Is a stem cell cure for cancer at hand?
April 13th, 2014 by Holly Cornish
(The second of two articles about the 2014 Annie Appleseed cancer conference in West Palm Beach, Florida)
“Get your will ready. You have two days to live.” So said an M.D. dressed in a white coat to 78-year-old cancer patient Louis Masucci from Lake Worth, Florida. Mr. Masucci was losing his battle against non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was going down fast.
Today, four years later, the 82-year-old Mr. Masucci is doing just fine. He’d been two days from death because his immune system was kaput. Fortunately, he got stem cells just in time to revive his immune system. “We flipped his immune system back on,” said his stem cell doctor, Dipnarine Maharaj, M.D.
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Dr. Maharaj gave a speech at the annual Annie Appleseed conference about “Stem Cells for Regenerative Medicine in Aging and Cancer.” His stem cell clinic is in Boynton Beach, Florida. He does stem cell transplants for cancer patients because the procedure repairs the immune system. He said, “Repair the immune system, and you treat the cancer!”
Where does cancer come from? Dr. Maharaj said cancer comes from cancer stem cells: “Kill those stem cells, and you get rid of the cancer.”
Here’s another way to look at it. According to Dr. Maharaj, “Cancer is caused by inflammation. Inflammation is controlled by the immune system. If the immune system breaks down, cancer can result. It makes no sense to treat cancer by destroying the immune system.” When he said that, I wanted to shout out, “Amen!” Two of the standard treatments for cancer — radiation and chemo — do indeed destroy the immune system.
Should you “bank” your own stem cells?
This doctor says yes!
Dr. Maharaj strongly recommends that people bank their own stem cells. Frozen at minus 159 degrees Celsius, these self-donated cells can be stored indefinitely and used later for treatment of a disease or for rejuvenation. Having seen the miracle of stem cell rejuvenation, Dr. Maharaj practices what he preaches. He has banked his own stem cells, and he’s making sure his children bank theirs, too.
He showed a news clip from the local CBS TV news affiliate about “the possible cure for cancer found right here in Palm Beach County.” The video shows cancer cells under magnification. The cells explode and disappear as a result of the stem cell treatment. This footage is spectacular and impressive!
Much of the stem cell research in America is on the wrong track because it’s focused on embryonic stem cells taken from the bodies of aborted babies. Ethical questions aside, embryonic stem cells haven’t produced the hoped-for results for Parkinson’s and other diseases, and it appears that embryonic stem cell research is a dead end.
Meanwhile, autologous (self-donated) adult stem cells, usually taken from the bone marrow, are producing breakthrough results for treatment of disease and for rejuvenation.
Integrative clinic in Chicago
racks up impressive track record
The keynote speaker of the Friday morning session was Dr. Keith Block, M.D., who spoke on “Integrative Approaches to Molecular Target Therapy.” His integrative clinic in Skokie, Illinois, aims to offer everything needed to get rid of cancer “all under one roof.”Dr. Block’s comprehensive program focuses on three areas: (1) diet and lifestyle, (2) the extracellular and intracellular environment (the bioterrain), and (3) innovative interventions, technologies, and strategies.
No one can deny that Dr. Block’s clinic has an impressive track record of success in treating patients with difficult cancers, even at late stages. He’s the quintessential integrative doctor who seeks the best of both worlds: the best treatments of conventional medicine together with the best treatments of alternative medicine.
Cancer patients typically dread chemotherapy because of the side effects such as nausea and hair loss. But cancer patients who take chemo at Dr. Block’s clinic experience few bad effects from it. Incredible as it sounds, one of his patients received chemo while rollerblading on the bike path along Lake Michigan in Chicago. Another patient received chemo while taking a cha cha lesson at the clinic.
Why do patients at most cancer clinics get horribly sick from chemo while Dr. Block’s patients make it through the treatment with apparent ease? Conventional cancer treatment centers offer little or no nutritional support, and they blast the patients with heavy doses of chemo that devastate the patient.
Not so at Dr. Block’s clinic. He gives his patients chemo based on circadian timing. He calls it chrono-modulated chemotherapy, based on the fact that there’s a time of day when the drug is most effective and least toxic. Dr. Block said his clinic is the only one in the country using chrono-modulated chemo.
Why are so many people dying of cancer? Dr. Block said it’s not because cancer cells are multiplying too fast but because they’re dying too slowly. Another big reason for cancer deaths, he said, is the toxicity of the conventional treatments. That’s why his clinic does what’s necessary to reduce or eliminate this toxicity.
