The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Iatrogenic disease - Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 I discussed instances where medical (mis)treatment resulted in patient harm. In this post I will discuss a case of potential harm not due to mistreatment but to inadequate information being given to the patient.

An elderly gentleman I know, who is closing in on 90 years of age (89 this year), was recently diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer. He had surgery to remove a tumour and was informed by his oncologist that without further treatment he had a 44% chance of recurrence in 5 years. Because the elderly patient was not fit to withstand the rigours of intravenous chemotherapy, his doctor recommended a six-month course of Capecitabine, which would reduce the likelihood of recurrence to 29%. Capecitabine comes in pill form, and the patient would be taking two pills a day, two weeks on, one week off. The side effects are said to be diarrhea, fatigue and pain in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

An internet search of Capecitabine turns up an interesting discussion on CancerCompass, a terrific resource for both patients and care givers on all forms of cancer. While many entries are positive, there is an extremely alarming one (please note that Xeloda is another name for Capecitabine):

We have lost our Mom. She was an active 73 year old with stage 3 colon cancer. She went into the hospital to begin a combination of Xeloda and radiation therapy. Three days later, she's dead! She grew increasingly "sick" immediately following the very first pill of Xeloda. We thought it was an allergic reaction. She worsened every hour and finally on day 3, passed away. We were shocked. Apparently, she was never tested for an enzyme that is crucial to this medicine working. The doctor told us that he has had another patient who had some difficulty with Xeloda and the lack of this enzyme, so isn't there a test for DPD(deficiency) levels? I have checked the web, and Roche does document the need to test for DPD (long chemical name) before administration of Xeloda. In fact, if you lack this enzyme, Xeloda is CONTRA-INDICATED.
No one mentioned to my elderly acquaintance the need to test for this enzyme. Is it the case that his doctors don't know about DPD or that they don't care? Another poster in the discussion wrote about asking the oncologist for this test and being refused because it was expensive, and because the deficiency is supposed to be relatively rare. However, DPD deficiency apparently accounts for 43% of high toxicity reactions to Capecitabine, which clearly can result in significant suffering and death. My elderly acquaintance is going to ask for the DPD test, but he shouldn't have needed the internet to tell him what he trusted his doctor to know.

Why am I bringing this up on a blog about bioenergy healing and cancer? Because I believe, and I have said so in many instances on this blog, that in many cases patients would do better with various forms of energy healing to boost well-being and immunity than with debilitating chemotherapy which is detrimental to both. An 89-year-old man with a 44%/5-year chance of recurrence which a chemo drug would only reduce by 15% is one of them. And need I comment on the irresponsibility of doctors who throw the decision on him without even recommending a crucial test that might prevent him dying from the cure?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Energy healing is real, scientific experiment shows

A recent blog post from Indiana University reveals that healing energy can be measured using a geomagnetometer (also known as a gaussmeter). The experimenter was inspired by two previous studies that had shown magnetic field variations near the hands of trained healers. In this case, however, the changes in the magnetic field did not occur in the vicinity of the healer, but near the recipients of the healing, a cage of mice with cancerous tumours. The magnetic field changes appeared "in waves that resembled symmetrical 'chirp waves,' with a decrease in frequency of the oscillations followed by an increase in frequency," in effect going from random noise to organized wave activity, and then back to random noise again. When the same experiment was repeated with the healer over 600 miles away, the same oscillations appeared during the healings. The experimenter concluded that "the magnetic field activity observed during distant healing was identical to that observed during hands-on healing (on-site), suggesting a common mechanism for both types of healing." The treated mice recovered.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Another first-hand story of Bennett Mayrick

A reader named Susan has sent me the story of her own first-person encounter with Bennett Mayrick. Since first-hand accounts of Bennett Mayrick are few and far between, I am delighted to include this one in my blog.
My experience with Bennett is not extensive but I took a class taught by him somewhere in Manhattan with my mother and my aunt who were interested in all things paranormal, metaphysical and healing-oriented.

I remember Bennett well. Tall, swarthy, with long hair, he was kind of a swashbuckling healer/psychic and, as we all sat around a large conference table, he lectured and taught. Notes were taken but I don't remember much more--these were the seventies and I was a teen.

