One can easily become overwhelmed when faced with all the data, facts, details and theories on cancer. At Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, we teach about cancer and its treatments in several courses. One such course has a 12-hour module on cancer; while at three other courses have three-hour modules. There are a lot of details a Herbalist needs to know to interact in this arena. But like many things in holistic healing, it is beneficial to take a giant step backward and look at the Whole.
For our purposes we can create a simple analogy to look at basic aspects and probable treatment modalities. In Holistic healing, we frequently state that the issues inside a person, can reflects the world or issues that are perceived in their external world.
Basically cancer is an issue of communication. More specifically, it is a lack of being part of the whole organism; thus convoluting ones energy inwards without proper communication with the larger organism; or in other words isolating and forming a ‘selfish’ tumor system.
Evolution of a Terrorist Group
If a person has a strong point of view, they usually want to communicate it to someone. If others around them don’t listen, marginalize them or shut them out, the person may begin to keep their thoughts to themselves. They may drop the issue; bury it in their psyche or even ferment on it. They may begin to feel bad or resentful about it, thus creating a small irritation in the back of their mind.
If they are given a chance to share their views with others in their community through dialogue, their feelings may change and become less of an issue. Often finding some companions with sympathetic ears is all that is needed. They start a small group, communicating about these and maybe other issues, and it doesn’t influence anyone outside their group. These could be like a small club working on their pet ideas. You can see groups forming around anything from chest clubs to on-line medieval enactment groups. It could be a short lived club or a more permanent organization. This similar to benign tumors that specializes, but keeps to themself and not usually hurting or even influence the community of our other 75-trillion cells.
But sometimes an idea will grow and fester in a person. In specific incidences these ideas might grow into a plan of action on how to make other people see, or believe their ideas as being important. This could be as simple as bullying another, or as dramatic as a Columbine-like incident where a group of teenagers went into the school and started shooting people. This type of behaviour is like a cell of activity that starts to affect the health of other local cells (Malignant tumors). In these kinds of incidences, the “authorities” (T-cells, NK cells and macrophages) come in to deal with it, shutting the whole operation down. Regardless of whether the cause is/was good or bad, it was affecting the status quo of the surrounding environment, and thus an order was given to “deal with it”.
Often the new revolution or evolution is squelched and the rest of collective is not influenced positively or negatively by it. Our body is continuously fighting and winning against these ‘separatist cells.’
Often these cells go into a stage of deeper hiding, cutting off all communication with the outside world. This state of hiding is similar to abnormal cell-to-cell communication in a tumor system with lack of proper signal transduction. This helps the cells to evade detection, but deprives it of the necessities of life like oxygen and this put hypoxic state. In this state of isolation the ideas can be even more convoluted onto themselves. In other times the initial ideas are even lost and the various levels of depravation from the collective 75-trillion cells become the new issue.
Sometimes these ideas get bigger and bigger, influencing a large group of people. (Oncogene over-expressive & tumor suppressor gene under-expressive) This could be as simple as a coup attempt to take over an organization or even a government. This can breathe a new life into the organization and be similar to angiogenesis in a tumor system. The process could even be called evolution. Sometimes evolution starts with revolution as seen in the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 60’s and early ‘70s. If all goes smoothly, revolution leads to evolution and a new way (hopefully a better way) of dealing with things. Other times the battle evoked by the new ‘resistance group’ causes bigger problems and the resistance group is considered a terrorist group by the larger organism.
If the terrorist group is small enough and isolated enough, it will be ‘neutralized’ and the problem resolved. (Our body is continuously dealing with ‘terrorist cells’ and for the most part can neutralize them.) If the terrorist cell goes unnoticed for long enough it can create a stronger center of gravity and a strong sense of personal authority making it harder to neutralize (TGF-ß helps keep cell undetected). It can also diversify and create more independent or semi-independent ‘terrorist cells’ so if one ‘terrorist cell’ is neutralized, it will not destroy the whole ‘movement’ (Initiation and promotion stages).
