Indian Journal of Best
by Dr AK Dewan
In general, oncologists and
nurses are more comfortable while treating patients
if the goal is cure. Even hospitals have become
centers of curing rather than caring. Cure is
interpreted as removal of physical disease focused
on anatomical lesions. Cancer has been perceived
as an organ dysfunction rather than as an illness
which affects the whole person. Doctors' perception
of cure is centered on the disease in terms of
five year survival. There may be iatrogenic side
effects (treatment related complications) which
may linger on even after many years of cure. The
treatment of the chronically ill is not very satisfying
because the treatment is long and non measurable.
There is emphasis on acute
hospital beds. There is scarcity of beds for patients
requiring extended care for chronic illness. The
health care system will have to be revised so
that care of chronically ill will be seen as rewarding
as the cure of acute conditions. As the aging
population in our country is growing and the number
of cancer survivors is increasing, we need to
develop training programmes for health professionals
specializing in care of aged and cancer survivors.
Sometimes a conflict exists
between technical care and personal care. In this
modern era, time to listen to patients may be
perceived as a luxury. Medical training concentrates
on clinical competence and there is a danger that
compassion and empathy may become redundant. Personal
care is different from technical care whose results
can be quantified. Personal care respects the
dignity of the patient and acknowledges his humanity.
The word "care"
has its roots in the Gothic "kara,"
meaning to grieve, experience sorrow, cry out
with. The person who truly cares (personal care)
must join with the person in pain. Sometimes that
is all that can be done, which is hard for anyone
to accept, and especially hard for doctors, who
are trained as mechanics, not healers or caregivers.
But the doctor can heal, even if he or she cannot
cure. What the sick and the dying most need from
those around them is an acknowledgement of their
shared humanity. If he has nothing to offer medically,
he can still offer a hug or a hand to acknowledge
the pain of a fellow human being.
I don't mean to suggest that
this kind of care is easy, especially when we
are caring for someone who may be close to death.
That takes great courage. I know, you feel insecure,
don't know what to say, don't know what to do.
But please believe me, if you care, you can't
go wrong. Just admit that you care. I am reminded
of a day recently when a patient I was visiting
reached out her hand to me as I started to walk
out of the ICU. She was on a ventilator and could
not speak and she wrote to me, "You won't
leave me?" I said, "I have to leave
now because I have to reach O.T." She wrote
again, this time in bigger letters, "But
you won't leave me?" Then I understood what
she was really saying. I told her that of course
I would never leave her, but would always be there
when she needed me. That was all she wanted, and
that is something I can give her, even when I
can help her in no other way.
If you are a healer, you
will offer hope as long as your patient wishes
to continue fighting. Hope and love cure people
when medicine and surgery can't. Nobody's disease
is hopeless, but many people are. Unfortunately,
hope and love are the most neglected remedies.
Hope is useful when things are hopeless. Hope
is useful in many ways. You must remember, however,
that the hope referred to is the patient's, not
the doctor's. As the "attending" physician,
you must learn to pay attention to what hope means
to each individual patient.
Let us raise "care"
to the level of "cure" in the value
system of the healthcare. It is our job to defeat
the pain of living, not death.
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Cancer with Neuropathy and
by M. S. Sundarajan
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a collection of abnormal proteins in
different organs. Treatment is to destroy the
abnormal proteins and to arrest their development
in the formative stage.
Obsessive desires and ambitions can be a significant
reason for the physical manifestation of tumours.
Prevention of cancer involves not to resist whatever
happens in our life and to have a let go
attitude. A joyful heart can also avoid the formation
of abnormal proteins. Some say that even factors
from past lives can play a role in getting this
Physical reasons for getting this condition are
mainly due to digestion, i.e. food is not digested
properly, causing a reduction in glyco-nutrients
which increases the formation of abnormal proteins
that lead to the development of cancer. So we
have to chew our food properly in order to digest
it well. Eating the right level of food can also
make you stronger. Emotional balance can also
avoid the formation of abnormal proteins. Contentment
in life without too much demand or expectation
can help one to achieve this balance.
Generally when cancer patients come to us they
come with either 4th stage (advanced stage) cancer
or after starting chemotherapy. We treat them
accordingly. When patients go to their medical
care providers and are told that they have cancer,
the first casualty is a loss of their hope or
faith. So when they come to us we give them full
moral support and help them to accept the condition
as it is. We do this by counselling.
