When I was researching my book Mind Over Medicine, I stumbled across the Spontaneous Remission Project put together by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which collected over 3500 case studies published in the medical literature about people who experienced spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable diseases.” Most of the case studies revolved around people with Stage 4 cancers who either declined conventional treatment or were given treatment deemed by doctors to be inadequate for cure. But the Spontaneous Remission Project also includes case studies of people who had remissions from heart failure, autoimmune diseases, high a gunshot wound to the head, and HIV.
The question reverberating in my mind and keeping me awake at night after reading these case studies was “How did they do this? Were these people just lucky, or did they do something proactive?” None of the case studies even commented on what had happened. But since I wrote Mind Over Medicine, people have been telling me their stories, and none of the people who experienced spontaneous remissions strike me as lucky. Every single one of them was an active participant in their cure.
I’m not the only one who was wildly curious about whether people experiencing cures from “incurable” illnesses were doing something to improve their chances of cure. Kelly A. Turner, PhD studies people who have experienced what she calls “radical remissions.” She prefers the term “radical remission” because she says there’s nothing “spontaneous” about these remarkable cures.
Kelly and I became friends when I was researching Mind Over Medicine, and I shared some of Kelly’s work in my book. But her research has been ongoing, and Kelly’s new book Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Can Make A Real Difference launches today. What Kelly discovered is that the people who experienced radical remissions were not passively sitting by, waiting for a miracle. They were making nine significant changes in their lives, only two of which might be recommended by a forward-thinking physician.