Mind-Body Medicine

Jeannine Walston ’95 takes an holistic approach to cancer treatment.

By Doug McInnis

The diagnosis included a string of inscrutable scientific terms. But the doctor’s translation was not difficult to grasp: Jeannine Walston had a brain tumor.

At first, the news stunned her. “I questioned my existence,” says Jeannine. “How long would I remain in this lifetime?” But she not only survived, she went on to use her own experience as a platform to help others survive as well.

Jeannine cofounded EmbodiWorks, a nonprofit organization that provides information through its website on integrative cancer resources in the United States and elsewhere. The organization, which is supported by donations and foundation grants, promotes an holistic approach to treating the disease. It is part of a broad national movement to replace the top-down style that once dominated medicine. In the old days, doctors spoke, patients listened. EmbodiWorks sees recovery as a collaborative process between patients and their health care providers.

EmbodiWorks doesn’t advocate specific treatments for patients. Its message is more pointed — that patients need to play an active role in their choice of treatments and lifestyle changes to boost their quality of life and their odds of survival.

“It’s about engaging in self-responsibility and self-care,” Jeannine says. “It’s not just about going to the health care provider. It’s also about choosing among available treatment options. And it’s about eating well, exercising, sleeping, how people are listening to their body, and much more.”

Jeannine was 24 years old when she received the diagnosis in 1998. She had spent three years as a Congressional staffer, and she thought law school might be next. Suddenly, her future felt uncertain. ”I had no construct for dealing with such a threatening diagnosis,” she recalls.

But she soon gathered the presence of mind to acknowledge her new reality and take action.

“You can’t control the outcome,” says Jeannine. “But you can influence it. I had to educate and empower myself to influence it.”

Her first move was to bypass her doctor’s suggestion for a particular surgical center and instead opt for one with much more experience in the procedure she would undergo to remove the tumor. “Studies indicate that high-volume centers have better outcomes,” says Jeannine.

She says she then chose the option to remain awake during critical parts of the 12-hour surgery. When the patient is awake, the doctor can better gauge the patient’s reactions as surgery progresses and is, therefore, less likely to damage parts of the brain that are necessary for functioning. In Jeannine’s case, parts of the brain that controlled speech and memory were bound up in the tumor’s mass, so the stakes were high.

From there, she went on to take charge of every aspect of her life and her treatments. The thing that threatened her was inside her body, so she began to fine tune her body to fight it — creating a protocol of lifestyle changes that would maximize her chances of survival. She also looked far and wide for treatments, rather than depend on a single doctor or clinic to chart her course.

Six years after the surgery, she learned the tumor had come back, so she scouted treatment options that might boost the long-term odds in her favor. Her current regimen includes periodic trips to Germany for a hyperthermia treatment that subjects the tumor cells to high temperatures. The procedure hasn’t been approved for general use in the United States, although a small number of clinical trials are under way, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1.5 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2010, and 570,000 died of the disease. Jeannine firmly believes that this is not acceptable: “Cancer care needs innovation,” she insists, through her website. “New models are required to reverse the current statistics and trends.”

There is wide variation among U.S. cancer-treatment centers, says Jeannine. Increasingly, more places are providing collaboration between doctors and patients, along with various integrative protocols that may include diet, mind-body practices, environmental awareness, and social and spiritual support.

“Times are changing,” she says. “But they haven’t changed everywhere.”


1 Comment

Thanks to Doug McInnis for writing and to the IC View for publishing "Mind Body Medicine," the story detailing the work of IC alum, Jeannine Walston and her associates.

I lost my brother, aunt, two uncles, and a number of extended family members and friends to various cancers. All died after a toxic regimen of chemo, radiation, pharmaceuticals, and surgery. Despite my encouraging them to do so, none would even consider holistic alternatives. All had effectively been brainwashed by so-called traditional Western medical doctors into embracing largely toxic solutions that they were told was their only option.

Not surprisingly, there's big money invested by corporations and concerns in the medical community who profit from chemo, radiation, pharmaceuticals, and invasive surgical operations. There's little to no money in providing patients information on non-patentable, non-invasive, holistic alternatives which more often than not do a much better job at returning patients to wellness, without harmful and toxic side effects.

After doing much research on my own, I discovered a particular holistic therapy that is most effective for driving cancer from the body when it is caught early on. This therapy used in combination with medicinal cannabis oil taken both internally (for internal cancers) and externally (for skin cancers) is well worth public attention. While one such therapy has had some mainstream media coverage over the past five years, medicinal cannabis oil treatments are mostly unknown by independent and mainstream media, never mind by the general public.

Three individuals I've met over the years employed one effective holistic therapy based upon intensive vegetable, fruit, and herbal juicing. On it's own, this therapy effectively boosts the body's defense systems up to extremely high levels, driving a substantial variety of cancers from patients whom were formally deemed terminal by their doctors.

While I do not have personal connections to individuals whom have employed cannabis oil treatments for cancer, I know of one particular hemp oil pioneer and activist who is considered by many a credible resource and visionary. He has given his recipe to anyone who wants it. There is no profit incentive, only the desire to CURE millions of people afflicted by cancer. Used in conjunction with the aforementioned juicing therapy, cannabis oil treatments are extremely effective for those up to approximately stage 3 cancers.

I will be more than happy to pass on a list of resources for interested parties.

Best Wishes,
Abe Perlstein, IC '79