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M
ind/Body Medicine
 

Dr. Howard Miller, working in New Jersey, has published a report showing marked improvement of patients with cancers of the cervix and uterus following simple hypnotic suggestion. (All these women had previously refused surgery.) Cervical cancer is present more frequently in women who have early and frequent sexual relationships, perhaps related to the emotional aspects of this socially tabooed activity. Uterine cancer is more prevalent in women who have borne no children, almost as though the body felt it necessary to have something present in the uterus in the absence of the normal fertilized egg.

The chance of finding cancer cells in the bowel of a person with ulcerative colitis increases on the average, at the rate of 3 percent for each year in which the disease is active and severe, and ulcerative colitis is widely accepted as directly dependent upon psychological factors. This risk of tumor formation disappears if the disease is halted. The tension associated with bowel function, toilet training, and cleanliness in our culture might help to explain the generally high incidence of rectal tumors and cancer.

Two of the most important locations of primary cancer lesions are the prostate gland in the male and the mammary gland in the female, both of which are organs closely related to the sexual system, the source of many anxieties in our culture. One might even speculate that those heavy smokers who get lung cancer may be the ones who inhale at the time of high emotional tension and fear

Further evidence to suggest mind-body relationships are found in a recent study showing that children who develop leukemia seem to show a higher-than-average incidence of the loss of a beloved family member during the first two years of life (during the time that the thymus gland, a respository for white cell development, is present). Coherency Theory gives an excellent way of explaining these various phenomena. The limitation of cell growth and the destruction of abnormal cells is a function of the organism as a whole and is probably also at least partially under the control of the central nervous system. We might view the essence of this control as related to the genetic picture of the organ and its cell but, as in the other disorders discussed, dependent upon many other factors, including learned patterns. Even as a breakdown in coherency can render an organ susceptible to viral disease (such as mononucleosis, which is related to psychological factors as well as to the virus believed to cause Burkitt's lymphoma), it may also perhaps, predispose to the development of groups of abnormal cells.

In the same way, as a person may have obvious psychological "blind spots," as in the case of a person with severe temper problems or the alcoholic who seems unable to recognize that he or she has a problem, the obviously abnormal cells may develop a physical blind spot. Perhaps research in the next few years will prove that persons with these tumors can learn to strengthen their resistance and perhaps even eliminate the process all together through the methods of meditation, hypnosis, deep relaxation, and Selective Awareness.

I am the first to admit that this aspect of the Coherency Theory is by far the most speculative, yet the correlations and mounting evidence certainly indicate a certain consistency. I would, however urge caution to those who, trained in conventional medical views, would scoff at these ideas without careful research. The history of modern medicine is already scarred by too-hasty rejections of innovative ideas by the conventional medical establishment. Medical science's initial rejection of Pasteur's germ theory and Lister's sterile techniques are but two examples!

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