Using an Integrated and Complementary Approach to Cancer Rehabilitation:

Models for a New Millenium (Part I)


Presented by Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP, Director of Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies & Bodywork at the JD Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit, April 2007
Written Material Edited by Fran Kerg, APP, Cranial Sacral Practitioner

Part I: How to Use Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Basic Tenets of Alternative Medical Systems:

  • Look at a person as a whole
  • Do no harm
  • Recognize Nature’s healing power
  • Find and work to eliminate poor health factors and examine lifestyle causes
  • Educate individuals about health
  • Encourage balance and prevention skills

References to alternative medicine cancer studies:

  • Nia Study: Lopez, Bensen, Gullen, Kurker& Johnson (2001) The effect of physical activity on the emotional and physical recovery of women with a history of breast cancer. Paper presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. Retrieved November 27, 2005 from
  • Reiki and Cancer Pain Study: Olson, Hanson, Michaud A Phase II Trial of Reiki for the Management of Pain in Advanced Cancer Patients, © 2003 US Cancer Pain Relief Committee, Published by Elsevier, Inc.
  • Polarity Therapy and Gamma Radiation Study: Benford, Talnagi, Doss, Boosey, Arnold. Gamma Fluctuation During Alternative Healing Therapy, Alternative Therapies, July 1999, Vol. 5, No. 4
  • Polarity Therapy and Cancer-Related Fatigue Study: Treatment for radiotherapy-induced fatigue through a nonpharmacological approach. Integrated Cancer Therapy. 2005 Mar. 4 (1): 8-13.


Allopathic medicine is medicine which is practiced in the US which includes allopathic (drug intervention and surgery) and CAM modalities which have been proven effective (examples: patient support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy, acupuncture). A modality is often considered mainstream once it becomes included in medical insurance coverage.

Complementary medicine refers to modalities used in combination with mainstream medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient’s discomfort following surgery. Complementary medicine is most often practiced by trained professionals; however, a wise consumer asks the therapist for credentials, since in Ohio most CAM modalities are not regulated, so the extent of training varies.

Alternative medicine is used instead of mainstream medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a gall bladder cleanse instead of surgery to remove gallstones.

CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

(More information on CAM will be provided in Part II in next month’s newsletter.)

May the longtime sun shine upon you.

Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP, is the Director of the Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies (Cleveland and Columbus Polarity Schools), which is a state registered school for Polarity Therapy training and Energy Science studies.

Healthy Tidbits

Colloidal Silver

The information on colloidal silver is so important to your healthcare that everyone should keep a bottle of it handy and ready to use. It is a natural antibiotic and can be used topically for burns, wounds or cuts. It can be used as a sinus spray for a stuffy nose or as eye drops for eye irritations. It has a thousand and one uses and has stood the test of time.

Thanks to ongoing research, colloidal silver is emerging as a significant focus for fighting diseases and preventive healthcare.

General features of colloidal silver:

  • virtually non-toxic
  • kills surrounding bacteria
  • best all around germ-fighter on the market
  • an antibiotic will kill 6-10 different disease organisms whereas colloidal silver kills over 650
  • resistant strains of bacteria do not develop with colloidal silver
  • can gargle with it for sore throat and gum infections

To use: Take one tablespoon daily (can be mixed into a small glass if desired) for 3-4 weeks; take a week off, then repeat 3-4 times. Can use topically whenever needed. High quality colloidal is important to get. The safe range for colloidal is 3 to 5 parts per million (ppm). We will continue to add more research and material on colloidal in the next few newsletters.  We have a very high quality colloidal available at a reasonable price. To order, go to E-Wellness Solutions – Colloidal Silver.


Safe and Effective Remedies

Diarrhea Cure

1 tsp honey
8 oz. barley water
Mix honey barley water and drink. This may help diarrhea.

Old Country Ointment
1 part flour
1 part honey
Mix together. Apply on minor wounds or skin troubles. Variation: Add propolis, the gummy substance exuded by trees and gathered by bees.

Hand Scrub
3 tbs finely ground corn meal
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbs honey
Blend corn meal and cornstarch and add honey. Place in a small jar. Use as you would any hand soap. It softens, cleans and smoothes the hands. Always rinse with cold water.

