In our modern life, stress is everywhere: in the street, at the office, at home. Too much stress takes a toll on our life. Stress is even among the important causes of severe illness, such as cancer and heart disease.
An American cardiologist and a French cancer specialist, who don’t know one another, set up surprisingly similar rehab programs based on exercise, diet and meditation. More than mere rest, exercise alleviates the fatigue of medical treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and the raw anxiety accompanying disease. Meditation, including meditative exercise, generates alpha waves in the brain, and a cascade of other effects calming mind and body. These methods help patients gain back their self confidence, and the energy to fight the disease. Scientific research funded by the US NIH (National Institutes of Health) is under way to discover exactly how meditation works its magic, possibly triggered by spontaneous release of nitric oxide into the bloodstream. These methods of guided self care, fighting the devastating effects of stress and anxiety, are increasingly understood by science and medicine as powerful complements to modern surgical and pharmaceutical treatments.
In Paris, Boston and Connecticut, five patients tell us the moving story of their fight for life. Thanks to karate, exercise and meditation, they are survivors, appreciating and enjoying their lives even more than before.