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Are cases of spontaneous healing and remission rare, or simply underreported?

The body knows how to heal itself
The body knows how to heal itself

Could this really be true? Is soul healing possible to the extent that physical healing can occur? Unfortunately, the dominant perspective maintains a level of skepticism and reluctance to anything other than traditional medical cures. In most cases, the idea of spontaneous remission, or miraculous healing, is viewed as something only those on the fringes of society believe in.

However, maybe it is not complete to view remission as a healing miracle, but instead an example of the re-established connection to divine consciousness. What if miracles are not really miracles? What if the so-called miracle serves as divine reminders of the body's innate ability to help heal itself as well as what is possible through the balancing of the heart and mind?

It is not clear how “…after trying all that Western medicine has to offer, a person with Stage 4 cancer is told there is nothing more the doctors can do and is sent home to receive hospice care, and five years later, that person strolls into the doctor’s office feeling great, with no further evidence of cancer.”

The question remains, what initiated the spontaneous healing and/or remission?

“Over the past century, there has been a steady flow of published case reports along with flashes of increased interest in this topic. For example, in the 1960s, the first two scientific books on unexpected remission were published, which led to a sharp increase in the number of case reports submitted to medical journals. After a while, however, interest in the topic lulled again until the late 1980’s when the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) launched the Spontaneous Remission Project, which culminated in the publication of a comprehensive bibliography of documented cases. Since then, approximately twenty new cases of unexpected remission are published each year, and there still has been a noticeable lack of formal research into why these remissions might occur.”

Currently, Dr. Kelly A. Turner is a researcher, lecturer, and consultant in the field of Integrative Oncology. Her specialized research focus is the “unexpected remission” of cancer—a remission that occurs either in the absence of Western medicine or after Western medicine has failed to achieve remission.

Here are the conditions under which healing would be classified as a spontaneous remission/regression:

1. No Allopathic Treatment: The patient was medically diagnosed, via x-rays, biopsy or other medical tests, either refused any medical treatment or for whom medical treatment was deemed useless or unavailable and nonetheless recovered. An example of “pure remission” would be a patient diagnosed with bone cancer, who refused treatment and who is disease-free more than 10 years later.
2. Inadequate Allopathic Treatment: Medical diagnosis is followed for a period of time by one or more kinds of treatment, treatment that is usually known to be insufficient to produce either a cure or a remission, and remission occurs.
3. Equilibrium (or Delayed Progression): People experience either a partial regression of cancer or who live with their disease for long periods of time.
4. Long Survival: People respond well to conventional medical treatment and survive far longer than the statistics for their type of cancer and treatment would predict.
5. Complementary or “Complex” Remission: More complex cases may also exist where patients have been treated with a complex of traditional and complementary treatments. A recent survey of this group suggests that as many as 10% of them undergo “spontaneous” remissions, though the causes for these are so far unstudied.
6. "Miracles": Finally, the most unusual kind of all—those associated with spiritual cures, such as those carefully documented by the International Medical Commission at Lourdes in France. These cures are sudden, complete and without medical treatment. These cases appear to involve some of the same pathways as remission but consideration should be given to the possibility that the altered states of prayer, religious faith, and meditation may allow the process of self-repair greater freedom to operate.

Dr. Turner’s dissertation research involved collecting hypotheses from these two previously ignored groups about why unexpected remissions may occur. Turner spent ten months traveling the world in search of fifty non-allopathic cancer healers which led her to interview healers around the world. Upon Dr. Turner’s return, she found twenty unpublished cases of unexpected remission and conducted phone interviews with the survivors.

According to Dr. Turner, “My seventy hour-long interviews resulted in more than three thousand pages of transcripts, which I analyzed multiple times to find recurring themes. I identified more than seventy-five “treatments” for cancer, six of which were “very frequent” among all seventy subjects. Underlying beliefs about cancer also emerged from the interviews, of which three were very frequent. I am happy to share these results here in an abbreviated form. Please remember that these are hypotheses only, not facts.”

Here are the underlying beliefs from healers and survivors regarding what contributed to spontaneous healing:

Belief #1: Change the Conditions under which Cancer Thrives
“The majority of my interviewees believed that cancer thrives under certain, suboptimal conditions in the body-mind-spirit system and that to remove cancer, those underlying conditions must change.”

Belief #2: Illness = Blockage/Slowness; Health = Movement
“The majority of my interviewees also believed that any illness—including cancer—represents a blockage or slowness somewhere in the body-mind-spirit system, whereas health occurs when there is a state of unhindered movement or flow.”

Belief #3: A Body-Mind-Spirit Interaction Exists, and Energy Permeates All Three Levels
“The third belief that the majority of my interviewees discussed was the idea that a body-mind-spirit interaction exists and that energy permeates all three of these levels.”

In addition to these three underlying beliefs about health, there were also six treatments that the cancer survivors and healers discussed most frequently. These included physical as well as emotional, energetic, and spiritual treatments:

Changing One’s Diet

“The majority of my interviewees believed it was important to change their diet to primarily whole vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans, while eliminating meat, sugar, dairy, and refined grains.”

Experiencing a Deepening of Spirituality

“The majority of my interviewees also discussed feeling—not just believing but actually feeling—an internal sensation of divine, loving energy.”

Feeling Love/Joy/Happiness

“The majority of my interviewees also discussed the importance of increasing love and happiness in their life in order to help regain their health.”

Releasing Repressed Emotions

“Because many of my interviewees believed that illness represents a state of blockage, they therefore believed that it was healthy to release any emotions they had been holding onto, such as fear, anger, and grief.”

Taking Herbs or Vitamins

“Many of my interviewees also took various forms of supplements, with the belief that they would help to detoxify their body or boost their immune system or both.”

Using Intuition to Help Make Treatment Decisions

“Finally, many of my interviewees talked about the importance of using intuition to help make treatment-related decisions.”

“There were two themes that occurred more frequently among the healers than the unexpected survivors: (1) healing, infusing, or unblocking energy and (2) strengthening or activating the immune system. You can read more about these, as well as further analysis of all themes, in my full dissertation.”

Dr. Turner continues to work on “creating such a database and website, with the hope that survivors, doctors, and healers will be able to quickly submit their case reports so that researchers can verify and analyze them. Eventually, this de-identified (anonymous) database will also be searchable by the public, serving not only as a portal for researchers but also as a source of inspiration for cancer patients who are currently battling the disease.”

If you, as an energy healer or survivor, know of anyone who has healed their cancer or either (1) without conventional medicine, (2) after conventional medicine failed, or (3) who used integrative methods to outlive a dire prognosis, please encourage them to submit their case at

Change is never an easy thing to do, even when we want to change. And sometimes what prevents us from changing is simply not knowing what to do other than what we’ve already been doing. The important thing to recognize is that there are alternatives.

There is always another way of doing things, another way of resolving a situation, another path to follow.

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