Once the movement gets to a certain stage, fighting becomes almost impossible. Propaganda and the war machine further confuse communication, deepening the original problem. Creating an independent Palestine is more sensible than going in with a war machine and trying to level all the various sites of conflict. Fighting in a situation like Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran is a war that can never be won, as it is philosophical. You can’t win by simply killing or capturing a leader. Often ‘blindly’ going in and exerting force can cause the terrorist cells to splinter, go underground and create sympathy groups in others areas (metastasis). This is what seems to have happened in much of the Middle East. The actual act of war harms more innocent people than terrorists or soldiers and often leads by-standers to side with the terrorist by providing hiding places, food and financial support (produces more angiogenesis). The terrorist groups are ‘selfish’ in that they rely on their own survival skills to overtake the ‘outside’ collective.
Surgical removal often isn’t complete and can cause the spread of cancerous cells. Chemo therapy and especially radiation therapy can be successful by killing the cancer, but may sacrifice the patient in the process by destroying or mutating enough healthy cells to compromise the person.
Cancer as a Model for Communication
As stated from the beginning, a cancerous cell or tumor system is a system that does not communicate with the whole community that it evolved from. It is as if the cancer system has no desire to be part of the whole anymore. On the other hand, many of the medicinal natural substances we use to strengthen the body while working on cancer are just that, extreme examples of community communicators. In this we mean that many of these organism’s natural habitats are very large, intense communities. To be active and to survive in these communities, communication, or more important, living in harmony with the rest of the organisms in the community, is the ‘prime directive’. Some botanicals that fit into this model are of course the fungi. It has been shown that some of these native colonies are hundreds of miles in diameter and have lived in a specific area for thousands of years. Fungi such as: Reishi, Coriolus, Cordyceps, Chaga, Maitake and Shiitake, form very large intense communities. The algae, like Chlorella also live in very dense colonies. As well, organisms like Krill ‘bloom’ in colonies of billions, being several miles across and quite deep in the Antarctic and other places on the planet.
Detailed chemical mechanisms of how these organisms work can be found in other posting. From a philosophical holistic point of view, they work because they vibrate very strong connections to community and communication. Filling your body with their vibrations sets up a harmonic or vibration communicating with the bigger whole – may that be earth energy (Gaia, Ashtie, Pacha Mama) or even more esoteric vibration of higher dimensions. It is almost like these organisms are sitting there, chanting a universal OM and after a while our physical cells start to chant in harmony with them and before you know it; there is no room for cancer. It is like giving peace a chance.
Using this philosophy you can see how holistic therapy is the exact opposite of conventional allopathic therapy. Allopathic medicine wages war on the cancer, while holistic medicine ‘gives peace a chance’. Usually the cancer affects less than 1/100 of 1 percent of the body. Or in other words the body is 99.99% cancer free. Holistic medicine for the most part is concentrating on the 99.99%, while allopathic therapy is concentrating on the much smaller percentage. This also means that in the strictest sense there is no conflict or ‘drug interaction’, we are just assuring that after the cancer is ‘dealt with’ the rest of the community (the other 75-trillion cells) is communicating with the whole and is as strong as possible.
Another very important point is that many oncologists advise their patients not to take any supplements such as vitamins and herbs. This is based on faulty assumptions and data. Be that as it may, by giving a person mushrooms they are technically not taking herbs. For many years now, fungi have been considered a separate kingdom and are not part of the plant kingdom, so in reality they are not really herbs. Plus I have never heard of a doctor saying that you can’t have mushrooms on your pizza. From a holistic point of view, the pizza might not be all right, but the mushrooms are. So have the mushrooms and ‘hold the pizza’. A similar argument can be made for krill, as krill are really shell fish, more primitive than shrimp or lobster, but shell fish never the less. What doctor has ever said you can’t eat lobster or shrimp?
As a Clinical Herbalist, understanding this “community and communication” approach is very important and a key component in the holistic treatment of cancer. Combining this with specific treatments for specific cancers creates a very thorough approach to cancer therapy.
Can we revision the future, so we do not need Cancer?