The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday greetings

Happy New Year to all my readers. Please help spread the word that bioenergy therapies can be a blessing to cancer sufferers everywhere, easing pain and improving quality of life. If you are a cancer sufferer or a care giver, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An uphill battle still

Recently I read an article entitled "It takes courage to ‘fight’ cancer; it takes the same to give in" in the Globe and Mail. It was about a conversation overheard in a hospital between an elderly cancer patient and his doctor, in which the patient declined further treatment because it was not doing anything for him and decided to take his chances with whatever fate had in store for him.

Such patients are great candidates for bioenergy treatments, which have no side effects and can be very helpful with palliation and quality of life issues.

I decided to add a comment to the article and say so. When I checked back a few hours later, my comment was at the bottom of the heap, with 18 thumbs down and a few replies saying that I should stay on topic and one with the words "snake oil" in it.

Why so many thumbs down? It causes me pain to know that we have the power to ease the suffering of cancer patients and have no means of reaching them.

Many people commenting on the article applauded the courage of the person who made the decision to stop treatment. Did these same people vote down my suggestion that there was something out there that could help him? In effect, they applauded the person's suffering, but voted down the possibility that it might be alleviated. 

What a strange society we live in.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dr. Kelly Turner on spontaneous remissions

Good news -- spontaneous remissions happen more often than we think. Cancer counselor Dr. Kelly Turner calls them "unexpected remissions" and has written a book about them. The book is scheduled to appear in March 2014 under the title “Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds”. Well worth reading, by the sounds of it.

Update: now you can watch this interview with Kelly Turner.

Monday, December 2, 2013

What cats can teach us about energy healing - Pt. 2

A reminder: cats don't do placebo. If something has an effect on a cat, it is most likely a real effect and has nothing to do with anything the cat believes.

Milton was my friend J.'s cat, an 18-year-old grey tabby with a beautiful face. Early in August J. noticed that Milton was having trouble breathing and she took Milton to the vet. After a battery of tests, including x-rays, the vet returned with bad news: Milton had metastasized cancer, with tumours everywhere including her connective tissue, and fluid in the lungs. The vet aspirated the fluid to make Milton more comfortable and expressed the view that Milton would likely die within the week.

J. phoned me to ask for some energy healing for Milton. I asked her what the intent of the healing should be and she said that given Milton's advanced age (over 100 in human years) I should probably focus on comfort, pain reduction, and an easy passing. The best method for that was Reiki, so I gave Milton Reiki, with the result that she stopped hiding and began behaving more normally again.

Over the next month Milton deteriorated gradually, until by the end of August it looked like she would be passing very shortly. J. had to go to a wedding the last weekend of August and asked me to cat-sit. For the first time ever in a long history of cat-sitting I had to ask the cat owner what I should do if the cat passed away under my care. The solution included the vet, a cat carrier and public transit. It was an alarming prospect and I wasn't comfortable with the possibility of having to deal with it.

When I arrived at the house, Milton was in very bad shape indeed. She lay on her mat breathing heavily. Occasionally she would get up and slowly limp over to her food and water dish, look at them forlornly without eating or drinking, then limp back to her mat. It didn't look good.

I really didn't want Milton to die on my watch. So I gave her two hours worth of energy healing, including a technique specific to cancer that I learned from another friend who had trained with Kurt Peterson. It was intense work, but worth it. The next morning when I got up, Milton was sitting at the foot of stairs waiting for me, noisily demanding to be fed.

After her owners got home, they reported that Milton returned to eating and drinking, and even playing when presented with a catnip-filled toy. She no longer seemed to need her daily dose of morphine. She lived another two months, passing on the first of November.

