Tag Archives: holistic healing

Bestseller List Book Review & Giveaway

Diana Ross's "Breast Cancer Authority" site features my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer.

Diana Ross’s “Breast Cancer Authority” site features my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer.

A while back I met a wonderfully innovative woman named Diana Ross who is the cofounder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana also founded a community-based forum called “Breast Cancer Authority” and I’m an occasional contributor to the Breast Cancer Authority Blog.

Currently, the Breast Cancer Authority site is featuring my book, The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer in a bestseller list book review and giveaway. This is a fun way to share the book with people, it’s a way for you to win a free copy of the book, and I get to listen in on what a few more people have to say about a topic of great importance to me: addressing breast dis-ease from a holistic, nurturing, conscious perspective. (Here you can read a Kirkus Review of my book for an unbiased view.)

Go ahead and take a look at Diana Ross’s Breast Cancer Authority blog and comment on the current article about my book to be entered in the drawing for a free copy of The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer. Then peruse the whole site because its one of the best I’ve seen. It’s full of information for anyone wanting support and encouragement to prevent and heal from breast cancer. And, if you get to it immediately, you’ll see that my book is featured on the Home page!

 

11 Ways to Navigate through Stressful Times

tumblr_ll3l0cUWgz1qb6t6wo1_500Life has stressful times as a norm, but right now some of us are feeling a more intense squeeze. Feelings of discomfort, unease, and vague anxiety can be constant. Some are feeling great intensity while others are simply riding the waves of expansion and growth, excited to see where they’re going but longing for guidance to navigate the new terrain.

The underlying theme of the day is we’re being forced to change from within by letting go of old, outdated, now-useless ways of being and allowing something new to emerge. Allowing a more creative, self-responsible, and I’d like to believe wiser part of us to come forth.

There are many things we can do to manage stressful times (without numbing out). If you are in a state of self-excavation where extreme personal inner evolution is happening, if you’re in a let go or be dragged phase or your life, welcome fellow traveler!

Always treat yourself like you’re a whole human being with a body that is interrelated, interconnected, and not at all separate from your thoughts, emotions, and soul. Today people are quite disconnected from their emotions and thoughts, not to mention nature, the natural rhythm of the earth and sky, and their own soul energy. If this sounds like you, navigate more powerfully and successfully through unknown territory by paying attention to the needs of your physical body, your mind, your emotions, and your true soul essence.

How?

It’s not that complicated, really. I’ve tried all kinds of convoluted ways and experience has shown me to simply return to the basics. Any links with the following will direct you to my previous posts on that topic.

  1. Eat well. Quality protein with vegetables is my staple of choice. Fresh fruit. Plenty of water.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Preferably at night, all night.
  3. Move your body and exercise.
  4. Go out in nature for a little bit and spend time on the earth.
  5. Seek out people who are trained to help you heal what’s nagging you. We need others to help us who have already seen this part of the journey.
  6. Have some body work (a massage is ideal) which helps settle tension and calm your mind.
  7. Have energy healing (or see a respected counselor) if you are emotionally or mentally stuck. Don’t feel as if something can’t get better. It can and it will if you want it to.
  8. Take time away from electronics and tech devices. Turn everything off and then feel what you feel. Get in touch with the discomfort and be okay with it.
  9. Breathe in and breathe out fully. Breathe in again. Release the breath completely as you breathe out and let go of all that is ready to go.
  10. Sit through the storms without having to self-medicate, get distracted, or otherwise foil the attempts of your soul to have this incredible life experience. Because the number of medicated, distracted, soul-detached people is so high that we’ve become a zombie civilization. Numbing out might feel like the way to get through, but the noise inside will only get louder.
  11. Finally, tell yourself this: All is well with the world. All is well in my world. There is nothing I need to make happen. I easily flow with life. I’m here to create and find joy in my creations.

 

The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer Featured

BookCoverImageMy book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer is the topic of an article published last week in the Santa Cruz Weekly. Of course I have to tell you about it.

Written by local wellness reporter Maria Grusauskas after a personal interview, the article forced me into another level of acceptance that it’s okay for people to hear about some personal business. I’m not totally comfortable with my brush with the other side being laid bare, but I wrote about a personal subject with the intention of sharing information that will help others. And, humans are curious about some of the less-than-pleasant details.

