We often define ourselves by things that are "outside" us: relationships, work, family, success, happiness, peace - even our own bodies. But what would it mean to have your life dramatically altered and your body irrevocably damaged? Who would you be then? Walking paraplegic Janine Shepherd, explores the impact of loss on the human psyche and the universal quest to find meaning and fulfilment. It is only through the process of losing everything we thought we needed that we find who we truly are.
Healing my Ductal Breast Cancer
Christa Krahnert, Naturopathic Doctor, Lifestyle Prescriptions® Specialist,
Holistic Counselor, Australia
2005 was my fateful year in every way. This year, on 31st December to be exact, I understood and experienced that healing happens through Acceptance and Love.
By way of background, in a leading IT industry position, in 1993 I completed a two-year psychological consultant training and in 1995 began my three-year training as a natural doctor. Human beings fascinated me – I wanted to understand people, disease and healing and to accompany them in their processes.
Although I am a fiery, enthusiastic person, I am also grounded and it was important to me from the beginning that - just like in IT - healing results are clearly repeatable and provable.
For this reason, I worked from the beginning with a dark field microscope, which makes changes clearly visible in a drop of living blood. It quickly became clear to me that, while sick people can fear their illnesses, they remain reluctant to discard their habits, preferences, beliefs, certainties and emotional and mental ballast. Sometimes, for example with cancer, this is not easy to do but, whether they follow my suggestions or not, I can see in the dark field.
Initially I could not access my own wealth of experience and the instructions of my teachers were therefore customary and the results were often unsatisfactory – some people got rid of their symptoms, others did not. I sought a range of educational paths, books, videos, lectures to find 100% success – an illusion!
My first breakthrough came through my one-year training as an orthomolecular therapist in that the understanding of biochemical relationships perfectly complemented the biological processes.
My second breakthrough came in 2000 when I started training as both a ‘Sensitive Life Energy Consultant' and a 'New Medicine Consultant'. I trained my sensitivity to feel energies and look behind the visible things. Suddenly I found knowledge of the conflicts that people face throughout their lives and which not only cause psychological but also exactly comprehensible physical symptoms.
I also realised that most therapies tend to bring even more disorder into the physical and emotional life that has lost its equilibrium. Physical symptoms, I learned, are only the visible proof of disharmonies in life and the body's ability to self-regulate or, in chronic situations, the inability to make rapid and lasting corrections in thinking, feeling and acting.
2000 brought dramatic change in my professional and private life. I sat in a weekly training circle and opened a practice with my girlfriend, because we complemented each other positively. The clinic became increasingly a contact point for cancer patients and we published a book about cancer in 2001.
Life seemed perfect in every way. I felt socially embedded and deeply connected. My scientific mind, the fruitful medical exchange and the sensitive work in the circle satisfied my hungry mind and soul. When I was 49, I felt at home.
On December 25 2005, out of the blue, I received an e-mail that pulled the ground from under my feet (Stress Trigger). I remember the moment as if it was yesterday.
While reading this I became dizzy and my circulation totally failed. The content shocked me to an extent that my ego or soul believed it could not bear. In retrospect I know that I somehow left my body and left it to itself in fight, flight and freeze mode – my sympathetic nervous system had taken control (Stress Phase).
I immediately lay down on the floor and raised my feet to get the blood back into my head. This was unexpected, I had no instant solution, I was alone at home with no one to speak.
The following days were a nightmare - my mind was working at full speed - how could I save the situation? I was running through my home like a tiger in his cage. I had no hunger, my brain could perceive only limitedly, sleep was only possible by the hour, I was in total exhaustion and lost more and more weight. But so much was clear to me and I could still do it with will - I MUST come back in peace and quiet. I MUST calm my mind and switch my nervous system back to relaxation.
As a cancer specialist already since 7 years, I knew that I had two separation conflicts active - the end of my previous natural healing practice and the long-term separation from my friends and my present life. The changes and twists of life with its learning units had taken everything from me that seemed fulfilling, safe and desirable.
There was only one thing I considered helpful at that moment - meditation! I had to stop thinking like crazy: 'Why', 'How could this happen', 'What could I have done differently', How can I correct it', 'What can I do', 'Why did I not listen to my gut feeling'?