To the people who now say "but she wasn't cured", I point out that she was 18 years old. Everything must die of something sometime. Healers like Kurt Peterson and Bill Bengston all say that age is a huge factor in openness to healing; at some point the body can no longer bounce back. But still, almost three extra months of life in a cat is a long time. We have seen even longer periods of survival in people. And unlike people, cats cannot be accused of living longer because they fell victim to the placebo effect (some sarcasm intended).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Study finds Reiki is helpful to cancer patients in integrative care

Finally. A study has found Reiki to be helpful to cancer patients in an integrative cancer care setting, with study participants reporting an over 50 per cent decrease in anxiety, distress, pain, depression and fatigue after a single first-time session. The researchers report that
176 (82.6%) of participants liked the Reiki session, 176 (82.6%) found the Reiki session helpful, 157 (73.7%) plan to continue using Reiki, and 175 (82.2%) would recommend Reiki to others.
I have one bone to pick with these findings, and that is in the conclusion stating that "an integrative Reiki volunteer program shows promise as a component of supportive care for cancer patients." Specifically I have an issue with the word "volunteer". It is expected that persons with a skill that can significantly decrease pain, anxiety, distress and fatigue in cancer patients should not be paid for their time and effort. Why? I welcome your comments and observations.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Medical body recommends no routine testing for prostate cancer - is this wise?

A recently published article in the Globe & Mail entitled "Unnecessary medical treatments can hurt budgets and patients too" listed fifteen tests or procedures that the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) now deems unnecessary or potentially harmful.

Among them is the routine prostate exam. The AAFP now recommends that physicians should not "routinely screen for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen test or digital rectal exam [as] evidence shows that routine testing results in more harm than good."

This is a huge change in the course of medical practice. Does it mean that men are now supposed to wait for testing until signs of prostate trouble show up? Wouldn't it be preferable to continue testing but then to watch and wait rather than opt for aggressive intervention? Isn't stopping routine testing a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

In the best of all possible worlds, doctors would continue screening and then send patients for treatment with the Domancic Method of energy healing, which has a protocol that can lower PSA counts. If anyone would like to do double-blind testing on this, Domancic practitioners await your call.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A plea for integrative medicine

I recently read several scathing blog posts lambasting the University of Toronto for allowing integrative medicine into the hallowed halls of its schools of pharmacy and medicine. Judging by the tone of these blogs, you would think the end of world is coming. But to patients who use the medical system every day, it is, in fact, good news.

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (and Wikipedia) describes "integrative medicine" as
the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
Sounds eminently desirable. But to some purists defending the status quo it represents nothing less than a tainting of conventional medicine because it allows "quackery" such as acupuncture, TCM, Reiki or biofeedback through the door. This exclusionary stance is as arrogant as arrogant can be in that it assumes conventional medicine to be the one and only option. If medicine can't help you, the reasoning goes, nothing will.

I will present a case here that shows how much integrative medicine is needed right now to help people who have come to the end of their tether with conventional medicine.

I will call the patient Robert. Two years ago Robert had a bypass. This is the kind of intervention modern medicine excels at, and everyone was glad to see Robert get his pink complexion back after years of looking ashen.The good news, however, didn't last. Robert developed debilitating heart arrythmia. His heart would start racing, and keep racing, for no apparent reason. Robert is not alone in this; many people with bypasses share his problem. He has made numerous trips to the ER and has had further tests and further surgery. He is on medication. All to limited effect. He is getting increasingly frustrated with the medical profession and with what he calls the arrogance of doctors. To me it also sounds like the medical profession is getting increasingly frustrated with him. They've done everything they could and it wasn't enough. Now there is little more they can offer and he serves only as a reminder of their limits.

This is where integrative medicine comes in, or rather could come in, if it were allowed to. Instead of waiting for 45 minutes for a doctor who then sees him for seven minutes, spending 5 of those 7 minutes on the phone, Robert could be sent to someone who would listen to his problem and offer him some comfort. He could be sent for counselling, for meditation training, for Reiki, for biofeedback, for massage or acupuncture, some or all of which would help him at the very least to feel better, or even to take control of his problem. But to the doctors who are treating Robert, these options are not even on the radar.

Stress and a feeling of lack of control are large components in heart disease, so Robert is not being helped and is perhaps even being harmed by the status quo. In effect, his doctors are harming him by keeping him waiting and treating him with what he sees as disrespect. He would very much benefit from a type of medicine that treats the whole person and focuses on the relationship between doctor and patient.

