First Experiences with Cancer and Healing
My first experiences with healing evolved out of a statement I used to make in my weekly yoga classes in the late 70s. When I first began commercial teaching (for pay) I would often quote from Swami Gitananda's lectures, "There is no such thing as an incurable disease."
Ruth - July 1978
Ruth had been told by her doctors that she had fast growing malignant lumps in her right breast, and the cancer was spreading into the lymph nodes under her right arm. They strongly recommended she be in the hospital for surgery within four days. She had already taken a few weeks of yoga classes at that point so she decided to come for a visit and talk to me about her predicament. Doctors had told her there was no cure for the cancer and the best they could do was cut out the diseased parts and hope for the best. She chose to come and do a two week yoga intensive with myself and my partner. This time was spent doing a lot of breathing exercises like three part deep breathing, Ekadasi, and the physical exercises of Hatha Yoga. Diet was strict and very limited, along the lines of the macrobiotic diet which I had used to start the healing on my leg. Time was also spent talking about lifestyle changes that would be required for long term results. This involved relationship, employment, diet, stress levels and social support groups.
Ruth took it all quite seriously and changed almost everything, including her relationship with her husband. She went travelling for a few months after the yoga program with us. While she was away she had herself checked out medically in a clinic in a different province. There was no sign of any cancer. She continued with her new healthy lifestyle for several years, sometimes travelling and other times stayed back in her home town, eventually we lost touch with her.
Her daughter informed us the following year, that Ruth's doctors had changed their mind about her having cancer. When they heard she had come to us to do something alternative, they reassessed the test results and decided there had been some misinterpretation. - Makes one wonder about the value of their tests and their interpretations, which lead to surgery, also makes one question their motives.
Yvonne - 1990
The next time I endeavoured to help a cancer patient was more than a decade later. For that interim decade I focused on my practice, did some writing on the subject of yoga and taught occasionally. The experiences of yogic living continued to deepen my knowledge and confidence in yoga. One of those experiences in particular brought me to a deeper understanding of the whole process of healing. That was the chainsaw incident. I learned much of the power of positive thinking and "belief" through that lesson, and that led me to realize more about helping others in their healing process.
In the early winter of 1990, actually at Christmas time, my brother informed me that our mother was seriously ill in the hospital. She had been affected by cancer for a few years at that point, a type of breast cancer that erupted as an open sore on the surface of the skin. She was quite reserved about it, usually discussing it only with her doctor. This year it had spread to her lungs, seriously weakened her to the point where she could no longer walk, and now put her in the hospital.
Earlier, radiation and chemo therapy had done little to help her with the breast cancer, Through family connections she went to see Dr. Michael Osborn of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Institute in New York and he arranged for surgery to be performed in Toronto.
This proved to be successful, however one year later (1990) she was again in the hospital dying of lung cancer. This is when my brother, who lived near her, called and informed me of the situation. Her doctors had given her a maximum of 10 days to live, as her lungs were filling up with fluid secreted by the cancer cells.
At this point in her life, though 75 years old, she still wanted to spend a little more time on planet earth. So when she was offered an alternative method to rejuvenate her health by myself, she went for it. I took her out of the hospital and set up in her own apartment with a yogic treatment plan; this involved a de-toxification diet using many Chinese herbs and several sessions of deep breathing per day. Yvonne had been bed ridden for a couple of weeks at that point because she was too weak to do anything but go to the bathroom. However within five days of commencing this new treatment her lung capacity had increased dramatically, her energy and vitality had returned, and she was up and about living her daily life. This included daily walks in the mid-winter Okanagan in B.C. Canada; she even wanted to go skiing with her two sons. This spontaneous recovery shocked many people.
X-rays taken a couple of weeks later showed the cancer cells in her lungs had been reduced to dormant black spots.
To maintain her own health she was set up on a diet that had a vegetarian base, with very low sugar intake and a continued use of Chinese herbs. Her health continued to improve as she resumed her active social life and even went travelling to Hawaii. Every day her son Gene came for a visit and made sure that she was still on track with diet and a short period of deep breathing. This went along well for seven months until Gene had a motorcycle accident and ended up in a coma in the hospital, never to speak again. He died two years later in an extended care facility.
To Yvonne, this was devastating, and depressing. Her diet and breathing exercises went astray. We all know how depression can take your breath away. For reasons that are not clear she was given a chemo-therapy treatment about three or four months later and her health declined rapidly.
