Friday, April 5, 2013

Cancer & The Healing Force in Sweet Oxygen

People often wonder: How did that person get cancer? The word "get" signals a kind of contagion or triggering event. Genetics, environmental exposures, nutritional status, exercise patterns, emotions, and stress all weave in uncertain ways to produce cancer, so it can be hard to determine the exact triggering causes.  An old wisdom tradition poem I was reading says:

Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain,
But at the peak
We all gaze at the same
Single bright moon

When it comes to cancer, we might revise the passage along the following lines:

Many paths lead to the foot of the mountain
But at the peak
We all inhale the same fresh wind of a
Single healing force in sweet oxygen

Many cancer communities quote Dr. Otto Warburg, who won a Nobel Prize in 1931 for proving that cancer is caused by a lack of respiration in the cells. Many paths, one core cause: lack of oxygen. 

Normal cells need oxygen or respiration to "breathe" and function properly. Cancer cells, in contrast, thrive in oxygen-deprived environments (and on fermentation instead of respiration). Significantly, cancers with the fastest growth rates also have the highest fermentation rates (this means that more sugar in the diet turbocharges fast-growing cancers). To put this into a gardening equation of sorts:

Lack of oxygen (the right "soil") + Sugar (the right "fertilizer") = Cancer (the deadly weed)

Many know that eliminating sugar (a kind of Miracle Grow for cancer) is critical to curing cancer.

However, increasing oxygen is equally important, as high oxygen status in the body is lethal to cancer. To boost oxygen in your body, there are some basic practices to adopt
  1. Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose and with your diaphragm (versus high and shallow or fast breathing from your chest)
  2. Reduce stress with time in nature, contemplative practices, meditation, or even Tai Chi (stress boosts blood pressure, which reduces oxygen to organs and tissues)
  3. Stay hydrated (dehydration drops blood fluids and blood pressure and thus fluids that deliver oxygen to the cells in need)
  4. Exercise gently each day with at least a 10-15 minute walk and 2-3 minutes on a mini trampoline (this combo boosts oxygen flow and helps your lymph system eliminate waste as cancer cells get oxidized)

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