I wonder how many of us know a Robert, or are Roberts ourselves. Kudos to the University of Toronto and to all the other forward-looking and courageous medical schools, hospitals, and treatments centers that recognize the importance of integrative medicine.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eli Lilly announces drug breakthrough for stage-4 lung cancer

Eli Lilly has announced that its new cancer drug for non-small-cell (squamous-cell) lung carcinoma has shown promise in trials for extending the life of patients in advanced stages for this form of cancer, when used in combination with conventional chemotherapy.

This is good news, yes? But nowhere in the article announcing this great news did I see any reference to a time factor. By how long was the life of patients extended? A few weeks? A few months? A few years? In fact the great news seemed to be that Eli Lilly's shares rose in trading as a result of the announcement, which is of little consequence to lung cancer patients, unless they happen to own shares in Eli Lilly.

Reported side effects included a rash (which could be severe) and possible blood clots, including pulmonary embolism. The side effects of the conventional chemotherapy in conjunction with which this drug is to be used are legion. The website collating side effects reports nine deaths directly related to the use of the drug.

I would like to see studies comparing the effectiveness of this drug and its cousins in treating stage-4 cancer against the effectiveness of the Domancic Method, the Bengston Method, and Kurt Peterson's cancer treatments, with respect to both longevity and quality of life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buyer Beware

A few years ago I took a Level II workshop in the Domancic Method in Sarasota with Zoran Hochstatter. The workshop took place in the context of a clinic. It was there that I met Alex, who at the time was helping Zoran. Alex was a quiet young man with a flamboyant healing style. He seemed to especially enjoy "psychokinesis", which is a method Domancic practitioners use to demonstrate the practitioner's ability to affect the patient's body by causing it to bend using only energy. This is something all Domancic students learn on the first day of their Level I workshop.

Alex has a website that recently came to my attention called "Energy Healing for Cancer". He offers private in-person treatments and blocks of long-distance treatments costing thousands of dollars. He also teaches "simple yet powerful techniques" of energy healing, involving protocols, so there is no "guessing work or confusion" -- in short, something very much like the Domancic method.

The private in-person treatments sound quite similar to the ones offered on Kurt Peterson's Cancer Touch website, right down to the price. There is a schedule of cities where treatments will be offered, just like on Kurt Peterson's website. The success rate that is claimed is better than Kurt Peterson's at 80 to 90%, but "These statistics can change due to many causes. There is nothings (sic) that is always fixed."

It may be that Alex is indeed an extraordinary healer. There are a number of testimonials by people who say they have been cured by him on the website, but they all look very similar to me in expression and grammatical structure, as if they had all been written by the same person. It could be Alex recalling individual cases, with endorsement or permission from the individuals involved. But I wondered as I read the site where Alex's statistics came from, and whether he has kept meticulous records, as Kurt Peterson says he does of his own cases. I also note that Alex was likely fresh out of primary school when Kurt Peterson began to work as a healer.

I encourage patients and their loved ones to ask many, many questions from healers whose websites they find on the internet. I have seen what energy  healing can do, and in the hands of a gifted and competent practitioner it can indeed do amazing things. But there are charlatans out there and there are also misguided people who see themselves as more competent than they really are. This is not to say Alex is either, but only to point out that when you encounter someone on a website, you cannot know whether they are the genuine article. So you owe it to yourself to ask many questions before you sign up, even to the extent of asking for references or proof of the claims being made by the healer. It is not a plus in their favour, in my humble opinion, if their website, the services they offer, and their pricing structure mimic someone else's.

The sad truth is that desperate people will go with the practitioner who offers them the most hope and sounds the most certain of the efficacy of his method, as if that somehow guaranteed success. And that is true not only of alternative therapies but also of mainstream ones. In all these cases, alternative and allopathic, there is little downside for the practitioner, who will collect his or her money no matter what happens to the patient. The patient is the one who lives (or dies) with the consequences.

