The Tibetan Singing Bowl

My own blended turmeric tea - I use loose teabags and steep for about three minutes - it's quite good.

Our loaner bowl and one of our own bowls – two distinctly different sounds and vibrations.  I believe it is important to try before you buy.

I’ve had a few people discuss why and how I use the Tibetan Bowl with respect to “bowling” my husband so I thought that I would elaborate a little about the process.   Bowls can be used in sound therapy or vibrational therapy or combination.  In our situation we use the combination method.  We do not use glass bowls, only metal ones. We have four bowls of various sizes that produce distinctly different tones and vibrations.  Two of the bowls are hand hammered and considered ‘Master Healing’ bowls; a third is, I suspect, machined; and the fourth is on loan from a friend so I am not certain about how it was crafted – but it plays like a very high quality bowl.  I require a specific tone and vibrational quality for the bowls I use.  The sound needs to resonate (or “sing”), but the vibrational quality is of the utmost importance especially since I place the bowl directly on my husband’s chest.  The premise is that our bodies are composed of somewhere between 55 – 75% water – water conducts vibration.  The vibration and sound of the bowl is used to bring the body back into balance and harmony, no dissonance allowed (ref:  http://iash.in/general_healing.html).  When I shop for a bowl I need to try the bowl to feel how deeply or intensely the bowl vibrates, thus internet shopping for this pricey item is not an option, I have to feel it.  Trippy sounding, but I have tried many, many bowls that didn’t meet up to my expectations, they either had a nice sound or a nice vibratory quality, but not often both.  To select the tone of the bowl is as unique as every individual.  In our case I used my husband’s tone when voicing OM to select a sound – in his case it resulted in a bowl with a deep or low tone.  As his breathing capacity diminished after chemo his tone has also changed, slightly, but it has changed.  Consequently I have two bowls that I alternate between for his nightly session.

Crucial to the use of the bowl is the meditation/visualization exercise that accompanies it.  My own practice is to start the session using some deep breathing exercises to help detox the body.  “Shallow breathing lets stagnant air and pollutants accumulate in the depths of the lungs and may lead to fatigue, respiratory sluggishness, and diminished tissue function. …Poor breathing allows toxins to accumulate, robs energy and negatively affects mental alertness.”  (Source: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/deep-breathing-for-lung-cleansing/)  Deep breathing is something that everyone should do, but in my husband’s case it is very important since his lung capacity has diminished after chemotherapy.  The deep breathing segues nicely into a very relaxed and receptive state for our “bowling” session. Throughout the meditation/visualization session I use touch to imprint certain states of mind and to create an association between the touch and the particular state or feeling.  I have no scientific basis for doing this – it is just what I do and it works well in our situation.

We will continue to try different methods of managing pain, fear and stress.  The unforgiving reality of our cancer experience is that it continues to have a crippling hold on our emotions.  Anything that can give a little peace of mind or release from the anxiety associated with cancer has got to have some benefit attached to it.

#15 – Vitamin C Infusions

In an article written for the Fall 2014 issue of  Renaissance Magazine a couple of success stories related to cancer are highlighted.  One in particular struck me since it was a woman who had twice been given a most dire prognosis (uterine cancer, Stage III non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and who in both instances opted out of chemotherapy preferring to use alternate methods instead.  In an article entitled “Road to Healing” it highlighted how she utilized a strict diet, mostly vegetarian and organic, without sugars, dairy or refined flour foods, as well as 75 gram infusions of Vitamin C twice a week to battle against this disease.  It’s an interesting read and certainly an optimistic one.  “After three months a CT showed, “The lymph nodes had strikingly diminished in size and number since the last scan.” The oncologist confirmed an 84% reduction!”

Apparently Vitamin C infusions are not funded by the government and patients in Canada do have to pay, however, it appears that a number of homeopaths and naturopaths will readily administer them.  The article provided a couple of other links which may be of interest.  http://harmonyprintingdev.com/erenaissance/Fall2014eng/#p=24

Many articles that I have read as we progress through this journey stress the importance of diet modification, especially that of an alkaline diet.  This is one area that we, my husband and I, have definitely made a commitment to changing.  We are more aware than ever or where our food comes and what kinds of foods we are eating.  We have changed the balance of the foods on our plate, more fresh, less processed, and we watch for hidden sugars and chemicals.

#14 – OTS964

HopeA new lung cancer drug was highly publicized in the news this week.  The drug has proven to be successful in killing aggressive lung cancer cells in mice.  “It stops the action of a protein that is over-produced by several tumour types, including lung and breast.” (Toronto Star, October 24, 2014 – “Lung Cancer Drug Holds Promise”)

“When taken by mouth, the drug was well tolerated with limited toxicity. An intravenous form, delivered within a liposome, was just as effective with fewer side effects. …  OTS964 targets TOPK, a protein that is produced by a wide range of human cancers and is believed to promote tumor growth. High TOPK expression correlates with poor prognosis in patients with breast and lung cancer.” (Source: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/22/highly-effective-new-anti-cancer-drug-shows-few-side-effects-mice)

So folks, this is why patients like my husband, diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, opt for treatment rather than just facing destiny.  You never know what is around the corner.  Hope is a crucial piece in navigating the cancer journey.