Reference: Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS. Amazing Honey, Garlic, & Vinegar Home Remedies & Recipes: The People’s Guide to Nature’s Wonder Medicines. The Leader Co., Inc., 1985

Let’s Sweat

Want to eliminate toxins, detox your body, and have healthy skin? Sweat! Sweating is an incredible healthcare system and will actually stop the growth of bacteria in your body.

The best way to do a focus sweat is to use a Sauna. Using a sauna can help circulation and lower your blood pressure. Remember-toxins are the root of disease and something as simple as sweating, especially using a sauna, can be a life saver.

The more frequent you can use a sauna the better. The best type is an infrared sauna, which is very safe and effective. So let’s sweat more and make sauna healthcare a daily practice. You will sleep better as well!

Reference: Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP

Take Flax or Fish Oil Everyday

  • Relieves constipation
  • Helps cleanse plaque from arteries
  • Maintains a healthy cholesterol level

Mary Jo Ruggieri, PhD, RPP

Want To Know More About Polarity Therapy and All Its Benefits?

Click the links below to learn about Polarity Therapy:

American Polarity Therapy Association
Polarity Therapy: Interfacing Subtle Energy with Massage (Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Feb/Mar 2004)
Google Search

Reference: Ohio Institute of Energetic Studies & Bodywork

Keys to Constant Happiness

(From Eleven Keys to Constant Happiness by Hale Dwoskin, Dec. 12, 2002. See best-selling books, Happiness is Free, It’s Easier Than You Think and The Sedona Method Course)

A few keys for happiness are:

    • Look for happiness in the right place.
    • Stop pushing past life.
    • Let go.
    • Accept what is.
    • Give from your heart.
    • Be present.
    • Live life wide open.


Mind, Body, Spirit

Let’s Meditate

This section of our newsletter “Mind, Body, Spirit” will focus on a meditation or visualization per month. It is intended to give the reader a choice of meditation techniques to help with stress reduction and disease prevention. Please try these meditations daily to see how they work for you. Always start with some controlled breathing. Please remember how healing it is to meditate.

September Meditation: Emergency Treatment for Emotional Freak-Out


What Will It Do For You

This series of yoga exercises will help with anxiety and extreme tension.

How To Do It

This is a set of exercises to do one after the other:

  1. Stretch pose (sets the navel point): Lie flat. Raise the head, legs and arms 6 inches off the ground. Look at the toes, hold and do breath of fire for 3 minutes.
  2. Relax on the back for 5 minutes.
  3. Repeat stretch pose.
  4. Relax on the back for 5 minutes.
  5. Repeat stretch pose.
  6. Relax on the back for 5 minutes.
  7. 20-30 sit-ups with rhythmic breathing. (Do as many as you can.)
  8. Walk around with hands and feet on the floor for 3 minutes.
  9. Relax on the back.
  10. Do slow easy breathing.

Reference: Survival kit, Meditations and Exercise for Stress and Pressure of the Times by Yogi Bhajan, complied by S.S. Vekram Kaur Khalsa, edited by Mary Jo Ruggieri, (Hari Kaur)

Essential Herbs


Macular Degeneration

Ask Charoula

Question:   am getting older and I have heard that Macular Degeneration can be a serious problem as you age, one that can deprive you of your eyesight. Are there herbs to use that could prevent this condition?

Answer:  Macular Degeneration is a disease that affects the most important part of our eyes, the Retina. Although the medical profession is not entirely sure what causes MD (other than aging), holistic practitioners believe that it is brought about because of:

  • lack of specific nutrients-namely, antioxidants specific to vision
  • a reduced flow of blood to the retina
  • too much flow of blood to the retina.

Since aging seems to bring on RD, anything we do to help reverse the eyes’ aging process will help. This includes
Exercise – including specific eye exercises
Healthy Diet
Stress Avoidance
Supplementation with vitamins and herbs

Specific eye exercises:
Take glasses (if wearing) off.
Stretch eyes:

  • upwards towards top of head, then – clockwise
  • towards upper right corner
  • towards right
  • towards lower right corner
  • towards feet
  • towards lower left corner
  • towards left
  • towards upper left corner and back
  • towards top of head.

You can also do diagonals in all directions. This strengthens the eyes significantly.

