Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rebounding: The Very BEST Exercise for the Immune System!

I was diagnosed with low-grade lymphoma in 1989, and have lived far beyond how long mainstream doctors say I should have. I am still in very good health today, and I would call it excellent, except that I have periodic bouts of bronchitis.

In my opinion, one of the very MOST IMPORTANT things I have done to maintain my good health, and to keep the lymphoma in remission, if not out-right shrinking, is an exercise known as REBOUNDING.

The tremendous value of rebounding, from my point of view, is that it exercises the lymphatic system like no other exercise can except that of jumping rope. (But with rebounding there is far less impact on the joints than there is with jumping rope.) The lymphatic fluid travels through the body via a system of what can be likened to "one-way straws", connected by valves, and each jump up-and-down on the rebounder moves the lymph along, causing it to travel through the body as much as 15 to 30 times as efficiently as when the body is at rest.

But what is even better than that is that rebounding can cause a state of non-disease-induced neutrophillia, which is an increase in the number of white cells circulating through the body, particularly neutrophils, which are one of the types of white cells most responsible for destroying cancer cells. While gentle bouncing may possibly cause a slight increase in neutrophils, and jogging a little more, by sprinting in place for just one minute on the rebounder you can cause your neutrophil count to as much as double what it normally is,(based on Dr. Arthur C. Guyton's "Textbook of Medical Physiology," Fifth Edition, Page 74, Paragraph 5), and to remain at that level for about an hour! Any middle-aged adult who tried to sprint in place on anything but a rebounder would soon end up with shin splints or some foot, ankle or knee injury.

Rebounding looks very simple, and it is. It consists of gentle bouncing on a special mini-trampoline. When you do what's called the "health bounce," your feet don't even leave the mat. If you wish, you can of course jump higher than that. Also, if you wish, you can jog or run in place. The rebounder stands about 9 inches off the ground, and has a special "soft-bounce" mat attached to the frame with 4" long springs, the total surface diameter being 40". There is a REAL, SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE between the cheap, Asian-made mini-trampolines that are sold at Sears and at K-Mart and the USA-made Rebounder that I use. The cheap mini-rebounders do NOT have a soft-bounce mat, they stand only 4-6 inches off the ground, and they do not have the necessary 4-inch long springs. For those reasons, you cannot do proper rebounding on a cheap mini-trampoline, and in fact you can hurt your ankles, knees or back. Such cheap models will not avail you of the kind of "lymphasizing" exercise I am talking about.

I keep my rebounder near my desk, and get up as often as possible to bounce on it for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes at a time. Even just a minute or two can be sufficient to stir up the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which tend to settle down and to "pool" in thel egs, ankles and feet when one is sitting for an extended period of time.

The ability to do it at any time throughout the day and evening is one of the very significant advantages of rebounding over other exercise. If you go out walking in the morning, and you walk briskly 2, 3 or 5 miles, you will certainly be getting some good exercise. But an hour or maybe two hours after you've finished your walk, your lymphatic and circulatory systems will be back to the rate of flow they were at before you took your walk, and they'll remain that way till the next morning. The same is true for any other once-a-day type exercise.However, if you have a rebounder at your office or in your home, (or both), you'll be able to get on it and do some bouncing or gentle jogging throughout the day, so as to keep your blood and your lymph circulating continually, thereby doing the maximum job of keeping yourself healthy, or, if you are dx'd with cancer, of fighting the cancer. There is no special clothing required for rebounding---you don't even have to take off your shoes! And you can of course rebound no matter what the weather is like outside. On the other hand, if the weather is nice outside, you can take your rebounder outdoors, so as to avail yourself of the fresh air and sunshine! ;+))

There are several companies that sell rebounders. But my favorite is Needak Rebounders. They've been in business for decades, they're made in the USA, their customer service is outstanding, and they sell a 1/2 fold rebounder that comes with a carrying case so you can take it wherever you go. For those who have balance problems, they also sell a "stabilizer bar" that bolts securely onto the rebounder that you can hold on to.

I feel so good about Needak Rebounders that I have become one of their distributors. If you would like information on purchasing one at a great price, please contact me by phone at 309-367-6002 or 309-231-0336, or email me at aug20@mtco.com.