If it helps people see the options and gain a fresh perspective, I’m for it. It’s just taken some getting used to, and it continues to be humbling, so kudos to Maria for pushing the envelope. I’ve had feedback this past week that indicates people are thinking more as a result of what Maria chose to include in the article.

As for the book itself, I do weave my personal experience through the pages, but it wasn’t my preference. My first choice was to offer the numerous ways you can build your immune system, detoxify, build your strength and courage, heal on all levels, and even reverse tumors. All this without saying a word about me or how I knew anything about it! But my editor said no. “People want a human story. You need to tell them what yours is.” Ugh!

So I returned to the book and began to add personal detail. It wasn’t comfortable to do, as I’m not one to easily reveal my medical history or even my ideas about how we relinquish our power (and minds) to a system that isn’t working all that well on behalf of breast cancer. But in the end, telling the story was a good thing.

I’ve had much positive feedback about how the book helps others see things from a fresh perspective because I shared my own experiences. In fact, just the other day someone exclaimed, “And you look so healthy!” Yes indeed. The Big C isn’t a death sentence, folks. I’m here to tell you that there is health and vitality, even after having that unwanted date with the dreaded C.

Back to the point. I hope you’ll check out this feature article and spread the news to your friends and loved ones that cancer doesn’t have to be such a scary word. There are many, many options and choices that can strengthen each of us beyond it to greater health and wellbeing. I’m not the only example. There are many of us!

Kirkus Review for The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer

BookCoverImageAlthough I have many wonderful reviews of my book on Amazon.com, I’m pleased to present my first book review by Kirkus Reviews, a tough critic and trusted voice in the world of book reviews.

I waited for many weeks for this review to arrive, sometimes wondering what I would do if it were negative, perhaps reviewed by someone who “didn’t get it.” I figured I’d spend the first few days in seclusion, the next few weeks moping, and then get on with life. But, alas, it has arrived and I’m quite pleased with it. Here it is:

“In this debut memoir, a holistic healer shares her story of breast cancer and explores an array of approaches to physical and spiritual health.

Grant, a California-based holistic healer, found herself under the surgeon’s knife, facing breast cancer surgery, nearly a decade ago. In this wide-reaching guide, Grant details her personal struggle with her diagnosis, then touches on the variety of ways that she believes one can help combat breast cancer and most other “dis-eases.” “I simply couldn’t proceed blindly onward hoping surgery, caustic drugs, and radiation were enough to ‘get me back to my old life,’ ” writes Grant. “I had to give equal consideration to the importance of food, body movement, stress-reduction, immunity, environmental toxins, lifestyle, emotions, mind, and spirit.”

While it may be no surprise that a holistic healer would favor alternative approaches, Grant admits that she also had to overcome her own bias against traditional doctors in order to get better, with an acupuncturist friend telling her to “see them as healers, because they are. They are part of the world of healing and some of what they say is valid.” Thus, Grant acknowledges, “There is no right or wrong way. But there is a path that is best for you and I’m here to help you honor that.”

This accepting spirit infuses the narrative, which presents a host of holistic options in workbook style. Each chapter ends with a “Take a Moment for Yourself” section, featuring questions for self-reflection.

Grant’s book contains a wealth of information, from recipes to lists of inspirational music selections and health and healing reference works. Although this guide is largely well-organized, there is some repetition, and Grant’s personal story sometimes disappears within the larger topics she discusses. As a whole, however, this overview may be a welcome aid to those with breast cancer and helpful to anyone seeking to achieve a healthier life.

A personal, expansive tour into the world of holistic healing.”

Kirkus Reviews

By the way, my book is best in the paperback version so it can be easily used as a reference, but it’s a great deal for the Kindle currently at $4.99. It will be a valuable addition to your library, if I do say so myself.

Estrogen Dominance and Xenoestrogens

estrogenEstrogen dominance and xenoestrogens are words smart women are learning about to keep their bodies healthy and strong in our plasticized world.

