Body And Soul News
The underdogs, people who have nothing to lose, tend to rise up and become dark horses.
In the battle against cancer, social welfare worker Ala Sulistyono and businessman Murray Clapham would have been considered the underdogs, with doctors estimating they had 6 to 8 months to live.
Ala, who was diagnosed with stage 3 liver cancer on August 2008, said that the only available choice of treatment was chemotherapy, “Not as a cure. It was palliative, to help extend my life”. Meanwhile, Clapham, who has suffered from cancer for 12 years, was in a bad condition last year and confined to a wheelchair.
Having nothing to lose made them more open and willing to shift from the mainstream Western cancer treatment of chemotherapy.
“I did not want to go down that road [chemotherapy] because I have witnessed a friend who had chemo and experienced horrendous side effects and who in the end, died,” 59-year-old Ala said in an email interview.
She then tried the balur treatment, developed by a doctor named Greta Zahar based in East Jakarta.
According to balur.com, the balur method is a detoxifying process that reduced harmful mercury and metal particles in the body into nano-sized particles using specially treated cigarettes called “divine” cigarettes. The cigarettes, according to bimolecular scientist who has researched the cigarettes Sutiman B. Sumitro, can make mercury radicals undetectable and the smoke is milder, odorless, deodorant and safe.
The patient’s skin is rubbed to open the pores. The body is then covered in smoke so it enters the pores. Patients also smoke during treatment.
Ala said that she was skeptical at the beginning. Her first reaction to the alternative method was: “Yeah right, cigarette smoke!”
Ala, quit smoking 23 years ago and did not want to smoke again. However, she said, “At that time I was in a very, very bad way and I really did not think that I had much to lose by following this ‘strange’ therapy”.
“Initially the therapy was rather overwhelming, not very pleasant but without side effects and I heavily relied on my family,” she said.
Ala said that her health slowly improved. “Over the past 21 months, I have had regular blood tests and CT scans to both monitor the effectiveness of balur therapy and for documentation. My results have been very good and to see me today, you would never guess that I am fighting cancer,” she said.
Ala said that Clapham heard about her progress and decided to undergo the therapy.
“I have improved a lot. I would not say I’m cured. I am much, much better than I was and many things that were wrong with me have been cured,” Clapham said recently.
Ever since his treatment and improved health, Clapham has been an advocate for “healthy smoking”. An opinion piece he wrote published in this paper evoked a flurry of responses, one was suspicious it was smoking propaganda.
Clapham said that the idea was easily crushed. He said that its science had a lot of linear logic. “Doctor Greta’s practice is a factory of new ideas. We shouldn’t be afraid of new ideas,” he said.
“The clinic here in Jakarta where I went, remarkable as it is, has not received much recognition,” he said. Clapham said that the people who rub patients’ body were not skilled physicians.
Greta herself, he said, was eccentric and she might not be able to present the idea in a way that people would respond.
Ala said that when she first began treatment her friends thought that she was crazy. However, when friends saw results they were impressed, she said.
“A couple of friends came from Australia to see me after I was diagnosed and now, even though they are anti-smoking, they were amazed at the results. Now when people ask me about balur I tell them my journey. Their reaction is of surprise, probably disbelief, but they see the results so they eventually say, ‘whatever works’,” she said.
Ala said that there has been much conflicting information, even regarding medical research, and people still did not know the answers. “I am a testament to that,” she said.
Ala said that she was responsible for the decisions she made concerning her health.
“It has been important for me to monitor the results with blood tests and CT scans. I have continued with balur because I have had positive, measurable results. The therapy is working.”
Ever since his treatment and improved health, Clapham has been an advocate for “healthy smoking”.
See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/05/19/improved-health-cancer-sufferer-testament-balur-treatment.html#sthash.HjbSCfJy.dpuf