A great deal of research has been devoted to the treatment of cancer in the last 60 years. High tech treatments are now being developed which can increase survival rates and reduce the terrible side effects of the highly toxic drugs and radiation which are the foundations of most medical cancer treatments. New surgical techniques including arthroscopic have greatly aided doctors in removing tumors. Indeed, medical science has every reason to be both proud and optimistic about the prospects of cancer treatment in the 21st Century.
But very little research has been done on the psychological causes of cancer. Why, for example, are certain cancers like breast, colon, and prostate cancer such epidemics in our society? This kind of research could not only help us to change the structures of our culture to greatly reduce the incidence of such diseases, it could give us a wealth of information on how to cure these afflictions. As a hypnotherapist who has specialized in accessing these underlying causes for 25 years of work with cancer patients I have discovered some important answers to this question.
Take breast cancer. According to recent research one out of every eight women will suffer breast cancer in her lifetime. 20 years ago that figure was one in ten. To describe this as a growing epidemic is a serious understatement. But it seems to me that not enough doctors and scientists are asking “why breast cancer?”
Let me illustrate this with a medical mystery from the past. In 19th century England, during the peak of the first industrial revolution, it is estimated that over 75% of deaths were attributed to a single disease: consumption. We now know that this epidemic was directly created by the acid-filled coal smoke that poured out of the chimneys of England’s factories and homes, combined with a virulent strain of tuberculosis which thrived in the cold damp climate, overcrowded tenements, and polluted air of England.
The prevalence of wool and coal dust in the filthy factories which employed children as young as six also contributed to this pandemic. Also contributing was an air of fatalism which dominated the collective consciousness of the time. Because everyone in this society saw the same thing all day long, the culture entered a kind of group hypnotic trance in which this kind of pandemic was seen as fate. It was simply assumed that most people died before forty of lung disease.
While doctors worked hard, and mostly in vain, to stem the tide of the epidemic with a number of treatments, very few had the foresight or the courage to challenge the social institutions which perpetuated this veritable holocaust. Nowadays it’s easy to point the finger at these ignorant doctors. We know that lungs are used for breathing, so we look at the stuff people were breathing in. A similarly pragmatic approach helped researchers determine the connection between lung cancer and smoking in the 1960’s. So what can we learn from these discoveries about the breast cancer epidemic of the late 20th and 21st Century?
To discover the meaning of this epidemic we need no advanced degree in biochemistry or oncology. We need simply to explore what breasts are used for, and study the way women’s breasts are being used in our culture. Obviously, the primary purpose of breasts is to feed babies. However a number of social changes over the last half century have led to a precipitous drop in breast feeding. These changes include women entering the work force in large numbers, replacement of breast feeding with infant formula, and the postponement or cancellation of child bearing by women who are career oriented. Like the industrial revolution of the 19th century, these changes have greatly improved many aspects of life, including giving women freedom to pursue many exciting goals outside of the home. I am no Taliban terrorist who would choose to roll back all the gains women have made in the last 60 years. But we have made these advances at the cost of an epidemic of breast cancer. And until now no one has been willing to see what we have created.
The research bears out this theory. Among the risk factors that predict higher rates of breast cancer we find some interesting statistics. If a woman waits till her thirties to have children, if she does not breast feed them, if she doesn’t have any children, all of these factors increase a woman’s statistical probability of getting breast cancer. Ask yourself this question: If you were a breast, and no one ever paid any attention to you, no one ever let you fulfill your purpose, what would you do?
Of course I don’t reveal these secrets unless I have an answer for them within the world of hypnotherapy. And there’s a simple answer here. While it is generally impossible to get my breast cancer clients into active breast feeding, I have found that it’s only necessary for the client to actively imagine themselves breastfeeding in order to stimulate breast tissue to repair itself. Some clients imagine the joy of breastfeeding their now grown children as infants through regression therapy. Some clients simply imagine breast feeding an inner child. Some clients are taught to hold a doll or stuffed animal and nurse it like a baby, sometimes using gentle massage on their breasts comparable to the squeezing associated with nursing. This produces pleasant tingling sensations within the breast which rapidly lead to a flow of healing hormones and blissful feelings throughout the body.
I am highly skeptical of overly simplistic theories about any disease process. So it’s important to keep in mind that only your breast knows what issues have led to its disease. Sometimes it is necessary to process feelings of loss, grief, or guilt that are associated with the client’s breasts. One client found her cancerous right breast was tired of “nursing” her emotionally immature husband, who always slept on her right side in bed. Another felt guilty about not nursing her children and needed to beg their forgiveness. One simple way to access the breast’s emotional baggage is to journey into the breast in a hypnotic state, or talk to the breast in hypnosis as if it were a person to find out what issues are haunting it. Notice that in both of these examples, the nurturing function of the breast was being twisted or neglected in some way.
The results? Stimulation of healthy circulation and activation of immune system activity within the breast as a result of all these processes have led to tumor reduction or elimination in a number of cases I have examined. Of course double blind studies in a hospital setting are still years away for this simple but effective treatment option, because there are no millions of dollars in profit to be made. So I recommend you do not wait for the medical industry to catch up with the obvious.