A doctor friend of mine once told me a curious story that illustrates how the body’s state of health is based on the mind’s beliefs. This doctor was approached by a sweet little old lady complaining of severe abdominal pains. Upon examination, the doctor concluded that exploratory surgery was indicated, as this unfortunate soul most likely had cancer of the colon.
Upon opening her up, the doctor did indeed find an extremely advanced case of cancer — it had metastasized to several organs and was inoperable. The doctor gave her three weeks at the nost to live. Sadly sewing her up, he debated whether or not to tell her this awful truth. He tried but simply couldn’t force himself to do it; instead, he told her she had only had gallstones, which he had removed. Deeply saddened by the failure of his science, he bade the kind old woman farewell, knowing he would never see her again.
Imagine his amazement when a year later this woman walked into his office, vibrantly healthy, to tell him how alive and happy she had felt ever since her operation! The doctor examined her and found not the slightest trace of the dread disease. Mystified, he asked her if she had any unusual experiences since he had last seen her.
“No,” she replied, “but I must tell you! When I came to see you, I was so afraid I had cancer. When you explained it was only gallstones, I was so relieved and happy that I resolved never to be ill another day in my life.”
A strange coincidence? An unlikely and rare healing without known cause? Most doctors encounter such infrequent events from time to time, but having no physical explanation, they choose to ignore them, filing them under the general catch-all category of “spontaneous (and therefore unexplainable) remissions.”