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For those of you who aren’t familiar, Chris Wark founded chrisbeatcancer.com after taming his colon cancer while in his twenties. While some would call his remission a miracle or a spontaneous recovery, Chris would tell you through his Square One coaching program that the Lord healed him through inspiring him to do a million things to heal his body naturally. He truly followed the no stone left unturned approach when it came to investigating and supporting his health. Apparently, he also had a kid on the way which probably spurred him on in his quest along with a mom supportive of holistic health.
When I first came across his website, I remember reading through so many articles and listening to so many of the interviews with other cancer survivors. But around this time, he developed Square One, a health and lifestyle video series in which he outlines his protocol for maximizing one’s health.
In this article, I’ll summarize his Square One program and highlight the parts I believe to be the most important for you all with endo. (I do not make anything from sharing about this website, I simply found benefit and want to share the goods).
What I learned about endometriosis from Chris Wark’s Square One Cancer Protocol
If you learn one thing about any type of disease, it’s the law of reverse healing: that the time it took you to become sick is about the time it will take to heal and reverse disease. Our bodies are miracles. Healing involves looking at your whole lifestyle now and deciding to take incremental and consistent steps towards something better for you.
One – You need an accurate diagnosis and prognosis
First things first. Get an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan for your doctor. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. In order to know what is going on, it’s pretty helpful to have a diagnosis and work with your primary care physician or specialist. I’d personally recommend interviewing many health care practitioners to find your team. A few places to start might be a wholistic health center, a functional medicine practitioner, a naturopath, a homeopath, a reproductive endocrinologist or NAPRO technology specialized OB/GYN. You’ll get labs and try to become as clear as possible on your actual diagnosis and the reasons for the diagnosis.
Your work at this point is simply to learn all you can about your issues from the eyes of your helpers. You might be told many things, such as that you need to jump into surgery immediately, that it might be cancer (I was told this several times), that you are making your problems worse by waiting to do xyz. Deep breath.
Take it all in, take it home, and begin to make notes about everything you learned and still want to learn. From my experience, you have some time to adjust to the news and weigh your options while you are learning as much as you can. Get your second and third opinions about what is going on and why it’s happening.
The first time Chris had cancer, he rushed into surgery. The second time he was told he needed surgery for more cancer, he decided to take his time doing research, working with the best in healing medicine and seeing if he could get results doing things his way. He did get results. He went into remission and never got that second surgery.
The first time I was told I needed surgery, I took my time and worked with a doctor to help me monitor my status while exploring healing naturally. I knew that surgery couldn’t cure the state of my body that caused the endometrioma to begin, and that I needed to make some adjustments to rebalance. I am not opposed to surgery, because many times endometriosis can be so extensive and damaging to good tissue. I am opposed to blindly running into a direction out of fear.
Do an inventory of your life
Here are the high level areas you’ll want to further explore. Don’t worry, I’ll be linking additional information in each of these areas so you’ll have a plan for the most scientifically sophisticated research and common sense practices that have helped countless others begin to heal from endometriosis. We’ll look at what Chris did and use that as a template for healing.
Two – Anti-Endometriosis Diet
One of the biggest ways your body can heal is by changing what you are putting into it. Chris Wark developed the Anti-Cancer Salad based upon his research on the best vegetables for his body’s needs as well as consumed 64 ounces of raw freshly juiced carrots each day.
The bests diet for endometriosis is one that is highly individual to you, but there are some general guiding principals many find helpful. I also cover some of these aspects in my post about healing your digestive tract.
Avoid dairy – it can cause inflammation and stagnation (according to TCM) but also many sources are not very clean and sources that are can cause bloating and rashes.
Add many organic vegetables – especially cruciferous vegetables, especially steamed
Eat organic grains, lentisl and beans in moderation
Eat wild caught fish or organic, grass fed and finished beef, chicken and turkey.
Eat low glycemic fruits such as berries.
Find a good source of omega 3s and DHA for reducing inflammation, such as cod liver oil or a good algae source (for those with allergies as an example).
Juicing your vegetables is a GREAT way to increase your nutrition density. Juicing a lemon with the peel is an incredible way to get folate and give your liver a boost. I personally veer away from raw vegetables these days in keeping with some TCM principles, so I create a smoothie with cooked greens, berries and other superfoods. I used to juice copious amounts of carrots though and over time I felt that it was too much cold for my body so I backed away. I do think it helped my body, and my thyroid seemed to benefit for a bit.
Three – Detoxify Your Body and Your Environment
As Chris says, you skin eats what you put on it. Every product we use has the potential to help or harm our bodies. If you haven’t started trying to avoid certain chemicals in products, now would be a good time to start.
Not only do toxic chemicals come at us from seemingly everywhere, our bodies were not designed to handle the man-made synthetics. Some suspect that once our bodies consume a certain level they reach a tipping point with the next stage being degeneration (allergies, decay, disease).
Four – Reset Your Central Nervous System (Chronic Stress)
Chronic stress is rampant. I don’t think I need to tell you why, you can probably either feel it or are actively managing it. If so, kudos! If you struggle with chronic stress, don’t be afraid that you will never feel peace again but do begin to address what is causing your stress.
If you’re like many of us, there are one or more relationships in your life that need to be cleaned up. This could mean setting new boundaries to protect your time and heart or opening your heart up and seeing where the pieces fall. Find a good relationship mentor if you have a hard time doing either of these things. If you are ‘heart-sick’ chances are the rest of your immune system can tell.
