Everywhere we look there are examples of people recovering from discomfort, diseases and cancer. Sometimes referred to as Spontaneous Remissions. We just have to open our eyes and become aware of them. I believe these examples will answer the question – What can I do to help me recover?
In 1993 The Institute of Noetics decided to research and document as many examples of Spontaneous Recoveries as they could.
In this work, the authors, Caryle Hirshberg and the late Brendan O’Regan, defined spontaneous remission as “the disappearance, complete or incomplete, of a disease or cancer without medical treatment or treatment that is considered inadequate to produce the resulting disappearance of disease symptoms or tumor.”
Because there was no standard reference for the field of spontaneous remission before that time, the Remission Project catalogued the world’s medical literature on the subject and the resulting book was the largest database of medically reported cases of spontaneous remission in the world, with more than 3,500 references from more than 800 journals in 20 different languages.
I would strongly recommend everybody to read the Spontaneous Remission book. You can read it all or pick the chapter that relates most closely to your condition.
This book takes me back to the Thich Nhat Hanh quote I mention in my last post – “Because you are alive anything is possible”
But the clever people at The Institute of Noetics went even further with their research. They looked for similarities in all the people who recovered from their health predicament. They found the most amazing thing and it came down to each of their characteristics.
It is great in its self but what is even better is that each of the characteristics can be learnt by us! My personal opinion is that we develop these to part of who we are on a day to day basis when we are well, rather than waiting until we are poorly. That said I am sure we can still learn and apply them as an when we need them.
So I hear you say, stop waffling on Mark, share them with me already.
OK. Here they are:
- A change from dependency to autonomy combined with activities, attitudes, and behaviors that promote increased autonomy, awareness of themselves, others, and their environment, love, joy, playfulness, satisfaction, laughter, and humor.
- Facing the crisis, the despair, the sadness, and the pain and discovering they have the power to find a new way of life that is fulfilling and meaningful.
- Taking control of their lives, (personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, and medical) and living each day fully combined with a willingness to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes and change old beliefs and attitudes that are no longer appropriate or adequate.
- Becoming comfortable with and expressing and accepting both their positive and negative emotions/feelings, their needs, wants, and desires (physical, emotional, spiritual); the ability to say “No” when it is necessary for their well being.
- Having at least one strong loving relationship—a strong connection to another person, an activity, an organization(s), changing the quality of their interpersonal relationships with spouses, friends, family, neighbors, doctors, nurses, etc. in a positive way, and motivation to help others.
- Working in partnership with their physicians and participating in decisions related to their health and well being.
- Finding meaning in the experience of cancer, finding reasons to live, accepting the diagnosis but not the prognosis, seeing the disease as a challenge, belief in a positive outcome, and having a renewed desire, will and commitment to life.
- Choosing activities and practices that promote increased awareness and reduce stress (imagery, stress reduction, yoga, etc.); showing renewed spiritual awareness (Soul) that often results in a spiritual practice (prayer, meditation, religious affiliation, connection to nature, etc.)
I don’t believe these characteristics are the answer to every cure, but I do think they are behaviours that will give us the best possible chance of survival and recovery.
Please comment below and let me know what you feel about these 8 Characteristics.