A healthy diet avoids all toxin producing foods: like animal fats in excess, fried foods, refined sugars and flours, alcohol and too much coffee.

Instead, eat foods rich in antioxidants and substances like Flavonoids.

Remember that herbs are foods, especially foods like these:

  • all sorts of greens: spinach, kale, collards, and the brassica family.
  • colorful veges like carrots, squashes, winter squashes, zucchinis, tomatoes
  • colorful fruits like watermelon and melon, cranberries, blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries
  • liver supporting foods, like flaxseed or fish oil, garlic, and all green veges

These foods are rich in Beta Carotene and other Carotenoids, like Lutein, Lycopene, and Zeaxanthin. Your Beta Carotene supplement should be a Mixed Carotenoids supplement rather than plain Beta Carotene. The Macula LOVES and depends on Carotenoids!!!

Herbs high in both Carotenoids and Flavonoids are:

  • Bilberry
  • Gingko

Both of the above are included in the foods mentioned above.

The Macula also benefits from herbs that are tonic to our system, like the Ayurvedic herbs:

  • Ashwaganda
  • Triphala (a combination of Ayurvedic herbs)

Taking a supplement that includes these two herbs, according to Khalsa, an Ayurvedic licensed dietitian/nutritionist/herbalist, significantly helped reverse MD.

  • Pycnogenol, an extract of a specific Pine tree, has also been shown to help reverse the degenerative process of the Macula.

Hope the above is helpful.

– Charoula, Herbalist



Health Quotes Of The Day

“Your thoughts and your feelings create your life. It will always be that way. Guaranteed.”
– Lisa Nichols, The Secret

Elemental Foods: The Fire Element

Stimulating Pepper Salad

Dining in the Raw? This is a new (for me) cookbook I have recently come across. The author is Rita Romano and it has wonderful groundbreaking information about natural cuisine with a focus on specific techniques for vegan and raw food recipes. I am personally shifting to more of a raw, live foods diet. The more I read about live foods the more it makes total sense energetically for the body. If you have an opportunity read some information on live foods. The Web of Life, in Westlake, Ohio (on Columbia Road) has a wonderful live foods chef by the name of Tom. He is a wealth of information on live foods. He does consulting on individual basis for anyone interested in introducing live foods into their diets. Try his raw spaghetti with the sun dried tomato sauce.

I have enclosed a sample recipe from the book, Dining in the Raw – try it! You will really be surprised on how well your body and your taste buds respond to raw foods.

Stimulating Pepper Salad

2 red peppers – cut into chunks
2 yellow peppers- cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
4 tbsp. Italian seasoning
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of cayenne
1/4 cup tahini
2 gloves of garlic
1 tbsp orange peel
Braggs to taste

Blend tahini, garlic, orange peel and spices with 1/2 cup water. Combine with remaining ingredients.

This recipe is also PH friendly – it helps alkaline the body.

Antonia Rankin, APP – Energetic Food Awareness

Feldenkrais Method®

The Feldenkrais Method® is an educational system utilizing movement as a vehicle for learning. Specified movement sequences are performed while careful observations are made relating to your sensory-motor experience.

Feldenkrais helps to improve function by developing your sensory-motor intelligence. As you become aware of how you organize your body; graceful, refined patterns of movement emerge. Self-imposed limitations gradually fade and new alternatives in thinking, moving, and acting become available. Subsequently you begin to experience improved posture, effortless movement, and greater freedom and capacity for action.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education?

The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. By expanding the self- image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method?

Everyone can benefit from the Method. The Feldenkrais Method helps those experiencing chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, or knees, as well as healthy individuals who wish to enhance their movement abilities. The Method has been very helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Musicians, actors, and artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort.

What Happens in a Feldenkrais Method session?

In group Awareness Through Movement® lessons, the Feldenkrais® teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling, and imagining. By increasing awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination. Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc.). Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts from 30 to 60 minutes.

Private Feldenkrais lessons, called Functional Integration® lessons, are tailored to each student’s individual learning needs. The teacher guides your movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The student is fully clothed, lying on a table, or in a sitting or standing position. At times, various props (pillows, rollers, blankets) are used in an effort to support the student, or to facilitate certain movements. The learning process is carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure.

Visit for more information.

