6 Stories That Will Make You Believe In the Power of Your Mind To Heal You

A young woman / lady is sitting and have a relax under a tree

My book Mind Over Medicine is full of data scientifically proving that the mind can heal- or harm- the body. But data can be dry, and sometimes what resonates most deeply within our souls are stories. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s have story time. I’m going to tell you a few true stories that will demonstrate to you how powerfully the mind affects your physiology.

Mr. Wright

As reported by Bruno Klopfer in the Journal of Projective Techniques in 1957, Dr. West was treating Mr. Wright, who had an advanced cancer called lymphosarcoma. All treatments had failed, and time was running out. Mr. Wright’s neck, chest, abdomen, armpits, and groin were filled with tumors the size of oranges, his spleen and liver were enlarged, and his cancer was causing his chest to fill up with two quarts of milky fluid every day, which had to be drained in order for him to breathe. Dr. West didn’t expect him to last a week.

But Mr. Wright desperately wanted to live, and he hung his hope on a promising new drug called Krebiozen. He begged his doctor to treat him with the new drug, but the drug was only being offered in clinical trials to people who were believed to have at least three months left to live. Mr. Wright was too sick to qualify.

But Mr. Wright didn’t give up. Knowing the drug existed and believing the drug would be his miracle cure, he pestered his doc until Dr. West reluctantly gave in and injected him with Krebiozen on a Friday.

To his utter shock, the following Monday, Dr. West found his patient walking around out of bed. Mr. Wright’s “tumor masses had melted like snowballs on a hot stove” and were half their original size. Ten days after the first dose of Krebiozen, Mr. Wright left the hospital, apparently cancer free.

Mr. Wright was rockin’ and rollin,’ praising Krebiozen as a miracle drug for two months until the scientific literature began reporting that Krebiozen didn’t seem to be effective. Mr. Wright, who trusted what he read in the literature, fell into a deep depression, and his cancer came back.

This time, Dr. West, who genuinely wanted to help save his patient, decided to get sneaky. He told Mr. Wright—that some of the initial supplies of the drug had deteriorated during shipping, making them less effective, but that he scored a new batch of highly concentrated, ultra-pure Krebiozen, which he could give him. (Of course, this was a bold-faced lie.)

Dr. West then injected Mr. Wright with nothing but distilled water. And a seemingly miraculous thing happened—again. The tumors melted away, the fluid in his chest disappeared, and Mr. Wright was feeling great again for another two months.

Then the American Medical Association blew it by announcing that a nationwide study of Krebiozen proved that the drug was utterly worthless. This time, Mr. Wright lost all faith in his treatment. His cancer came right back, and he died two days later.

The Hexed Girls

As described by George Engel in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Baltimore Case Study Number 469861 was an African American woman born twenty-two years earlier on Friday the 13th in the Okefenokee Swamp near the Georgia-Florida border. She was the third of three girls delivered that day by a midwife who proclaimed that all three girls, born on such a fateful day, were hexed. The first, she announced, would die before her 16th birthday.  The second would not survive her 21st. And the patient in question was told she would die before her 23rd birthday.

The first two girls died within one day of their 16th and 21st birthdays, respectively. The third woman, terrified that she would die on her 23rd birthday, showed up at the hospital the day before her birthday, hyperventilating.  Soon afterwards, before she turned 23, she died, proving the midwife’s predictions correct.

The Blind Women of Khmer Rouge

As described in Anne Harrington’s The Cure Within, two hundred cases of blindness were reported in a group of Cambodian women forced by the Khmer Rouge to witness the torture and slaughter of those close to them, particularly the men in their lives. Examination of these women found nothing physically wrong with their eyes. The conclusion those trying to help them came to was that by being forced to view the unbearable, “they had all cried until they could not see.”

Multiple Personalities With Different Health Issues

Anthony Robbin’s Unlimited Power describes a case of a psychiatric patient with a split personality. One of her personalities was diabetic, while another was not. Her blood sugars would be normal when she was in her non-diabetic personality, but then when she shifted into her diabetic alter ego, her blood sugars rose, and all medical evidence demonstrated that she was diabetic. When her personality flipped back to the non-diabetic counterpart, her blood sugars normalized.

