Welcome to the Rethinking Cancer Newsletter #58
“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”
– Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727)
We live in a turbulent world populated by humans charged with emotions both constructive and destructive, conscious and unconscious, reasonable and totally baffling. Sir Newton, one of the most influential scientists of all time, couldn’t figure it out, but now the Dalai Lama is taking a crack at it.
The famous Tibetan Buddist monk has gone digital to help us understand our emotions and find inner peace: “We have, by nature or biologically, this destructive emotion, also constructive emotion. This innerness, people should pay more attention to, from kindergarten level up to university level. This is not just for knowledge, but in order to create a happy human being. Happy family, happy community and, finally, happy humanity.”
Atlas of Emotions is his new website. It’s really a map of the human psyche, created with the help of some of the Dalai Lama’s good friends, including psychologist Paul Ekman, who advised the creators of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” an animated film set inside a girl’s head. The site is well worth a visit. This is not about religion. The Dalai Lama’s hope is simply that it could be a tool for cultivating good in the world by overcoming the bad within us. “Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker,” he says. “We have to know the nature of that enemy.”
The “Atlas” might not get you straight to inner peace, but you may find, as we did, that by going through the various steps, you catch yourself watching what you’re feeling a whole lot more closely…
To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (FACT)
P.S. A reminder: our film, Rethinking Cancer, is now available for streaming on iTunes in North America and several other countries. Check it out! We rely on donations and we truly appreciate your support. Please take a look for us on Twitter, Facebook and our YouTube channel!
Are Genes Destiny?
It’s a depressing thought – the idea that regardless of what we do, our genetic make-up predisposes us to certain health problems. The problem with this thought, however, is: cutting edge science is telling us that it simply is not true!
From 1990 to 2003 millions of federal dollars were spent on the Human Genome Project. The goal was to figure out the role of every gene in order to develop drugs to “fix” “bad” ones and thus avoid or cure virtually any disease, the operative model being that the human body is simply an assemblage of replaceable or fixable parts. Researchers, however, were surprised to discover that there are far fewer genes than suspected, all with multiple, often indecipherable purposes, as well as complex and unpredictable interactions. They realized that messing with any one gene could have dire and unintended consequences.
Most importantly, they learned that the presence of any kind of gene is very different from the expression of that gene (active vs. inactive) and that the “on” or “off” is determined largely by the way we live. READ MORE
Fall Asleep Faster with Acupressure
Acupressure has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It applies the same principles as acupuncture (without the needles) to treat disease and enhance mind/body health. According to theory, special acupoints lie along energy meridians or channels in the body. It is believed that vital energy – a life force called qi (ch’i) – flows through these invisible channels, connecting organs and creating a network of energy flows throughout. When one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. The goal of acupressure is to restore balance to the body’s channels by applying pressure to the appropriate acupoints.
Using fingers, palms, elbows or feet, acupressure can be an effective way to relieve a wide range of ills, e.g., nausea, headache, anxiety, nasal congestion, fatigue, etc. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, here’s one technique, suggested by a faculty member at leading naturopathic Bastyr University, to promote sleep: READ MORE
Dandelion – A “Weed” Worth Cultivating
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is so common, it’s often dismissed as a pesky weed, but that would be gross defamation of character. This plant (whose name comes from the French for “lion’s tooth” because of its jagged leaves), has been used therapeutically for centuries to treat infections and kidney disease, increase bile flow, correct liver problems, improve appetite, digestion and general health.
Now modern science has discovered that extracts of dandelion – leaves, flowers and roots – contain bioactive compounds with potential anti-cancer properties. In lab research with mice these extracts can kill leukemia, melanoma and pancreatic cancer cells without harm to healthy cells and human clinical trials are currently exploring the use of extracts to treat blood-related cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. READ MORE
If you’re new to dandelion greens, start with a small amount of dandelion in proportion to other greens and monitor your body’s reaction. Some people may be more sensitive.
- ½ lb. torn dandelion leaves and other leafy greens
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- drizzle of raw honey
- pinch salt (unrefined) and pepper
- In a medium bowl, toss together dandelion greens, onion, tomatoes and basil.
- To make dressing: put all ingredients in a glass jar, cover and shake vigorously.
- Drizzle gently over the salad and toss. Makes a cup of dressing. Store in the refridge, but let come to room temperature (and give a good shake) before using.