When going through cancer treatment, “pain is a message you don’t have to listen to,” says Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg — also known as “Rabbi G” — the founder of Kids Kicking Cancer, a nonprofit that teaches children with cancer breathing techniques. and martial arts to cope with the pain and stress that comes with a cancer diagnosis.
MORE: ‘Profound’ Evidence Shows Breathing Can Improve Cancer-Related Pain and Stress
Goldberg, who is also a black belt in Choi Kwang Do and clinical assistant of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, started teaching children about breathing to manage pain in the 1980s, when his late daughter, Sara, was going through treatment. for acute myeloid leukemia. After Sara’s death, Goldberg continued his teaching, established the nonprofit and traveled around the globe teaching children and adults how to use their breath to mitigate suffering. The rabbi even visited the Catholic Pope to teach breathing techniques to children in Vatican City.
The children then, in turn, go on to become the teachers.
“(Breathing) takes advantage of several elements and the role of physiology that allow the brain to say, ‘Wait a second, I’m not a victim. I’m a victor.’ That’s what these children teach in the world,” Goldberg said. “No matter what you face in your life, you can breathe in that light and breathe out darkness.”
In this episode of the “Cancer Horizons” podcast, Goldberg discusses his experiences and offers a simple breathing exercise that listeners can use to help get their stress under control.
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