Psychiatrist Bennett Braun, author of The Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder, describes the case of Timmy, who also had multiple personalities. One personality was allergic to orange juice, and when this personality drank orange juice, Timmy would break into blistering hives. However, another personality drinks orange juice uneventfully. If the allergic personality was in the midst of an allergy attack and he shifted back to the non-allergic personality, the hives would disappear instantly.

Stamatis Moraitis

Stamatis Moraitis was a Greek war veteran who was living in the United States when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told he had only 9 months to live. He was offered aggressive treatment, but after 9 doctors apparently assured him that it wouldn’t save his life, he decided to save his money, decline treatment, and move with his wife back to his native Ikaria, a Greek island where he could be buried with his ancestors in a graveyard overlooking the Aegean Sea.

He and his wife moved into a small house on a vineyard with his elderly parents, where he reconnected with his faith and started going to his old church. When his friends got wind of the fact that Stamatis was back home, they showed up with bottles of wine, books, and board games to entertain him and keep him company. He planted vegetables in a garden, basked in sunshine, savored the salty air, and relished in his love for his wife.

Six months passed, and not only did he not die, he was actually feeling better than ever. He started working in the untended vineyard during the day, making himself useful, and in the evenings, he’d play dominos with friends. He took a lot of naps, rarely looked at a watch, and spent a lot of time outdoors. At one point, 25 years after his diagnosis, Stamatis went back to the United States to ask his doctors what had happened. Apparently, the doctors were all dead. Stamatis finally died this year in Ikaria. He was 102 years old.

Anita Moorjani

In her book Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani tells the story of how she was dying of end stage Stage 4 lymphoma when she experienced the classic “white light” near death experience many have described. As she traveled to the other side, she was able to look down upon her loved ones, even though some of them were not in the same room with her. Her heart was filled with a feeling of profound unconditional love, and she was happy to be free of her dying, tumor-riddled body.

Then she was told that she had a choice. She could stay in the white light and die, or she could go back and share her story with others. She didn’t want to come back. Her body had been in so much pain, and her soul had been suffering. But she was told that if she came back, her cancer would be cured. She believed what she was told, and felt called to come back so she could share her experience.

Anita’s cancer was gone within several weeks. This all happened under the care of her bewildered doctors, who documented her spontaneous remission. Anita is now on the Hay House speaking circuit with me, spreading the message that death is nothing to fear.

Have Your Heard Stories?

When we doubt the mind’s power to help- or harm- the body, it helps to share stories. Have you had a personal experience with the mind’s power to affect the body? Share your story please!


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  1. Hmmm… no offense, but some of these sound more like the mind’s power to kill you as opposed to heal you. But I actually find that equally if not more interesting. THERE IS NO SPOON!!! (my apologies to anyone who didn’t get The Matrix reference.)

    • I loved this post. I have heard a couple of the stories before but it just reinforces the fact that we have so much control over our health. Our thinking can either make it better or make it worse. Belief is a powerful healer.

      • Oh I loved it too… I just think it shows that it goes both ways – believing you’re gonna die is just as powerful as believing you’re gonna live. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere for our fear based society.

  2. Hi Lissa, I loved this post – so interesting and a really good read. It reminds me of what our Elders always tell us in my culture (Saulteaux – Native American). When we use our traditional medicines, the medicine man or woman always emphasize that you must believe in the medicine in order for it to work. Prayer and ceremony are often involved, even just a simple moment of quiet and acknowledgement before drinking/consuming the medicine. A woman in my community uses more than 500 plants for all types of ailments, from urinary infections and anxiety to diabetes and even cancer. And she works with our local regional hospital to provide culturally appropriate health care…alongside the nurses and doctors in acute care. The hospital has successfully blended two approaches to health care – it’s so incredible. Anyway, long comment….I loved the post. Thanks for sharing! Michelle Brass