During one session, he asked us all to think of something that had been chronically bothering us physically. I was the youngest at the table and was in good shape but actually did have a chronic pain in my right shoulder blade. It was a constant nerve pain that a doctor had assumed came from years of carrying heavy books on that side and was told there was nothing to be done. It was the kind of pain that nagged on a moderate level through out the day and I was anxious to be rid of it.

Bennett walked around the table laying hands on each of us ... some had headaches and he placed his hand on their foreheads, etc. When my turn came, I directed his large hand to the spot on my back and he placed it there for no more than several minutes during which I felt discernible warmth emanating from it. That spot, which had bothered me for years, never ever hurt again. Poof--it was gone right there and then. Needless to say, even though I had been brought up to strongly believe in "faith" healing, I was very impressed and delighted. This was, of course, the highlight of the "seminar."

Susan's experience echoes Bill Bengston's story of the vanishing of his back pain after Bennett Mayrick put his hand on it. What is impressive in both these stories is that the pain, which until then had been chronic, never returned.

Thank you, Susan.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Most cancer caused by "bad luck"?

Recently there was a spate of headlines in the mainstream news media trumpeting a new study that claimed that most cancer was caused by "bad luck" rather than genetics or poor lifestyle. This came as very disheartening news to anyone trying to use diet, exercise, and supplementation to decrease their chances of developing cancer. But the headlines need elaboration, because once again the mainstream media overlooked some important details in their eagerness to deliver a sensational story.

The study was in fact a statistical exercise, measuring cancer incidence in various tissue types. It was found that the more often cells divided in a particular tissue, the greater the likelihood was that something might go wrong and result in cancer. The study authors have now pointed out that the correlation is comparable to the greater likelihood of getting into an accident on a long road trip than a short one by virtue of spending more time in the car. They insist that to say that most cancer is a result of "bad luck" is to misunderstand their findings. In their statement they write "We want to stress that cancer is caused by a combination of many factors." (For more detail, read the article on medscape.com).

It is simply common sense that the more a cell divides, the greater the chances are that something might go awry. That is why the longer a person lives, the more likely they are statistically to develop cancer. But if you read George Johnson's Cancer Chronicles, you'll came away surprised at how many things have to derail before cancer actually takes hold. There has to be a cascade of things that go wrong, and at each juncture the body has defense mechanisms at its disposal. It also makes sense that the healthier the body is, and the stronger those defense mechanisms are, the more it will be able to overcome the effects of "bad luck" cell divisions. So rather than feel helpless and disheartened by the headlines and reach for a second piece of chocolate cake because "doctors say that lifestyle doesn't matter," just keep carrying on with the healthy diet and the exercise.

Here is Chris Wark's take on the "most cancer is bad luck" hype in his blog, Chris Beat Cancer.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Healers in the operating room

Dr. Oz started it, with Reiki Master Julie Motz, who was allowed to perform Reiki in his operating room while he did open heart surgery. Dr. Sheldon Feldman, chief of breast surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia, followed suit. In Dr. Feldman's program patients could choose to work with a Reiki pracitioner before, during, and after breast surgery, and Dr. Feldman has said that "the positive impact [of Reiki] on healing after surgery can be potentially huge." In this article, posted by columbiasurgery.org, patients spoke of their experience in very positive terms. One patient commented that without the help of her Reiki healer she would have been overwhelmed and unaware that she could direct her own healing process. Another patient called her Reiki healer her "surgical doula" and said that her presence made procedures not only tolerable, but a healing experience.

A more recent article describes the experience of a patient in Dr. Feldman's program who healed from stage-4 breast cancer after being given two months to live. It also quotes Dr. Feldman's explanation of the usefulness of Reiki to cancer patients. "It’s not just about curing people of cancer and keeping them alive," he says, "but having less trauma in going through these difficult medical experiences is a big deal."

Reiki healer Pamela Miles (who demonstrated Reiki on the Dr. Oz show) has logged many hours treating surgical patients. Time and again she has seen patients who had been treated with Reiki turn down pain medication because they didn't need it. She has also seen them heal faster than anyone expected. She explains:
When the surgeon is finished, it’s up to the patient’s body to heal. That’s where the balancing effects of Reiki practice make such a difference. Reiki treatment soothes the shock and optimizes the body’s innate ability to heal. And when you are practicing on someone hooked up to monitors, the benefits of Reiki are often measurable: improved heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. If patients improve faster and need less pain medication, they are able to get out of bed sooner, which helps prevent post-surgical complications. Patients receiving Reiki treatment recover bowel function faster, which means they often can go home sooner.
In short, Reiki helps.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reiki in hospitals - is it in yours?