Dr. Block believes there is no “silver bullet” that will cure cancer. That’s why he uses a multi-dimensional approach that addresses all aspects of the patient’s health. He believes in using natural compounds such as milk thistle, resveratrol, astragalus, and curcumin.
He uses a nano-formulation of curcumin, and told the audience that extremely large doses are needed — eight grams per day. He demonstrated the effectiveness of his therapeutic approach by telling numerous stories of patients who’d survived and thrived after coming to him with difficult late-stage cancers.
Dr. Block’s foil challenges him with a tough question
The next day, Dr. Block’s foil, Dr. Michael Schachter, M.D., from New York, respectfully challenged one of Dr. Block’s key assumptions: that chemotherapy is necessary at all.
Of conventional treatments, Dr. Schachter declared, “Perhaps the emperor has no clothes.” He expressed deep skepticism about “integrative oncology” — the notion that chemo is a key part of a treatment plan that includes natural and holistic therapies. He summarized integrative oncology as a recommendation for conventional treatment plus lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, nutritional supplements).
Then Dr. Schacter posed his big question: “Would the patient be better off with no conventional treatment at all? At the very least, we have to ask the question. Integrative oncologists accept conventional treatment as a given. But (in the case of a successful outcome) how essential was the conventional treatment? Maybe it was essential. Maybe not.”
Dr. Schachter continued, “When patients ask, ‘Will the alternative treatment interfere with the conventional treatment?’, I turn around and ask, ‘Why can’t we ask the question, will the conventional treatment interfere with the alternative treatment?'”
The debate between physicians like Dr. Schachter who prefer natural medicine and integrative physicians like Dr. Block who use both conventional and natural medicine may not be resolved any time soon. But it’s worth noting that many of Dr. Schachter’s cancer patients haven’t done any conventional treatments at all and are still doing well after 12 or 15 years.
Dr. Schachter doesn’t use Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT), a popular therapy among integrative oncologists, because it’s inordinately expensive, it’s not covered by insurance, and “there’s no proof it’s more effective than conventional therapy except that the side effects are less.”
Dr. Schachter pointed out that oncologists often bully patients and scare them into knuckling under to their treatment recommendations. He pointed out that chemo drugs are obscenely expensive. A few examples: Provenge costs $93,000 for the course of treatment, Zaltrap costs $11,000 per month, Sprycel costs $123,000 per year, Yervoy costs $39,000 per month. He said, “That’s why our healthcare system is broken.”
If these exorbitantly expensive chemo drugs cured cancer, they might be worth the cost. But they ruin the patient’s immune system, make the patient feel miserable, and may delay the patient’s death by a few days or weeks, during which the patient has a poor quality of life.
Dr. Schachter warned against the CT scan, which zaps patients with the radiation equivalent of 100 chest X-rays, and the PET scan, which equals the radiation of 500 chest X-rays.
Brilliant Mexican doctor changes lives with stem cell therapy
One of Mexico’s top holistic doctors, Rodrigo Rodriguez, M.D., gave a presentation about “Fighting Cancer Head On with Autologous Regenerative Factors.” Self-donated adult stem cell therapy is one such factor. Another is platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
He said, “PRP allows the concentration and migration of white blood cells, stem cells, healing factors, and fundamental growth factors to promote regeneration and healing.”
As for adult stem cells (ASC), Dr. Rodriguez said they provide genetically complete cells to replace damaged or discarded cells. He called it “a miracle of life and restoration and renewal. We mix stem cells with platelet rich serum and put it intravenously into the patient’s body.”
If stem cells replace damaged or discarded cells, you might well wonder how the stem cells know where to go. As Dr. Rodriguez explained, “When you have tissue damage, there’s platelet destruction that causes an inflammatory response, and we see the migration of cells through blood vessels. Stem cells sense the problem, leave the blood vessel, and enter the tissue. Stem cells will locate and replace the damaged cells and restore the normal function as the inflammatory condition disappears, and then we’re ‘back in business’.”
No wonder he calls it a “miracle of life.”
Dr. Rodriguez loves autologous stem cells because they work. He cited many advantages: no use of embryonic tissues, no risk of spreading a blood-borne disease, no rejection of grafted cells, and there’s no need to go through the process of finding a donor who matches the recipient.
