The conference was run by The Bagnall Centre for Integrated Healthcare, based in Chesham in Buckinghamshire. They had gathered together an impressive range of speakers who covered metabolic disorders, stress, lifestyle interventions, mindbalancing, research on lifestyles and cancer, and a session covering nutrition and exercise. The lectures were cleverly interwoven with relaxation exercises including a meditative walk in the beautiful autumn sunshine in the grounds of the conference centre.
I couldn’t possibly report on all of the excellent presentations, but judging by the presence of a massive camera and its lovely, if slightly bossy, camera man, a video will hit youtube in due course. In the meantime here are a few of the fun-facts and revelations that particularly tickled my fancy:
- obesity is linked to many cancers but especially endometrial cancer in which it is so intimately associated it can almost be called causative.
- the above link is due to the link between obesity and metabolic factors that also increase oetrogen. Many cancers are hormonally linked, endometriosis is just one.
- The amount of adipose tissue is directly related to incidence of endometrial cancer.
- the word ‘attitude’ is an aeronautical term and signifies the angle of approach a plane makes on landing. The wrong attitude can lead to a fatal crash. Atitude to disease and sickness is the same.
- mindfulness techniques are associated with improved immunity – even better than some drugs intended to achieve that.
- “There is no evidence that is validated and applies to the present moment.”(so…evidence based medicine is meaningless to a single individual in a single moment in time)
- cancer often gives people permission to admit their own needs and fears for the first time.
- a person’s values are of great importance in planning treatment but they must be their values and not their perception of ‘ideal’ values.
- the difference between relaxation and mindfulness is that when relaxing you expect to achieve a relaxed state, whereas in mindfulness, there is no such expectation yet real relaxation will be an endpoint.
- exercise has an impressive list of benefits including improvement in insulin sensitivity and improvement in DNA repair.
- intensive exercise during chemo significantly improves prognosis. So don’t to go to bed and rest – go to the gym!!
It’s always a pleasure to listen to professions who are passionate about their field and their patients. To hear main stream doctors who are convinced of the immense value of integrating medicine with other therapies gives me great encouragement that some to the entrenched and misguided attitudes I have come up against on my journey might at last begin to be contested. It is a slow process, but then so was evolution.