Chris had to remove some folks from his life who he termed ‘energy vampires.’ Many people with cancer have them. I’d argue that many women with endometriosis had some type of pinnacle of stress in their life from a relationship that caused a flare up of endometriosis. At least, that is from what I’ve observed and noted in some of the stories of others. Stress and getting T-boned by life can really do a lot of harm. Once we recognize it, we need to take rapid steps to a calmer, more sane life.
Aside from boundaries, what are some of the antidotes? A practice of gratitude and forgiveness.
Five – Get Right With God
This is another way of saying get into some deep spiritual stuff and stop avoiding it because you’re too busy, lazy or scared to face the music. Your body is already paying the price, my friend.
Chris Wark mentions this, and it sort of ties in with a practice of gratitude and forgiveness, but it goes deeper. Jesus is the divine physician of our heart and soul, and He is the way towards true healing and recovery in every sense.
While there is a world that we see with our eyes, there is a bigger picture that includes the spiritual world that we are a part of because of Who created us.
One of the most used phrases in the Bible is ‘do not be afraid’ for a reason. We need to raise our spirits and hope above all hope that we can be healed and recover. We need to be open to the plan not being our plan but walking from where we are now. Chris points out how many times in the Bible Jesus healed those who came to him as well. Ladies, get your bibles out and check out the miracles in your midst!
Perhaps your endometriosis is giving you a huge headache? Well, don’t forget to call upon St. Denis for his intercession – read his story and you’ll soon know why. Ha!
Six – Exercise and Rest
One of my biggest takeaways from the Square One program was Chris’ exercise regime. He rebounded as a way to exercise, which is known to help move the lymph around the body by jumping. When we don’t move, our lymphatic system can’t move either and this can lead to a toxic backup in our body. Our lymphatic system helps to trap and clean up bacteria and other waste that needs to leave our body.
Also, exercise literally turns the good genes on in your body and the bad genes off. According to a rather famous Finnish study of twins and exercise, those who exercised had higher mortality rates than their twin who did not exercise.
If you have endometriosis, you may not feel up to rebounding. I didn’t when I had endometrioma and knew a risk factor was rupture. I did WALK a lot, and found that walking about 30-45 minutes a day along with stretching and strengthening the muscles was a great low impact way for me to move around. Go ahead and turn on those good genes while you’re at it!
If you overdo it with exercise, you can actually weaken your immune system and you don’t want that since it needs to be in tip top shape going forward.
The other side of the coin has to do with resting more. Like it or not and especially if you have sever endometriosis you may feel fatigue a lot. This may have to do with the condition but also the other conditions going on in your body that may also be present (i.e. a sluggish thyroid, over-taxed adrenals, fatty liver, etc.) Take time to listen to what your body needs. Get to bed on time, give your mind a break, and learn the art of relaxing. If you are looking for ways to get deep rest, check out my post on this topic!
Seven – Herbs, Supplements and Teas for Endometriosis
Chris Wark’s Square One coaching program also covers which herbs, supplements and teas he relied on for optimal healing. He covers a lot, primarily those which helped him recover from cancer.
Here are a list of my favorite ones for endometriosis that he covered:
Vitamin C – you can read my post about vitamin c here for more details. I covered a lot there. If you are looking for a good brand of vitamin c, this one comes recommended from my healthcare professional.
Turmeric – I began taking turmeric daily after learning more about it in this program. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and acts as a blood thinner. Speak with your doctor before taking it, in case you are at risk for having blood that is too thin or have surgery coming up (don’t take it then). I took it because many women with endo get period clotting and cramps, which is a sign of stagnant blood. Turmeric helps to enliven the blood and keep in flowing.
Turmeric also helps tumors cells from dividing and from spreading and helps cancer cells die off. I figured if I had any nasty evil cells in my body then turmeric would only help. I took it daily in the form of curcumin with black pepper for maximum absorption, but I found anything from this brand to be my favorite.
Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D is a very important hormone in the body – ladies, have you gotten your levels checked lately?? When I started going to a functional medical physician, my vitamin D levels were checked for the first time in my life! I was super low, which should surprise nobody. Many people in America have low vitamin d levels because of not spending enough time in the sunshine (hello desk jobs!) or getting enough via food. I began supplementing at 10IU for three months until I had another blood test and was able to lower my dosage.
A new Harvard study found that vitamin d supplementation lowers the risk of auto-immune diseases. We can also find research that supports vitamin 3 helping the immune system. Very important, ladies.
Low levels are 10 – 40 ng/ml.
Ideal levels are 40 – 60 ng/ml.
Why is vitamin D3 so critical for endometriosis sufferers? A 2005 study found that when women’s vitamin d levels were over 60, they had an 83% reduction in breast cancer compared to those women with levels under 20. (European Journal of Cancer, 2005).
I take a liquid vitamin d3 supplement, mostly in winter when I know I won’t be getting daily sunshine. There are so many different D3 supplements out there. I personally recommend getting your levels tested and getting input from your savvy healthcare provider on the best supplementation for you.
If you would like to read more about this program and protocol, I recommend Chris’s book Chris Beat Cancer. It looks like he also has a new plant based cookbook out, which I haven’t checked out yet but know it will be quality. You can find his plant-based healing foods cookbook here.