How to Unleash the Power to Heal From Within: Razi Berry
Razi Berry stops by to remind us that above all the debate on which metabolic approach to cancer is best, what the must have supplements or must do treatments are, conflicts between natural and conventional medicine and so on, the power to heal lies within us. We break down what this means in a more practical sense, and how we can use this understanding to make the best possible decisions as we navigate the healing journey.
In This Article & Episode:
- Razi’s near death experience as a child and how that has shaped the way in which she sees the world
- Razi’s natural recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and how that led her to start Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, and Natural Path
- The difference between a naturopath and a naturopathic doctor
- The difference between a naturopathic doctor and a naturopathic oncologist
- How to find the best naturopathic doctor and assemble the best care team for you
- How to do your own research
- Why you MUST let intuition be your guide in your healing journey
- How to connect more deeply with yourself and your intuition
- How to apply the tenants of naturopathic medicine to your health and healing
How to Unleash Your Child’s Power to Heal Cancer from Within
I used to skip over articles about anything to do with improving yourself as a part of healing cancer. It wasn’t about me, and I had to find the one that said which supplements to use.
Now these articles are those that I pay the closest attention to as I finally understand just how applicable and critical they are.
Take our interview with Dr. Darrell Wolfe on loving yourself first to truly heal. As a cancer parent any suggestion of taking care of myself whatsoever I considered to be practically blasphemy for a long time. In writing the summary of the interview however I came to realize just how vital for your kid it truly is.
Razi’s favorite phrase to use on this topic is about being the CEO of your health. In cancer we’d add that you need to be the CEO of your health and reversal of cancer. In childhood cancer, you need to be the CEO of your child’s health, and reversal of cancer.
Why Your Intuition Is Your Most Powerful Tool in Your Child’s Recovery from Cancer
No one will have a better sense of your child’s state of health than you do. If you truly trust yourself that is. No one knows what’s normal for your child and what isn’t better than you do.
In the discussion below on letting your intuition be your guide in your research the point is made that your intuition could very well be your physical body telling you what you need. This holds just as true in childhood cancer.
It’s your DNA in your kid. The way we’re all connected at an energetic level, especially between a parent and child, is beyond my ability to describe in this article but it’s there.
You need to fully accept and own the fact that you and you alone know what’s best for your child and your gut instinct is all you need to know this by.
For us in our journey that has meant moving states away from where we grew up and our son Ryder was born and stopping chemotherapy halfway through what the standard of care dictated.
When you read about the placebo effect below, replace the word doctor with the word parent. This is pure conjecture and I don’t have any way to prove it but I firmly believe that a parent’s expectation of whether a supplement or drug will work for their child is just as powerful as the drug substance itself.
How to Find the Best Doctors for Your Child
In childhood cancer, even more-so than in adult cancer it can certainly feel like there are no choices. That the only thing to do is go down the path presented by the hospital that sees children for cancer that happens to be closest.
While your options certainly are more limited in childhood cancer, there is always a choice. There’s always something more you can be doing on your own to help the situation.
Razi makes the point about knowing when it’s time to “fire your doctor.” While legally you’re not allowed to just fire your conventional oncologist and go off the reservation entirely, you do have the option to switch to another doctor in the same hospital, or go to a different hospital entirely.
The latter could mean going to another state entirely as it did for us. When dealing with cancer in your child however actions as this that would have seemed like a really big deal beforehand suddenly seem… like not such a big deal. We were gone within two weeks of making the decision and finding the right environment for us has truly made all the difference in the world.
When it comes to finding naturopathic doctors for your child this can also be more labor intensive. Just as Razi is doing with her comprehensive directory of naturopathic doctors, it is in our plans to have a comprehensive directory of NDs that work with children, but alas both are not there yet.
For the time being as you’ll read below where to find a naturopathic oncologist is oncanp.org. From there it’s simply a matter of calling around and finding out who will be willing to work with you and making your selection from there.
We at The Stern Method do offer parent to parent coaching (which is not intended to replace any form of doctor, rather to supplement them and help with implementation) and can help you in that process as well.
