Internal versus External Healing
Some years ago I stumbled upon the writings of a researcher, Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D., who wrote her dissertation on what she calls “Radical Remission”, which is a cancer remission that occurs either without conventional medical treatment, after conventional treatment has failed to work, or when conventional and complementary methods are used in conjunction to overcome a dire prognosis. From her research she found 75 factors could account for the healing. Nine of these factors occurred with the greatest frequency.
I was fascinated to discover that her findings and the 9 contributing factors to radical remission from cancer were very similar to the journey of transformation that I had been taking my clients on, whether or not they were undergoing cancer treatment or at another one of life’s crossroads. It seems that there is a universality of these factors that can help you transform holistically.
The research touched upon what I would described as the difference between “external” healing and “internal” healing, as described by Barbara Brennan. This something I work with in my practice with people successfully going into remission from cancer, healing other difficult illness or just going through a difficult situation in life.
Food, exercise, and herbs and supplements are external healing. They can certainly be preventative, certainly keep symptoms at bay and even cure illnesses at times, as long as you continue with your regime. Unfortunately, they often reach their limit, if you have not gone through “internal” healing.
There is quite a lot of interest in prevention as well, whether against cancer or any other serious dis-ease that is affecting millions worldwide or simply the anti-aging movement. I personally like to consider my list of factors to be just that, PREVENTION, which means it is never too late (or too early) to consider implementing some of the below factors into your life. They may have contributed to radical remission in Kelly Turner’s research, but they may also help you avoid a serious health challenge. The first 9 factors are the same as you find in her work, and the last 3 are additional ones that I find to be just as important.
12 Factors for Prevention and Radical Transformation
1. Radically changing your diet
We all know the drill: You are not feeling well? Maybe you should eliminate gluten, reduce sugar, replace dairy with non-dairy substitutes, stop eating meat, only buy organic, become a vegetarian, go vegan… But, rather than accepting a new fad or even following medical research, consider that “radically changing your diet” is telling you that you should consider listening to your body and asking yourself whether you believe that your food intake reflects positive self-care. Personally, I am a strong proponent of giving your body the healing self-care of a fast on a regular, but not too frequent, basis and increasing your intake of alkalinizing and anti-inflammatory foods. Of course, I also happen to like the taste of most of these foods, which brings me to another important point… pleasure versus guilt. If you change your diet out of guilt and deny yourself sensorial pleasure, you might be doing more harm than good. So, any radical change of your diet coming from self-care and self-love will be far more effective.
2. Taking control of your health
One of the most educational experiences I had about 10 years ago was during an Anatomy & Physiology Course that I did for my certification in Switzerland as a Complementary & Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Of course, it was educational, in that I learned a lot about our bodies’ structures and functions. But what made the greatest impression on me was how I started to think differently about my own body’s function and how I could not understand why this education was not required for every teenager in high school. I remember taking Advanced Biology myself, but it was not a class that prepared me to take control of my health. If we are kept in ignorance about the most basic functionality of our bodies, how can we take control of our health? We do not learn to develop our inner authority to know when something is not right with our bodies. We simply put our trust in the external authority of the medical establishment, and sometimes this works against.
3. Using herbs and supplements
In Nature, there appears to be a solution for nearly every health challenge. This information and knowledge has to a large extent been forgotten or at least it is certainly not mainstream. I would encourage you to trust a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist or Herbalist to test for deficiencies and to supplement as long there are no contraindications with any prescribed medications.
4. Following your intuition
This can be a wild card, because many people have spent years denying any and all intuition or gut feelings they have had. At the same time, many of my clients have confided in me that they “just knew” and were then later proved to be correct to follow their intuition, especially related to their own body. I can only recommend to reconnect with your intuition. It is really a wise part of you that has mostly been forgotten about. The good news is that you will always have it on hand.
5. Releasing suppressed emotions
It is my experience that many people are suppressing their emotions and not expressing their emotions. They do not allow themselves the right to simply feel and do not allow themselves to be uncomfortable with these emotions. This suppression leads to blocked energy and certainly not a whole lot of embodied pleasure. Blocked energy is stagnate in the human energy field and creates an environment conducive to the creation of dis-ease.
6. Increasing positive emotions
I am a fervent proponent of creating and increasing the amount of positive emotions in order to assist in healing and, naturally, for prevention as well. As we get further and further away from childhood, we lose touch with our ability to feel the joy that comes from simply being alive as a human being on Earth. Our only option is to use our adult ego to start to choose to create positive experiences to enable positive emotions. The higher vibrations of positive emotions are simply good for us.
7. Embracing social support
We live increasing in isolation from each other and from our extended families. The importance of feeling and accepting social support is absolutely instrumental to how we function as healthy human beings. It is the acceptance and understanding that we are all one and that we are stronger and safer together. Any effort to divide and isolate us is not in our best interest.
8. Deepening your spiritual connection
Spiritual connection means different things to different people. And, it should, because we are all unique. The essence of it is really feeling your connection to something or someone beyond yourself. It may be to Nature or to God or to the Universal Energy Field. It really doesn’t matter. It is most certainly about finding your own personal connection, independent to anything that you were taught from external authorities. It is more about an intimate connection that only you know for yourself, whatever that may be.
9. Having strong reasons for living (Life purpose!)
We are strong and powerful and can achieve amazing things with a strong intention. So, having a strong reason or many reasons for living and discovering your life purpose or life purposes can lead to extraordinary creations and manifestation of health and well-being. If you are interested in prevention, it seems that this would be a rewarding route to explore for yourself.
10. Remaining curious
The ability of our minds and the power of our thoughts is incredible. Unfortunately, what is happening most of the time is a relentless stream of judgment, especially self-judgment. I find that the best was to eliminate judgment is to use the mantra: Remain curious or stay curious, as has been famously stated before. No matter what thoughts arise, imagine what life would be like if it were possible to suspend all judgment.
11. Increasing flow
This is of course connected to our great inspiration of the Flow movement. As our subtle energy needs flow, so, too, do our entire lives from our belief systems down to our physical bodies. It is time to release rigidity and embrace all that Flow represents.
12. Maintaining balance
Our entire physical existence is essentially grounded in maintaining balance — from the single-celled organism to the most complex systems. And, I find that we do not often enough check in with ourselves to see if we feel in balance or which aspect of our lives is somehow out of balance. Consider feeling into your physical, emotional, mental, and relational aspects of yourself on a regular basis and self-correcting for any perceived imbalances.
The Radical Remission Project was born out of Kelly A. Turner, PhD’s dissertation research on Radical Remission (RR). As Dr. Turner began to research RR as part of her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, she realized that the opinions of two groups of people were typically missing from the 1,000+ cases of RR published in medical journals – 1) the survivors themselves, and 2) alternative healers. Because conventional medical doctors do not currently have an explanation for why RR’s occur, Dr. Turner decided to ask these two ignored groups what they thought could lead to a Radical Remission. Her dissertation research involved a year-long trip around the world during which she traveled to 10 different countries in order to interview 20 Radical Remission survivors and 50 alternative healers about their techniques for healing cancer.
Since then, her research has continued, and Dr. Turner has now analyzed over 1,500 cases of Radical Remission. There is also currently a pilot study that has been launched at Harvard University, approved by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board, to study the Radical Remission work.