We also help them to revive
their immune system. They come with a lot of pain
and we help them to bear and reduce the pain by
activating certain organs positively. We explain
to them about death and the effect that their
thought process has on the general functioning
of their system. Fear of death can hasten the
process of death in a cancer patient. We make
patients understand about the importance of the
Present and bring them to a stress-free emotional
state. We change their diet to make them feel
lighter and better in themselves. We also help
them to achieve a feeling state of painlessness,
by reducing their subjective feeling of pain intensity.
When their troubles are lessened in their subjective
world, their life span can be expanded with a
minimum of pain or even painlessly, and then they
can prepare for a smooth withdrawal.
The following methods are used to achieve the
best results for our patients:
1. Pranic Healing
2. Neurotherapy for organ function and chemical
3. Hypnotherapy with counselling, introducing
the patient to the understanding that the soul
continues after the death of the body.
4. Ozone Therapy
Neurotherapy restores the biochemical imbalance
of the body, by stimulating various organs to
function normally and to release the required
chemicals in optimum quantities. In Neurotherapy,
pressure is applied to alter the flow of blood
to a specific region of the body, mainly with
the feet and occasionally with the hands for a
period of 6 to 40 seconds. The pressure is then
released so that the blood flow is modified to
activate or de-activate the concerned nerves,
glands or organs. This may be repeated as per
the requirements of the patient, so as to maintain
homeostasis of the body's biochemical forces,
which in turn restores health.
Hormones secreted from the endocrine glands, including
the pituitary, act on specific target organs in
the body, by specific hormone release. When hormones
in the blood reach their desired levels, the release
of the respective hormone is regulated. The release
is arrested in normal functioning by the process
of Negative Feedback, i.e. a signal is given that
further hormone release is not needed. The pituitary
gland can stimulate all the endocrine glands except
the thymus, the parathyroid and the medulla part
of the adrenal glands. It controls the thyroid,
both the adrenal cortices, ovaries and the testes.
Whenever there is a deficiency of a particular
hormone, Neurotherapy can stimulate the pituitary
or hypothalamus to secrete a stimulating hormone
for that gland in order to correct the deficiency.
Another interesting physiological
fact is that our brain has 100 billion neurons
and the spinal cord has 100 million neurons. 12
main types of chemicals are secreted by them.
If these chemicals are not formed properly, conditions
such as Parkinson's Disease can develop.
Diseases are created by a disturbance in this
balance. When it is corrected, the patient is
healed. This balancing process is possible with
When the T-Memory cells of
the thymus gland do not work properly, it produces
antibodies against the body's own proteins
and cells. For example, if the proteins of the
synovial membrane of the joints enter the blood,
the thymus will form antibodies against these
proteins. These antibodies then affect the synovial
membrane of the joints and cause arthritis. This
is called auto-immunity. Allopathic medicine treats
this with steroids to suppress the production
of antibodies. Neurotherapy acts by stimulating
the adrenal cortex to produce the required steroids
in the right quantity automatically, and therefore
it does not have any side-effects.
is Reiki/Pranic Healing?
Reiki is described as a holistic therapy which
brings about healing on the physical, mental,
emotional and spiritual levels. The essential
premise of the therapy is that energy flows through
the practitioner's hands whenever the hands
are placed on or held near a potential recipient,
who is clothed. Furthermore, it is asserted that
the energy is in itself intelligent, making diagnosis
It has been used to heal
countless people. The principle is simple. We
know that every living being possesses the inborn
ability to heal itself. Pranic healing simply
enhances this healing process by utilising the
energy of life. This energy is called Prana in
Sanskrit and means life force.
There are two cases which I would like to mention
The first case is a lady, aged 32 years, from
Chennai who came with 2nd stage Leukaemia in 1998.
She had twice undergone Chemotherapy in Chennai.
I wasn't in a position to interfere with
her medical treatment plan, so I started to give
Pranic Healing by distance and occasionally in
person, over a period of time. This was accompanied
by good counselling since the lady had determined
to get rid of the disease slowly.
She started responding by
becoming energetic and gradually more hopeful.
