In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing
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Why Do Cancer Rates Drop in Times of War?

War Lowers Cancer Rates? Solomon (1990) made the surprising finding that, historically, cancer rates have been much higher among soldiers in peacetime than during wartime. He discovered that being challenged and stressed can actually be good for one’s health, and that an easier life without challenge is deleterious to it. During the stress and chaos of wartime, there is always plenty to achieve; fighting to […]

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Video: Live Your Life by Your Values

Self-empowerment and self-efficacy are developed by living your life according to your personal values and goals. A goal is something you desire to achieve. This can involve acquiring a material thing—a new car, for example—or it can involve achieving a certain quality of life, such as being free enough of pain or disability to be able to resume golf, tennis, […]

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Video: Self-Efficacy, Wellbeing, and Mastery—My Personal Experience

Self-efficacy is the belief that you can succeed in the life challenges presented to you. The greater your self-efficacy, the greater your chances of succeeding in everything you attempt to accomplish. What you believe about yourself makes a difference. You can cultivate and strengthen your self-efficacy skills. Here is how I personally have worked on […]

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Video: In Your Own Hands: A Course in Self-Empowerment

Since January of 2015, I have been teaching a class in the Continuing Education Department at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Since January of 2016, I have been co-teaching the class with a colleague. The class makes it easier to learn the methods described in my book In Your Own Hands: New Hope […]

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Video: Openheartedness and Love Confer Health

Studies by James McKay found that people who are open and friendly to strangers had half the rate of major illnesses of those who kept a cold and distant attitude toward strangers. These “affiliator types” (people who value relationships) had stronger defenses against viruses and cancer cells and their CD-4/CD8 ratios were better. CD stands […]

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Video: Meaningful Relationships Reduce Odds of Developing Cancer

In one of the longest-running prospective studies, 1300 medical students at Johns Hopkins were followed for forty years.  While at Hopkins they were given psychological tests exploring the ability of the students to have meaningful relationships.  Thirty years later, the researchers discovered that those who had developed cancer were the same ones who had reported the greatest lack of closeness in their families of origin.  Those who had developed cancer also turned […]

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Video: Inert Placebos Act Like Drugs In Your Mind

Over the centuries, medical prescriptions included animal dung, lizard blood, frog sperm, crab eyes, and countless potentially deadly substances.  Patients actually got well on these and hundreds of other useless and dangerous substances.  The reason patients recovered was because what they were actually being administered was hope and an expectation of getting well. Surprisingly often, when the patient trusts the physician and the physician believes in the treatment, the patient […]

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Video: Hope Helps Kill Cancer

In a large study of oncologists, the doctors were all asked what single attribute among all the cancer patients they had ever treated, was most strongly a contributor to the patients’ recoveries from cancer. The patients had a wide variety of types of cancer. Yet, ninety percent of the queried oncologists reported that the most […]

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Video: Are Your Thoughts Making You Sick?

In the words of psychooncologist Lawrence LeShan, PhD: “Feelings affect body chemistry, which affects the development or regression of a tumor, just as body chemistry affects feelings.” In other words, what Dr. LeShan was saying was that our thought processes affect our body chemistry and those biochemical changes do influence tumor growth as well as […]

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Video: Believing You Are In Good Health Improves Your Health

Misunderstandings can sometimes save lives. In his book Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins describes an incident that happened at UCLA Medical Center about fifty years ago. Cardiologist, Dr. Bernard Lown treated a very sick and dying patient. This patient had had a massive heart attack, so severe that it had irreparably destroyed his heart. […]

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