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  • Curing the Incurable

    Exactly how the human body heals in every instance is still a great mystery. Figuring out why some people are cured of terminal illnesses and others are not inspires scientists across the globe. This is especially true for cancer and some viral infections.

    Viruses are incredibly diverse, differing so much that scientists have a hard time categorizing all of them. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) lives in multiple areas of the body. Other viruses like Hepatitis B and C set up house in the liver. Some we can cure like Hepatitis C. Others we can't yet cure like chronic Hepatitis B. And until 2008, scientists and doctors thought it was impossible to cure HIV.

    Only one person in the world has been scientifically documented as cured of HIV. He’s known as the Berlin patient because he was living in Berlin at the time of his cure. He received two stem cell transplants from a donor who has a rare genetic mutation that makes the donor genetically resistant to the virus.

    It’s dangerous to receive a stem cell transplant because it requires first knocking out the entire immune system with chemotherapy and whole-body irradiation. For the Berlin patient, two separate stem cell transplants were used to treat his leukemia; otherwise, he was going to die, not from HIV, but from leukemia. 

    There have been approximately fifteen other stem cell transplants performed in HIV-positive individuals since then in an attempt to replicate the HIV cure. Most of the transplant recipients died. The remaining survivors still have detectable HIV in their bodies. Despite this, scientists and doctors continue their research to decipher all of the variables that led to the lone cure. Their hope is that ultimately their research will translate into a cure for all people with HIV.

    So let's look at how someone may be miraculously cured of a condition that by scientific terms should be incurable. Miracles do occur and are well-documented in the medical literature. There are several well-documented cures of terminal metastatic cancers, even in individuals who opted for no chemotherapy or radiation. Scientists call this spontaneous remission or spontaneous regression. Others call it radical remission.

    I’ve told patients about the existence of spontaneous remission of end-stage cancers, and that it suggests there is a potential to be cured of any disease. After all, it’s been scientifically proven that terminal cancers undergo spontaneous remission and that someone has been cured of an incurable virus. Are these cases rare? Yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that it happens and gives people hope. Hope is a component of expectation, and we know from research that expectation is a big player in the placebo effect.

    Spontaneous remission of end-stage cancers is one of the great mysteries of medicine as it is unexplained by science. Even the single documented cure of HIV hasn’t been fully explained by science because doctors haven’t been able to replicate this cure. The reason we don't know why these cures happen is because there are so many variables that come into play. There are obvious physical variables, and I would argue there are also emotional and spiritual variables. Physical variables include genetic variations, stressors, toxins, nutritional status, lifestyle, and especially the status of the immune system. Emotional variables include beliefs, which trigger emotions, unresolved emotional conflicts, which are often buried in the subconscious mind, and the will to live. 

    The spiritual variable is by far the most controversial. This part of the discussion is philosophical, but an important discussion to have for those who believe in a spiritual component of the human experience.

    What if our higher selves, or souls, make a decision to have certain earthly experiences before we incarnate? This concept makes sense if you believe in reincarnation. The University of Virginia has been studying reincarnation for over 50 years, initiated by Dr. Ian Stevenson, and now being led by Dr. Jim Tucker since the death of Dr. Stevenson in 1997. As psychiatry professors at UVA’s medical school, they have documented many cases of reincarnation so thoroughly that some would say the evidence is irrefutable.

    What if before someone incarnates, his or her soul chooses to have an earthly experience of a terminal illness in that lifetime? The reasons vary from soul to soul but may simply be because he or she wants to have that experience. After all, as a soul, you know that the experience won’t last forever and that it may result in a powerful learning experience. This goes along with a philosophical concept that our souls come to earth to experience growth and transformation through learning. And through our own earthly experiences, we can positively influence the growth and transformation of others.

    Why might someone's soul choose to experience a terminal illness leading to death at a relatively early age? Maybe it was so their loved ones could have the experience of learning to heal from heart-wrenching grief. Or maybe it was so that a loved one they left behind would be inspired to choose a career involving finding the cure for a certain type of terminal cancer. Or so that his or her doctor would be inspired to find a cure for an incurable virus, i.e. the doctor in Berlin who thought of the way to cure HIV by using a stem cell donor resistant to HIV. 

    The reasons are endless, but as long as you view it from the soul’s higher perspective, it makes sense. Since you get to experience multiple lifetimes, you’ll just choose an easier path the next lifetime. Or not, if you are adventurous.

    When a practitioner of the healing arts comes across a patient who has an incurable illness, they have the option of choosing cutting-edge and innovative ways to attempt a cure. But the limiting factor always lies with the patient. Patients may make lifestyle changes and take innovative therapies, but if some don't take steps to heal the emotional conflict that keeps their immune system suppressed through stress, or if they ultimately don't have "the fight" in them or will to live, then no matter how innovative or inspired the practitioner, the patient may not get better.

