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The Picture of Green

Accessed from Issue 77 of Juno Magazine at 13:00 hrs 25.01.22.

I have now worked for 35 years as a holistic cancer doctor,  first at Penny Brohn UK, and later in my own practice. You would think in this time, with increased awareness of the causes of cancer, that cancer levels would be dropping. However, Cancer Research UK says that our lifetime risk of cancer has now risen from one in three to one in two! That means that half of us can now expect to get a diagnosis of this largely incurable illness and face unpleasant shock, treatments and the challenge of getting our health and wellbeing back into balance.

What on earth have we done to our environment to create this level of cancer in human beings?

For a healthy cell to become a cancer cell it must go through six levels of mutation. Even for those with a genetic predisposition there are two levels of mutation. These mutations happen because of toxicity, radiation and inflammation caused by infections and allergies. The huge rise in cancer levels being caused by these genetic mutations and the disordered cell growth they catalyse indicates that our health is breaking down as fast and dangerously as the breakdown in our planetary ecology. The relationship with cancer and the environment is fundamental. The microenvironment of our cells and the genes within the cell nucleus entirely reflect the macro environment in which we live, eat, breathe, drink, sleep and work. The disruptive toxic environmental effects of persistent chemicals, hormone disruptors, carcinogens in food, household, gardening and beauty products, as well as poor food, water and air quality, are augmented by the damage caused by nonionising electromagnetic radiation, low-density electromagnetic fields and sick buildings. These physical threats to physical health are amplified by the emotional impact of eco-anxiety, depression and despair causing pandemic levels of mental illness, existential angst and suicide. Stress, anxiety and depression are proven to disrupt our immunity causing both under- and over-reactive states. The resulting immune dysregulation is associated at one end with cancer and raised risk of infection, and at the other with increased allergies and autoimmune diseases. We have just been through Cop26 and human health was not even on the agenda. I believe that the environmental and natural health movements must now come together. The environmental threat to human health must be placed as high on the environmental agenda as the threat to the animals, plants and planet. Lifestyle and environmental illnesses have reached pandemic proportions which the World Health Organisation has declared as a major threat to our survival and economic stability. They also threaten the capacity of the NHS and social care systems to deliver effective treatment and care. Yet, as the government cuts expenditure on preventive health care in 2021 by 25% on a real term per head basis, it has been proven that lifestyle health programmes, natural healthcare, support groups and health coaching, that cost a fraction of the cost of medical treatment, can prevent and reverse these debilitating and costly illnesses. So, let’s get ourselves as fiercely active in the regeneration of human health as we are in protecting our beautiful planet.

Shifting our focus from PASSIVE healthcare to PROACTIVE health creation

People must urgently become as proactive in relation to the crisis in human health as to the climate crisis. We must stop this silo thinking and bring human health right to the top of the environmental agenda, empowering and educating the public and healthcare professionals to adopt proven methods of restoring the ecology of human health and nature, hand in hand. We must also support each other to step up our green thinking and make sure that every one of us is doing as much as we can to live 100% green lives.

The Picture of Green

To support this process, I have created a tool called the Picture of Green. You can go through the exercise yourself and find out your current Green Living Factor. There are 12 areas of focus. You can score yourself on each one to see where you currently sit in terms of green living. Here are the 12 Green Living Principles we can work towards:

For our bodies:

• To eat organic food that is grown locally and eaten in season.

• To use natural, chemical-free beauty and skincare products.

To drink neutral PH, filtered or spring water that is chemical-free.

In our homes and workplaces:

• To use natural, biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products.

• To use natural, biodegradable, non-toxic products in gardening and agriculture.

• To avoid exposure to high levels of wi-fi and electromagnetic fields.

In our use of fuel:

• To use 100% green energy in our homes and workplaces and reduce fuel use through monitoring and insulation.

• To use green transport.

• To minimise air travel or offset this, keeping ourselves carbon-neutral.

In our environmental impact:

• To use sustainable, biodegradable resources in all areas of our lives and work.

• To recycle all our waste.

• To live and work without creating any toxic emissions or waste products.

My overarching goal is to help reverse the pandemic of lifestyle illnesses by shifting us all into an exciting, dynamic relationship with ourselves, each other, and nature. I hope that my words have inspired you to get yourself and your family more proactive. I’d love to support and guide you in making joyful, uplifting, life-affirming changes!