Towards the end of the year, I was informed that she was deteriorating rapidly so I came and took her out of the hospital once again. This time I took her back to live with my family in the West Kootenays. I suggested putting her back on the rejuvenating diet and breath therapy, and did so to an extent, but found her motivation lacking this time. When I spoke to her about it, her response was," I think I want to go for my reward now." Having been a devout Catholic all her life and a zealous born again Christian in the last decade, she meant that she was ready to go to heaven now.
She died very peacefully, about two weeks after saying that.
Medical records have been denied by the medical association.
In spite of the fact that Yvonne eventually died, the results from the healing program were quite astounding. The cancer and its symptoms disappeared within a week or two. For a 75 year-old woman to step off her deathbed and accomplish this says a lot for her character and her faith, as well as for the effectiveness of the yoga program. This case also shows us that a follow up and maintenance program is required for continued health. Just as continual breathing is required for life, continual deep breathing is required for healthy life.
Bob - 1995
"My wife and I both participated in a yoga workshop led by Dave Goulet during a two week period in January 1995 in Mexico. This was an unplanned event from our perspective. I am now 49 years old and have experienced chronic asthma since 2 years of age. My parents who live in Montreal will confirm this fact. David's course taught me how to breathe properly and I am ecstatic to relate that I no longer experience asthma. I would be happy to speak with anyone at any place to relate my experience. Each day for a period of 30 minutes I practice breathing exercises as a maintenance program. I am strongly recommending Dave Goulet for his knowledge, teachings, and dedication to his work"- Bob Daniels
Diane - 1995
Diane was suffering from flattened disks. It became painful at times, especially when she went to bed at night, making it very difficult to get to sleep. Many times during the day she would feel aching and "tiredness" in the area of her lower back. We put her on to a simple exercise program designed to relieve stress in the lower back area and stretch the spine a little so as to allow space for the cartilage to build back up. We added to this a variety of breathing exercises to help stimulate the healing process. She was also advised about the activities she should not do; those which had damaged the cartilage disks in the first place. She also underwent Jin Shin Do acupressure treatments and some sound therapy once or twice a week. She proved to be quite diligent with doing the exercise and breathing routines on her own and consequently made weekly progress. At first she was hardly able to move in the area of the lower back but within a few weeks she had regained much of her mobility. The symptoms from her spinal problems mostly dissolved within two months. Diane continued to come for monthly sessions as a reminder of how to stay on track, and she continues to feel better and stronger.
CHI: The Creative Health Institute
Founding an alternative health Clinic in Victoria, 1995
In the summer of 1995 my partner and I received a $25,000 grant to start an alternative health clinic based on Yoga and Chinese acupressuretechniques in Victoria. It was possibly the first alternative medicine clinic to be funded by the government, be it that the grant was given to start a business and not through the health department. It took some persuading of the board of directors on the SEA program to have the the grant approved, as well as the lengthy application procedure but then the funds made it all possible.
One of the first clients to come to the clinic was Karen...
Karen came with a serious problem in the form of a 5 cm brain tumor that had reached the stage of interfering with her hearing and balance. She was also 60 pounds overweight. Although her tumor was considered benign, her medical options involved delicate surgery which would have left her with half her face paralyzed, one to two months in the hospital for recovery, and months or possibly the rest of her life in a wheelchair, with a chance of not surviving at all, so she decided to go for the safe alternative. She was also considered to be a manic depressive, as it was termed in those days.
A young mother with two young children, she thought it best to stay around a while. Her life to this point had been typical of the modern American lifestyle; in the fast food lane with beer and cigarettes on the side. Her job in a high stress situation kept her in a condition of hyper-activity. Because of a depressive state of mind and emotion she was taking mega doses of lithium and high doses of Prozac on a daily basis.
She was willing to change whatever necessary to avoid the surgery because she felt she would have died this time. There had been several instances of surgery already in her life and she didn't want any more. Consequently she came for our two-week cancer remission program and took it quite seriously. When we told her about the influence of smoking (or reminded her) she through her cigarette package across the room at me.
Two days after her arrival she decided to drop her prescription drugs down the sink. The program began with breath training and then an eleven day period of increasing the amount of breathing every day with a specific breathing technique. Within three days the hearing cleared up in her right ear and her sense of balance came back to normal. At the end of the two weeks she had gone through a radical change with her situation and felt like she had a fresh start on life.
