Thursday, April 30, 2009

‘Yes you can’

‘Tis summertime and many people are taking a break, going off to distant or secret places in order to heal, to be healthy, to help themselves and others, to try to become whole again. You too, and take a book along.

One good summer reading fare would be the gem of a book “Yes You Can Prevent and Control Cancer” (332 pp., First NuConsciousness Publishing, 2009) by Christine E.V. Gonzalez, Ph.D., co-founder of the Wellness Institute. The book, subtitled, “a personal journal for daily living and total wellbeing” was launched last Saturday at the Ateneo University. Fr. Joey R. de Leon SJ, wrote the foreword.

Gonzalez is a doctor of naturopathic medicine with Ph.Ds in natural health and holistic nutrition. Gonzales is a naturalist, educator and researcher. The book is based on her years of extensive research and experiences. It is a how-to book for people who want to take charge of their own health and wellbeing.

The nutritional diet and lifestyle suggestions that the book gives are meant to inform those who are interested in different aspects of natural therapies primarily to prevent cancer, and second, to help control cancer.

The book is divided into four sections. Section 1 deals with the seven underlying causes of cancer. Section 2 is on the seven pillars of health with a subsection on cancer in the Philippines. Section 3 offers seven pathways to staying healthy NOW. The Appendix is a collection of lists and supplementary information by other experts in the field.

From the looks of it, the book is far from grim and threatening. It is a happy book, very well laid out and colorfully and tastefully illustrated but in a subdued way by book designer Jerry Macatuno. I judge a book also by its cover and design, you know. A good book must look good too.

Gonzalez tackles the seven underlying causes of cancer: unhealthy diet, dehydration and toxic water, chemicals, deadly emotions, stress, mental and spiritual toxins and environmental toxicity. Genetics is listed only as a risk factor. Each of the causes is tackled, the whys, the hows.

Yes, cancer can be prevented and controlled. “If we know how cancer progresses,” Gonzalez says, “then we know how to prevent its onslaught. If cancer is already present, ample scientific evidence exists demonstrating that it is possible to revert cancerous cells into normal cells. This can be accomplished by balancing the body’s pH and proper nutrition. Through this, the respiratory process of the pathogenic cells normalizes, transforming and converting them back to aerobic respiration. Once in this condition, the p53 (tumor suppressor) gene is reactivated. The converted cells eventually die off from normal apoptosis. Yes, cancer is reversible.” That last sentence is in bold letters.

Hail the seven pillars of health: healthy diet, rehydration, detoxification, mental and spiritual growth, stress management, managing deadly emotions, environmental transformation.

Nutritional therapy or “food as medicine” is big in Gonzalez’s book. Listed are seven top anti-cancer superfoods plus a whole array of nutritious sources that are readily available.

Detoxification is tackled extensively—what it is, who needs it, when to do it, why and how. Lymphatic detoxification (“cleansing the river of life”) is discussed, and along with it, alcohol detoxification, natural detoxification for drugs, caffeine, nicotine and sugar detoxification. Gonzales also discusses mental and spiritual detoxification.

While the book gives a big dose of scientific information, it also cites taken-for-granted activities which are actually good for us. Nature tripping, for example. Gonzalez suggests you make every effort to go to the beach and/or the mountain for fresh air. The breeze there is highly oxygenated.

But we have to nourish and strengthen our protectors, Gonzalez emphasizes. That means boosting our immune system.

“Cancer cells are always being created in the body,” she writes. “It is an ongoing process. Within you is an amazing network of protector and defender cells, tissues and organs to help you fight all forms of diseases. They are programmed to protect and defend you against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to invade your body.”

That’s the body’s immune system, the superhero that identifies the enemy, declares an all-out war by attacking the invaders or goes on stand-by mode. There are ways to strengthen this superhero, the cheapest and easiest of which are breathing exercises, music and laughter. There is a chemistry to laughter, you know. There’s more. Again, Gonzalez lists the food sources. Want to try an immune-boosting smoothie?
The book is not a substitute for medical diagnosis or prescription. It simply wants to offer information, “I believe that the new medicine is education,” Gonzales says, “and the best cure is prevention.”

Gonzales credits her patients from whom she has learned a lot. “My patients have shared their own journeys with me, revealing something deeper than their physical symptoms, scars, and lesions…As I participated in their journey I grew in my own insights and understanding of the disease. In turn, this new depth of understanding better enabled me to help them and others. More importantly, my patients regained a greater sense of control by becoming actively involved in their own healing. In this process of healing themselves, they also became healers to others.”

Where to get the book? Wellness Institute (6317794, 7265301), Global Vital Source (8181088, 8432550), The Opta Cooperative (4363616).