Here's an example of why I decided to do business with Needak:

Years ago, before I knew about the quality and integrity of Needak, I was using a rebounder I'd bought from another company when two of its springs broke. I called that company, and they gave me a difficult time, and told me they'd send me two replacement springs if I sent them the broken ones, and that shipping both ways would have to be paid by me! I knew about the Needak company but had never done business with them. Just to see what they'd say, I phoned them and told them about the problem I was having with that other company due to the broken springs. The customer service person at Needak immediately offered to send me SIX new springs for free! Ever since then, I have been a loyal Needak customer. I might add that every time I've had occasion to phone Needak, a LIVE person, not a recording, has answered the phone on the first or second ring. That's hard to find nowadays!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

To Doctors and Hospitals, I am a CLIENT, not a "patient."

In late 1989, I was diagnosed with cancer. In 1990, I began calling myself a doctor's "client" rather than his/her "patient."

The reason is that it became so completely apparent to me, subsequent to being dx'd with cancer, and thus spending so much time in doctors' offices and in hospitals, that doctoring and hospitals are undoubtedly Businesses, with a Capital "B."

What other business can you think of in which the person who has been hired and who is being paid for his services, gets to call the person they're working for their "patient"?

What does the word "patient" connote anymore except a hierarchy in which the person paying for work he wants done is viewed as being dependent on and inferior to the doctor or the hospital staff he has hired to do the work?

Perhaps in another century the word "patient" referred to some kind of special trust/special relationship a person had with his doctor. I am not sure of that. I am not sure at all, in fact of how the privilege of calling their clients "patients" was bestowed upon or invented by doctors. I do know that Bernard Shaw, whose life spanned both the 19th and the early 20th centuries, had a healthy mistrust of doctors. Here are two two of his (paraphrased) quotations about doctors and doctoring:

1) "One of the worst things about becoming seriously ill is that one must place oneself in the hands of a profession one deeply mistrusts."

2) "While it may be in the best interest of society to give bakers a pecuniary interest in baking bread, it is not at all necessarily in the best interest of society to give surgeons a pecuniary interest in cutting off legs."

Q: What is the very FIRST thing a doctor's office or a hospital is interested in when meeting a new client?
A: The first thing they want to know is how they will get paid for their services.

That is only reasonable, of course. Any business must have a way of ensuring clients will pay them for services performed, but why, then, is it that doctors and hospitals get to call their clients "patients" instead of "clients"?

This is not a trivial matter I am talking about---not in an age in which anyone who wishes to can surf the internet to quickly educate themselves to the point where they can be on a fairly equal footing with their doctor when it comes to discussing diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. In fact, with the advent of the internet, it is even possible for someone to know about an effective treatment or treatments of which the doctor is unaware.

Then of course there is the huge area of natural/alternative treatment, about which far too many doctors still know little to nothing. Therefore, when a person well-versed in natural/alternative medicine is doing all they can to heal themselves, an MD may well be only one of several different professionals for whose services they choose to pay.

Here are definitions of both the word "patient" and the word "client." "Patient" appears to me to have far more to do with being passive, and with being acted upon, than does "client." When it comes to being treated for life-threatening, or just quality of life-threatening dis-easem, I very much prefer the active role, and I use the active word both to remind myself that no one cares more about my health than I do, and to let medical professionals know who I am and how I expect to be treated.

pa·tient (pshnt)

adj.

1. Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.

2. Marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance.

3. Tolerant; understanding: an unfailingly patient leader and guide.

4. Persevering; constant: With patient industry, she revived the failing business and made it thrive.

5. Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.

6. Capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance: "My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries" Laurence Sterne.

n.

1. One who receives medical attention, care, or treatment.

2. Linguistics A noun or noun phrase identifying one that is acted upon or undergoes an action. Also called goal.

3. Archaic One who suffers.

cli·ent (klnt)

n.

