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Is Self Healing From Serious Illness Really Possible?

Updated on October 19, 2012

What is Spontaneous Healing?

Spontaneous remission: "...phrase used by medical professionals to describe a patient's complete recovery that is inexplicable by medical means." (Medical Dictionary)

For years the term, "spontaneous healing", automatically evoked words like, "charlatan", or "fanatic". Many people are rethinking their attitudes; however, as more and more cases of unexplained self healing are documented. These are not just simple, easily explained events - they are astounding cases of life threatening illness inexplicably disappearing.

Anita Moorjani's Amazing Story

Anita Moorjani was a healthy, happily married young woman when she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2003. Despite excellent medical care and a strict health regimen, her cancer eventually worsened. By 2006 she was considered terminal.

On February 2, 2006, Anita lay on her deathbed, with family close by. This is where her real story begins. As she drifted in and out of consciousness, Anita had a near-death experience in which she states she was given the reasons for her illness. At that time she also understood that she could live or die - it was her choice. She chose life and came back to her family, to the astonishment of her doctors.

While she was unconscious and unresponsive, Anita actually heard (and later described) conversations which took place down the hall from her room. She also described care-givers who she never saw while awake. But the most astonishing - perhaps miraculous - fact was her actual survival.

Despite her admitting diagnoses of end-stage cancer, Anita walked out of the hospital a few weeks after arriving - and she was cancer free. Her doctors had no explanation for the self healing.

She feels that her near death experience provided her with a powerful message about the link between our emotions and overall health. She states that her trauma revealed that a lifelong toxic relationship with her parents and cultural expectations had slowly caused her disease. As a consequence, Anita has chosen to tell her story publicly, both as a way of sharing those revelations and to further her own life path.

Her experience is chronicled in her book, "Dying to Be Me". She has also appeared on Oprah. Dr. Wayne Dyer, a motivational speaker and author, has featured her in his program, "Wishes Fulfilled". Interestingly, Dr. Dyer is himself battling Leukemia, so far successfully.

Is Anita Moorjani's Experience an Isolated Event?

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is at the source of all art and science."
—Albert Einstein

Although spontaneous healing is not common, there are more and more cases being reported, possibly because favorable public opinion and reputable research is beginning to remove the stigma from the subject.

Two more well documented examples follow:

Kristin's Healing:

Kristin Killops is alive and well today, and a mother. However, there was a time when her doctors sent her home to die. They were also very definite in their opinion that health treatments she'd received had rendered her sterile.

When Kristin was nineteen years old, she lived in Hawaii. One day she noted unexplainable bruises on her body. Although she took prescribed iron supplements, she didn't improve. Blood tests showed aplastic anemia. This is a condition which wipes out the healthy components of bone marrow, causing “empty marrow syndrome”. Empty space and fat then replace normal blood-forming cells.

Eventually Kristin was admitted to a hospital in Santa Barbara, California. She was very ill and had little functioning marrow. She was kept in a “reverse isolation” environment to protect her from germs. This was necessary because an absence of platelets put her at risk for internal and external abnormal bleeding,

Although her doctors suggested a bone-marrow transplant, Kristin decided against it. Instead she began alternative therapies, including nutritional and visualization techniques. She found a healer who specialized in hypnotherapy. She was in critical condition when the healer performed treatments twice a week. Soon Kristin's blood work improved dramatically. She continued a holistic regimen which included a strict diet and also worked with a hands-on healer.

After a year of treatment, six months of it in the hospital, Kristin recovered. Twenty years after her ordeal she is perfectly healthy, and - despite her doctor's opinions - the mother of four. ("Spontaneous Healing" - Andrew Weil)


Lourdes, France is the site of a religious shrine where thousands of the faithful go to be healed. The Lourdes Medical Bureau is an organization consisting of doctors who verify claims of cures brought about by visiting the shrine. Some of their verified cases include:

a) Marie Bigot - traveled to Lourdes October 8, 1953 and October 10, 1954.
Marie was a 32-year old French woman suffering from cranial fossa - which produces blindness, deafness, and hemiplegia. She was documented as cured August 15, 1956.

b) Vittorio Micheli - Visited Lourdes on May 1, 1970.
Vittorio was a 23-year-old Italian suffering from pelvic cancer. His tumor had caused his left thigh to loosen from the socket. He was paralyzed and walked with a limp. Once he took the waters at Lourdes, he was pain and limp free. His tumor had disappeared by 1964 and his hip re-calcified. He was officially recognized as cured in 1976.

c) Delizia Cirolli - Went to Lourdes December 24, 1976
Delizia was only twelve years old and suffering from sarcoma of the knee. Her doctors suggested amputation but her mother decided to take her to Lourdes instead. After her visit to the shrine, the tumor began disappearing and continued shrinking until it was gone. Although she did have some damage which required surgery, she recovered fully. She was documented as cured in 1989 and eventually became a nurse.

Is Unexplained Healing a miracle?

“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You have healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)

Over the centuries there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of cases of reported miracle cures. The sick and disabled make pilgrimages to bathe in healing waters and pray at shrines all over the globe. The Church has documented hundreds of cases of patients who believed their spontaneous cures came about after one of these visits. But are places, waters, and artifacts causing miraculous recoveries, or are there other factors which could have come into play?

According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences (founded in 1973 by Astronaut Edgar Mitchell), research shows a body-mind connection which can have a powerful impact on healing. Among other findings, they have isolated several factors which strongly affect the body's ability to heal itself. Their exhaustive researchers have found that some of the strongest influences include:

* A correlation among outlook, personality, emotions, and autoimmune systems.
* The will-to-live and laughter, which demonstrate the affect emotions have on healing.
* Cancer-prone (Type C) personalities.
* A link between journaling - to express emotions - and the autoimmune systems.
* The body's ability to produce neuropeptides, or mood-altering drugs.

What does this mean to the average person? It provides evidence that faith in self healing may very well work because the patient's conviction at a deep, subconscious level, could activate the body's own autoimmune functions, which can boost healing dramatically.

Lourdes Shrine, France

Does Spontaneous Healing Only Work for "Believers"?

It's true that many cases of miraculous healing have been documented by religions over the centuries, but alternative healing methods have now moved out of the churches and into the mainstream.

There are a number of books on the subject. Respected organization such as The National Institutes of Health have researched alternative and complimentary medicines. Cancer treatment centers are including holistic practices into their "whole-patient" approach to treatments. Many insurance companies now cover alternative treatments.

The evidence suggests that a focus on the mind-body connection reduces treatment side effects, and improves emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Can belief and holistic methods alone cause spontaneous healing? The jury is still out; but the overwhelming evidence is that our minds are powerful enough to impact our well-being. Even if it's hard to believe that we can cure ourselves, it's clear that a positive approach vastly improves the overall quality of life and health.


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    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 

      4 years ago from North Vancouver

      I am a strong believer in self healing. I would question the statement that spontaneous healings are rare. I believe they are much more prevalent than we think but are either unreported or discounted. I have some personal experience with this do I know it is true.


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