Razi Berry Interview Summary & Takeaways
When Razi Berry Almost Died as a Child
Razi Berry starts the conversation by telling us about the time she almost died as a child. At fourteen years old she developed an intense eating disorder that sent her to an early death.
At the time the problem was treated by medical professionals as a psychological problem. Looking back knowing what she knows Razi believes it to have been driven by a combination of malnutrition and gut issues.
We know now that neurotransmitters are produced not only in the mind, but in the gut as well. These neurotransmitters can affect our mind and mood, and control hormone production related to appetite.
Razi is now fairly sure that the switch to a vegan diet preceding the eating disorder was not right for her and lead to the initial malnutrition and gut issues, which then lead to the downward spiral of the eating disorder.
The disorder got so bad that Razi was hospitalized and a priest was soon called in to read Razi her last rites.
Soon after, Razi went through a full blown near death experience. She left her body and was looking down at her mother and brother standing over her, and the doctor who was telling them “she’s doing this to herself.”
In that moment she felt an intense shame, and just wanted to be done.
Razi Berry’s Miraculous Recovery and Message on Healing
Then Razi went to another place entirely. She was surrounded by God and love, and as she puts it, knew right then and from then on that love is everything we are.
The message Razi was given, is that healing comes from inside of you.
Razi then came back to her body. When she opened her eyes, she was healed. Her heart failure had reversed, and the eating disorder was gone entirely.
Razi came away from the experience with the belief that all living creatures have an intense, vital force inside of them. She believes that vital force to be God.
Bringing the power to heal from within into more quantifiable terms, we have the placebo effect.
Time and time again research shows it matters less about what’s in the pill than a patients expectation of what that pill is going to do for them.
This is why the whole purpose behind “the gold standard” of methodology in studies, the double blind study. Not only does a patient’s expectation of what a pill will do affect the outcome, but also the doctor’s. So neither the doctor nor the patient can know whether the patient is actually taking the substance being studied or fake one, “the placebo.”
In cancer, does this apply to chemotherapy? Supplements? Alternative treatments? These are all very interesting questions without definitive answers but I know for us we make darn sure we fully believe in everything we are doing.
How a Near Death Experience Has Shaped Razi Berry’s Perception of Health
Talking to Razi it becomes very apparent that this was a deeply spiritual experience that’s stuck with her.
Ultimately, the experience out of her body gave her the understanding that we have much more control over our experience here in our bodies than we realize.
The entire experience also gave her a deep desire to understand how the body works. To really know the process by which food assimilates into the bloodstream and quite literally becomes who we are at the physical level. Razi notes that when you truly understand this concept, it becomes easier to make healthy choices and harder to make unhealthy ones.
Ultimately, this understanding is something Razi wants to pass onto her kids as early and thoroughly as possible.
How Chronic Illness Led Razi Berry to Start a Worldwide Health Movement
In her 20’s, Razi fell ill again, this time with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Again, these were conditions that were poorly understood or outright not accepted by the conventional medical community (until they started making drugs for fibromyalgia of course 😉 ).
Razi bounced from specialist to specialist and prescription to prescription while her health continued to deteriorate. Apart from severe pain and fatigue, her hair began falling out and her digestion began to completely fail from all of the drugs she was given.
At her lowest point, Razi was in such tremendous pain that at times the only way her to get around the house was literally crawling across the floor. At that point a conventional doctor told her that her only hope for getting by was to go on disability and more or less be dependent on the state for the rest of her life.
Only then did Razi discover naturopathy, which just so happened to line up perfectly with the message she was given during her first struggle with her health as a child.
She was treated as a connected, whole person. Razi’s naturopathic doctor asked her questions not only about her physical health and habits but also her emotions, work experience, relationships, sleep patterns, and so on.
Because of this comprehensive holistic approach, Razi healed. She got off all of her pain medication and went on to conceive two children naturally after being told she would never have kids.
Razi fell in love with naturopathy and saw a need for more unity and national support within the field of naturopathic doctors. This led her to start Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, a medical journal in which naturopathic doctors could compare case studies with each other.