1. The party for which professional services are rendered, as by an attorney.

2. A customer or patron: clients of the hotel.

3. A person using the services of a social services agency.

4. One that depends on the protection of another.

5. A client state.

6. Computer Science A computer or program that can download files for manipulation, run applications, or request application-based services from a file server.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Why So Many Doctors Don't Make Sense

Here is something I wrote to an MD who has himself been recently diagnosed with cancer--- low-grade lymphoma---and who is trying to get a handle on what has happened to him and on how to "make sense" out of what he is being told by the MD's he is looking to for treatment. I have suggested he see the movies, "First Do No Harm" and "The Doctor." I recommend that everyone who has not seen those movies see them as soon as possible. "Lorenzo's Oil," "Dad" and "Patch Adams" are also good. All those movies challenge both doctors and their clients to take a serious look at the traditional doctor-client relationship. The question this particular doctor wrote to me was this: "Something I didn't understand is your statement that oncologists generally don't agree with saving especially aggressive treatment for when it is really needed because they don't believe in the efficacy of natural/alternative treatments. Wouldn't it still make sense to save very aggressive treatment for later on even if they don't believe in natural/alternative treatments? Maybe oncologists don't see a decrease in effectiveness with repeated doses of the same chemotherapy agents, or is there solid documentation of that? Please let me know your thoughts on these questions. Thanks."

Here is what I replied:

"Hi.

Thanks for your questions. I'll do my best to answer them, with the understanding that what I have to say is the opinion of a cancer client who has been living with cancer for 17+ years:

First, I cannot recommend highly enough that you get and read, as soon as possible, Lawrence LeShan's book, "Cancer As A Turning Point." I have it and I return to reading it again and again and again, because it has so many fabulous, immune stimulating things to say. Here are a couple of short excerpts from that book:

"Many doctors are so completely oriented to fighting disease and ignoring the sick person that, in a catastrophic illness, they often seem to be asking themselves: "How many heroic measures and mutilating operations can be charged to the patient,(or to the insurance company), before death---the final method of consumer resistance---is allowed to intervene? They define a "good" patient as one who accepts their statements and their actions uncritically and unquestioningly. A "bad" patient is one who asks questions to which they do not have the answers, raises problems with which they are uncomfortable, and who does not accept hospital procedures as necessarily wise, useful or intelligent."

Those are statements from a man who spent more than twenty-five years observing people with cancer in hospital settings.

The problem with your question: "Wouldn't it still make sense to save the big chemo guns even if you dont believe alternative/natural treatments are worthwhile?" is the phrase "make sense." Better questions are: Does a particular oncologist's approach to treating fNHL make sense? and Is the oncologist treating the disease or is he treating a person who is manifesting a dis-ease?

As recently as this past October and November, I had to ask myself whether what the emminent, world-reknowned head of radiation at a particular Proton Treatment Center was recommending I do about the fNHL in my jaw made sense. He was saying that the tumor had grown too large for Proton Treatment,(a supposedly milder form of radiation than standard radiation), and that it was threatening to erode my carotid artery, which could cause me to bleed to death or have a stroke, and that I should immediately get standard radiation to shrink it. When I mentioned to him my concern about the possibility of radiation causing me to lose both my salivary glands, the health of my teeth and gums, my sense of smell and taste, my voice, my hearing on that side, and the ability to properly open and close my mouth, he said, "You're past that now. You need to get that thing treated!"

That was his opinion; it wasn't mine---not given the possibility of such wholesale damage.

In order to make sense of how the great majority of oncologists view cancer, and how they view survival, one needs to understand that most of them seem to believe a person wants to remain alive at practically any cost. It seems to me that many oncologists think most people would be glad to "be alive" even if all that was left of them was a living, conscious brain floating in a bath of nutrient fluid. One needs also, perhaps, to ask oneself the question, "Why would a doctor choose to go into a profession in which a huge proportion of his clients die no matter what he does for them? Or perhaps the question is better phrased this way: "Why would a doctor choose to go into a profession in which a huge proportion of his clients die no matter what he does to them?

