Spontaneous Remissions – Fact or Fiction?

Dr Jeffrey RedigerSpontaneous Remissions – Fact or Fiction? The American Dictionary of Psychology describes spontaneous remission as “a reduction or disappearance of symptoms without any therapeutic intervention, which may be temporary or permanent. It most commonly refers to medical, rather than psychological, conditions”.

Medical students are taught that accounts of spontaneous remissions or ‘medical miracles’ are flukes, or anecdotes… or at best, attributed to some kind of ‘placebo’ effect.

But are they?

Spontaneous Remissions – Fact or Fiction?

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to some leading researchers and thinkers in the field of spontaneous remissions, medical miracles and placebo science, and mind-body medicine a young, well-loved doctor, Rupy Aujla, who has himself experienced, as William Shakespeare wisely wrote…

…. more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science].

– Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio.

Dr Jeffrey Rediger

Dr Rediger has gravitas: he is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Medical Director for the McLean SouthEast Adult Psychiatric Programs; has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary; publishes in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and spirituality; is a TEDx Speaker; and the author of “Cured: The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing.

I’m really excited to share Dr Rediger’s work with you here since he is absolutely on my page when he talks about the Four Pillars of Healing and Well-Being:

  • healing with nutrition
  • healing the immune system
  • healing our stress response
  • healing our beliefs and identity

Dr Rupy Aujla

And there’s more… I’m very pleased to share Dr Rupy Aujla’s (The Doctor’s Kitchen) podcast with Dr Rediger, in which they talk about the spontaneous remissions or ‘medical miracles’ that Dr Rediger has been studying for over 15 years.

Rupy says:

Conventionally ignored by the scientific literature as outliers, anomalies or likely a result of misdiagnosis, Dr Jeffrey decided to dedicate a large part of his career studying these cases in the hope of trying to find out if there is anything we could learn from them. What he revealed is a fascinating collection of stories that has changed his thinking on medicine and how we practice. 

It could be the revolution in medicine many patients and doctors are crying out for. Rather than adding legitimacy to those trying to exploit people’s hope and belief, Dr Jeffrey sees a new way of examining unusual cases of remission through the lens of science.

Listen to the full podcast here

Their discussion covers:

– The placebo effect

– How belief plays into remission

– Putting the body into a “Healing Mode”

– Why love, compassion and kindness are key to health and longevity

– Negativity bias

– The accidents of biology and how they lead to the secrets of health

– Flexing your Vagus Nerve

– The 4 pillars of healing – Immunity, Stress, Identity, Nutrition

Dr Jo Marchant

Dr Jo Marchant is a PhD in genetics and medical microbiology (St Barts Hospital Medical College, London) and MSc in Science Communication (Imperial College, London). She is also an award-winning science journalist and past editor at New Scientist and Nature and author of Cure – a Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body, and a TEDx Speaker.

While we know mind and body are entwined, the idea of “healing” thoughts and beliefs is seen as flaky in the extreme. Recently, however, serious scientists from a range of fields have been uncovering evidence that the mind plays a crucial role in health.

Our thoughts, emotions and beliefs, it seems, can ease pain, heal wounds, fend off infection and heart disease and even slow the progression of AIDS and some cancers.

So what is the potential of the mind to heal – and what are its limits? In Cure, I travelled the world to meet the physicians, patients and researchers on the cutting edge of this new world of medicine.

– Dr Jo Marchant

You can view Jo’s 2019 TEDx Talk here:

Dr David Hamilton

David has a PhD in chemistry and spent 4 years as a scientist with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. It was during this time that David became fascinated by the placebo effect – how people receiving fake drugs often benefit as much as people receiving real drugs. Inspired by this effect, he resigned from the job and began teaching people about our capacity to harness our mindsets to benefit our health.

Some people use daily affirmations to keep their minds positive. For example, a well-known affirmation created by French psychotherapist Emile Coué reads: “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.” Studies have revealed that such positive affirmations are enough to strengthen the immune system. 

David Hamilton, It’s the thought that counts

David’s many books discuss placebo, mind-body medicine, healing visualization, quantum field healing, kindness, self-love and destiny vs free will.

You can view his presentation How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body (Change Your World Conference 2017) here:

Spontaneous Remissions – Fact or Fiction?

Dr Jeffrey Rediger says emphatically:

If the mind can help an incurable illness, the implications for both psychology and medicine are huge.  It’s also true that the deeper roots of illness are unmapped by science. After seeing similar patterns over and over, I can say with certainty that these are not flukes or anecdotes. There’s nothing “spontaneous” about spontaneous remission.

Resilient health is holistic health…

Our health is in our hands … WE make the decision to create the lifestyle changes that bring energy, vitality and resilient health… so let’s take the first step, however small, and walk purposefully and consistently towards those goals.

This post is part of the Immune Resilience Series – with this series, I’m making a commitment to my subscribers to provide helpful, evidence-based information and insights into what we can do with nutrition and lifestyle medicine to build immune resilience – the capacity of our immune system to respond to external challenges (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and return to a healthy state of wellbeing.


Our risk for contracting communicable diseases like the Covid-19 virus increases when our immune system is weak and a weakened immune system is largely the result of a less-than-optimal diet and an unsupportive lifestyle.

Even as we are experiencing this current crisis, we are also seeing underlying epidemics of chronic diseases of every kind – diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, degenerative, digestive and autoimmune disorders across the globe. These conditions too, are largely diet and lifestyle-driven and they are preventable.

We need to act now

We have robust science to show us that what we eat has never been more important for our health and, because all life is inextricably connected, for our planet. The Real Food Solution will help you to discover the power of real food as medicine for better health.. for you and for our planet.

Crises like Covid-19 are a test our humanity… let’s stop queuing up for loo rolls and start creating a strong, resilient foundation of immune health… together.

Stay safe, stay informed and get empowered, Izabella.

Order your copy today!


The Real Food Solution

Izabella Natrins

I'm here to inspire and support women at midlife and beyond to re-ignite purpose and meaning to take back control of their health and create the radical, resilient heath they want and deserve. As a whole-health expert with over 30 years experience in the field, a qualified Health and Wellness Coach and Ballymaloe-trained nutritional chef, my real food nutrition and lifestyle medicine programmes support women fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues. As an advocate for real food nutrition, regenerative agriculture and whole-health, my book 'The Real Food Solution' is an evidence-based treasury wisdom for energy, vitality and better health for people and planet and a call to action to change the way we grown, source and cook our food. As the CEO at The UK Health Coaches Association, I'm proud to continue the task of leading the first professional association for Health and Wellness Coaches in the world and the gold standard for the UK and Ireland.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my periodic emails to receive interesting, relevant and informative content, news, research, advice, tips and more.

As a 'Thank You' I'll send you a FREE pdf with great advice and information on reducing the toxic load of your home and other simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health.