It’s been six months since my cancer diagnosis. I’ve been over mountains of information and deep in the valley of decision-making while continuously bushwhacking through cancer cure offerings and jumping over streams of confusion and doubt; sometimes I broke through the thick tangles into a clearing where the light of confirmation and affirmation encircled me.
Besides finding a nutritional support oasis in Dr. Paul Westby of Wellspring Chiropractic (read: April 2012 Edge), I found another oasis to help clear away the malignant growth in my left breast called Stage One Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Stage One means the tumor is localized to one part of the body; it was also growing at a slow-to-moderate rate.
This information was important; it allowed me the benefit of time. Time to gather information, to reflect, to make decisions consistent with who I am.
The body is designed to be self-recovering — it heals colds, flu, cuts and sprains; my right knee cartilage healed without surgery (read: March 2012 Edge). However, with cancer being potentially life-threatening, there was greater urgency to support my body to return to health and remove the rogue cells. Had the cancer not been Stage One, I may have taken a more aggressive approach.
I’ve heard it takes a village to raise a child. I now believe it takes a village to heal someone with life-threatening illness. In addition to excellent nutritional support, I continued my search. Synchronistically, a door opened when I met Dr. Nick Froehling of Vitality Chiropractic. After sharing with him about my cancer, he graciously offered to do a body scan analysis on me.
The fours scans that “Dr. Nick” used were:
- Posture analysis
- Surface Electromyography (EMG) to test motor nerve function
- Rolling Thermal scan to test autonomic nerve functions
- Spinal X-ray (though hesitant to subject myself to additional radiation, I’m glad I did).
In Wayzata since 2007, Dr. Nick has received several awards for outstanding chiropractic performance: 2007 Top Wellness Provider in the World (with Discover Chiropractic Team) and 2009 On Purpose Chiropractor of the Month. I’ve enjoyed his free evening classes about Mental Wellness, Burst Training and Nutritional Wellness.
Nervous System Dis-ease
The scans showed me part of the reason why a tumor had formed in my left breast: nervous system interference in that area, how the forward tilt of my head produced stress to the thoracic spinal area, neck and upper back; this had been a longstanding problem. Thermography showed muscle and nerve tension radiating from my spine into my left chest and breast area. The X-ray showed subluxation (misalignment) in the spine impeding nervous system function, which leads to dis-ease in organ function.
Eureka! The cancer took the path of least resistance and got its “toehold” in my breast.
Weekly visits to Dr. Nick have improved my posture, increased my flexibility and reduced muscle tension, where previously I had felt much stiffness and pain in my neck, jaws, shoulders, arms and upper chest. Each week, I look forward to reading Dr. Nick’s “Thot” for the week focusing on health, diet, exercise or research to make healthier lifestyle decisions. One that is dear to my heart (or shall I say, my breast) is his Breast Cancer Prevention “Thot” [read these articles].
Environmental Stressors — Negative and Positive
Dr. Nick also shared information about the philosophy of Chiropractic care, which has influenced me to seek more positive stressors in my life. B. J. Palmer, the developer of scientific Chiropractic methods, believed that human beings are 100 percent innately intelligent, and when the nervous system is operating to its fullest capacity it will maintain optimal health for us.
However, when the nervous system experiences interference (disruption), our bodies will eventually experience dis-ease. Palmer identified three types of environmental stressors: physical, chemical and mental. A stressor creates a “force” that acts upon the body. Depending on what the stressor is, it will either have a negative or a positive influence on the body.
Negative stressors disrupt proper body function. Muscles get tight, leading to restricted blood flow, and this can lead to cell damage. Positive stressors maintain or improve body function.
Negative physical stressors include accidents, prolonged sitting or repetitive actions and injury. Negative chemical stressors include poor diet, all drugs (even prescription), smoking, living near power lines, and toxic chemicals used in the yard, home or on the body. Negative mental stressors include unrealistic expectations, demanding deadlines, perfectionism, guilt, shame, jealousy and negative attitudes.
To heal damage caused by accumulated stress, it is necessary to eliminate negative environmental stressors and incorporate more positive stressors.
The stressors that we want in our lives are positive environmental stressors:
- Positive physical stressors: Exercise, Stretching, Chiropractic care, being in nature, rest and sleep.
- Positive chemical stressors: Organic fruits and vegetables, pure water, good bacteria and good germs.
- Positive mental stressors: Prayer, journaling, pets, being with loved ones who have your best interest at heart, affirmations, realistic goals, and meditation.
These positive stressors serve to maintain and strengthen our bodies. What others can you think of to add to your life?
The cumulative effect of regular chiropractic adjustments has taken the strain off my nervous system; my body spends less time compensating for negative stress. My innate intelligence is turning its attention to repairing my body to a new level of health.
“I seek to find out what is cutting off the life force and then make adjustments that eliminate the interference, which allows life to flow freely from the nervous system to the entire body,” says Dr. Nick. It is so simple, and yet requires positive vigilance for me and my village.
In parting, he reminded me: “As the body heals, it is natural for the body to detoxify; this may include coughing, flushing, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, hot flashes, and fever.” I, too, had experienced detoxification — it felt more like bushwhacking than lounging at the oasis — but that is a topic for another day.
The higher the number, the more severe the body’s dis-ease:
- Stage one — The dis-ease in the body is recognized as a relatively small tumor, which is localized to one organ and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
- Stage two — The tumor is more advanced in size than in stage one. Depending on the type of cancer, it may have spread to the surrounding lymph nodes.
- Stage three — The dis-ease has spread to surrounding tissue and there are dis-eased cells (cancer cells) in the nearby lymph node.
- Stage four — The dis-ease has spread to other organs other than where it first appeared. This is also described as secondary, or metastatic, cancer.
There are multiple methods for staging cancer, which also vary depending on the type of cancer. When discussing cancer with your doctor, you will want to find out what staging system is being used.
Listen to Edge contributor Cheryl Hiltibran describe her journey on the archived Edge Talk Radio program “Innerviews” with Cathryn Taylor by clicking here: http://tiny.cc/az5ucw