Pertinent to the second form of the question, I believe there have got to be some doctors, perhaps more than a few, who specialize in a particular body part because they have real psychological problems. Why, for instance, would a person decide to become a proctologist---someone who spends his entire day viewing and fingering other people's anuses and rectums? Or why would a person become a podiatrist? Might a significant number of such people have a foot fetish? Or might there be something psychologically wrong with some dentists, and might not some dentists actually be happier being proctologists? Or what about all the men who become gynecologists? Were I a woman, I would choose a woman gynecologist. Or would I? The first oncologist/hematologist I went to decided at one point to specialize only in breast cancer. Was that purely a business choice, was it a practical necessity, or did he do so partly because he enjoys viewing and handling women's breasts?

Back to the question, about why a doctor would decide to specialize in oncology---why he or she would choose a profession in which a huge proportion of clients die:

Do some oncologists have an infatuation with death? Might there be something wrong with even just a few of them, or are they all heros and heroines, doing all they can to save each and every one of their clients from the dread dis-ease of cancer?

I'm convinced there is some validity to what I have just discussed---enough that I think it would be a good idea to have medical students be psycholgically tested before allowing them to choose a specialty.

In any event, I believe someone with cancer needs to take it into account enough of what I am talking about that he is prepared to recognize and to protect himself from sick doctors, besides protecting himself from the many inept ones, or the ones who are inclined to over-treat.

Here's something else to think about: Does it make sense that 99.9% of oncologists ignore their clients who get well, especially those who have "spontaneous remissions"? Why do they turn their backs on such people, or at the very best say, "Keep on doing what you're doing." Why don't they question and study such people in detail, so they can have their other clients do the same things as the ones who are getting well? Why do oncologists appear obsessed with the sick and dying, rather than with their clients who do well, or who recover?

Getting back to the decision I had to make about the large tumor in my jaw/neck: I thought a great deal about whether or not I wanted to get standard radiation, which would not cure me, and which would very likely cause me to have to spend a disproportionate part of the rest of my life in doctors' and dentists' offices, getting the radiation-damaged parts of me repaired and maintained. I thought about how a radiologist or an oncologist---both of whom have the general mind-set with regard to their particular form of treatment, "more is better,"---would view such a monstrous tumor. I figured they'd want to really blast it to pieces, never mind that it was very much a part of my head, face and neck. I had seen such a thing happen too many times to other people. I wondered about whether I'd rather die than submit to radiation. Quickly bleeding to death from a damaged carotid artery didn't sound so terribly bad compared to possible immediate and later effects of radiation. But the possibility of suffering a crippling stroke, rather than quickly bleeding to death, was not unacceptable.

Finally, it occurred to me that I could choose to be treated with Rituxan, a type of non-toxic antibody, rather than with radiation. Mind you, no doctor of mine---neither the oncologist, who is "one of the best in his field," nor either of the radiologists I saw---suggested Rituxan as an alternative to radiation. I had to think of it myself, which brings me back to what an oncology nurse said to me in 1989: "Elliot, if YOU don't take control of YOUR OWN dis-ease, the doctors will TURN YOU INTO A PIECE OF MEAT."

I called my oncologist, told him I would like to start Rituxan as soon as possible, and he okayed it. That was Monday, October 29th. On Wenesday, October 31st, I had my first of 4 treatments. The next morning, November 1st, the tumor was noticeably smaller, and by the 23rd of November, the day after the 4th and last Rituxan treatment, it was so small that my face almost looked normal again. Who saved me? Who was looking out for my best interests? Who made sure only the minor treatment card, the 6 of Clubs, was played instead of radiation, the Ace of Spades? Who made the most sense? I did---not any of my doctors, all of whom are expert and reknowned in their field.

I strongly suggest that you forget about using the phrase, "makes sense" when it comes to working with oncologists, radiologists and surgeons. If you want to see how much sense doctors can make, rent the movie, "First Do No Harm," and you will see. Too often they make no sense at all.

Not long ago, I read a message from a man who had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma because of having been treated for Crohn's dis-ease with immuno-suppressant drugs for ten years by mainstream doctors. Had that man sought help from a knowledgable naturopath, he more than likely would have been healed of the Crohn's dis-ease, and might well never have been diagnosed with lymphoma. Naturopaths know that the way to heal degenerative dis-ease is with regenerative treatment. Allopathic, mainstream doctors do not. Therefore, their methods of treating degenerative dis-ease will rarely make sense.

