Are you trying the Bengston Method and losing steam?
You’ve taken Bengston training, read his book and listened to his audio. You are dutifully going through the process of working with your list of positive images and spinning them around at the speed of light.
And you don’t feel it doing anything.
This can be for any number of reasons. Today let’s talk about fear.
I’ve been clinically working with the Bengston Method since 2009. I’ve had 35+ years as a holistic health professional (Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Acupuncturist, Acutonics sound healing instructor, herbalist, etc). I’ve seen a lot of fear and suffering and helped many people through it. My experience as a health professional gives me an angle on the Bengston Method which I hope you find useful. I am not supervised by William Bengston though I was personally mentored by him a decade ago, so these are my thoughts about his method, not his thoughts. I advise my patients to learn his method from him, and then come to me to see if they need guidance from someone with years of clinical experience so it can actually create healing for them.
I have seen fear block some of my patients from actually caring about their future enough to deeply program their Rapid Image Cycling list (a core feature of the Bengston Method). Fear also stops them from cycling in a relaxed playful automatic way. This is more important than most people realize. If we fearfully “stare” at the healing or at our image cycling, it doesn’t work as well as when it is spinning in the background and we are focused on living our regular life in the present moment.
For many of my patients, cycling when they experience fear actually stops the fear from wreaking havoc on their bodies. The cycling helps them get to the “witness” part of their consciousness and seems to activate the part of them that is free to heal. In my experience, cancer uses both the expression of fear AND the suppression of fear to grow.
When you have a lethal situation, fear is a natural alert system that you don’t want to suppress. Please don’t put a bandaid on your fear thinking that “positive thinking is best.” Sometimes feeling fear is a healing release and suppressing it can actually interfere with your healing. It’s a bit of a conundrum. If you feel your fear you may be consumed with such terror you can’t function (and you can’t heal). If you suppress your fear you somatosize it and it is stored pathologically in your body (and you can’t heal). You’re damned if you feel it and you’re damned if you don’t.
Fortunately, there are tools so fear can come and go without hurting you:
- Rapid Image Cycling. This doesn’t always help, but it often does. You use your fear as a trigger to start cycling. The way it seems to help is that it shortens the time the fear stays. A few minutes of fear doesn’t hurt our bodies the way hours or days of fear would… so we can feel our fear without it blasting us apart. My patients report that the fearful emotion “finishes” without them trying to suppress it at all when they cycle. I highly recommend using your cycling skills when you have any strong emotion. Use the strong emotion as a trigger to remind you to cycle. Not only will you heal better and get stuff on your list, but you will more quickly return to genuine emotional equanimity.
- EMDR Eye (Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)
- Walking in Nature. They call it “Forest Bathing” now!
- Working with a therapist skilled in trauma recovery.
- Ritual. Try excreting fear out of your body symbolically. Your body doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and what you observe. In Chinese Medicine fear is “stored in the kidneys and released through the bladder.” The Large Intestine monitors your “life gate”. Imagine shadows of fear being attached to your urine and stool as you eliminate. Imagine that you have a natural process that cleans you of emotions you are done with as well as physical substances you are done with. That way, when fear comes up, you can “thank it for sharing” that yes, indeed, we still have cancer and we still have an emergency, and we have got the message (again), and isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have to keep holding this very uncomfortable information. We can let it go out of our body. Then return to the present moment, accept it as your current truth/point of view, get curious about how to thrive now… and now… and now. When we are locked in fear it’s so hard to let love/healing or useful information in.
There are literally thousands of methods of working with the legitimate fear that comes with cancer. Don’t let fear victimize you and don’t “positive-think” it away. There is always a gift in the most horrible circumstances. Fear may keep us from healing and it can be part of our healing.
That being said, you don’t have to transform your fears to such an extent that you are “enlightened” and above the fray of fear. This is not a requirement for healing… but anything that helps you transform fear into love or peace can be so supportive!. I like the above tools because they are practical and don’t require years of psychotherapeutic awareness to be really helpful. Sometimes fear does not arise from a deep dark trauma from childhood. Sometimes it’s not an intergenerational wound that keeps repeating. Sometimes fear is simply there because cancer is there… it fits the situation. I have healed plenty of people who were terrified. The terror abated when the tumor shrank. Their fear was situational awareness of danger… not some deep seated moral failing. Tools help.
Hopefully these suggestions help you to relate to cancer fear in a creative and empowered way. If you are trying to do William Bengston’s Rapid Image Cycling technique and are not getting traction, consider your relationship to fear.
Managing a naturally healing tumor takes clinical experience, and tweaking of your technique based on nuances of what is happening. Need help? Let’s have a conversation. Simply look through my Cancer FAQ’s on my website or YouTube channel and then schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted Call