Cheryl Canfield,
Profound Healing:
The Power of Acceptance
on the Path to Wellness

(Healing Arts, 2003)

Cheryl Canfield recounts her spiritual path and its influence on her confrontation with cancer in Profound Healing: The Power of Acceptance on the Path to Wellness.

Canfield, diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer, chose not to pursue the radical surgical treatment recommended by her doctors. Instead, she decided to learn how to "die well" and to focus her energies on her life and the people in it rather than spend her time in a hospital bed. She took care with her diet, meditated and exercised and, miraculously, the cancer disappeared.

Canfield describes the bout of cancer in the first section of the book, then recounts her spiritual development in previous years. This includes her work with Peace Pilgrim, the mystical woman who spent years crossing the country on foot. She helps lead retreats with Peace Pilgrim, and after Peace Pilgrim's death in an accident, hopes to help bring her message to other people.

The third section is an account of how Canfield pulls her post-cancer life back together, and in the fourth section, she outlines the 12 steps in the healing process that she develops in this period.

Canfield is an engaging and enthusiastic writer, and there is a lot in the book for anyone interested in spiritual development to draw on. She preaches to the choir for the most part, however, and her anecdotal approach will not convince any skeptics. For those interested in alternative medicine and spiritual approaches to medicine, though, this is a well-written and accessible example of the genre.

- Rambles
written by Donna Scanlon
published 14 February 2004

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