All the symptoms of the tumor had long gone and her vitality and enthusiasm for life had really picked up; there were no signs of depression. She left in a very good state and has continued with her daily practice of breathing and exercise while maintaining a healthy nutritious diet. A month after leaving us she had lost over twenty-five pounds and was still feeling great.
This is a medically documented case where the M.R.I tests showed the tumor had already shrunk by two millimeters after her first breathing lesson, a week before she came for the intensive program. We would have liked to have further tests done at the end of the program but the medical association would not co-operate and said she would have to wait until her previously scheduled test in the beginning of September, two months after our program.
The M.R.I. scans in September showed the brain tumor to be gone; the only trace of it being a kind of shadow of where it had been. The medical documentation with before and after M.R.I. pictures were “lost” by the medical association when they found out she was going to give them to the alternative clinic..
Her medical bills would have been over $350,000, which would have placed her family under financial strain for some time. The alternative was but a small fraction of that, while the side effects were those of improving all aspects of her physical and emotional health.
Karen went back to living a healthy life back at her home near Seattle, acquired a new job where the stress level was acceptable, and was very happy to be with her family.
Karen's enthusiasm for the program and her full cooperation made it work very well for her; results were fast and dramatic. She continued with a maintenance program at home, realising the importance of being responsible for her own health, and is still doing well today to my knowledge.
Harry - August 1997
Harry was taking chemo and radiation therapy for a brain tumor that was very malignant (cancerous). It was difficult to understand what he said, so a friend took over the phone and explained how the brain tumor was affecting the speech part of the brain. Harry managed to explain that his mouth was also affected and that originally there were some headaches. He was presently loosing co-ordination. Harry smokes and drinks. There is also numbness in the left hand. He noticed that memory gets ‘misplaced”, there is confusion and short term memory is dysfunctional. When reading he cannot get to the end of a sentence without forgetting the beginning. He had been told short term memory would be affected by radiation. Constipation has been a serious problem since chemo started; also ...weak and wobbly knees. I met Harry in the second week of August 1997.
Harry had two “brain seizures” one on about Aug 25 and the second one on about Sept 5. He was told by medical authorities that the first seizure was due to his not taking his pills; there was no explanation for the second one since he was taking them at that time. Harry finally arrived here Sept 10 and we started breath therapy that day. He seemed very confused and in a depressed state; very difficult to get any words out.
CT scans and subsequent biopsy revealed a 3.4cm lesion in the left front lobe of the brain, diagnosed to be a grade 4 astrocytoma with necrosis, mitosis and nuclear pleomorphism. In layman’s terms a very malignant tumor. Harry was informed that radiation and chemo therapy were the available treatments, and that this could “prolong natural history” by a few months. No guarantee or expectation of anything beyond that.
On October 2, 1997 Harry’s condition has greatly improved in the last three weeks. The tumor itself has shrunk considerably. The tumor is in a state of “remission” as they call it in medical terminology; no longer a threat to his life and Harry only needs to go in for another CT scan in three months to see if there is anything left.
One of the side effects of his medical treatments (radiation) is the damage to short term memory, burnt out brain cells etc. The brain cells are being regenerated and will be for a while yet. Since the new brain cells are blank, like blank tapes, there is a certain amount of re-learning needed for Harry to regain all his functions, speech mostly.
The greatest improvement I have seen is in his short term memory. When he first arrived it was very difficult to work with him because he could not remember any instructions from one minute to the next, in fact from one breath to the next he would forget what he was doing. Presently, three weeks later, he has regained the ability to remember and follow instructions enough to work on his own. He does need to be reminded and encouraged to do the work. We have seen an increase in his mental capabilities tenfold since he first came.
Harry left us in October - to return to his life of smoking and drinking. We warned him about the probable re-occurrence of the problem. One year later it did happen; though the original tumor had shrunk to the point of no longer being a concern, a new one had developed close to the original sight.
His brothers decided to put him through our program again, since it worked the first time. Harry went along with it, but didn’t really care to do much. The new tumor probably receded some. Harry just wanted to go home and have a beer and a smoke; so he did.
He died six months later.
It had been clearly explained to Harry that returning to his lifestyle of smoking and drinking would re-create the problem; nevertheless he did go that route. Harry was a simple man and it was the only life he knew. What was demonstrated in his case is the fact that the program he went through, with all the breathing and exercise, as well as with the Chinese herbs and organic food, did in fact demolish the first tumor. Had he been able and willing to continue with a maintenance program on his own, he would still be with us. Harry was only in his early forties."
- as told by David Goulet. 1997