Postscript November 11th 2015: And I note that Kurt Peterson's own website has now gone blank, with only the comment that he is not available for appointments. It is my understanding that Mr. Peterson was involved in a serious accident in the summer.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to be a wise consumer of bioenergy healing workshops

A friend recently had lunch with a young woman from out west who had just taken a 2-day workshop on bioenergy healing which set her back a whopping $1500. After completing the workshop she and her fellow students were told that they would not be allowed to charge for treatments as practitioners until they took the second level workshop, which would cost a further $6000. However, if they acted fast, they could sign up for the second workshop at the (cheap) early-bird rate of $3500.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor I betook myself to my computer, where I googled this workshop provider, a certain Michael D'Alton of Michael D'Alton's School of Bio-Energy Healing. Mr. D'Alton's bio tells us that he learned bioenergy healing at Plexus Bio-Energy in Ireland. If you follow bioenergy healing trends and modalities as I do, you will know that the folks from Plexus Bio-Energy studied the Domancic Bioenergy Healing Method with Zdenko Domancic. They took the Domancic Method back to Ireland and are enthusiastic participants in a movie on Mr. Domancic entitled "Think About It", which can be viewed on YouTube.

Mr. D'Alton offers a series of bio-energy healing courses, for which no price appears on his website. They are, in order of appearance,
  • Level 1 Bio-Inspired
  • Level 2 Bio Body/Mind/Spirit and or Bio-Pro
  • Level 3 Bio-Advanced trainings workshops
  • Level 4a Bio-Teacher L1 training
  • Level 4 Bio-Teacher L2 training
  • Level 5 Bio-Jedi
In my humble opinion, bolstered by 14 years of experience both teaching and learning bioenergy healing, three levels ought to be sufficient to teach any energy healing method. Some enterprising Reiki masters manage to break up the three levels of Reiki into seven, with the price going ever higher with each level, ostensibly to give the student time to absorb and practice the teachings. In my humble opinion, again, that is just not necessary. Bioenergy healing is not that difficult to teach. The student may need time and practice to absorb the teachings, and may need some mentoring, but not to the tune of six or seven levels of the same method, and certainly not to the tune of thousands of dollars.

I perused Mr. D'Alton's website some more. I looked at the testimonials, which were very nice, but not anything terribly special in the world of energy healing, and certainly nothing beyond the capabilities of many talented and diligent Level 1 practitioners of Quantum Touch, the Domancic Method or the Bengston Method. I now have about 20 energy healing workshops of different stripes under my belt and my attitude to anyone who wanted to charge me the kinds of money Mr. D'Alton is charging would be to ask, only half tongue-in-cheek, whether he was proposing to teach me how to raise the dead in his workshops.

Some comparison shopping

There are three types of teachers in the business of energy healing instruction. The first are the founders or "originators", the people to whom the ability to heal came spontaneously and who then developed a system for teaching their method. The second type are their authorized instructors, the people whom they train and appoint to teach their system. The third type are the "aggregators", who learn one or more methods and then proceed to fashion them into something of their own (some of them add "personal development" to the mix as filler, though one could reasonably ask how much personal development one can fit into a weekend dedicated to learning energy healing). I would say that in my experience each method is strongest at the source, so one's best bet is always to learn it from the founder. At this point I wouldn't take a course from an "aggregator" for the very simple reason that by now I may know more than they do. But if you are new to energy healing, and just want to get your feet wet, an "aggregator" could be a perfectly fine choice for you. The question that remains is how much you want to pay.

So with that in mind, let's see what is out there that is comparable to Mr. D'Alton's $1500 two-day workshop.

Level 1 of the Domancic Method, taught in North America by Zoran Hochstatter, now called PureBioenergy, will set you back about $600 for a 3-day workshop. Level 2 will cost you $800.

The Bengston Method, taught by Dr. Bengston (who has healed mice of cancer in laboratory studies), will cost you $300-$350 for a 2-day workshop.

Matrix Energetics, taught by Richard Bartlett, the originator, costs $600 for levels 1 and 2 combined, which is another 3-day workshop.

Quantum Touch, taught by authorized representatives, will cost you $350-$400 for level 1, and $450 for level 2. Or you can learn it on-line with videos of the founder for $67.

Reconnective Healing, levels 1 and 2, taught by founder Eric Pearl and "the Reconnection teaching team", will cost you $657 for a 3-day workshop in the U.S., more in Europe.

And I note that Mr. D'Alton's own teachers in Ireland only charge 350 and 425 euros respectively (approx. $480 and $585) for levels 1 and 2 of their own program. Why is Mr. D'Alton's program so much pricier?

