From the day we were born it was our body’s immune system that healed us. It healed our cuts and bruises, grew new skin when we got burn and even mended a broken leg (if we needed one). Still scientists believe that it is unfounded and far reaching to assume we have the ability to activate this innate healing capacity at will, or that we can use this ability to heal from illness such as cancer.
Even in face of ever growing body of data describing spontaneous remission such as in (O’Regan et al. 1993) most scientists continue to dismiss the notion of miraculous healing or spontaneous remission as anecdotal stories. What is it about the natural ability of the body to heal itself that is threatening to the medical profession? How come a powerful and positive event such as spontaneous remission is perceived as a folk story and easily dismissed?
I’m not a scientist and therefore can’t answer those questions objectively. However, if I was a scientist, my inquisitive mind would want to know how those who were able to heal themselves or those who have experienced spontaneous remission did it? Wouldn’t you?
Cancer, Hope and False Hope
In recent conversations with some medical practitioners, the issue of false hope came up again and again. They spoke of the danger in providing people with cancer hope in terms of a treatment outcome guarantee. To issue a guarantee that one would heal his/her cancer if they do as you say, is not only unethical but it also leads the patient away from other treatments which may be of help to them. False hope in that respect exists only in the form of false guarantee.
But hope is a powerful emotion, one which has shown in research to boost immune response. For me the question still remains how can we harness the body’s innate capacity to heal and how can we enhance its power?
As people we need hope to take actions and in the context of healing from illness that means taking better care of ourselves emotionally, physically and mentally. Telling someone they may not overcome their illness is just another form of wrong doing, it is false hopelessness.
If the pessimistic approach does harm and the optimistic approach does harm, we are left only with the realistic approach. This means focus more on the unlimited potential of the human body to heal and less on the statistics.
We are more than just our body, wouldn’t you agree?