Signs of excess estrogen in your body include painful or unpredictable periods, PMS, cervical dysplasia, depression, anxiety, worry, decreased libido, fatigue, weight gain in the hips and stomach, possibly cold hands and feet, and fibrocystic breasts or cancer. Estrogen dominance is partly caused from foods, cosmetics, and other products that carry xenoestrogens (fake estrogens) into the body.

Some chemicals found in plants act like the female sex hormone estradiol, our primary estrogen. Synthetic forms of this chemical are found in plastic, pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, and in drugs given to livestock and poultry to prevent miscarriage and promote growth.

To lower the chances for these xenoestrogens to enter your body and behave like estrogen, reduce or eliminate foods that come in plastic wrap and plastic packaging. This includes water you buy in plastic bottles, since chemicals in the plastic leach into food and water.

In a study at Tufts University published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 1991, Drs. Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein observed that breast cancer cells placed in plastic dishes would grow quickly. Knowing these cells need estrogen to reproduce, they were curious about what contributed to the rapid cell growth. They discovered that the chemical nonylphenol, which prevents plastic from cracking, caused the growth of the breast cancer cells. Apparently nonylphenol had leached out of the plastic dishes and behaved like estrogen with the cells. Researchers then experimented with other commonly used plastics, detergents, and pesticides. They witnessed rapid growth when the breast cancer cells were exposed to these products. (See my post Breast Health through Liver Health for numerous ways to help your body clear these toxins.)

Conventionally-raised beef and dairy cows are given growth hormones. Their feed is treated with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. When you consume conventional milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, chocolate, and processed foods with beef, milk, or milk products in them, you risk overloading your body with xenoestrogens. (Not to mention what the GMOs are doing.) Read more about this in Milk: Does it Do a Body Good?

Organic, grass-fed beef and dairy are the better choice. If you can’t find them or if they are too costly, look for hormone and pesticide-free products. Eat organic chicken and eggs when you can find them, organic grains, and produce that is free from toxic sprays. Note that chemicals used to kill bugs and fungi on the food supply penetrate the surface of whatever they land on, including the soil. Even washing these foods well before you eat them won’t take away the chemicals they have absorbed.

Sometimes you will be in situations where poor quality food and water is all there is. I find this happens most when I travel or attend public events. Until the “food consciousness” raises in this country and truly healthful choices are accessible, we can make the best of it based on what is available. Bless your food and water then return to your organic, food-from-nature, plastic-free diet when you return home.

What About Healing Stones and Crystals?

stonesTherapeutic stones and crystals form in the earth. Each carries its own vibration. They have been valued for their healing properties for as long as recorded history and have been used for every ailment and condition. In her book The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall says, “Crystals heal holistically. That is to say, they work on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. They realign subtle energies and dissolve dis-ease, getting to the root cause.”

In my nearly three decades of delving into the healing properties of crystals and gemstones, I’ve come across people who believe it just can’t be so. How can a little inanimate object be used for healing?! What hogwash and nonsense! How can you, an educated person, take yourself seriously? But… are they inanimate objects? Are their properties felt by people sensitive enough to detect energy?

Stones and crystals have their own life force and can help shift energies within and around you. I’ve been using them for nearly 30 years and have witnessed the shift they create in others. I’ve felt it in myself and in my surroundings over and over again.

With the wide variety of healing stones and crystals to choose from, any imbalance or situation can be assisted with their use. Two years ago when my beloved 16-year-old cat Calypso died, I buried him with a piece of rose quartz to strengthen the vibration of love around his body. When clients want to access their intuition, I surround them in amethyst. When I’m working with someone who needs to become grounded and centered, I use heavy black stones like hematite or dark smoky quartz.

In my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer, I added a short paragraph about stones. It’s not very “medical” or officially sanctioned, but as a holistic healer, I can’t ignore their usefulness even for serious ailments. For example, in the case of breast cancer, I’d begin with clear quartz and black tourmaline to clear old energy, and use my intuitive guidance to proceed from there. I would also consider rose quartz to help heal heart chakra issues, which helps heal old pain that might be a factor in the body’s dis-ease.

If you want to experiment with healing stones and crystals, you can first hold the stone in your hands while visualizing the outcome you desire. Then place the stone on the skin over the area of illness or imbalance, or in an area of your home or office where you want to make a shift. As I write this, I have several stones in front of me. Black tourmaline to absorb the EMFs from this computer, quartz crystal to raise the vibration, Connemara marble from Ireland (to keep the faeries happy), and a botswana agate, known for its ability to help one keep focused, organized, and pay attention to detail.