In terms of value, for the amount of money that it costs you to take a 2-day workshop with Michael D'Alton ($1500), you could do two levels of the Domancic Method with Zdenko Domancic's authorized instructor, Zoran Hochstatter; or, you could take level 1 of the Domancic Method and levels 1 and 2 of Matrix Energetics, and throw in a weekend with Dr. Bengston to learn his method; or you could do levels 1 and 2 of Reconnective Healing and Matrix Energetics and still have money left over to do the online course in Quantum Touch.

For the amount of money that it would cost you to take levels 1 and 2 of Michael D'Alton's method, you could probably fly to Slovenia and learn the Domancic Method from the master himself, Zdenko (750 euros for level 1, and 980 euros for level 2), with money left over to do a bit of traveling around Europe.

All these workshops are worthwhile investments, singly or in combination. The different price tags are a reminder that in learning energy healing, as in any other consumer endeavour, it pays to shop around.

Postscript: Recently it was pointed out to me that Mr. D'Alton's method in fact has a lot in common with Pranic Healing, which I hadn't mentioned in this post. Something else to research! For the purposes of this post it is sufficient to note that their healer certification program costs $350, also well short of Mr. D'Alton's $1497.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Some thoughts on Roger Ebert "losing his battle to cancer"

I found this extremely thought-provoking post through Twitter. It was written by Michael A. Wosniak, a cancer researcher, who points out the absurdity of the phrase "lost his battle to cancer". No one is said to lose a battle to heart disease after they die of a heart attack, he points out. When his mother died of respiratory complications from H1N1, no one said she lost her battle to a virus.

I agree one hundred per cent with Dr. Wosniak. This metaphor of cancer as a war that is waged between the disease and the patient has got to go. It does nothing but harm. In a war, there are battlegrounds; in the war against cancer, the battleground is the patient. In a war, anything goes in order to kill the enemy, regardless of collateral damage; in the war against cancer, the collateral damage is to the patient.

We need to find a more useful metaphor, one that gives us new ways of looking at this disease, that will perhaps trigger different, and less harmful, treatments. How about the alternative where we look at the cancer cell as confused? A cell that has lost its connection to the whole that could perhaps be taught to return to normal. A cell that forms in response to environmental stress in an effort to try to ensure the continuity of the organism that could perhaps be taught to die. Any other suggestions?

(BTW I've covered this ground before, in a post called "Is fighting cancer the right strategy?")

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dr. Lissa Rankin interviewed on healing yourself with the power of your mind

TEDx speaker and inspirational doctor Lissa Rankin is interviewed by Lewis Howes about her experience with illness and healing and about the scientific evidence for self-healing.

There is some interesting stuff about the "nocebo" effect starting at 29:30 and how the nocebo and placebo effects work starting at 32:50.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Busting the myth that there are no scientific studies proving that energy healing works

One of my favourite pastimes is to sit at my computer and play with Google. A lot of the time the topics I Google have to do with health and healing, in particular energy healing and cancer. That was how I found Dr. Bill Bengston and his mouse studies way back when in 2007.

My most recent search produced the website of a qigong healer named Brian Brown who has compiled a long list of recent studies on energy healing and cancer, with titles such as
  • Energy Healing for Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Breast Cancer
  • Energy Healing and Medical Qigong for Cancer
  • Medical Qigong for Cancer: A randomized controlled study of 162 cancer patients
  • Treating Cervical Cancer Patients at the University of Iowa using Energy Healing
  • The Use of Energy Healing in Integrative Oncology at the University of Iowa
  • Energy Healing for Pain and Fatigue in Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy
  • Energy Healing Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Migration and Invasion of Breast Cancer Cells
  • Energy Healing Exhibits Selective Cytotoxicity Towards Prostate Cancer Cells and Protective Effects on Normal Cells
  • Effects of Energy Healing on Symptoms of Advanced Cancer
  • Effect of Energy Healing on Viability and Proliferation of Cultured Cancer Cells In Vitro
  • Medical Qigong for Cancer Patients
  • Harvard University Medical School Researchers find that Energy Healing is Cytotoxic to Pancreatic Cancer Cells But Not to Normal Cells
  • Energy Healing Induces Cell Death in Lung Cancer Cells
  • Growth Inhibition of Liver Cancer Cells by Energy Healing
  • The Effect of Medical Qigong on Cognitive Function in Cancer Patients
  • Energy Healing for Pediatric Oncology Patients
  • Qigong for Women Undergoing Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer
  • The Acute Effects of Energy Healing on Symptoms of Cancer
  • The Influences of Qigong on Blood Cell Counts in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Chemotherapy
I recommend visiting Brian's site for the links.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What would your doctor say if you had a spontaneous remission?

