be willing to accept that at least part of the cause of their condition lies in their own subconscious mind. This is a tough journey for many Americans, who are accustomed to taking no responsibility for their health and might even be offended at the suggestion that something they did may be the cause of this condition. Empathy requires the health professional to treat these feelings as delicately as possible. We can reassure clients that, “You didn’t do this. Rather this disease is a product of feelings and experiences and beliefs from your distant past, which have become stored in your body. Hypnosis can help us to access these programs and clear them, freeing your immune system to work with your treatment program to stop this cancer.”
The second challenge is finding a hypnotherapist whose training is sufficient to actually help discover and clear these underlying conditions.
Most medical doctors, including psychiatrists, even if they have some familiarity with hypnotic work, have no training in the in-depth strategies required to access the cause and fix it. Also, most hypnotherapists have little training in these complex techniques. If you know someone suffering from cancer, search our directory for help in finding a trained hypnotherapist experienced in this work.
The final problem is finding medical doctors who are willing to recommend these methods to their patients. It’s easy to understand their skepticism. Most doctors in America today are reluctant to explore psychological causation because they are trained to ignore psychological factors as being insignificant to the client’s treatment protocol, except in a very few diagnoses. This is why they will usually discourage their patients from exploring in this area, despite the common sense within this approach. And where have the skilled practitioners been whom they could recommend? Should they send their dangerously ill client to some new graduate of a cheap training program who specializes in smoking cessation? No, they need to know someone who has the background and gets results. Meanwhile, don’t wait for your physician’s endorsement. As one of my former breast cancer patients said triumphantly, “I knew I could heal my breasts and not lose them when I started taking responsibility for my body. I decided that my body and I had made this disease together and we could fix it together!”
So far in these articles, I have described the use of hypnosis in addressing and healing the underlying causes of cancer, thus freeing the immune system, if it isn’t too damaged by the disease or medical treatments, to destroy the cancer. But hypnosis can do much more than this as an adjunct to medical treatment. Hypnosis can be used to direct both the cells of the immune system and the agents of chemotherapy to go after the cancer with greater strength. One of my successful clients used hypnosis to instruct her body to aim all the chemo she was taking directly into the tumor. The doctors were amazed at how quickly her ovarian cancer responded to the treatment, and how mild her chemo side effects were. She was not amazed…she was a hypnotherapist.
Hypnosis can also be used to rebuild the immune system and to counter the other effects of chemo like anemia, nausea, hair loss, etc. Hypnosis can also increase surgical success and reduce the recovery time from surgery. See our website article library for information about hypnotic anesthesia and surgery.
If you are facing the challenge of cancer, only your doctors know what medical procedures are best. Hypnotherapy with a skilled and well trained practitioner will vastly increase your chances of not just surviving cancer, but thriving again in a healthy active life. Good luck in your recovery!