You can take advantage of autologous adult stem cell therapy for healing or slowing down aging at Dr. Rodriguez’s clinic. But he said there’s a simple, cheap way to increase stem cell production in your own body at home: 24-hour fasting. He said a grapefruit juice and water fast raises the population of stem cells your body can put to immediate use!
Dr. Rodriguez said, “Don’t take your body for granted. If we got rid of chronic inflammation, there’d be hardly any degenerative diseases. Diet and lifestyle are the culprit. If diabetes continues to climb, by 2050 just about every American will be diabetic.”
He described how his clinic administers hyperthermia — one of the most effective natural treatments for cancer. The doctor withdraws some of your blood and heats it up before returning it to your body, continuing this process until your core temperature reaches fever level at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This fever temperature is maintained for two hours, and then the doctor brings your temperature back down to normal using the same method. Hyperthermia kills or weakens cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Cancer survivors reveal the alternative treatments that worked for them
One of the highlights of every Annie Appleseed conference is the patient panel. Cancer survivor Julia Chiapetta moderated the session and introduced the three panelists, the first of which was Ursula Kaiser.
Ursula said she went to the hospital for uncontrolled bleeding and underwent surgery right away. The surgeon told her afterward that he’d taken out an ovary because it “didn’t look good.” Later he asked her to come to his office, and told her, “You have cancer.” The doctor persuaded her to have another surgery, but she wanted nothing to do with chemo or radiation, so she went to Mexico for alternative treatment. She practically swears by frequency healing and has purchased frequency machines from Germany.
In her opinion, “the most important thing is the gut.” In Mexico she learned the importance of coffee enemas for detoxification and healing.
His night sweats were much more than just a fever
The next panelist to tell his story was Tom Fisher from Jupiter, Florida. He was into athletics and played basketball at the collegiate level. But his eating habits were bad: He was addicted to sugar, sweets, and dairy.
After a while, he noticed some fatigue that wasn’t normal for him, and he started having night sweats where he would drench the bed. He thought that was odd but figured it was just some kind of fever.
When he started to have chest pains he went to a doctor and found that his symptoms were caused by something much worse than a fever. A chest X-ray showed a mass, and he was diagnosed with lymphoma with metastasis to the bone: Stage Four!
Tom went through chemotherapy, which compromised his immune system and gave him “chemo brain” (an impairment of short-term memory). He said, “My memory was shot from chemo.”
Tom heard a speaker from the Hippocrates Health Institute, and radically changed his lifestyle and eating plan. He added raw, living foods to his diet, and his energy came back. So did his memory! And he returned to a healthy weight. He’s a big fan of sprouts, which he said “have 20 to 30 times the nutrition of vegetables.”
He went through the three-week program at the Hippocrates Health Institute, and it changed his life. He was so impressed with it that he now works there as an R.N. He said, “It has been rewarding to work at Hippocrates as a nurse.”
He gave the audience members some free advice about the power of affirmations: “Affirmations are free. They create mind-body connections. One affirmation that I particularly like is, “I will be well. I am well. And I deserve to be well.”
The next panelist, Melyssa Lawson, could hardly wait to tell her story. She lives just outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband and three sons. She took her first flight ever to attend the conference.
Doctor: “You’ll never have another child” – Patient’s reply: “Watch me!”
At the age of 26, Melyssa was diagnosed with thyroid and lymph node cancer. Her doctor immediately scheduled her for surgery, to be followed by radiation and chemo — no ifs, ands, buts, or delays. Everything was rush, rush, rush. She told her doctor in no uncertain terms: We’re not going to schedule it at all. I’m just not going to do this. I’m going to do natural things instead.” The doctor replied, “Natural things just don’t work.” That remark made her angry. And it also made her all the more determined to get rid of her cancer using natural methods.
To make matters worse, she got no support for her decision. Her family and friends thought she was crazy to go against “competent medical advice.” If she’d chosen conventional treatment, she said she would’ve gotten all kinds of support from her family and friends: “They would’ve brought me meals and waited on me hand and foot.”
Without any support or encouragement, she said she had to take a hatchet and a weed whacker, so to speak, and make a trail for herself.
She said surviving cancer was “a piece of cake” compared to having to stand up for herself against the advice of conventional doctors without the support of family and friends. She completely revised her eating plan and decided to go on a yeast-free diet with lots of raw food. This caused her tumors to shrink.
Despite the lack of support, she kept her sense of humor and maintained a positive attitude. She added juicing to her eating plan and dreamed of having a high-end juicer.