    Other patients may decide not to take any treatment and set an intention to heal themselves, as in some instances of spontaneous remission of end-stage cancer. So how do they heal themselves? We're not sure, but we do know it requires they activate their inner physician. Research on the placebo effect provides many clues on how we activate our inner physicians through the power of belief.

    Some patients may follow the innovative therapies prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, clean up their emotional body, and have the will to live, resulting in a cure. Variables abound when it comes to healing in each individual.

    What if a patient’s limiting factor for a cure lies at the level of the soul? Did their soul choose to experience an incurable illness that they would ultimately conquer? Or did their soul choose to stay chronically ill until they died at a relatively early age? Why would they choose the latter? So they could learn to heal without being cured in that lifetime. Meaning they wanted to learn how to experience surrendering to "what is" no matter how terrible, but being happy despite that. That is a very powerful experience, but it goes against everything we are taught such as "never give up," and “don't give up the fight." But I ask, “is that always the right thing?” We don't know for sure. 

    Another aspect to consider is that if prior to incarnation, your soul makes the decision to die of a terminal illness in this lifetime. What happens if you change your mind and decide to live? How would you go about reversing course? The way to do this is fairly straight-forward. You meditate with an intention to meet with your higher self and break the contract you established before incarnating.

    You start by explaining in vivid detail to your higher self why it is so important for you to recover from the terminal illness. Maybe your premature death would no longer make sense in the whole scheme of things. What if you had created a course and written a book that included how to survive a terminal illness, and you needed the story of your recovery to document exactly how this is done? There is no better way to teach than through personal experience.

    Or you’ve learned what you needed to learn and now want to live a long life as the that person who experienced powerful growth and transformation on an emotional and spiritual level.

    So after you’ve explained in detail to your higher self why you can no longer fulfill the contract you made prior to incarnation, you must show your higher self that you’ve got a tremendous will to live. Meditate daily on seeing and feeling yourself cured of the terminal illness. Take daily action as if your terminal illness has already resolved. Take steps toward your future such as initiating or continuing projects that will complete themselves in the future. Accept a new job position or a raise with the intention of fulfilling these duties far into the future. Keep the momentum of your life going in leaps and bounds.

    Most important, provide momentum for this course reversal by supplying it with energy in the form of powerful emotions. Be intensely passionate about your decision to break the contract by bringing in high energy emotions about overcoming the illness. Anger can be helpful as long as you channel the anger in a manner that inspires you to overcome the illness. Joy and gratitude are especially powerful emotions for manifesting anything in your life. In your meditations, regularly see yourself being in perfect health while feeling a profound sense of gratitude.

    Some will say this type of instruction is giving people false hope. I argue that there is no such thing as false hope. Hope is hope. And if you don’t have hope for your future, no matter the outcome, your quality of life sucks! in addition, hopelessness creates one of the biggest drains on your energy you can possibly have.

    I’m not asking you to be perfect in this endeavor. No one is ever perfect. Our foibles and follies are part of what makes life so interesting. There will be days where you’ll feel incredibly sad and angry. That’s okay too. Just let yourself feel those emotions so that you properly process them so they don’t get stuck in your body mind. Just remember, you can eventually pull yourself out of an emotional spiral by contemplating the good things in your life, by going out on a long walk in nature, or by snuggling with a loved one on the couch while letting them love on you.

    The process of self-healing is ultimately about striking a balance in your life. It’s definitely not about being in denial and trying to be happy and positive every day. Trying to do that is not being human and will result in failure. Use the techniques described to balance the harsh low energy emotions you’re going to experience in an attempt to maintain the momentum for heading in the direction of healing.

    Curing the incurable is a very complex topic. There is no "one cure fits all,” and there is no panacea that works for everyone. Functional medicine taught me that true personalized medicine helps tease out variables that will be helpful for each individual. An optimal personalized medicine approach requires a thorough evaluation of physical, emotional, and spiritual issues. So if you decide to choose a functional medicine practitioner as part of your healthcare team, makes sure they are comfortable addressing all of those issues.  

    Tackling all of the potential variables of an incurable illness is not for the faint of heart. This is especially true for emotional and spiritual variables, which requires consideration of what is outside the realm of “proven” in the traditional medical model. It is by investigating the unknown and what is deemed impossible where man’s great discoveries are made. A place to start is by acknowledging that a review of the scientific literature shows us that the word “incurable” can sometimes be a misnomer.

    For more information about the miraculous cure of HIV:



    For more information on spontaneous remission:




    For personal stories of radical remission:


    For more information about reincarnation research:




    Keith R. Holden, M.D.