The enlarged lymph nodes stopped growing and since
the commencement of the Healing Sessions (over
a period of 6 to 8 months), no new nodes have
formed. She has maintained normal physical health
and this year, in 2009, she has no cancer symptoms.
She is living in Pondicherry and is therefore
available for follow-up treatment. We use Reiki
and Pranic Healing with colours.
The second case is a lady, aged 65, from Bangalore
who was treated by us last year in Pondicherry.
She came to us with breast cancer which had spread
into her liver and bones i.e. 4th stage (Advanced
Stage). There was not any hope of recovery and
she had been asked to undergo chemotherapy as
the ultimate therapy. The patient decided not
to receive chemotherapy at this stage and made
a definitive decision to seek our help.
I explained to her that since
the cancer has proceeded to an advanced stage,
we were prepared to help reduce her symptoms such
as depression and severe back pain. She agreed
and she was given vigorous neurotherapy treatment
to reduce stress. We released the blocked energy
with Pranic Healing.
Through neurotherapy, we
activated the pancreas and immune system and in
her self assessment, she informed us that her
pain had reduced. She had better life perception
and her suffering was reduced. Ozone therapy was
given through the rectum over 10 sessions and
10 days to strengthen the immune system. She left
feeling less pain and with more hope, courage
and confidence. We taught the treatment process
to her daughter so she could help with her mother's
pain management. After two months of treatment
in Bangalore again her symptoms started worsening.
Her food intake had reduced and bowel movements
had become hampered. She was admitted to the Intensive
Care Unit of a local nursing home. After 10 days,
she passed away peacefully and throughout this
time her daughter kept us informed of her condition.
The patient's daughter
sent us the following letter:
I, Jyothi, daughter of Shanthamma,
would firstly like to thank Mr. Sundarajan and
Akila for their abundant healing and guidance.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in
the month of April 2008. When my mother showed
me, I was shocked and immediately took her to
the doctor. After lot of medical investigation,
the doctor finally told us that she was suffering
from breast cancer and that it had spread to her
bones. This meant she was in the 4th stage and
chemotherapy was the only way to keep her alive
or can I say, push her into hell. My mother knew
the side effects of this treatment and refused
Then, I consulted Mr. Sundarajan.
He suggested that I take her to Pondicherry. I
took her to Pondicherry in the second week of
April and we stayed there for more than 20 days.
They started to heal her in their own way which
was beneficial. She was on her toes doing her
own work and walking in the hot sun from their
clinic to the Guesthouse and also to the lunch
hall. She even used to go to the Ashram. She was
very happy during her stay but we had to come
back in the first week of May. After she came
back we continued the treatment which was shown
to us. However, her liver became infected and
she developed jaundice. She was hospitalized for
one week. We kept her alone for her pain management.
She had a peaceful departure without much suffering
on the morning of June 14 at 6.30am. Thank you
Back to top
of Life through Yoga
by Dr Pooja Maddela
we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.
and Quality of Life
Quality of life can be enhanced by the quality
of our perception and level of awareness. Our
perception capabilities depend upon our state
of mind. Purity of thought can create pure states
of mind which in turn directs our body to feel
stable and comfortable. Living in the present
moment is nothing but a celebration of who we
are. When we know that we do not have control
over our past and future, it is always good to
focus on now'. This awareness in the
present moment is key to finding happiness in
our lives which in turn enhances the quality of
life. By changing our perception, we can change
our consciousness and this will bring transformation
in our lives.
Change of perception = change
in consciousness = quality of life.
If we are happy because of something, then it
is temporary. We should not identify with things
that we have. Yoga teaches us to be content with
what we have. This brings satisfaction to our
life and leads to a reduction in our cravings
or desires. By practicing santosha (contentment)
we achieve true happiness which is permanent.
When we taste the sweetness of life through happiness
and the bitterness of life through acceptance
then there is no fear of death and we can accept
dying as a natural process.
Attachment to material things and family can leads
to the manifestation of disease. (P. V. Karambelkar)
For example, grief due to the death of a spouse
can lead to the development of lung problems.
So it is all about how we perceive things that
happen in life. It is not wrong to have money
and things. It is the attachment towards those
things that create problems. Through the practice
of contentment we get rid of attachment and develop
detachment and are able to be in the present moment
of life. This will help us to accept everything
in life including death. (Swami Satyananda Saraswati,
Our mind has the power to achieve everything.