When her conventional doctor told her, “You will never have another baby,” she replied, “Watch me!” She promptly got pregnant with her third baby — the healthiest pregnancy she’d ever had. Finally, Melyssa’s conventional doctor affirmed that she was “cancer free.” In bewilderment, he said, “I’ve never seen this before. No tumor markers are detectable. I don’t know what to say.”
Melyssa noted that cancer patients are often honored with a “chemo party” to celebrate the end of their chemotherapy. She closed her remarks by saying, “I’ve worked my ass off for five years to become cancer free. When am I going to get my party?” The audience laughed and gave her enthusiastic applause for her magnificent accomplishment!
If you missed the first part of Andrew Scholberg’s report on the 2014 Annie Appleseed cancer conference, you can read it below.
A New Breakthrough
from Europe May Blow the
Cancer World Wide Open
(The first of two articles about the 2014 Annie Appleseed cancer conference in West Palm Beach, Florida)
The founder of the Annie Appleseed cancer conferences — Ann Fonfa — is like the folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman). Whereas Johnny Appleseed planted apple seeds wherever he went, Ann plants informational seeds about the best way to get rid of cancer.
One of the informational seeds at this year’s conference in Palm Beach, Florida, is perhaps the biggest new cancer breakthrough we’ve seen in a while. Keep reading. . .
Two of Your Most Vital Organs
Need Your Help…
It may shock you to discover that kidney problems are on the same level of risk as a heart attack. In fact, your kidneys and liver remove over 99% of damaging substances in your body.
Yet it is hard to think of more unloved and uncared for organs than these two. Especially if you are suffering from any type of chronic disease, toxic overload… or even battling cancer.
The problem is that few doctors ever trouble to give good advice about looking after these 2 essential organs that detox and cleanse your body. As a result there are long lists for transplants.
The situation is so dire and the knowledge is missing on this topic – that’s why Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby has created these two critical reports. Go here today and discover how to give your vital organs all the help they need.
Anne Fonfa endured surgery for her own breast cancer but avoided toxic radiation and chemotherapy. Instead, she overcame her cancer with a variety of natural, alternative, and holistic methods. The same way Anne used to be, many people who attend the Annie Appleseed conferences are seriously ill with cancer. What they learn at the conference gives them a bright ray of hope.
One of the world’s leading holistic cancer doctors, Tony Jimenez, M.D., was a featured speaker at the 2014 conference. He revealed a breakthrough in virotherapy, telling the audience: “You are the first people in the United States who are hearing this! This will blow your mind. I’ve never seen anything that produces results like this!”
The breakthrough is a “virotherapy” called Rigvir. It’s was developed in Latvia, where it has passed all phases of clinical trials on almost 2,000 patients. The results of the clinical trials are convincing and impressive. For example, stomach cancer patients in the control group had a 24 percent survival rate. The patients treated with Rigvir survived at double that rate –48 percent.
Rigvir was registered in Latvia in 2004 as an anti-cancer drug. A prominent Latvian oncologist disparaged Rigvir until he got cancer. After he used it to get rid of his cancer, he became one of Rigvir’s biggest cheerleaders.
Rigvir works on a wide variety of cancers including melanoma, colorectal, pancreatic, bladder, kidney, prostate, lung, uterine, lymphosarcoma, etc. It triggers an immune response and seeks and destroys cancer cells.
A virus that heals?
Viruses are harmful, right? Not always! Surprisingly, the Rigvir virus is found in the gut of healthy children. Rigvir is short for “Riga virus” — Riga being the capital of Latvia. Rigvir is a microscopic living organism with unique properties that kill tumors without hurting healthy cells.
After Rigvir invades the tumor cell, the virus replicates, causing the tumor cell to rupture and die. Rigvir breaks down cancer cells, stimulates the immune system to reject the tumor, and promotes apoptosis (programmed cell death, i.e., cancer cell suicide).
This is the polar opposite of chemotherapy drugs. Chemo impairs or destroys the immune system, while Rigvir boosts it.
Dr. Jimenez remarked, “I’ve been to 70 countries, and I’ve never seen a medicine that’s not a chemo drug that has so much research behind it. You can tell I’m pretty excited about Rigvir.”
Rigvir has none of the side effects of chemo. The only side effect that some people feel is a temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit that might last for three days. Concerning that side effect, Dr. Jimenez said, “Big deal.”
