If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth!
In 1971 a 61-year-old man came to the University of Oregon Medical School where Carl Simonton MD was working. He had a form of throat cancer that carried a grave prognosis. He was very weak, his weight had dropped from 130 to 98 pounds, he could barely swallow his own saliva, and was having difficulty breathing. There was less than a 5% chance that he would survive five years. Indeed, the medical school doctors had seriously debated whether to treat him at all, since it was distinctly possible that therapy would only make him more miserable without significantly diminishing his cancer.
Dr. Carl who had been studying the effects of visualization, outlined a program of relaxation and mental imagery based on the research that had been accumulating. The man was to set aside three, 5 to 15 minute periods during the day – in the morning on arising, at noon after lunch, and at night before going to bed. During these periods he was first to compose himself by sitting quietly and concentrating on the muscles of his body, starting with his head and going all the way to his feet, telling each muscle group to relax. Then, in this more relaxed state, he was to picture himself in a pleasant, quiet place – sitting under a tree, by a creek, or anywhere that suited his fancy, so long as it was pleasurable. Following this he was to imagine his cancer vividly in whatever form it seemed to take.
Next he was asked to picture his treatment, radiation therapy, as consisting of millions of tiny bullets of energy that would hit all the cells, both normal and cancerous, in their path. Because the cancer cells were weaker and more confused than the normal cells, they would not be able to repair the damage, and so the normal cells would remain healthy while the cancer cells would die.
The patient was then asked to form a mental picture of the last and most important step – his body’s white blood cells coming in, swarming over the cancer cells, picking up and carrying off the dead and dying ones, flushing them out of his body to his liver and kidneys. In his mind’s eye he was to visualize the cancer decreasing in size and his health returning to normal. After he completed each such exercise, he was to go about whatever he had to do the rest of the day.
What happened was way beyond any of Carl’s previous experience in treating cancer patients with purely physical intervention. The radiation therapy worked exceptionally well, and the man showed almost no negative reaction to the radiation on his skin or the mucous membranes in his mouth and throat. Halfway through treatment he was able to eat again. He gained strength and weight. The cancer progressively disappeared.
The patient continued to progress until finally, two months later he showed no signs of cancer. Six years later he was still cancer free.
The strength of his conviction that he could influence the course of his own illness was evident.
(Excerpt from “Getting Well Again” by O. Carl Simonton, MD and Stephanie Matthews-Simonton)