We need to learn how to use it and also to believe
in the power of our mind. According to Patanjali's
Yoga Sutras the root cause of unhappiness is ignorance
of one's real nature. It can be solved only by
knowing the true self. We need to eliminate raga
(the attitude of liking for our choice) and dwesha
(dislike for something) in order to achieve a
pure state of mind. When there is balance in these,
then there can be balance of mind. The Yogic view
is that suffering arises because of avidya (ignorance).
It is a mistaken idea which leads to the 'I feeling'
and the consequent attachment, hatred and clinging
in life. All these are the root causes of pain.
To overcome pain we need to cultivate wisdom.
A caring approach and love can bring transformation
in anything. There is nothing that is impossible
if we make our mind positive. Quality of life
is not just about maintaining one's health
and happiness. It is also about looking after
others as we look after ourselves. Not harming
anyone through words, thoughts and actions will
result in a feeling of evenness or equanimity
towards all beings. We need to show and share
love with family members and others. Love within
the home makes a lot of difference in our lives.
Where there is love there is unity and love has
the power to change consciousness and bring quality
to our lives.
The following asanas (positions) and practices
can help enhance our quality of life.
1. Simple joint movements:
Releases energy blockages and supplies prana in
2. Chest openers:
Maintains the energy field of the heart and gets
rid of attachment. Cultivates kindness and compassion,
keeps our lungs and heart in balance.
3. Camel riding Releases
prana in the spinal column and soothes the nervous
4. A twist:
Keeps our liver happy and releases anger. Twists
are cleansing for the body.
5. Co-ordination movements:
Helps one to focus in the present moment.
Deep abdominal breaths, left and right nostril
breaths, alternate nostril breathing helps to
calm the mind and think more clearly.
Aum Sound has the power to vibrate every cell
in the body and brings transformation in the mind.
Five minutes of silence everyday is very good
to restore the energy in the body and helps to
quieten the mind.
am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday
and I love today."
William Allen White
P. V. Karambelkar. Patanjali Yoga Sutras (pp.
35 - 37)
Swami Satyananda Saraswati. (2006) Four Chapters
of Freedom (pp. 65 - 67)
Muktibodananda, S, S., (2004). Swara Yoga.
Muktihodhananda, S., (1993). Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Nagarathna, R., & Nagendra, H. R. (2001).
Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy for Positive
Swami Satyananda Saraswati., (2004) Yoga and Kriya
Swami Satyananda Saraswati., (2002) Asana Pranayama
Mudra Bandha Munger:
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Cancer: Causes, Prevention, Symptoms & Treatment
by Dr Charu Sharma
I really do think that any
deep crisis in one's life is an opportunity change
it into something very special. I would like to
take this opportunity to help in understanding
the disease of skin cancer and also to suggest
a few precautions which can help in reducing the
risk of contracting the disease.
Skin cancer is one of the
most common of all human cancers and living with
it can present many new challenges for the patient
and for his/her family and friends. Many people
feel anxious and depressed; some people feel angry
and resentful; others feel helpless and defeated.
But it is possible to be happy without having
perfect health... Thank goodness our happiness
doesn't come from our body, but from our heart.
I believe in this and hope faith will help others
in believing the same.
when normal cells undergo a transformation during
which they grow and multiply without normal controls.
As the cells multiply, they form a mass called
a tumor. Tumors of the skin are often referred
to as lesions. Tumors are cancerous only if they
are malignant. This means that they encroach on
and invade neighboring tissues because of their
uncontrolled growth. Tumors may also travel to
remote organs via the bloodstream or lymphatic
system. Tumors overwhelm surrounding tissues by
invading their space and taking the oxygen and
nutrients they need to survive and function.
are of three major types: basal cell carcinoma
(BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.
The vast majority of skin cancers are BCCs or
SCCs. While malignant, these are unlikely to spread
to other parts of the body. They may be locally
disfiguring if not treated early. A small but
significant number of skin cancers are malignant
melanomas. Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive
cancer that tends to spread to other parts of
the body. These cancers may be fatal if not treated
Like many cancers, skin cancers
start as precancerous lesions. These precancerous
lesions are changes in skin that are not cancer
but could become cancer over time. Medical professionals
often refer to these changes as dysplasia. Some
specific dysplastic changes that occur in skin
are as follows:
- Actinic keratosis is a
patch of red or brown, scaly, rough skin, which
can develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
- Dysplastic nevi are abnormal
moles. These can develop into melanoma over
time. Dysplastic nevi are not cancer, but they
can become cancer. People with dysplastic nevi
often have a lot of them, perhaps as many as
100 or more. They are usually irregular in shape,
with notched or fading borders.