All healing is self-healing. The purpose of any health intervention, be it drugs, surgery, acupuncture, chiropractic or energy healing, is to help the body heal itself. When the body takes charge and returns to health on its own when it's not expected to, we call that a spontaneous remission.

Doctors are taught in medical school that spontaneous remissions do occur, but the reasons for them are not explored. Vaguely related to the placebo effect, they are simply not considered to be all that interesting. Defined as miracles, they are thought to belong more in the realm of religion than of medicine.

The most famous instance of a documented spontaneous remission attributed to the placebo effect is that of Mr. Wright, who responded to a fake injection of the experimental cancer drug Krebiozen with not one but two episodes of spontaneous remission. He was expected to die imminently, but after his doctor injected him with Krebiozen, his tumours "melted like snowballs on a hot stove" and he was able to return home from his hospital bed. But when he read in the paper that Krebiozen did not work, Mr. Wright's tumours returned with a vengeance and he succumbed to his illness.

Another case of spontaneous remission from cancer is described in chapter 5 of Leigh Fortson's Embrace, Release, Heal. In this case a young man whom Fortson calls Jeff was sent home to die after his very aggressive cancer invaded his spine and he refused experimental chemotherapy that would have left him paralyzed. Jeff received treatment from a healer named Ben and five weeks later he returned to his doctor cancer free. His doctor's response was a textbook illustration of what physicians do when confronted with a spontaneous remission.

The first response, not unreasonable given the doctor's experience and expectations of the progression of a known disease, is usually "your test results are wrong". "Our (fill in the blank) machine is broken." "The lab made an error." "We'll have to redo the tests." This is what Jeff's doctor said.

If the tests persist in showing the absence of disease, the next step might be "your initial diagnosis was wrong." Because you had a disease that does not normally disappear by itself and it disappeared, that must mean you did not have the disease in the first place. It will be suggested that the initial results on which the diagnosis was based were either wrong or someone else's.

Only if it can be conclusively shown that the initial test results were a) yours and b) not wrong will your doctor consider the possibility of spontaneous remission. But then he or she will likely dismiss it by saying "yes, spontaneous remissions do happen, quite rarely. This must be one of those cases." The next response might be "But we better keep an eye on things, just in case (your disease) returns."

If your "spontaneous remission" occurred in conjunction with you receiving some kind of alternative therapy, your doctor will most likely not want to know about it. The less accepted the alternative therapy is, the less your doctor will want to know. If you had energy healing, for instance, and try to tell him, your doctor will either not hear you or look vaguely uncomfortable and embarrassed as he says "well, whatever you are doing, keep on doing it."

A small minority of doctors will call the remission a miracle. But they will still not want to know how it happened.

Why are we not looking into spontanous remissions?

I am profoundly baffled by medical science's apparent lack of interest in spontaneous remissions. Having a spontaneous remission is the most efficient, natural, painless, cost-effective and side-effect free way of healing. So when an instance of it occurs, rather than brushing it aside saying "these things occasionally happen", why aren't we asking "how do these things happen?" and "how can we make them happen more often?"

The fact that it has happened once already shows that it can happen again. And since it has happened more than once, it is a valid and real phenomenon. There are certain conditions that create the potential for it to happen. So the question is, if we find out what those conditions are, and we recreate them in people who have not yet healed, will we see more spontaneous remissions? Why aren't we looking into this in a systematic way?

My pet theory about energy healing, BTW, is that when it works it does so through a kind of "assisted spontaneous remission", either by balancing energies (as the Reiki folks say) or by kick-starting the immune system (as suggested by teachers of the Domancic Method and by Bill Bengston), or maybe by doing a bit of both. This is something else we should be looking into.