I do not hate doctors. I do not think they are monsters. I know some I like very much, and there are some I even trust to some degree. But I trust no one more than I trust myself, and in that I am in good company:

Bernard Shaw said,(paraphrased), "The most dangerous thing about becoming seriously ill is that one must place oneself into the hands of a profession one deeply mistrusts." He also said,(and this was at a time when bread was still more or less "the staff of life"), "It is a good thing for society to give bakers a pecuniary interest in baking bread, but not such a good thing for society to give surgeons a pecuniary interest in cutting off legs."

Here's a last word I heard somewhere that I feel is an appropos ending:

"To be aware is to beware."

I hope that helps some to answer your question.

Very best wishes and best of health,

Elliot

Friday, December 22, 2006

Carrots & Apples and Notes On Juicing

I have been juicing, off and on, since about 1990, and wish I had spent more time on than off because I believe juicing to be highly beneficial.

One thing I see a lot of is the recommendation not to juice carrots and beets because they contain too much sugar. I have found evidence to the contrary:

According to one PhD, who is a diabetic, and who has compiled extensive glycemic content tables for foods of all kinds, carrot and beet juice do not cause insulin-spike problems. Dr. Joel Robbins agrees, saying the sugar in them is metabolized differently by the liver than the sugar from fruits. Dr. Norman W. Walker, the "father" of juicing, says carrot juice tops the list of the very best things a person with degenerative dis-ease can drink, and he says to drink LOTS of it. He says it's a good thing if one's skin turns yellow-orange from drinking so much carrot juice because it means the body is ridding itself of built-up garbage in the liver. He says the yellow-orange color will disappear sooner or later, when the liver has finished cleansing itself.

Aside from that, if one eliminates carrots,(and beets), and also apple, from one's juicing recipe, the resulting juice---IF one is putting in the very necessary green leafies and other green stuff--- will be unpalatable to most people. Certainly it is unpalatable to me. Because of all the carrot and the sufficient amount of apple I put in my juice, I can add to it celery, cucumber, broccoli, green pepper, kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, radish, garlic, ginger and jalapeno, and still end up with a very tasty juice. If I did not add the carrot and apple, I would end up with such a nasty-tasting brew I would have to pour it down the sink!

Dr. Mercola, a very popular alternative internet personality, says not to dispose of the vegetable pulp,(I use it as mulch in my garden), but rather to eat it. First of all, if you're going to do that, you had better be using very clean, organic vegetables, because Dr. Walker found that most of the pesticides and contaminants in non-organic vegetables stay with the pulp. Second, a major reason for juicing is so that the nutrients from the juice will be readily absorbed, without interference from food solids. Obviously, eating the pulp defeats that purpose. Third, the pulp is just plain yucky---not something I want to "eat with a spoon," as Dr. Mercola recommends. Finally, no matter how I look at it, juicing is a bit of a chore, and having to eat the leftover pulp would make it so much of a chore that I might just give up juicing altogether, which would not be good, since I do agree with Dr. Mercola's title for his primer page on juicing: "Your Key To Radiant Health."

The idea behind Dr. Mercola's suggestion to eat the pulp very much appears to be about colon health, as in avoiding constipation, as in moving one's bowels at least once a day. I can in that regard say without reservation that even though I do not eat the pulp from my juice, I have, during the periods when I have been juicing, been having 2 to 4 bowel movements daily. I have accomplished that by drinking at least 5 cups of fresh vegetable juice daily, mixed with at least 3 heaping tablespoons of Barley Green. I also take chlorella, spirulina and alfalfa tablets. I eat plenty of raw, soaked-then-dehydrated nuts, raw vegetables and some dried and fresh fruit. I also eat a cottage cheese/flax oil/berry/curcumin mixture daily and I drink plenty of pure water. I also get plenty of exercise in on my rebounder. I even occasionally manage a little beef, chicken, fish and cheese, and I even "cheat" every once in a while, and I still never have any problems with constipation. What is more, and I trust I will not offend anyone with this, since we are talking frankly about health issues---my stools are nearly always green-colored and well-formed---a good sign that I'm eating a healthful, "alkaline," high bulk, low calorie diet.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The "C" in Cancer Stands for Change!

