One of my readers has drawn my attention to an excellent book that will be released on October 1: Journey to Hope by Thomas Hudson, MD. Dr. Hudson is a diagnostic radiologist specializing in mammography and breast imaging. He is also on the faculty of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. He has become an advocate of alternative medicine which takes a mind-body approach to health through meditation, guided imagery, nutrition and exercise, Chinese medicine, and group support. He conducts small groups where patients “share their feelings about their work, their experiences, their hopes and fears,” and their attitudes toward disease, treatment, death and dying. He believes that patients, who mine his book for the new information and wisdom he tries to impart and put it into practice, will “live longer and better.”
What Dr. Hudson has learned is applicable to diseases other than cancer, which is his specialty, and it lines up with the findings of epigenetic science as well. Cancer and Alzheimer’s both have a genetic component, but both are “more than just a genetic disease.” Instead of being diseases which you can do nothing about, he believes you can do something about them through paying close attention to your “diet, exercise, stress, attitude, and social support.” James Gordon, MD, the founder and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, writes that the book is full of practical information and “is a reservoir of understanding that can help women (and the men who love them) find strength and healing in the face of the most daunting challenges.”
While written primarily for women, the book is an invitation to all of us to walk with Dr. Hudson on our own journey—whether it’s one of prevention, cancer treatment, or “to a deeper experience of life.” He believes “prevention knows no boundaries” and that there is much that we can do for ourselves both to prevent succumbing to a family disease and to increase our survival chances if we already have one.
Journey to Hope is a unique book that is to be enjoyed. “It is meant to be healing, rather than merely about healing . . . to be experienced rather than just read.” It is “about learning how to think differently.” Dr. Hudson believes it “will give you a new way of understanding the world, and your place in it.”
As Dr. Hudson’s emotional involvement with his patients deepened, he explored many avenues in an effort to help them take better control of their lives. First he learned “how profoundly diet affects our health.” Then he discovered the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and learned that our attitudes toward life and what we meditate on and imagine in our minds adds or detracts from our healing. Relational stress has an even more dramatic effect on our health. A marital argument can suppress the immune system which protects against cancer and disease. If we have a close relationship that has an overall pattern of underlying stress, this can degrade our health faster than anything else. Finally, he learned that the element of spirituality was all important, that there is a Supreme Being whose “Spirit is interwoven with everyday life.”
“Awakening to spiritual reality,” he writes, “often requires a crisis. For me it happened to be a relationship crisis; for many it’s a health crisis. The details of the crisis are not important. What’s important is that crisis can lead to a deeper experience of life. . . Ultimately, Journey to Hope is about rediscovering who we are. On the surface it’s a book about breast cancer: how to prevent it, and what to do if you have it. But on a deeper level it’s about how to live life fully, come what may—something that cannot be done without understanding the power of the human mind and spiritual reality. When we add these to our everyday awareness, a one-dimensional life becomes a three-dimensional life—with benefits that are astonishing, far-reaching, and immediate. In living on the level of physical reality alone, we’ve been leaving two-thirds of our assets on the table.
“When we embrace our three-dimensional nature, all of life changes. . . The journey is surprising, at times even disconcerting—but it’s worth it. The voyage to self-discovery always is.”
All quotes have been taken from Journey to Hope by Thomas Hudson, MD. The book will be available after October 1 on amazon.com or www.yourjourneytohope.com. Proceeds from each book ordered from Dr. Hudson’s personal website will be donated to a variety of cancer-related charitable organizations.