#13 – Turmeric

Two days ago we received a handwritten note from one of my husband’s co-workers (thank you Sandra!) and it was the recipe for Tumeric Paste.  I’d heard that turmeric itself had healing properties but had never explored it any further.  Usually when I get something like this I check out the primary conduits for cancer research and news – like the Canadian Cancer Society, American Cancer Society or Cancer Research UK.  I hit paydirt on the first site I checked (the ACS) where they have a page dedicated to turmeric and more specifically curcumin.  The article states: “Turmeric is a common food flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. Animal and laboratory studies have found that curcumin, an antioxidant that is an active ingredient in turmeric, demonstrated some anti-cancer effects in the lab. But human research is needed to determine curcumin’s role in cancer prevention and treatment in people.”   There is a lot of good information there so it is worth reading more.  Notably, the page states studies are underway on a paste made with turmeric: “In India and Malaysia, there is a custom of making turmeric paste to apply directly onto the skin, a practice now under study for the possibility that it may prevent skin cancer.”  This page which has a lot more interesting data can be accessed at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/turmeric

Here’s the recipe for the paste that was dropped off for us.  Since my husband is in chemo right now I won’t be making it until he’s through, this paste and herb has antioxidant properties and I have been told to delay introduction of these until after his last chemo session.  Consequently I am just sharing the information for those interested to make or use based on your own good judgement.  For those who do use it I’d be interested in any feedback on it.  The recipe has been transcribed word for word from the sheet I received.  I believe that the final instructions about ingesting this warm mean that you should warm your milk or boil your water prior to putting the spoon of turmeric paste into it (which you will spoon out of your glass container from the fridge).  Once you’ve spooned in your paste don’t reheat it in the microwave – try to have the concoction while it is still warm to hot.

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Turmeric Paste

For cholesterol, high blood pressure, tumors, breast cancer

1/4 cup turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of cardamom

1/2 inch to an inch of ginger root, peel and slice thinly or squish it

5 peppercorns (whole)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 whole allspice

3/4 cup of water

Put in saucepan and cook on medium heat.  Constantly stir until it turns into a thick paste.  Let cool.  Once cool put into a glass container (not a plastic container).  Put in refrigerator.

Take three times a day.  If you are experiencing an upset stomach then take only two times a day.

When you are ready to consume this add 1 teaspoon to a glass of warm milk or warm water.  Make sure that the liquid is still piping hot and do not warm up in the microwave.  Stir constantly as you drink this.

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Many thanks to everyone who has shared some of their alternate remedies, tinctures, techniques and medicines with me.  I’ve been slow on updating this section of our cancer experience but will try to keep them coming.

November 8 Update:

Saw an article in the Canadian Health & Lifestyle Magazine for Fall 2014 that gives a great recipe using turmeric, here it is:

Turmeric Tea:

Boil 1 – 2 cups of water, turn to simmer and add:

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Optional:

A pinch of cloves, or a teaspoon of fresh ground ginger

Simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain.  Sweeten with raw honey and add a dollop of almond or coconut milk to taste.

(Source:  http://www.healthandlifestyle.ca/health/wellness/3-spices-with-surprising-health-benefits/)

#12 – Artemisinin (Artemisia annua)

An article on this plant (Sweet Wormwood) was just recently sent to me by a caring and concerned friend.  The article raved about how efficient and effective this herb was at targeting and killing cancerous cells, especially when the dosage taken was paired with iron.  Throughout the internet there is a number of references to the medicinal properties of this plant.  It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, referred to as Qinghaosu.  Studies on Qinghaosu have been conducted in relation to its anti-malarial properties as well as its potential anti-cancer properties.

When it comes to cancer, the claims on this herb are crazy.  Anytime I hear or read anything that sounds too good to be true I am very skeptical.  However, this herb has been used on humans for the treatment of malaria, so we know that human tolerance for specific dosages unique to malaria have been determined.  It’s efficacy in dealing with malaria is well documented, and many studies are available to support its use.  It was through these studies that the potential anti-cancer properties were identified, however, more study is required. Many drugs have started off life as a treatment for one human condition and then discovered to be effective in dealing with another completely unrelated condition, illness or disease.  For example,  I take a blood pressure medication daily but I don’t have high blood pressure.  I suffer with sinus-related migraines and a low dose BP medication taken daily has significantly alleviated my incident of migraine.  (Not the best example I know since it is all vascular…)  Anyway, in my case, this has helped when nothing else would.

I plan on doing more research on this particular item.  I’d love to find someone who has taken this particular remedy or supplement for cancer.  First hand knowledge is the best.  In the interim I will file this one under “future follow up.”  For those who are interested, there are plenty of scholarly articles out there, here’s an excerpt from one:

“Artesunate is a semisynthetic derivative from artemisinin, a natural product from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua L. It exerts antimalarial activity, and, additionally, artemisinin and its derivatives are active against cancer cells.”  (“Artesunate Derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine Induces DNA Damage and Repair“.  Paul C.H. Li, Elena Lam, Wynand P. Roos, Malgorzata Z. Zdzienicka, Bernd Kaina, and Thomas Efferth.  American Association for Cancer Research.  2008)