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 Mind/Body Medicine: Tumors and Cancer 

Image of Normal Cells vs. Malignant Cells

What leads to the breakdown in the controls that usually limit the rate of reproduction of cells? What paralyzes the body's ability to recognize these abnormal cells? Why is it that the body, which is capable of recognizing and identifying the difference between such infinitesimally small particles as molecules of clover and rose pollen, fails to recognize the rather obvious differences between tumorous and nontumorous cells, even though this difference is often obvious, even to the inexperienced eye, when viewed through the light microscope?

As we mentioned before, the development of the body proceeds gradually from fertilization, and the development of each organ and each cell of the body is closely associated with nerves and nervous discharges. We might, then, suppose that the coherent information traveling down the nerves maintains a coherency growing and functioning set of organs. We might also imagine that certain kinds of incoherent patterns, when they become closely associated with a particular organ, might produce a breakdown in these normal control mechanisms. This would allow the abnormal cells to multiply seemingly undetected by the body, in much the same way that any other unwanted syngrained in a person's mind without the person's being able to do anything about it.

I have had an opportunity to work with many people who had - tumors of various types. Because of the long natural course and the possibility of sudden appearance and disappearance of this kind of problem, * is difficult to draw any firm conclusions at this point, though the response to Selective Awareness Exploration seems to be beneficial indeed.

The most significant traits that seem to be common to these people are:

  1. Very high degree of intelligence and/or imagination.
  2. A strong, often uncontrollable, fear of death, or fear of loss of love.
  3. A strong mind-body connection (although it may be totally unconscious).
  4. Frequent experiences characterized by inwardly directed anger (guilt, depression).
  5. Often multiple frightening dreams and nightmares during the year or so prior to the discovery of the tumor. (Other researchers note, similarly, that a large number seemed to have a devastating emotional trauma the year or so prior to the development of the cancer.)
  6. Frequently, a history of fear associated with an altered state of consciousness such as anesthesia, drug usage, dreams, or emotional trauma to the nervous system.
My feeling about these diseases is that their appearance may often follow a breakdown in the usual defense mechanisms, much as I believe a breakdown in defences may be the predisposing function in a viral or bacterial infection. Indeed, many investigators feel that many cancers are themselves viral in nature.

This breakdown in defenses seems to occur due to tremendous fear, which is present while the attention is focused on a particular organ of the body. It seems as though the mind-body complex may actually attempt to ignore the existence of one of its organs. As a result, the organ may be free to grow unhindered by the control processes that would be present if the body were "aware" of its presence.

The cancerous process then, may be viewed as dependent upon several factors including:

  1. Genetic factors (some tumors seem to run in families).
  2. The presence of irritants (such as tobacco smoke).
  3. The presence of certain viruses.
  4. The reaction or nonreaction of the body to abnormal cells produced through the above factors.
  5. The effectiveness of the removal of abnormal cells through medical treatment such as surgery, radiation, or chemicals.
Support for the theory that the person's mental state may be partially responsible comes from recent research such as that of Dr. Carl Simonton in Texas, and the Cancer Education and Support Center in California, which report excellent results by combining deep relaxation techniques, imagery, emotional releasing, and group support with traditional therapy. Other experimenters have found that tumors often become smaller and may disappear when simple hypnotic suggestions are used. Another study was performed in which a group of women with abnormal Pap smears of the cervix were divided into two sections. One group was told that their Pap smears were improving, the other group that their Pap smears were showing an increased abnormality. When Pap smears were taken a few weeks later, it was found that the women who were told they were doing worse actually showed more malignant cells under the microscope, whereas the women who were told they were improving showed improvement or no change. (The experiment was immediately discontinued, of course.)
(Excerpted from Opening Your Inner 'I': Discover Healing Imagery Through Selective Awareness ISBN: 0890876428)
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