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The mind/body connection to cancer

Our mental state — thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes — can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. In other words, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are! Numerous clinical studies have been conducted that point to the fact that people who have a positive outlook on life, are optimistic, with healthy personal and social relationships, and have minimal stress are less likely to become sick or diseased.

Mental states can be fully conscious or unconscious. We can have emotional reactions to situations without being aware of why we are reacting. Each mental state has a physiology associated with it — a positive or negative effect felt in the physical body. On the other hand, what we do with our physical body (what we eat, how much we exercise or even our posture) can directly impact our mental state. The mind and body are essentially inseparable: The brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed, all the organs of our body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another.

That is the theory behind mind-body medicine for cancer and an increasingly important part of the comprehensive cancer treatment program at Utopia Wellness. There are an enormous number of reactions and emotions associated with having cancer. It is important to find an appropriate way to access these emotions, neutralize and release them, and reap the positive benefits on the immune system. Mind-body medicine for cancer explores the influence of your mind, emotions, traumas on your body, immune system, and vice versa.

The first step is to identify the emotions and/or traumas that are having a negative impact on your health and your recovery. Using a pen and paper, write down anyone or anything that makes you feel angry, guilty, sorry, hurt, anything stimulating your senses, physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, consciously or subconsciously. Most major issues are an amalgamation of minor and often inconsequential ones that are allowed to accumulate. However, their foundation is based on dys-respect. Most are not even remembered. Collectively they are a colossal problem resulting in a tit for tat relationship. Left unaddressed, they lead to stagnation, dys-ease and consequences.

The next step is to neutralize that issue. This is done through a new learned behavior, which I call “the art of bulletproofing.” To neutralize an issue, you must assess your participation in it. Identify if you need to apologize to someone or to yourself for getting involved in the issue, or if you need an apology from someone else.

By apologizing to anyone that you think requires an apology from you and by apologizing to yourself, you have effectively neutralized the incident from all negative energy associated with it. Neutralization prevents the festering of negativity within you, which is the root of dys-ease.

If the people to whom you apologize reject your apology, that is their problem not yours. Do not let them suck you back into their negative vortex. Once you make an honest, earnest apology, rejection is not an option by the recipient since you know your apology is genuine.

If you feel you are owed an apology then ask for it. If you get it, great — graciously accept it. If you do not get it, then use your ability and your power of forgiving others for their ignorance toward you and their lack of social grace. If you do not forgive them, the incident will never zero out and the negativity may fester, as it accrues negative interest within your mind consciously or subconsciously.

The act of forgiveness is a powerful tool in neutralizing issues affecting your health. Forgiving others for their participation in the incident and forgiving yourself for your participation in the incident, the incident is effectively zeroed out. You can move forward knowing that the incident is neutralized and that all negative baggage associated with that incident is zeroed out.

Many times my patients tell me “that was is in the past and I’ve decided to leave it there.” It doesn’t affect me now. This is living “in the now” and the flaw with this approach is that you did not realize that you stored a negative charge in the first place, and as with all unsettled charges, it accrues interest. You failed to see how that negativity imprinted you back when it was fresh and raw. Had you recognized that negativity you could have addressed it then. Instead, you stored it and nurtured its deleterious effects. However, somehow, miraculously, you think that by drawing a line in the sand and “moving forward” these negativities will self-neutralize.

This living “in the now” is nothing more than a form of sabotage. This justifies ignoring and avoiding the negative charges that continue to fester and hinder your journey in peace and tranquility. Anyone with a chronic illness such as cancer that has failed to identify and resolve negative issues and feels they can live in the now with the expectation or regaining their health and wellness, is foolish. Remember we lie to ourselves everyday. We justify actions for ourselves that we would not advise others to do.

I agree that it stinks realizing that you became (note the past tense) your worst enemy, however this does not mean that you have to remain being so. The first step is to identify issues and implement remedies that resonate ease and inner tranquility within you. Realizing that you are your sole obstruction is the first step in your path towards remedy. You, and only you, generate all obstructions and sabotages in your identification, assessment, and execution of remedy. Only you are preventing the neutralization of your negative issues. Once you address negative imprinting dogmas from your past, you have a chance at dealing with them in the now when they reappear once again. Trust me they will reappear. This is Nature’s pop quiz.

In the end, you are the only one that can make the necessary changes. If you want to transform who you are and live up to your full potential, you have to first face your fears, but what you’ll realize is that your fears are only half an inch thick. When you let go of your fears and negative memories, your life and your health change. The question then is, are you ready for it?

Carlos M. Garcia, MD is the Director of Medicine at Utopia Wellness and the author of Cancer is a Symptom. In this book, he explores the link between emotions and cancer and helps guide the reader to identifying and releasing emotions that can not only cause cancer, but also hinder your ability to heal your cancer.


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