Whenever I thought I could no longer stand the tension in me, I sat down on my meditation pillow, set my alarm clock to 10 minutes and hummed along on the HU song. My mind had to be occupied and distracted from the conflict topic. I meditated for several hours a day! In between full of stress and 100 ideas how to turn the situation back. A deep inner struggle was at work between my seemingly abandoned, fearful ego and the shattered pile in front of which I sat. But something inside me absolutely wanted to go into healing and knew that letting go, ‘letting as it is’, ‘letting just be’ was the order of the day. I also prayed and asked for help so that I could go into acceptance.
On December 31, around 7 a.m., I awoke from a short, restless sleep and knew something had changed. I sat up and opened my eyes and suddenly had this shadow of myself in front of me and recognised that this was a reunion with myself. I felt an unbelievable sense of peace, like a switch turning my sympathetic nervous system back to my parasympathetic nervous system.
I had to laugh at how I had fought against life and spontaneous changes completely apart from myself. And I also knew that it was important for me to master this experience. I knew there was a gift for me involved that just wasn't visible yet.
In the evening I was able to end the year being happy amongst my friends. Even though my life was not perfect I was completely relaxed and happy for no reason. No matter what, I was in peace.
The next day, January 1 2006, a new chapter in my life began. My body had to heal. I knew that I had to catch up on sleep allowing my body-mind to recuperate and repair itself. Knowing about the two-phases of self-healing was extremely helpful because I was not afraid even if symptoms might appear.
I understood that was going through an intensive “separation conflict with strong emotions” over the last year and that this stress affected my body and the mammary gland ducts specifically. I also knew that now that my stress phase was over it was time for my breast ducts to be repaired and rebuilt and swelling, inflammation and other “repair” symptoms are typical for that process.
And so it was. About a couple of days later I noticed a swollen, small tender lump on both breasts - exactly on the same spot like 9 and 3 a'clock. The skin was red and about 2 days later it was like two hurtful larger, pus-filled pimples. I used naturopathic remedies to address it and a few days later the skin healed perfectly.
Overall I felt tired but happy, satisfied and hungry which showed me that my body was going through regeneration. I could feel my body again what wasn't the case during the stress-phase.
Because I understood what my body was going through I was not afraid or worried. I felt a deep sense of happiness and peace and knew that by using meditation, natural remedies and inner work I could create conditions that allowed my breast ducts to normalize and go through a full and complete regeneration and repair process.
After this experience I felt spiritually enlightened. I am not my body but a spiritual being living in my body and should be happy to also look after my body. I was fundamentally changed and my naturopathic work with cancer patients allowing me to speak from experience with a deep conviction and confidence – because I healed myself from cancer using my body’s natural self-healing and auto-regulation mechanism.
Lifestyle Prescription® Health Coaching - Highlights
Symptom: Diagnosed as ductal breast cancer
Organ Tissue: Breast Ducts
Stress-Phase: Constant activated fight, flight and freeze mode, not able to see, feel or hear anything around me. No connection to the body. Day and night hamster wheel mind to find a way to make the situation undone.
Regeneration Phase: Breast ducts lamps, inflammation, pain, exhausted.
Stress Trigger: eMail about losing my clinic and close friends and mentors.
Emotion: Fear SUD 10 and sense of being lost, thrown out of the deepest nest.
Belief: I did something wrong and now being excluded from the tribe.
Lifestyle during Stress-Phase: Not coming to rest, sleep only briefly from exhaustion, carousel of thoughts, unable to concentrate, losing weight rapidly but absolutely no hunger.
Lifestyle Prescription®: Meditation to get reconnected with my body, soul and to calm down.
Health Outcome: Total peace; inner strength and resilience; knowing that every lesson in life has a deeper meaning; acceptance that there are milestones in life that trigger us to awake into a higher understanding who we are, where are we coming from, where are we going and what is the meaning of life on earth.
I'm not in a position to help everyone.
Sometimes cancer is the self-destruction of the body when the soul cannot cope with the earthly tasks or conflicts. Sometimes illness is the way to wake up and fully engage with life in the body and enjoy it. Sometimes it is a total turning point to turn an unconscious, conflictual life into a conscious and self-directed adventure.
There is no right or wrong but only experiences that enrich ourselves and allow us to increase infinite awareness, happiness and love.