According to a UCLA study, more than 60 hospitals in the U.S. now offer Reiki as part of their services. Many hospitals also offer Reiki instruction for nurses.

Here is a partial list of hospitals and medical centres that offer Reiki for cancer patients:

Sloan Kettering (they also offer medical Qigong)

Yale-New Haven

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Columbia University

Johns Hopkins Hospital

University of Maryland

University of Pennsylvania Health System

University of Maryland Medical Center

The Cleveland Clinic

New York University Medical Center

And here is a PDF listing some others.

There are a number of major hospitals and medical centres on this list. Good news for patients and care givers, I should think. See why it's good news in my earlier post, Study Finds Reiki is Helpful to Cancer Patients.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Michael D'Alton in Toronto, Part 2 (Context)

Michael D'Alton was in Toronto to give Level 1 of his workshop May 3rd and 4th. People paid anywhere from approximately $500 to $1500 to attend, depending on when and where they purchased their tickets. Regardless of how much they paid, they all learned the same material and they were all likely invited to Vancouver to take more advanced levels of the method.

A friend of mine attended Mr. D'Alton's free preliminary evening and was impressed by his polished presentation. He spoke a lot about chakras and also about mind/body interaction. She read some of her notes out loud, and much of it reminded me of Louise Hay and The Secret. Some examples: if you have problems with your eyes, there is something you don't want to see; if you have problems with your ears, there is something you don't want to hear; if you have lower back problems, you feel unsupported; if you believe something, so it is. All solid New Age wisdom you can get free from your library or Youtube, and I honestly don't know anyone in my circle who doesn't already know it, but then that tells you more about who I hang around with than what the general population is aware of. I am sure the workshop itself goes into it in greater depth, and that I would find information in there that I didn't already know, but, really, $1500?

My friend and I started discussing the possibility of doing the training in Ireland with the Plexus Bioenergy folks who trained Michael D'Alton, on the grounds that a trip to Ireland would be more exotic and less expensive than a trip to Vancouver. Neither one of us has been to Ireland before, and Michael O'Doherty of Plexus Bioenergy only charges 350 euros for his Level 1, which is about US$485 or CDN$535. But then I found a webpage entitled "Plexus Bio-Energy Institute (The Domancic System) - Diploma Course Outline". The magic words here are "The Domancic System". I have already learned the Domancic Method (Level 1, US$600; Level 2, US$800) from Zdenko Domancic's authorized North American representative, Zoran Hochstatter, in Toronto and Sarasota. I imagine that the Plexus Bioenergy course is the Domancic Method plus what Michael O'Doherty added to it, and Michael D'Alton's course is the Plexus Bioenergy course plus what Michael D'Alton added to it. Since the Domancic Method is probably the most effective free-standing healing system I have encountered in all my studies (and since all healing methods are strongest at the source), I see no reason for anyone to add anything to it. So I guess there is no need for that trip to Ireland after all, unless I want to go as a tourist.

I am still puzzled about why Michael D'Alton charges 2 to 5 times more for his workshops than his peers and competitors, including the very people who taught him. Is it pure capitalism (what the market will bear)? Is it chutzpah? Or does he sincerely believe that what he offers is that much better? And if so, what are his reasons?

Postscript: Just for fun, here is Level 2 Domancic therapist Alex doing psychokinesis. He would look a lot more impressive if he weren't chewing gum, but maybe he is saying "look, I can do psychokinesis and chew gum at the same time".



Psychokinesis is one of the first things taught in the Domancic Method. Its chief purpose seems to be the wow factor it introduces, giving the client incontrovertible proof that the therapist can affect his or her energy field. It's an interesting question what it adds to healing, as many modalities manage without it.

Here is Michael D'Alton doing his version, with a cool light effect and the wow factor in full evidence. He seems to be adding a second technique we were taught called "take-out" that is also part of Pranic Healing:



And for further reference, here is psychokinesis in Zagreb:



And since I'm on a roll, I can't leave out this gem I just found, a 1986 video of Zdenko Domancic himself doing psychokinesis. Start watching at 24:18.