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Would Using Cancer Imagery Preventatively Be Putting Thoughts in Her Head?

24 Mar

We got this really interesting question from a woman last week, and it’s something we’ve heard before.  So we thought this would be a good place to post it.  She’s not obsessed with fear of cancer, just wants to know if it might do her some long-term good.  Check it out.

Question:  

Belleruth,
Would it be a good preventative therapy for me to listen daily to your Meditation for Cancer CD?  

Or would I be putting thoughts in my head?

I am not really obsessed at all about it, but at age 60, I would like to heal any start of cancer cells.

My mother had breast cancer, and I've also lost a close friend to cancer, and am close to another who is in remission, so it is on my mind.  

Maddy

Answer:

Dear Mary,
Thanks for asking a very interesting question.  Your timing is terrific, especially because we recently posted a Q and A about whether worry over losing a job can make it happen and there was wonderful participation on the issue of whether positive images can make us successful, rich, good-looking or smart. 

The short answer to your question is no.  I wouldn't mess around with listening to the cancer imagery if you don’t have cancer.  

It’s not that I think listening will give you cancer.  But I don’t think it’s so great for your mental health to have cancer on your mind every day, even if it's in the positive context of fighting cancer.  

I'd say, if you want to beef up your cancer fighting capabilities, listen to the Healthy Immune System, maybe combined with the General Wellness imagery, which is also congruent with the idea of helping your body fend off random, pesky, unhealthy cells that pop up in the body, just as a matter of course.

It's just a more positive tilt.  You can focus on beefing up your immune cells and making your body less hospitable to cancer, not to mention flu, viruses and anything else that might lay you low.  

Other things you might do for your general resilience and wellness is regular therapeutic massage; a revamping of your diet to a more healthy regimen, cutting out a lot of sugars and fats; getting good exercise healthful sleep; and a little yoga, qigong or moving meditation for extra balance and calm.  

I know you understand that doing these things can’t ensure you don’t get cancer  - we just don’t know that.  But it well may help you hedge your bets, and it’s good for you in a general sense.  

And you may  be living very healthfully already, in which case you don't need this advice, but those are my general thoughts.  

Best of luck to you!

All best,
Belleruth

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