Many stones need to be cleared after being used for illness or after sitting around awhile. (Use your intuition to decide when its time to clear them. Once you’ve used the stones for a while, they’ll tell you if they need clearing.) Most can be cleared under running water, but some, such as Hematite, can absorb water so they are best cleared in moonlight or by being buried in the earth for a day or so.

Also in my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer (which is an excellent resource for holistic healing in general) there is a Resources section with “Books of Interest” for recommendations on how you can learn more about healing with stones and crystals, but if you’re a beginner, I’d start with The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. Enjoy!

Your Body’s Cells Listen to What You Say

ripple effectImagine a rock dropping into a still body of water that causes ripples outward in all directions. The same thing happens in your body (which is made up of 70% water) but with a thought instead of a rock. Thoughts are forms of energy reverberating into the space around you, including deep within your cellular structure. Your cells listen to what you say or think and respond accordingly, like ripples across a lake. Your cells listen to thoughts and words of other people as well.

One day in the early 1990s I was asked by a friend to accompany her to a Mensa meeting where she was speaking on Parapsychology. I thought she’d give a standard lecture to the high-IQ crowd, but she began the talk by requesting a volunteer from the group. She then “tested” the volunteer’s arm strength by having him hold it firmly out to the side while she pressed on it to see how strongly he could resist her pressure. His arm remained strong and steady. The volunteer was then sent out of the room and out of earshot. The group was instructed to think negative thoughts about the volunteer, even if he was a friend. The volunteer was then brought back into the room. Once again he was asked to hold his arm firmly out to the side and resist the pressure placed on it by my friend. This time he had no strength whatsoever. His arm collapsed down to his side.

Another volunteer was called. After the same routine the volunteer was sent out. But this time, the group was instructed to think the highest, most positive, loving thoughts about the person, how very much she was loved. The volunteer was brought back into the room. What do you suppose happened to her arm as she held it out for testing? It was stronger than it was before.

In these situations, the conscious mind isn’t listening, but your deepest cellular structure is. And because your cells are paying attention, you can speak to them. We all can speak to them. We can speak directly to an area of stagnation or congestion. We can speak to tumors. You can say, “All of my cells work together in harmony for my highest health and longevity. All of my cells communicate effectively with each other for my optimal health and vitality. Any cells not for my highest wellbeing and health leave me now.” Others can say on your behalf, “All of your cells are completely whole, healthy, and working together for your highest health, longevity, and wellbeing.” Your cells are listening.

For more on cellular health and numerous other fascinating topics, read my recent book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing.

Detoxify Simply with Dry Skin Brushing

drySince it’s Fall, the season of letting go and releasing, it’s the ideal time to think about a little cleanse before heading into the winter months. Likewise if you’re in Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re also in a perfect situation for some clearing.

We’re always hearing about juice fasting or using certain products to help the body cleanse, but with a simple dry skin brush, you can help your body do what it’s designed to do in the first place: clear out toxins. And even if you do opt for a more complicated cleanse, dry skin brushing will help eliminate the waste and prevent you from feeling poorly as an initial cleansing side effect.

As the largest organ of your body, your skin helps release toxins. Healthy skin eliminates pounds of waste each day (which is another good reason to change your sheets regularly!) however, ingredients in products applied to skin — even chemicals from synthetic fabrics — get absorbed and can block your skin’s ability to keep you healthy.

Skin brushing removes the top layer of dead skin while stimulating your lymphatic system to clear toxins that collect in lymph glands. This is an easy, cost-free way to help your body remove toxins you’re exposed to in daily living. Also, your digestion will improve, the circulation near your skin will improve, and your immune system will be strengthened. As a side bonus, it can help remove cellulite.

