Before you go on with your reading try to open your heart to feel what Snyder describes. Open your heart until some tears start to flow as you get in touch with your vulnerability that can touch all of these people’s vulnerabilites. Nothing makes us feel more vulnerable than cancer but as Dr. Brené Brown shares below, one can turn that vulnerability into an asset that can help with our cancer treatments.
Over more than a decade of research, author Dr. Brown has found that vulnerability is not a weakness — in fact, it can be our greatest strength. Yet instead of allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable, Brown says many people put up emotional shields to protect themselves. Vulnerability gives us access to our true strength but that does not change the paradigm most people live in, which is the great fear people have about being vulnerable. The fear of vulnerability is arguably one of the most common fears of all. Most people are afraid to be strong, afraid to be vulnerable, and governments, psychopaths and oncologists love this.
Recently I talked to a cancer patient in an online consultation. He had testical cancer and recently had surgery. I had the feeling during his first consultation that in the second I should forget about medicine and listen to him as a psychologist would. So happens I am both a color and communication psychologist and many years ago did online therapy. I asked many questions to get his life story and at the end I asked him if he ever cried. He said no. His heart was closed and thus I recommend my HeartHeath course, which provides meditations with the aim of open up the heart. (The online HeartHealth course is free.)
Chronic stress is more prevalent than most people realize, meaning it is one of the dominant reasons many people get cancer. Almost everyone today in modern society thinks too much and feels to little and this is a great stress in and of itself. Opening the heart, opening to one’s vulnerability and the tears of the melting heart is one of the strongest medicines we can apply in our cancer protocol.
Being in the head leads to chronic emotional stress, which robs the body of vital energy, suppresses immune function, and disrupts hormonal systems. The cumulative result can be devastating: elevated blood pressure, increased blood clotting, compromised digestive function, elevated blood sugar, chronic sleep disturbances, weight gain and especially suppressed immune function all set the stage for cancer and other diseases.
Women with advanced breast cancer who have abnormal daytime levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, are significantly more likely to die sooner than patients with normal levels of the hormone, Stanford University researchers reported back in 2000. The researchers also found that women with these abnormal cortisol levels had fewer immune system cells known as natural killer cells, and this reduced immunity was associated with higher mortality. Dr. David Spiegel, MD, Stanford professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences said, “We found that patients who had abnormal cortisol patterns died significantly sooner.”
Dr. Spiegel says that sleep problems alter the balance of two main hormones that influence cancer cells. One is cortisol, which helps to regulate immune system activity — including the release of certain “natural killer” cells that help the body battle cancer. The other hormone affected by sleep is melatonin. Produced by the brain during sleep, melatonin may have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells.
Spiegel continues, “I think one of the problems these cancer patients may have is that their immune system is over-regulated. Cortisol suppresses immune function and may hamper the immune system’s ability to counter the spread of cancer.”