By Walter Ang
February 16, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer
This personal account is careful and consistent in reminding readers that it is not meant to replace the advice of experts. Llantada points out that it is important for readers to consult qualified professionals: medical doctors who practice both conventional and alternative medicine, as well as naturopathic doctors and nutritional therapists, among others.
Nonetheless, she advocates taking one's health into one's own hands. "My doctors didn't make my decisions for me," she proclaims. Llantada engaged doctors as consultants and made her own choices.
In a scenario that will sound all too familiar to many readers, Llantada recounts how fastfood for most of her meals, lack of exercise and sleep, pressures from work, deliberately reducing her water intake (to avoid having to go to the bathroom for long work meetings), overdependence on antibiotics and pain medications, stress from daily three hour commutes, and a general lack of time invested in downtime or relaxing took a cumulative toll on her body.
In 2002, she found a golf ball sized lump in her breast and subsequent tests revealed numerous cysts and tumors in her breasts, liver and uterus. She was told that cancer metastasis was a strong possibility and was eventually diagnosed to have stage three cancer?where only 40% of those stricken survive within five years.
With a strong conviction that "the body can heal itself," Llantada eschewed the usual chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She argues that most conventional treatments merely mitigate symptoms and not necessarily cure the cause of cancers.
Instead, herbal supplements, reflexology, acupuncture and hydrotherapy were her first few selections from an arsenal of non-conventional therapies that eventually included nutrition therapy, water purification, and even the use of "scalar energy" enhanced products such as pendants and water to recalibrate the "voltage" of her body's cells.
How to choose
Llantada had been a sickly child prone to colds, asthma attacks and bronchitis. Her father routinely asked her to think of what she might have done to trigger these respiratory illnesses to make her aware of how she might avoid recurrences. This inculcated in her "the skill of decision analysis" which led her to a career in finance and became her method of dealing with her cancer diagnosis and in taking "calculated risks in trying out natural therapies."
Llantada notes that while surgery and pharmaceutical drugs are "sometimes the best short term answers for certain problems," she contends that it can be frustrating when treatments end up not just killing the disease but also the person. As such, she points out, "there is no one way to solve health problems" and that it is therefore important to read, research and inquire "to learn from the successes and mistakes of others."
She credits her "untiring energy to update herself on health improvement techniques" in helping her make "practical informed choices" in dealing with her condition.
The first step, she posits, is that "a good diagnosis is important before one can decide on solutions to a medical problem." She relied on Dr. Efren Navarro to perform Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Urine Immuno Assay tests on her to fully diagnose her cancer. The book explains the principle behind the test, but basically, the higher amount of HCG found in the blood or urine, the more active the cancer.
This test has been found to detect cancers many months before symptoms appear: brain cancer (29 months ), fibrosarcoma of the abdomen (27 months), skin cancer (24 months), and bone cancer (12 months). Throughout her journey with cancer, Llantada would use this test to monitor the effectiveness of her chosen therapies.
She retained the services of Dr. Teresa Valeros, a naturopathic doctor who specializes in whole body detoxification through methods such as diet modification, supplements, and colon irrigation.
Clean then strengthen
After cleansing her body, Llantada went on to strengthening her body with good food, quiet time for her mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and other less known healing methods like brushing her skin and jumping on a trampoline to strengthen her lymphatic system.
She lists down all of these in the book and provides the rationales and principles involved in a conversational and non-medical tone as well as practical ways to incorporate these into one's life. She includes a bibliography that cites the sources of her research and suggestions for further reading.
As a word of caution, Llantada tells readers about the phenomena of "healing crisis" or the "Herxheimer Reaction"?how the body can become ill when one begins healing therapies since it is expelling accumulated toxins at a much faster rate than normal. She reminds readers of the normalcy of this phenomena and not to get discouraged.
Llantada ends the book with tips for healthy daily living. Simple and doable tips include chewing food properly (digestion begins in the mouth), drinking oxygenated water and even monitoring the appearance of one's stool as a way to gauge if the body's internal organs are working up to par. She also gives a list of locally available foods that are nutritionally packed and have inherent healing properties that range from antibiotic to purgative.
Eight months after her diagnosis, Llantada felt her energy level return, although the tumor grew to the size of a papaya. She believes that her efforts kept the tumor benign and from spreading to other parts of her body. Surgery was finally scheduled to remove the one kilo mass, ending her ordeal with cancer. She was back to work in three weeks and more than five years later, she continues to maintain her health through the therapies she used.
"Healty by Choice" is available in bookstores.
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