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Top Takeaways From The Book 'Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Can Make A Real Difference'

Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Physician and New York Times bestselling author By Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Physician and New York Times bestselling author
Lissa Rankin, M.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of "Mind Over Medicine," "The Fear Cure," and "The Anatomy of a Calling." She is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers like Esalen and Kripalu.
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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 3,500 case studies published in 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, a gunshot wound to the head, and HIV.

The question 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. Kelly's research has been ongoing, but there's a lot included in her book Radical Remission: The Nine Key Factors That Can Make A Real Difference.

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.

Real stories of remission

There is much to appreciate and admire about Radical Remission, but some of its most remarkable elements are the stories of people who have been cured from Stage 4 cancers.

Take Matthew, for example, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at age 27. He had tried everything Western medicine had to offer and his doctors had given up and turned him over to Hospice care. With nothing left to lose, Matthew decided to embark upon a spiritual adventure, so his friends and family all donated money to send him to see the healer John of God in Brazil.

Once he was in Brazil, after waiting in line to see the healer, Matthew shared his desire with John of God: to be healed of his brain cancer. After having his energy field read and being given a burst of healing energy, Matthew was instructed to start taking energetically infused passionflower herbs every day and to meditate daily in the main meditation room with John of God. Only about a hundred people are invited at a time to meditate in the main room, where a strong current of energy is believed to course through the room.

Most people only see John of God for a short period of time, but Matthew was told to stay in Brazil until he was fully healed, and since he had no more options back home, he decided to stay. After two years of spiritual practice with John of God, he was told to go to a hospital and get an MRI. Before the results came in, Matthew knew his tumor was gone. The MRI confirmed that he had been cured. Matthew spent the next two years volunteering in Brazil to help others going through their own healing process.

Radical Remission doesn’t make any unrealistic claims, suggesting that if people follow the 9 tips shared in this book, their cancers will go away. But it does make a case for ensuring that any cancer treatment include not just surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but also the essential “treatments” that these remarkable patients embraced in their own healing journeys.

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9 key factors of radical remission

So what were the nine key factors that these patients with radical remissions employed? Here's what Turner's book outlines:

  1. Radically changing your diet.
  2. Taking control of your health.
  3. Following your intuition.
  4. Using herbs and supplements.
  5. Releasing suppressed emotions.
  6. Increasing positive emotions.
  7. Embracing social support.
  8. Deepening your spiritual connection.
  9. Having strong reasons for living.

Turner goes into much more detail about these in the book. In fact, each factor has its own chapter, as well as stories of how patients used these factors to participate in their healing journey.

It's about prevention, not just treatment

Radical Remission is worth reading, not just for cancer patients and those who love them, but for anyone interested in cancer prevention. Turner’s research is observational data, meaning that we can’t prove that these factors caused the cancer remissions. We can only observe that these patients shared these life changes in common.

But shouldn’t we consider making these kinds of changes anyway? Why wait until we get cancer? Why not be proactive now?

Radical Remission offers practical tips for how to make such changes, whether you’re dealing with cancer or trying to prevent it.

Let me say again that nobody is suggesting that cancer patients shouldn’t get conventional medical treatment. But let’s not stop there. Let’s do everything we can to optimize the chance for cure by combining conventional treatment with the kinds of mind-body approaches I share in Mind Over Medicine and Turner shares in Radical Remission. With this kind of Whole Health approach, we can rest easy, knowing that we’ve done everything possible to optimize health outcomes.

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