  3. This post rocked! So interesting and so inspiring. Our minds REALLY DO matter! I wish that every healthcare provider could read a post like this. Then just allow each patient to hold a bit of hope, to know in their minds that they can do anything they want, to help people really heal from the inside out. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Great stories. Very inspiring. My husband was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease last year at the age of 43. His symptoms appeared 8 months after his “perfect storm” of stress: he endured both physical injury, painful surgery, and the loss of his father within a few short months . I have always felt that the manifestation of his symptoms was connected to the extreme stress he experienced. Frustratingly his neurologists just shrug their shoulders at this connection, and reinforce the tired definition of the disease as an inevitably progressive and degenerative. Even when the statistics around a disease don’t look promising, I just wish that Doctors would dash in even just a little hope when announcing a diagnsosis. Even the simple words, “you never know”…when it comes to the possibility of recovery would go a long way.
      Since his diagnosis we have found several stories of people who have recovered from Parkinson’s Disease. They all have written memoirs: John Coleman, Bianca Molle, and Howard Schifke. While they each addressed a number of physical factors, a big part of their recovery involved nurturing their spirits, coming to terms with past events, practicing meditation and moving forward with the conviction that they would get better.

  4. I had an interesting experience once, though it certainly wasn’t a life
    and death one. I was on a business trip in Arizona and we had a free
    afternoon. A couple of colleagues and I decided to go horseback riding
    in the desert, and I scheduled an in-room massage for after the ride
    when I got back to the hotel. We went horseback riding and had fun–it
    was my first time. It was very hot and I was wearing shorts and as we
    walked back to the bus, one of my friends said “Oh, my goodness, look at
    your thigh.” It had a huge, ugly, black, blue, and green bruise running down the inside of my thigh, roughly
    5 inches long and about 4 inches wide, which I’d gotten from getting jostled around on
    the horse. I didn’t have time to thing about it very much because I had
    to get back to my room, and when I got there, the masseur was already
    there waiting. I told him I had to jump in the shower quickly, which I
    did, and scrubbed myself from top to bottom, being careful with the bruise. I then settled onto the
    table. This guy proceeded to give me the best massage I’ve ever had. I
    actually went to a different realm, I was so relaxed. The hour seemed
    like minutes, and I was completely rejuvenated. As we finished up, we
    started chit-chatting and I told him about the horseback riding, and
    then said, “Did you see the bruise I ended up with?” He said, “Yeah,
    that is nasty, I was very careful around it.” I pull the sheet the sheet
    away from my leg to look at it again–and the bruise was completely
    gone. Disappeared. Not even the slightest sign of it. I’m totally convinced I was so relaxed and feeling so good that my body healed itself of that fresh trauma.

  5. I loved this post. I have heard a couple of the stories before but it just reinforces the fact that we have so much control over our health. Our thinking can either make it better or make it worse. Belief is a powerful healer.

  6. The power of belief, and the mind. I had an aunt who ‘against all odds’ lived 12 years longer than her doctors diagnosed. Her body was riddled with cancer. I don’t know all the facts but I remember always looking at her in sheer amazement and the picture of strength. She was a determined lady and she proved to me when I didn’t even understand the power of the mind, just how much control we have within our own lives…staring with a belief.

  7. I hope you don’t mind if I quote you on my web site: http://www.activityismedicine.com designed for seniors to get active and improve their health.

  8. Lissa this is very inspiring! My dad is sick and doctors do not know what it is. He is losing hope and U perfectly understand him. 🙁 But by reading your post, it gives me new hope and yes I agree that the mind can change even the most impossible.

    Mary, https://www.enlightenmentgateway.com/

  9. Thank you so much for posting these stories! I am hungry for more. My husband is suffering from a chronic autoimmune disorder called pemphigus vulgaris that is quite debilitating and potentially fatal. Medications are just band aids and with possible more serious side effects worse than the disease itself. So we are searching for a better way. Thank you for giving and spreading hope!


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