October marks #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth and people around the world are wearing pink ribbons to show their support for those battling this awful disease. When you aren’t well, there is nothing more important than taking care of yourself and devoting time to your health. The Junior League of Long Beach’s largest fundraiser each year donates a portion of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Fund, which helps expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer.
Below a member shares her friend’s alternative healing journey against breast cancer.
Mind, Body and Spiritual Healing vs Modern Treatments
When my girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer the doctors assumed Western medicine would be the choice for care and quickly began describing the process of a mastectomy, the follow-on treatment involving radiation and chemotherapy and the quality of life that should be expected during this treatment course. Little did they realize that she would only hear one-third of the words, not because English was her second language, but because the concepts paralyzed her. The blank stares fueled by emotions lead by fears, questions, procedure protocols and medical terms went unnoticed by friends and family.
In a state of suspended disbelief, she was afforded by her loving husband the time to seek answers to her many questions and explore the emotions concealed inside her. Consulting many books, doctors and reverting back to her childhood teachings that “we are what we eat”; she explored the alternative medicinal paths including herbal medicine and spiritual healing.
Research has proven that more and more medical credence is being given to alternative medicinal approaches for illnesses such as breast cancer. Although there is no documented cause for this illness, there are several document treatments. Western medicine prescribes procedures and treatments that span from minor surgery to a full removal and reconstructive approach. Several drugs and therapies are accepted in the medical communities as well. The internet is full of information about how to diagnose, treat and recover from breast cancer, most of it being backed by solid research and science.
There is another approach that is less understood, less researched but potentially a better choice for some. Spiritual healers, medicine men, shrinks – call them what you will.
Traveling to Bali, Indonesia this summer helped me understand the draw to Bali for healing alternatives and overall better health. Famous for its long history of traditional healing, the rich Balinese culture includes herbal remedies, message and energy healing as well as customs and traditions that continue to thrive today. The lush Indonesian landscape produces a wide range of herbal medicines known as “jamu” and the Balinese continue to lean on traditional spiritual healers. The Ubud Yoga House, a favorite of mine, sits in the middle of a beautiful rice field between tower volcanoes. People travel from all over the world to consult with the practitioners, relax and rejuvenate in this home environment. The Sacred Wellness Institute is promoted as a space of healing and love where the sick rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. The Institute specializes in individual self-awareness programs that radically change one’s aliveness.
Medical hers are consistently available and are promoted by healers and practitioners alike. The Balinese traditional medical treatment is known as “usada”. The word is formed from the Sanskrit word “ausadhi”, meaning medicinal plant. There are more than 500 species of documented medicinal varieties found on the island of Bali today. These plants are recognized globally by the medical and scientific communities and are actively prescribed by holistic healers in Bali and other countries.
I am not recommending an exclusive path of choice for anyone suffering from breast cancer. There are various types, various degrees and various health factors that make the diagnosis and the treatment plan an individualized choice. Fighting an illness of this magnitude often times requires a life change.
Embrace the change as positively as possible and open your heart and mind to an aliveness that alternative approaches offer.
[This is a guest contribution and not a medical opinion. While there are many ways to take care of your health, you should always seek a medical professional’s advice.]