The other day I heard someone on the radio quip, "The only human being I know of who likes change is a baby with a dirty diaper." I'm not even sure that's true, as I have seen stinky babies looking perfectly content until their mom or dad begins changing them, and then they begin to raise a fuss!

Hard as it may be, there are times in our lives when making changes becomes absolutely necessary. I'm here to tell you that unless you're a hundred-and-twenty years old, one such time is when you're diagnosed with cancer. When you are diagnosed with cancer, it's time to pull over to the side of the road, turn off your engine and think---think about what has been happening in your life, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically---that has resulted in such a diagnosis.

If such an idea is nonsensical or repulsive to you, then please ask yourself these questions: "Just what is my idea of why someone develops cancer? Does it just "happen" for no reason at all? And if that's the case, am I just a defenseless bag of skin containing brain, bones, organs and blood?Was it "luck" alone that up until now kept me from being diagnosed with cancer?"

In fact, there are many real reasons people develop cancer, including spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical ones, and there is a legitimate science dedicated to learning about all those reasons that is called "psychoneuroimmunology."

But you do not have to become a psychoneuroimmunologist to begin healing from a diagnosis of cancer. All you have to do is what the author of the book, "The Cancer Conqueror" did: turn the noun, "cancer," into a verb, "cancering." That is, instead of saying to yourself, "I have developed cancer," say, "I am cancering." When you say that---when you believe that---you no longer see cancer as a static, unapproachable, fearful, confusing phenomenon, but rather as a condition you have caused, both consciously and unconsciously, that you can rectify through self-examination and through changes you make according to what that self-examination reveals.

If you do not like that last sentence---if you believe it is counter-productive because it will instill guilt and blame---then allow me please to suggest to you that it is entirely possible to go through the process of figuring out why one is "cancering," and to learn how to stop "cancering," without feeling the least bit guilty. If you lose your glasses or your car keys, do you decide not to try to find them because, if you do so, you'll feel guilty and beat yourself up for misplacing them? No, you simply set about the process of finding them. That is the very same attitude one takes when investigating why one has been diagnosed with cancer. It is not at all about blame, or about beating oneself up; it's about looking for, and finding healing---about turning the dis-ease, or "lack of ease," back into a healthful "easiness." It is not so easy as looking for your glasses, finding them and putting them on---it requires a good deal more than that; but it is the same kind of thing, and can be done in the same objective, guilt-free way.

The great majority of surgeons, oncologists and radiologists are of the opinion that aside from surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, it doesn't much matter what a person diagnosed with cancer does. They believe mainstream treatment is 99.9% of what is going to make the difference as to whether the person lives or dies, and that any changes he makes, be they spiritual, emotional, psychological or physical, will have no significant bearing on his prognosis.

Naturopaths and other kinds of medical practitioners take a very different approach. They know, as do the mainstream doctors, that cancer is a degenerative dis-ease. But unlike those mainstream doctors who view the human body as incapable of fighting off and recovering from cancer without very significant outside intervention, they believe the body is wonderfully capable of healing itself, and that a person can make gentle, body-supportive changes that will aid the body in healing itself.

Does it not make sense that if the body has a serious degenerative dis-ease from which it is having difficulty recovering, the proper thing to do is to aid the body in its regenerative efforts? Does it not make sense that if the body is manifesting a degenerative dis-ease, degenerative changes may have taken place which need to be counteracted through regenerative changes?

Regenerative changes are not at all necessarily just physical; it's not just a matter of not eating this and starting to eat that, or of taking various supplements, though diet and supplements do play a significant part in healing from cancer and other degenerative dis-ease. The kinds of regenerative changes I'm talking about also include changes in attitude, in relationships and in the kinds of activities in which one engages.

In my experience, those people who investigate most thoroughly why they are cancering, and who do the most to make the changes necessary to stop cancering, are the people who stand the best chance of recovery, and who, during treatment, also stand the best chance of having the best quality of life, a factor, by the way, that mainstream doctors often care far too little about.