Full text of Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves? By Lissa Rankin at TEDxAmericanRiviera conference.
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Can the mind really heal the body? And if so, is there any scientific evidence to convince skeptical physicians like me?
These are the questions that fueled the last few years of my research and what I discovered is that the scientific community, the medical establishment, has been proving for over 50 years, that the mind can heal the body. We call it the placebo effect. And we’ve been trying to outsmart it for decades.
The placebo effect is a thorn in the side of the medical establishment. It’s an inconvenient truth, that gets in between, trying to bring new treatments, new surgeries into the medical establishment. So it’s a problem. Supposedly.
But I actually think, this is really good news. The placebo effect is excellent news. Because it’s concrete evidence that the body holds within it innate self-repair mechanisms that can make unthinkable things happen to the body.
So, if you find this surprising, if you have a hard time believing that the body can heal itself, you need look no further than The Spontaneous Remission Project, a database compiled by the Institute of Noetic Sciences of over 3500 case studies in the medical literature of patients who have gotten better from seemingly incurable illnesses.
You think there’s such a thing as an incurable illness? I swear, if you go look at this database, it will blow your mind. Everything is in there. Stage 4 cancers that disappeared without treatment. HIV positive patients, that became HIV negative. Heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases, gone.
A great example of this in the medical literature, is a case study from 1957 of Mr. Wright who had advanced lymphosarcoma. So, things weren’t going well for Mr. Wright, time was really running out. He had tumors the size of oranges in his armpits, his neck, his chest, his abdomen. His liver and spleen were enlarged, and his lungs were filling up with two quarts of milky fluid every day that had to be drained in order for him to breathe.
But Mr. Wright wasn’t giving up hope. He had heard about this wonder drug called Krebiozen, and he was begging his doctor, “Come on, just give me some of that Krebiozen, it’s all going to be good.”
Now, unfortunately the Krebiozen was only available on a research protocol and the protocol required that the doctor be able to make an assessment that says that this guy has at least three months to live. And his doctor, Dr. West just couldn’t do that.
But Mr. Wright was tenacious and he didn’t give up. He kept badgering his doctor, until finally his doctor was like, “Okay, fine I’ll give you the Krebiozen.”
So he dosed him up on a Friday, not expecting that Mr. Wright would make it through the weekend. But to his utter shock, when Dr. West came in to do rounds on Monday, Mr. Wright was up, walking around the wards, and his tumors had shrunk to half of their original size. They had melted like snowballs on a hot stove. And 10 days after getting the Krebiozen, they were gone.
So Mr. Wright was up rocking and rolling like crazy and Krebiozen is the miracle drug he believed it to be, for two months, until the initial reports came out about Krebiozen that said that it didn’t really look like Krebiozen was working so well.
Mr. Wright fell into a deep depression and his cancer came back. So this time Dr. West decided to get sneaky, and he told his patient that “You know that Krebiozen that you got, that was a tainted version, really not so good.
But I got us some ultrapure highly concentrated Krebiozen, this stuff’s got it going on.
He then injected Mr. Wright with nothing but distilled water. And once again, the tumors disappeared, the fluid in his lungs went away. Mr. Wright was up rocking and rolling for another two months.
And then the American Medical Association blew it, by publishing on a nationwide study that proved definitively that Krebiozen was worthless.
Two days later, Mr. Wright after hearing this news died.
Soon after that, I came across another study in the medical literature that was the stuff of fairy tales. Three baby girls were born, delivered by a midwife, on Friday the 13th in the Okefenokee Swamp, near the Georgia-Florida border. And the midwife pronounced that these three babies, born on such a faithful day, were all hexed.
The first, she said, would die before her 16th birthday. The second, before her 21st. The third, before her 23rd birthday.
And as it turned out, the first girl died the day before her 16th birthday, the second died the day before her 21st birthday, and the third girl, who knew what had happened to the other two, got wind of that, and the day before her 23rd birthday, she showed up at the hospital hyperventilating, begging them, to make sure she survived. She wound up dying that night.