Dr. Jimenez decided to take Rigvir therapy for himself because it’s not harmful and because he thought it could benefit his health. He was already the picture of health and vitality before taking Rigvir. He said, “Within three days, tests showed a significant improvement in my immune system, which I thought was pretty good [in the first place]. This shows that we all have room for improvement in our immune system.” He didn’t get the mild, temporary fever side-effect.
Dr. Jimenez said, “Rigvir is a cancer medicine — a medication approved for cancer. It’s bionanotechnology — not an alternative, complementary medicine. It’s the most potent immune modulator I’ve ever seen.”
At this writing, Rigvir is unavailable anywhere in the United States. You can get it in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, the United Arab Ermirates, and a few other places in that part of the world. There’s only one place you can get it in the Western Hemisphere: at Dr. Jimenez’s Hope 4 Cancer clinic in Tijuana (www.Hope4Cancer.com).
Rigvir is only one treatment among many that Dr. Jimenez offers at Hope 4 Cancer. He has used laetrile since 1988 without seeing a single case of the cyanide toxicity that critics claim is a hazard of ths remedy. He says it’s “very, very difficult to have cyanide toxicity with laetrile.”
He also uses an intravenous form of artemisinin (see Issue #382 for more), intravenous curcumin, nutritional therapies, and detoxification — especially cleansing the gut, which he calls “Job One.” Some patients come to Dr. Jimenez in such a toxic condition that it’s first necessary to open up the channels of elimination before attacking the cancer cells.
Conventional doctor shuts his ears to the truth
Dr. Jimenez talked about one case in which a woman with metastasized liver cancer came to him for help. Her doctor at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles had given her just two months to live. After she got rid of her cancer in Tijuana, she returned to Los Angeles, where doctors declared her “cancer free.”
She asked them, “Would you like to know what I’m doing?”
They replied, “No, but whatever you’re doing is working. Keep on doing it.”
Concerning the reaction of those Los Angeles doctors, conference organizer Ann Fonfa remarked, “That’s good, and it’s also stupid.” It is indeed good that the Los Angeles doctors urged a patient to keep on doing whatever was working, but it’s stupid to remain deliberately ignorant of holistic therapies that obviously work.
Another speaker, Chris Wark, told the story of his recovery from cancer. He began his speech by saying, “I have nothing to sell you. I paid my own way to be here. I’m here to share my story with you in person and to share the information that saved my life.” Chris is the author of a blog called “Chris Beat Cancer” (www.ChrisBeatCancer.com).
At the age of 26, newlywed Chris got the bad news that he had Stage Three colon cancer. He’d felt low energy and got strange abdominal aches that would come and go, but it was hard for him to tell exactly where the pain was coming from.
Doctors found a tumor the size of a golf ball in his intestine. They rushed him onto the operating table and took out a third of his large intestine, after which they told him, “We took out everything we could see, but you need months of chemo.”
Hospital meal after colon cancer surgery:
a sloppy joe!
Right after surgery the first meal the hospital fed Chris was a sloppy joe. He didn’t know much about nutrition at the time, but he thought to himself: “This doesn’t seem like the best meal for me right now. Maybe some applesauce or soup or something.” Nevertheless, he ate the sloppy joe because he hadn’t eaten for a couple days and was hungry.
Chris said he has heard many cancer patients tell him about their regrets after undergoing conventional treatment. They tell him, “I knew I shouldn’t have done it.” He believes it’s crucial for cancer patients to listen to their inner voice and to have the courage to follow it.
Chris prayed, “God, show me what to do. If there’s another way, show me.” Two days later he received a book in the mail out of the blue. The title of the book was God’s Ultimate Way to Health. It tells the story of a man who beat colon cancer without any conventional therapy whatsoever — natural methods only.
Chris knew the book was an answer to his prayer. He radically changed his diet, threw out all of his junk food, juiced, and went raw vegan. He said, “When you do alternatives, you’re swimming against the current. Cancer isn’t a physical battle. It’s a mental battle. I stayed the course. I found a naturopath and took every supplement I could afford.” He also did high dose vitamin C by IV.
After working with the naturopath for 90 days, Chris added some cooked food to his diet, including three servings of animal protein per week. The food and supplement regimen changed his bioterrain so that it became inhospitable to cancer cells. He also dealt with a hidden cause of cancer: stress. Chris told the audience, “You have to create a peaceful, quiet life, and forgive everyone who has ever hurt you. Grudges give you a sick heart, which will give you a sick body. You have to heal your heart!”