Although the journal is intended for naturopathic doctors, it has developed a cult following of layman patients and researchers (like us here at MKCC!) seeking to take charge of their own health. Wanting to take this concept further, in addition Razi started NaturalPath. A website dedicated to helping the every-day person understand their body and maximize their health through the principles of naturopathy.
The Difference between a Naturopath and a Naturopathic Doctor
This was new to me. In kicking off the discussion on all things naturopathy Razi noted that there is actually a difference between someone labeled a “naturopath” and an actual “naturopathic doctor” and that this is obviously a very important distinction to be aware of and understand.
A naturopath typically takes a six month to one year online course in which they learn a bit about the body, a bit about nutrition, energy healing, vitamins, supplements, herbs, and so on. While this is wonderful knowledge for people to have that will undoubtedly be used to help many, this is not the same as a naturopathic doctor.
A naturopathic doctor goes to an actual medical school for about the same length of time a conventional one does. The difference is that they attend a school that uses the principles of naturopathy.
A very important distinction in what they learn here is differential diagnosis. Just the fact that your kidneys hurt doesn’t really mean anything on its own. It could be resulting from a problem with any number of things. Only a doctor who has gone to naturopathic medical school receives training on how to properly diagnose disease and root causes.
The Difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Naturopathic Oncologist
Just as the conventional medical field has a specialty practice for just about everything, something similar has begun to happen in the naturopathic world.
A naturopathic doctor with a specialty still treats the whole person. There are still particular areas of interest on could tend to focus on however, such as pediatrics or oncology.
The naturopathic oncology distinction is very important to understand when looking for a naturopathic doctor to work with you in cancer treatment. Not only will they understand cancer and how to heal it naturally better than a general naturopathic doctor, their level of understanding co-treatment alongside conventional oncology will far exceed their peers.
This is very important. We got so much out of having a naturopathic oncologist to consult with (we later found out that our particular naturopathic oncologist is a leader in the field of naturopathic IV therapies) that had a well-educated answer for every question we could possibly throw at him regarding concerns of interactions between natural products and chemotherapy, naturally mitigating side effects of conventional treatment, and so on.
When you’re doing the type of research, these questions come up all the time. It’s therefore vitally important that the medical professional you’re working with has a firm grasp on these concepts. No other naturopathic doctor, cancer coach, or otherwise will have received the training and continuing medical education in these topics that a naturopathic oncologist has.
Finding the Best Naturopathic Doctor for You
Razi is in the process of building a comprehensive directory of naturopathic doctors, however it’s not quite ready yet. In the meantime, the best place to go to search for a naturopathic doctor is naturopathic.org – the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. The best place to go to find a naturopathic oncologist in particular is oncanp.org – the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
You’ll want to be sure the naturopathic doctor you see has graduated from a Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) accredited school.
Within the field of naturopathy there is certainly much more variation in the options for treatment and consultation than in conventional medicine. This means the doctors have more freedom to use their particular tools and gifts to treat you as an individual.
The beauty in this is that you as the patient gets to decide who is going to be best for you. If you’re very intentional about it there is a great chance you’ll find the best doctor for you both in treatment style and in personality.
This is something you need to be honestly evaluating for yourself however, both in your naturopathic and allopathic (conventional) doctors. Research shows doctor-patient relationship can have a huge impact in overall patient outcomes.
There’s no particular easy way or step by step method to find the right doctor for you. Razi says it’s sort of like finding a spouse. You have to “interview” them and feel the situation out as best you can just as you would a potential wife or husband.
As Razi puts it, while everyone is beautiful, not everybody clicks with each other. At all times with your doctor you should feel listened to, respected and empowered. If at any time you’re feeling anything less than that, you may want to consider whether it might be time to fire your doctor. This happens to be the subject of Razi’s most popular ebook.
How to do Your Own Research
Admittedly biased, Razi prefers doing research on NDNR.com. There are now thirteen years’ worth of archives in every aspect of health.
The reason why she likes it so much is that instead of looking at a research study that likely happened in a test tube, or a large number of people with limited detail, you get to see what actually happened between a doctor and a patient.
Aside from going straight to NDNR, the journal directories we like to use are PubMed, DOAJ, Wiley Online, Science Direct, and Google Scholar.
