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November 3, 2000, Morristown New Jersey Page 1 of 4 pages

Appraisal of Alternative Interventions and New Development in Traditional Treatments for Prostate Cancer.

The first speaker of the day was Charles Matkin, MS. His talk was titled Yoga & Meditation.
Charles told us that he is a third generation Yoga practitioner / instructor and that his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer 6 months ago. Yoga is an ancient practice from India defined as Union. Stress is created when the body is preparing for fight or flight and will cause the blood pressure to rise.

Meditation is a method of reducing stress by combining the mind with the body by placing the mind in the present moment. Charles led us through a meditation exercise in which we focused our minds on our breathing. If our mind starts to wander he said not to worry or get upset, this is normal, just concentrate on the present moment and your breathing and relax.

He then had us imagine a star in the middle of our chest, feeling it absorbing our stress to cleanse our body. As we inhale the star rises to the top of our head, and flies away as we exhale taking our troubles with it. When we are ready to come back we place our hands on our thighs and focus on our feet and the ground beneath them thus grounding ourselves back to the earth.
When Mark Moyad came back on stage to supervise the questions he said that melatonin plus tamoxifen are being studied in breast cancer with some good results. It has also been shown that meditation produces melatonin so this is another reason to meditate.

In answer to another question Charles said that the mind and the body are the same thing. Your brain is a nerve and our nerves extend right out to the tip of our toes.
Mark introduced the next speaker, Michael Lerner, Ph.D., President and Founder of Commonweal, Bolinas, California. Michael's talk was titled Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies in Prostate Cancer. Commonweal conducts weeklong support retreats.

Michael told us that our choices are healing therapies, conventional therapies, alternative/complimentary therapy, pain therapy, and death/dying. He said that his father is a prostate cancer patient plus he has another type of cancer that I missed.

Michael defined healing as coming from within our body, becoming whole. Cure he defined as elimination of disease. He stressed the mind body connection and said that worry is a very powerful imagery. Imagery is the language of the unconscious.

Michael said that we need to stay creative and useful. He gave an example of a man dedicated to the care of his terminally ill wife. When she died he became lethargic and moped around with no purpose. His purpose had been buried with his wife. His children suggested he get a dog to care for, but he said that he did not want a dog.

While visiting a daughter he had a great time with her cat. He decided he would get one for himself. At the animal shelter he found a cat with a litter of kittens one of which was the runt and in very poor health. It came right to him and he adopted it and nursed it to health. The cat gave him a purpose again.

What is your CAT?

Michael said that there is no cure in complimentary therapy, but we can benefit by combining complimentary with the standard western medicine.
In discussing pain and suffering Michael said that 90% of all pain can be controlled. He said that oncologist and urologist are not trained to deal with pain and suffering. We need to see a pain center or hospice care. All religions tell us that suffering is the road to greater understanding. We should not run from our pain but should embrace and welcome it.

When we are in the stage approaching death the family should create a safe place for everyone to talk and discuss death and dying. We should allow ourselves the experience of what is happening to our loved one and/or our self. We have a fear of dying but not of death itself. Hospice can be a midwife to the dying process.

Mark Moyad, MD was the next speaker. His talk was titled Dietary Supplements for Prostate Cancer - What Should I Take or Avoid? Dr. Moyad is the director of Complementary Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Dr. Moyad started his talk by telling us that he believes that a product that does not have side effects does not work. As an example he said that there are no trials showing side effects for glucosamine, but it does work so he believes that it has to have some side effects somewhere, they just haven't shown up yet.

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