Another speaker, psychotherapist Daniel Weber, Ph.D., also addressed the issue of stress. The title of his talk was “Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer.” There’s a link between cancer and unmanaged stress, which can rip the immune system to shreds. To make matters worse, a cancer diagnosis adds to a patient’s stress.
Dr. Weber said that stress is only pressure. It’s how we react to that pressure that determines whether good or bad things will happen. Stress tells us that something needs to change — that what we’ve been doing may not be in line with what we should be doing.
Dr. Weber firmly believes that cancer patients and others should learn from stress because “cancer is an opportunity to change. That’s all it is. It’s another stressor that gives us an opportunity to change our lives.”
That’s a profound insight! If the cancer patient changes nothing or chooses the wrong kind of change, a successful outcome is doubtful. Dr. Weber strongly urges stressed out people to resolve the stress. Don’t self-medicate. Change!
Stress often goes together with depression, which Dr. Weber said “isn’t a single disease but many. It’s a physiological problem. What goes on in your gut affects your psyche 100 percent. Do emotions cause cancer? No. A failure to learn from emotions can cause cancer. Malice is destructive. But standing up for yourself and arguing can be healthy.”
Bringing stress under management is essential for any cancer patient trying to recover from the disease. Granted, that’s easier said than done. He suggested several ways, including exercise, yoga, tai chi, and qigong.
Stress is a two-edged sword. Dr. Weber asserted: “When stress is too much, we break. When there’s not enough stress, we wither.” He explained it this way: “If your challenge is greater than your skill, that causes stress. If your skill is greater than your challenge, that also causes stress. (For example, brilliant people staring at a TV in a retirement home.) Bring your skill and challenge into balance.”
Words of wisdom
Dr. Weber concluded his remarks with this meditation: “Be like water: empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. When you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Water flows, dissolves, dances, falls, rises, is one with everything. In the river it’s never the same. Water can flow or it can surge. Water can be still or can pour from the heavens. Water is benign or passionate. Be water, my friends.”
Another speaker, Dr. Ashwin Mehta, M.D., addressed the topic of stress indirectly in his talk about “Optimum Sleep During Cancer Treatment and Beyond.” His subspecialty is sleep medicine. Stress can ruin the quality of sleep — and good quality sleep is essential for recovery from disease. Deep sleep is a time when the immune system rebuilds itself.
How your brain “defrags its hard drive”
Here’s another way to look at it. Dr. Mehta said that the deep state of sleep known as REM (for Rapid Eye Movement — the eyes move rapidly beneath the closed eyelids) is like “defragging the hard drive.” If you’ve ever watched a computer screen when a hard drive is defragged, you’ve seen the chaotic jumble of file fragments on the hard-drive as they’re put into good order. Something like that apparently happens during REM sleep.
Dr. Mehta remarked that chronic pain and poor sleep are linked. People who suffer from chronic pain and negative moods generally aren’t satisfied with the quality of their sleep, which can lead to a downward spiral. That being the case, pain management and a change of attitude are crucial.
He offered many tips to improve the quality of sleep and warned, “Don’t watch TV just before you go to sleep.” Instead, he suggested a bedtime ritual that might include breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and chamomile or passion flower tea. For general stress relief, he recommends such things as meditation, yoga (but not “hot yoga”), acupuncture, massage, and tai chi.
Dr. Mehta’s grandmother once gave him a piece of homespun advice: “After lunch, rest a while. After dinner, walk a mile.” He explained that afternoon naps are important and helpful unless you’re having poor quality sleep at night. He added that mild exercise in the evening can be part of a winding-down ritual that leads to a good night’s sleep.
What if you wake up in the middle of the night? Dr. Mehta says not to worry about that because it’s normal. Just as it’s o.k. to have a nap in the afternoon, it’s also o.k. to be awake during part of the night. He said, “Don’t try willfully to fall asleep. Sleep is a surrender, a letting go. What’s needed is serenity, contentment, gratitude, and tranquility to get you in the mood for the surrender that leads you to drift into sleep.”
What if you just plain can’t get to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep? In that case, Dr. Mehta said it’s not good to spend too much time in bed when you’re not sleeping. It’s better to get up for a while and go back to bed when you’re calm, relaxed, and serene.
Dr. Mehta said that wearable tech devices like FitBit are making older techniques like a sleep log obsolete. As for melatonin, the popular sleep remedy, he said he uses it only for jet lag.