As to her approach, Razi notes that intuition is an underutilized gift and a part of who we are.
At the end of the day, while digging through research is absolutely crucial, you can find research that tells you just about whatever you want. There are always going to be studies supporting two opposing sides of an argument.
Similarly in cancer, one couldn’t possibly hope to afford to buy a supplement for every compound they found a study on showing that it might have anticancer benefits.
You need some overriding force to guide you. And what better guide than your own intuition?
The famous researcher, cell biologist and pharmacologist Candace Pert said that our body is our subconscious mind. That our peptides and hormones are the bridge between our physical self and our consciousness.
So although in your research you might not trust yourself enough to just “follow your intuition,” more than likely your intuition is your body telling you exactly what it needs.
How to Improve Your Life and Health with the Tenets of Naturopathy
The principals of naturopathy are what make the practice so special and healing for so many. Razi like to take them further however and talk about how to apply these principles in our own lives.
Primum Non Nocere – First Do No Harm
This is right there in the Hippocratic Oath all physicians, allopathic or naturopathic, take.
For a doctor this is embodied in doing the least forceful remedy to a patient. A naturopathic doctor would be very unlikely to prescribe synthetic chemicals to a patient as a first option. Even if they did they would first make sure the strong enough to handle it.
From a patient perspective, this simply means not harming yourself.
Do the body products you use have harmful chemicals in them? How about that scented candle or air freshener you’re breathing in? Are you staying in a relationship that you know to be harmful to you?
As Eric Zielinski noted in our interview on essential oils and biblical health, this is living out the notion that your body really is your temple and needs to be kept as such.
Vis Medicatrix Naturae: The Healing Power of Nature
Naturopathic physicians certainly recognize the healing power of nature which is why natural substances and lifestyle changes will almost always be what they prescribe first.
For us, this is recognizing and taking in all the healing capacity the earth has to give us.
Our skin’s contact with the earth literally fills us up with electrons, giving us the negative charge we need to stay healthy.
In addition to vitamin D, the sun makes the fourth phase of water (too complex to get into here but look it up!) creates a battery of sorts in our cells.
The list could go on forever but the more we utilize our senses to be as connected as possible to all that the world has to give us the better off we will be.
Tolle Causam: Treat the Root Cause
Razi notes that while you will hear this concept mentioned in many branches of natural medicine these days, the concept started in naturopathy.
This is about recognizing the body’s innate ability to heal. Instead of presuming that the body is not able to heal from something, both the doctor and the patient need to be asking “what is in the way” of the body doing what it knows how to do.
Razi uses the same phrase that Terry Tillaart expounded on in a previous interview – removing the obstacles to healing.
Detoxification is of course a popular and important tern. But are we constantly clogging our body’s detoxification pathways through our skin by using the wrong body products? Or our lungs by breathing bad air (if you don’t have an air purifier in your home… you are)?
If so, we would indeed be impeding our body’s ability to heal.
Docere – Doctor as Teacher
It’s right there in the root of the word doctor.
If your doctor is not teaching you then he is technically in malpractice! And as Razi says, it might be time to think about firing him.
From a patient perspective though, this means you need to be constantly learning about your body. You need to know more about it than anyone else because after all, it is YOUR body. Again, this comes back to you as the CEO of your health.
Previnir – Prevention is the Best Cure
The western doctorial mindset is certainly focused on “how to cure more cancer.” Why aren’t we more focused on having less cancer to treat?
For us, this means getting far beyond the thinking that “everything causes cancer, so why try avoiding all of it?” frame of mind.
Turns out that only the bad stuff causes cancer. The good stuff doesn’t.
That’s the good that cancer can do in either preventing or reversing it. You get to take out everything bad in your life and replace it will all things good.
Especially within your own home, you have a lot more control over this than you might think.
If you liked this article about our interview with Razi Berry, you’ll love the interview itself! Razi provided my “deeper” and more eloquent answers that I could ever get into here and we got much more in depth on all of these topics along with many not included in the article!
Go here for the previous episode ⇒ Dr. Eric Z on Essential Oils that Fight Cancer and Biblical Health!