Causes of skin cancer
(UV) light exposure, most commonly from sunlight,
is the most frequent cause of skin cancer.
Other important causes of
skin cancer include the following:
- Use of tanning booths
(not a common cause in India)
of the immune system
- Exposure to unusually
high levels of X-rays
- Contact with certain chemicals:
arsenic (miners, sheep shearers, and farmers),
hydrocarbons in tar, oils and soot (may cause
squamous cell carcinoma)
The following people are at
- People with fair skin,
especially types that freckle, sunburn easily
- People with light (blond
or red) hair and blue or green eyes
- Those with certain genetic
disorders that deplete skin pigment such as
albinism, xeroderma, pigmentosum
- People who have already
been treated for skin cancer
- People with numerous moles,
unusual moles, or large moles that were present
- People with close family
members who have developed skin cancer
- People who had at least
one severe sunburn early in life
Basal cell carcinomas and
squamous cell carcinomas are more common in older
people. Melanomas are more common in younger people
25-29 years of age.
You can reduce
your risk of getting skin cancer.
- Limit sun exposure. Attempt
to avoid the sun's intense rays between 10 a.m.
and 3 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen frequently.
Use a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF)
of at least 15 both before and during sun exposure.
Select products that block both UVA and UVB
- If you are likely to sunburn,
wear long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Perform regular self examinations
of your skin and note any changes.
- Healthy diet.
Symptoms of skin cancer
A basal cell
carcinoma (BCC) usually looks like a raised, smooth,
pearly bump on the sun-exposed skin of the head,
neck, or shoulders.
A squamous cell carcinoma
(SCC) is commonly a well-defined, red, scaling,
thickened patch on sun-exposed skin.
The majority of malignant
melanomas are brown to black pigmented lesions.
Warning signs include change in size, shape, color,
or elevation of a mole. The appearance of a new
mole during adulthood, or new pain, itching, ulceration,
or bleeding of an existing mole should all be
checked by a health-care provider.
The following easy-to-remember
guideline, "ABCD," is useful for identifying
- Asymmetry. One side of
the lesion does not look like the other.
- Border irregularity. Margins
may be notched or irregular.
- Color. Melanomas are often
a mixture of black, tan, brown, blue, red, or
- Diameter. Cancerous lesions
are usually larger than 6 mm across (about the
size of a pencil eraser), but any change in
size may be significant.
people, especially those who have fair
coloring or have had extensive sun exposure, should
periodically check their entire body for suggestive
moles and lesions.
Examinations and tests
If you have a
worrisome mole or other lesion, a dermatologist
will examine the entire skin surface. A sample
of skin (biopsy) will be taken so that the suspicious
area of skin can be examined under a microscope.
A biopsy can almost
always be done in a dermatologist's clinic.
If a biopsy shows that you have malignant melanoma,
you will probably undergo further blood tests,
a chest X-ray and other tests as needed.
Treatment of skin cancer
basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma
is straightforward. Usually, surgical removal
of the lesion is adequate. Small lesions may be
removed through a variety of techniques, including
simple excision (cutting it away), electrodesiccation
and curettage (burning the tissue with an electric
needle), and cryosurgery (freezing the area with
liquid nitrogen). Larger tumors, lesions in high-risk
locations, recurrent tumors, and lesions in cosmetically
sensitive areas are removed by Mohs micrographic
surgery. The surgeon carefully removes tissue,
layer by layer, until cancer-free tissue is reached.
When treated properly, the cure rate for both
basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma
(SCC) approaches 95%.
Malignant melanoma, however,
may require several treatment methods, including
surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Because
of the complexity of treatment decisions, patients
with malignant melanoma may benefit from the combined
expertise of a dermatologist, a cancer surgeon,
and an oncologist.
"Turn your face to the
sun and the shadows fall behind you. Turn your
worries and pain over to God."
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