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What Were You Thinking, BR? Why Mention Cancer on the Immune System Imagery?

21 Jun


Dear Belleruth,
I am very disappointed that you mentioned the word cancer in the Healthy Immune System program.  I have lung disease and very much wanted to use the program with my own psychotherapy patients.  I now see that this is out of the question. You should have warned your purchasers in advance that this was a cancer CD. I will have to return this.  I expect a full refund.
Lawrence P.

Dear Lawrence,
I’m sorry you feel sucker-punched by the mention of cancer in this imagery.  I know the passage you are talking about, where cancer is mentioned.  It’s this one:

And sensing, too, all the varieties of other elite troops that protect the body... marshalled from their many locations... with specialties of their own... some trained to identify chaotic, mutant cancer cells that will occasionally start to form.... knowing to quickly surround them ... and penetrate them with special poisons.... deftly and easily.... before they can begin to make trouble ....

Please keep in mind that during normal, daily immune cell patrol inside all healthy bodies, random, mutant cancer cells are spotted and eliminated (POW! ZAP! THUNK!) as a matter of course. This is an ongoing process, and it’s why most of us don’t wind up getting cancer, which is when a critical mass of thousands and thousands of these cells are allowed to multiply and accumulate enough presence to be perceived and to make trouble.  So all this imagery is doing is reminding you of a normal process, going on inside your body 24/7, and encouraging you to imagine it in order to hopefully amplify it even more… same with the immune cells that attack bugs, germs, bacteria and other unwelcome guests.

So this brief mention of cancer cells is altogether appropriate for this recording, if it’s to do what it claims to do: support healthy immune function.  No responsible imagery for general immune function should be without it.

I hope this explanation reassures you enough to go ahead and use the CD.  If it still upsets you, you should probably trade it in for General Wellness, which does the same thing but in a more oblique, less targeted way.

All best wishes,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award