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using creativity to thrive through cancer


The Ian Gawler Foundation in Victoria, Australia runs regular retreats teaching people living with cancer how to positively change their lifestyle. Being healthy, coping with treatment and staying in remission takes real dedication. I have personally been incorporating these 7 research-based lifestyle practices into my own life. They are widely recognised for their health and wellbeing benefits. The below information is taken directly from the website:

1. Regular Meditation helps people with cancer bring the body back to its natural state of balance – the ideal condition for the body to make the most of its inherent capacity for healing.

The case for regular mediation for cancer healing is further substantiated in current clinical practice. Both Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr Craig Hassed, a general practitioner and head of the Monash University Department of General Practice in Australia, have successfully introduced mindfulness meditation into patient therapy and it is now one of the most widely accepted complementary therapies by Australian GPs.

2. Good Nutrition The World Health Organisation states that at least 50% of cancers are related to diet and lifestyle. It is well documented that poor diet and low physical activity relate directly to the risk of cancer. Good nutrition built on an organic plant-based wholefood diet, creates a cancer-unfriendly alkaline environment in the body & supports the natural healing process. 

3. Power of the Mind As far back as 400BC, Socrates said, “You ought not to attempt to cure the body without the soul". Research shows that the mind is connected through the nervous and endocrine systems to the immune system. To harness the power of your mind you must re-evaluate core beliefs and values, especially around illness. The power of the mind, if used wisely can have a positive effect on the body’s ability to heal and thrive.

4. Emotional Healing involves the process of releasing pains of the past and resolving negative emotions, to free up emotional and physical energy to boost immunity. Opening your heart to forgiveness, positive experiences and emotions will improve your overall wellbeing and bring more laughter and joy into your life.

5. Quest for Meaning in life can can often lead to a greater understanding of yourself and others and clarify what really matters. Cancer wellness coach Kris Carr says it is important to understand that your purpose always involves "the discovery and knowing of who you truly are and to love and nurture yourself at the deepest level" (Carr, 2019). The more you do this, the more awake and present you become to all of life.

Download your free 'Find Your Purpose' worksheet here

6. Moderate Exercise can help prevent and improve the survival rates for people with cancer, support pain management, increase vitality and boost immunity and mental health.The World Cancer Research Fund recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least 4-5 times weekly to reduce breast, bowel and prostate cancer by 50-60%. The effectiveness of exercise is related to how much you do, so sticking to a regular exercise regime is crucial.

7. Effective Support is essential to help people cope with the challenges and uncertainties of serious illness and work through the range of healing options. Social isolation on the other hand predisposes us to a whole range of illnesses, including cancer, and is associated with a higher mortality rate. The lack of relationships and adequate support has been shown to undermine the body’s immune system and therefore our capacity to heal.

It is vital that we learn to reach out and also embrace other people in our life. Head over to our community page to read more.