Beth recently had a cancer scare. She went for an ultrasound of the lumps she’d noticed in her thyroid, and one area looked quite suspicious. The technician gave her a good look at it, greatly enlarged on the screen, and she was pretty freaked out. It reminded her of the irregular, mottled appearance of a skin cancer lesion, and although there was no diagnosis as yet, she felt sure those cells were malignant. A biopsy was scheduled for two weeks later, leaving her to stew in the meantime.
Early in her career as a psychologist, Beth had done training in biofeedback and visualization at a psychiatric hospital. She’d never had such a strong reason to use those skills for herself before, but she remembered everything about how to do it. Holding the ultrasound image in her mind, she visualized macrophages (a kind of white blood cell that engulfs invaders) flooding the area and eating up the errant cells. She kept this up persistently through the next two weeks.
When the time came for the biopsy, the doctor kept painfully stabbing Beth’s throat, ultimately taking five samples, guided by another ultrasound scan. He explained that he had to keep at it because he couldn’t find any of the questionable cells. He couldn’t find anything but…
(Have you guessed yet?)
According to both the biopsy and the new ultrasound image, the lesion had disappeared. Beth sat there, a little nonplussed but pleased with herself, as various personnel peeked into the room to see the miracle patient. She not only allowed but encouraged me to tell this story. What else can we accomplish?