What is Spontaneous Healing?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 March 2020
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Spontaneous healing generally occurs when a patient who is deemed beyond all medical recourse makes a full and complete recovery in a manner that most physicians can only describe as miraculous. There have been many documented cases of spontaneous healing in patients struggling with terminal cancer and other severe, incurable ailments. Doctors don't fully understand what causes spontaneous healing, but they believe it may have something to do with a patient's psychological and spiritual state. Patients who experience spontaneous remission of a terminal illness are often patients with a deep spiritual practice. Many physicians believe that these patients also tend to share a deep determination to recover, even after medical science has declared all options exhausted.

Many physicians have advanced the theory that true healing extends beyond the physical realm of the body. Research seems to suggest that strong negative feelings, such as grief, can negatively impact the immune system and damage health. Some physicians have pointed out that the current medical model, which focuses mostly on treating the physical body with medication and therapy, may be missing some of the key holistic components integral to earlier medical traditions.


Research and anecdotal evidence seem to suggest that healing relies not just on physical therapies, but on psychological and spiritual health. Patients who have experienced spontaneous healing often perceive themselves as spiritually unified with a cosmic force sometimes described as the universal mind. Some patients may understand this universal mind to be a deity, but specific religious beliefs are not considered necessary for spontaneous healing to occur. Physicians suspect that the important thing is that patients who undergo spontaneous remission feel themselves as entities connected to a larger, universal whole.

Patients who experience spontaneous remission from a terminal or incurable condition often display large amounts of courage, hope, optimism, and faith. Some physicians have noted that patients who refuse to accept the verdict of medical science, and continue to seek recovery even when doctors have given up, seem more likely to spontaneously recover. These patients are often more likely to take an active role in their own recovery, forming strong relationships with doctors and other health care practitioners, and seeking support from families, friends, and other patients. They may seek out and try unconventional treatment options, or make major life changes, in order to create the best possible environment for recovery. Patients who experience spontaneous healing are believed to be more capable of coping with the grief of serious illness, allowing them to adopt an attitude of serenity that helps boost immune response.


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