Reference: This list of Frequently Asked Questions was originally compiled by Richard Ehrman and the Feldenweb Committee, 1996.

News on Health Freedom

Health Freedom Comes to Ohio

Protect your rights as a consumer to choose the type of healthcare you want. For more information please visit the website at Ohio Sunshine Health Freedom.

PHONE: 937-981-2924

Educate others about this topic: Brochure

Heidi’s Fact Finders

What’s For Dinner?

Wondering what to do with the summer’s bounty or how to eat more healthfully without getting caught in the quagmire of diet fads? This month we take a look at food preparation resources with an elemental perspective.

If you are finding it difficult to cook or gather the family around the table during the week, consider making up a weekly menu plan in advance. This makes it possible to select simple recipes or leftovers for days you know you will be busy and not worry about standing in the kitchen feeling overwhelmed later in the week. Leftovers can be reworked into other dishes to minimize waste and when unexpected events happen, reach for the lettuce and create a huge salad out of whatever is available. How about keeping a binder of weekly menus for the previous year? This reflects the availability of seasonal ingredients (helpful in making grocery lists) and can be a handy quick reference. Simply re-use previous menu plans when things are very busy or you are feeling uninspired. Summer days are also perfect for wandering through farmer’s markets and spontaneously planning dinner around the finds of the day. It’s all about balance.

Some of these resources are vegan or vegetarian oriented and others include meats. All of them appear because the recipes work well and I keep coming back to them over the years. Of course, taste is very subjective so experiment and have fun.


  • American Vegetarian Cookbook by Marilyn Diamond (has withstood the test of time)
  • Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar
  • Great American Detox Diet by Alex Jamieson (not a dry, scratchy muffin in the lot. Contains wonderful recipes using spelt)
  • The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil, MD and Rosie Daley
  • How it all Vegan! : Irresistible Recipes for an Animal Free Diet by Sarah Kramer
  • Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver (a personal, insightful and innovative collection of recipes -contains some raw photos of slaughter which the author included because he feels people are too disconnected from their food sources)
  • The Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond
  • The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
  • Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad (This is not really a cookbook, but it is a wonderful guide for anyone want to eat more elementally)

Where to Find Alternatives

Don’t forget to send me your research questions. What health-related stumpers are you running into or what would you like to know more about?

Heidi Beke-Harrigan is an APP and an academic librarian specializing in nursing, counseling and consumer health research. She teaches workshops, conducts research and provides individualized coaching. She can be reached at or

What Is A Chakra And How Does It Work?

The chakras are energy centers of our bodies, often described as spinning wheels of energy. The Sanskrit work chakra translates into “wheel of light.” Many chakra techniques actually balance and encourage the flow of energy through these wheels in order to increase the rate of their spin. Doing so can lead to dramatic sensations of healing, lightness and awakening in both our physical and spiritual bodies.

The chakras run in a straight line from the crown of the head to the base of the pelvis. The position of the body’s major organs and glands align and closely track the location of the chakras in the body. For example, our heart chakra sits in about the same location as the thymus gland in our bodies. Also our throat chakra sits about the same location as our thyroid gland. Working with each chakra can awaken various parts of the body, mind and spirit. Chanting, breathing and visualizing is known as chakra work which can stimulate certain local organs and glands to change the status of the body, both chemically and electrically.

Dr. Herbert Benson, the famed Harvard Medical Professor and neuroscience researcher, whose work in energy medicine shows that a wide variety of physical and mental practices can have anywhere from a mild to a profound effect on our chemical, electrical and emotional states. The most researched of these states is what Dr. Benson calls the “relaxation response.” Here, through simple meditation, we can trigger the sympathetic nervous system to dramatically calm both the body and mind; counter-activate the classic hyper-stressful fight-or-flight state; lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety; and diminish the release of stressor hormones by the endocrinal system. Polarity Therapy is also an effective way to achieve the “relaxation response”. Working with the chakras is a subtle, but profound means of rebalancing energy in the body.

So whether you’re receiving a Polarity Session, chanting, using a relaxed breathing technique or meditating, chakra work can have a powerful effect on the way our bodies and our minds function.

Reference: Christina Ross, BA, BS, RPP, RPE

Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment. For medical needs, consult your Medical Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Practitioner.