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Reading Dr Gabor Maté could save your life....

Apologies for not posting in a while, I am deep into my nutritional therapy and homeopathy studies. I'm currently working on and writing up my 4 graduation cases and will qualify in the autumn. I've been doing quite a bit of reading as part of my studies and wondered if people out there had heard of Dr Gabor Maté?

Dr Maté worked for years as a palliative care doctor in Canada. As such, he sat by the bedsides of 100s of patients in their last days and hours as fatal diseases – often cancer but also others such as autoimmune disease – took their lives.

In talking to his patients, Dr Maté started to notice a pattern. A huge majority of the people dying of cancer on his wards were overwhelmingly…..nice. As he delved further into their lives, he noticed other patterns emerging. Many of the patients had suffered some kind of adverse event in childhood – a missing parent, some kind of abuse – and had learned subconscious behaviour patterns which meant they were conditioned to be nice, kind, not complaining. They also were conditioned to be strong, stoical, to help others. The unifying theme was suppression of some kind of strong emotion in themselves, usually anger.

There are literally dozens of academic / medical studies that bear this out* – i.e. people’s psychological profile is compared to the diseases that kill them, and the pattern that emerges again and again is that cancer sufferers are those who suppress strong emotion.

(Conversely, those who consistently explode in patterns of rage or very strong emotion tend to go on to develop cardiovascular disease. They don’t end up on palliative care wards, they die on the spot of a heart attack. I have been known to explode with rage at several points over the past 2 years … if you were at the receiving end of this then I sincerely apologise. It wasn’t you, it was the situation. I am working on finding other outlets for my strong emotions).

Importantly, in his book “When the Body Says No” Dr Maté points out that he is not presenting this information in order to blame – quite the opposite. He’s doing it to empower us. Everyone needs to examine what they do with strong emotion and whether their needs are being met. In the last chapter of the book he sets out a programme for doing this, called the 7 “A”s of healing. These are acceptance, awareness, anger, autonomy, attachment, assertion and affirmation. All these themes are fully developed in his book. For the sake of your future health, I urge you to read it.

*the most famous of these is the Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE study which collected data on 17,000 people between 1995 and 1997


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