Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Act of Healing Your Body: Book Review of Cancer, I Love You

A white ribbon in blue heart-shaped background
I have never had doubts about the potential healing power through faith and belief. When this occurs, it is often regarded and considered a miracle, and in many ways it is. Genuine and all-encompassing faith can move mountains and at that point and stage not even the sky can limit or contain its immense expansive and luminous powers. Belief or faith as a thought process tied and connected with emotions has a drive that can change lives and mobilize and accelerate the healing process.

Fortunately, this is not necessarily treated as an alien concept in today’s science. A case in point would be the book Cancer, I Love You by the physician Alexandre Rushenas. In this book, the author demonstrates the processes that our body undergoes when we change certain patterns of thought and emotion and how this could lead not only to a more fulfilled and healthier physical as well as spiritual life, but how it could also unlock potentials for healing in various diseases, including cancer.

First off, Rushenas gives us a glimpse of his own troubled and suffering past. He was born in Iran, attended a multi-faith school and was living during the tumultuous times of the Iranian Revolution; he had to witness, experience - and eventually accept - the futile and cold-blooded murder and execution of his father by violent elements of a changing regime.

As a child, he used to believe in God, but this horrendous and inexplicable loss of his father cast everything into somber shrouds of doubt. Yet over the years, he managed to recover and regain belief and faith by channeling them in the direction of medicine. The result is a refreshingly renegade outlook away from traditional scientific practice and medicine in favor of an alternative, more holistic and psychological approach, one that I myself accept and embrace.

We would need to understand his philosophical viewpoint before we can fully understand and appreciate what he has to say about the healing potentials of our body. His ideas philosophically speaking are rather simplistic, yet they include interesting metaphors to show how our mind and body interact and combine to create either healthy or unhealthy lifestyles and conditions.

Rushenas breaks down the universe into three parts. On the outermost level, there is the planetary dimension or realm, which includes everything out there from our tiny infinitesimal speck of a planet towards possibly two trillion galaxies in the known as well as still largely unknown and unexplored universe. This mind-boggling fact about our living space is something we tend to forget, but it may help ground us a little more in our daily life and existence.

Then there is us, the human level. This is a state that has been reached throughout evolution and continues to evolve. This is a realm that has created scientific and technological advances as well as impressive and unequaled works of art, poetry and literature, all of which separate and distinguish us from the domains of animals and our ancestors. We continue this quest of knowledge to not only understand ourselves better but to explore our surroundings into the farthest reaches of the planetary dimension.

Finally, there is the cellular level. This is the microcosmic part of and within us. In the cellular dimension, we have hundreds of trillions of cells. These cells have evolved, adapted and gone through myriad changes throughout to lead to our current existence on this planet. At its inception, we all start off as the mother of all cells, the zygote, and through embryogenesis we evolve and cross from the cellular level into the human dimension. Yet most of the times, we live and act as if there is only the human realm, ignoring the other dimensions that are part and parcel of who and where we are in space and time.

Nonetheless, we are sometimes reminded, more often painfully than not, that this is not the only level. Our cellular dimension is most intimately connected and interconnected with us, so when things go wrong, we will feel it. For instance, when we get sick, this will spread out to the second and larger dimension and would interfere with our lifestyle, and in unfortunate or advanced cases, could even lead to death. For instance, when we catch pneumonia, unbeknownst to us, there are billions of cells attacking the germs and trying to restore our inner balance of homeostasis.

Yet even in peaceful times, meaning when there are no imminent attacks from foreign agents, our body is in the process of constant renewal. On a continuous basis, dying cells are replaced, damaged ones are repaired and up to three hundred million new cells may be produced every minute. These cells are genetically designed and trained to do what is best for our health, with little or no conscious or willful action necessary from us, the owners of the cells.

As owners, or as Rushenas puts it as the gods of the cells, we hover and reside over them and communicate with them in conscious or unconscious manners. However, they do not respond to language, which can be even in the best of times rather ambiguous, but they listen to and obey our emotions only. Any emotion we feel – be they positive or negative - then has a direct impact on the cells of the cellular dimension. This would explain how our attitude can either accelerate healing processes or deteriorate health conditions.

Every emotion emanates a certain type of energy that is absorbed by the cells leading to certain changes on the molecular, chemical and hormonal levels. Emotions can either heal or destroy us. When they are positive, they can give us a sense of well-being and that positivity is embraced by the cells leading to more positive outcomes for the given individual.  

This is not merely a case of pretense or just positive thinking, but it must resonate with genuine feeling and emotion since the message that is transmitted to the cells must be as clear and as unequivocal as possible. This mechanism is mainly responsible for the placebo effect: We truly believe that the medication in question has the properties to heal us (even when they do not and are mere water pills) and this belief becomes an actual fact and condition.

This faith then can propel the cells into more effective and sweeping action that would not be the case otherwise. Anybody who truly believes, regardless of their denomination or belief system, can unleash this power and communicate this message of peace and healing to all the cells of the body. This is the power of prayer; however, it is important to communicate this desire not just through words but through genuine feelings; via a wondrous symbiosis of the brain, emotions and cells, we may reach that desired state of well-being, health, and happiness.

Whenever anyone manages to cure themselves from progressive and terminal diseases, we call it a miracle. Again, it certainly is. It comes from changing one’s perspective from one of fear, worry and hostility to one of peace, compassion and unconditional love. The push may initiate or come from outside of us, it may be a life-changing experience, entity or epiphany, but, in either case, it needs to strongly resonate within us and it will then internally move obstacles and lead to our overall health and well-being.

We should keep in mind that we all have cancerous cells within us that may or may not be expressed and activated during our lifetime. When they are, we see that as an invasion and use war as a metaphor to combat those cells as cancer is in the words of Rushenas an “emotional and physical shock of the highest level in the life of any person.” 

But the problem is that war and strife will intensify negative emotions, which are then also absorbed and taken up by the cells. Our intentions are certainly good but combined with thoughts of aggression, they may have unintentional detrimental effects. In addition to anger, we will also feel shame and despair, and these emotions will wreak havoc on the cellular system.

Of course, it is easier said than done. One cannot change one’s attitude and expect immediate results overnight, the same way radiation and chemotherapy cannot provide quick and instant results. But the prolonged, continuous and authentic practice of love and kindness shall have beneficial effects for everyone involved. We can heal our cells and by extension ourselves, and from this, we shall emanate light and energy towards other humans and outward into the recesses of the planetary dimension.

A feeling of love and acceptance of all humans as well as of all cells within us, including the darker and unwanted ones, shall lead us to better, more fulfilling and more purposeful lives. This love for even the darker parts of oneself explains and underscores the title of this book, namely that one should love every inch of oneself, even the orphaned and harmful perfidious cells within us. 

Through this positive outlook despite, amid and through immense pain and suffering, one can mobilize and summon up all energy to one’s disposal, and one may be more effective in dealing with potentially terminal conditions and diseases. This is the faith that can move mountains, and we are all capable of igniting and spreading it, both within and without.