Skin brushing requires a natural bristle brush (not synthetic, which can irritate your skin). Find brushes specifically for dry skin brushing at a natural foods store or online. Some brushes are handheld while others have long handles — use whichever you prefer. Begin gently on dry skin at least once per day just before bathing. (Wet skin brushing can pull on your skin and will not remove the dry outer layer of your skin effectively.)

dry brushing womanStarting at the soles of your feet where there are nerve endings, brush in upward strokes toward your heart. Brush your feet, all sides of your calves, thighs, backs of knees, and inner thigh areas. Brush your buttocks, stomach, and outer hip area, always toward your heart. Brush from the palms of your hands over your arms in the direction of your heart. Brush under your arms and gently over your upper chest to the center of your midsection. Brush your shoulders and back. You can gently brush the breasts outward from the nipple on both sides, upward on top, downward below.

Your skin might take some time to get used to being brushed, so be gentle at first. After a couple weeks, wash your skin brush and allow it to dry.

The First Step in Holistic Healing: Listening

body soulOur nation’s epidemic of anxiety, depression, overeating and obesity, addictions, and general discontent is a holistic issue. No amount of pill-taking, no newly formulated prescription drug, is going to solve the problem. Though we seem determined that it will. It won’t.

It will only push the true issue deeper and ultimately cause a rupture somewhere else within the body, or the mind, or in the emotional state. Just as repairing something with scotch tape won’t hold it if the appropriate nuts and bolts are missing.

Until we begin to realize a more holistic approach, one that encompasses the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of being human, we’ll continue to see increasing dis-ease of the body, mind, and spirit in the form of mental illness and new physical conditions we’ve yet to hear of. This might be great for the medical community profiting from our collective dis-ease, but it’s not good for you and me.

So how do we begin to make this shift from treating only physical symptoms to repairing the deeper issue? How do we begin to repair the whole person when our entire orientation has been on fixing the obvious presenting problem?

It’s a simple beginning. We begin by listening. How many times have you been truly listened to when you’ve gone to get help for a medical condition? For a nagging physical complaint, for an issue where something doesn’t seem right but no one seems to know what to do about it, or even if you’ve gone to a therapist to help you through a life crisis but you still feel you’re not quite being seen clearly, or fully understood. In these situations, you’re not being truly heard. You’re not being listened to and viewed as a whole being, because we have not valued this.

Are you seen as someone with perhaps decades of life experience behind you? With pain and loss, joy and hope, courage and fear, failures and success, all of which could influence your overall wellbeing? Are you seen as someone with both human connectedness as well as loneliness, both inspiration and discouragement? What do you eat? How do you breathe? How do you move your body? What do you do for fun? Who are the main players in your life? What are you burdened by? Do you expect to feel well? What do you get from being ill or off-balance? (There’s often a payoff…)

The answers to these questions hold an abundance of information as to how we can best heal. When we’re willing to ask these questions of others and answer them for ourselves, we’ll be on our way toward true holistic healing.

What Does “Holistic” Mean Anyway?

holisticSo… what is meant by the term holistic? Derived from the word “whole” it emphasizes the importance of the whole rather than individual parts. In the case of holistic healing, it encompasses your physical body, emotions, mind, and spirit. And in the best of cases, your lifestyle.

In recent years we’ve been hearing more about the mind-body connection and in fact there are many mind-body programs in hospitals and clinics that are very successful. Although I love these mind-body programs, I believe they are avoiding one important element: that of the spirit. The spirit is the activating life force energy within and around each living being. To neglect or ignore this is like trying to put something broken back together without the parts. It’s like trying to repair something with scotch tape rather than with the nuts and bolts it came with.

Although we’re gaining comfort with the idea of a mind-body approach, we seem, as a western civilized society, to be resistant to healing from the level of spirit. We’re even resistant to addressing the emotions as to how they might relate to our ailments, whether physical pain and dis-ease, mental illness, or the varieties of discontent associated with our relationships or lack thereof, our jobs or financial state, and even that feeling of emptiness that comes when you’ve achieved everything you thought would make you happy and fulfilled yet you still feel something is missing.

The missing piece from a holistic approach is the spirit, often ignored in our society, in fact looked upon with suspicion in many cases. It’s not understood clearly and it’s certainly not given value. Perhaps it is too tied in with religious concepts? But it’s time to address the spirit and emotions along with the mind and body, to see each one of you as the whole being that you are.

In my next post, I’ll discuss one important way to begin focusing on the whole, rather than on seemingly separate parts.

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