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Volume 4, Pages 913-935
Research Article

Clinical Holistic Medicine: Metastatic Cancer

1The Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2The Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
3Division of Community Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
4Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Academic College of Judea and Samaria, Ariel, Israel
5National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem and Zusman Child Development Center, Division of Pediatrics and Community Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Received 1 June 2004; Revised 5 October 2004; Accepted 6 October 2004

Academic Editor: Hatim A. Omar

Copyright © 2004 Søren Ventegodt et al.


We believe that the consciousness-based/holistic medical toolbox has a serious additional offer to cancer patients and, as a consequence, designed a treatment for the patient with metastasized cancer. From a holistic perspective, cancer can be understood as a simple disturbance of the cells, arising from the tissue holding on to a trauma with strong emotional content. This is called “a blockage”, where the function of the cells is allocated from their original function in the tissue to a function of holding emotions. We hope to be able not only to improve the quality of life, but also to improve survival and in some cases even induce spontaneous remission of the metastasized cancer. This paper describes how work with a patient with metastasized cancer can be done in the holistic clinical practice in 14 days on an individual basis, helping the patient to recover her human character, purpose of life, coherence, and will to live, thus improving quality of life and possibly also survival time. The holistic therapeutic work includes (1) teaching existential theory, (2) working with life perspective and philosophy of life, (3) helping the patient to acknowledge the state of the disease and the feelings connected to it, and finally (4) getting the patient into the holistic state of healing: (a) feeling old repressed emotions, (b) understanding why she got sick from a holistic point of view, and finally (c) letting go of the negative beliefs and decisions that made her sick according to the holistic theory of nongenetic diseases. The theory of the human character, the quality of life theories, the holistic theory of cancer, the holistic process theory of healing, the theory of (Antonovsky) coherence, and the life mission theory are the most important theories for the patient to find hope and mobilize the will to fight the cancer and survive. The patient went through the following phases: (1) finding the purpose of life and hidden resources; (2) confronting denial; (3) taking responsibility for being very ill; (4) severe existential crises with no wish to live while still fighting; (5) integration of many repressed feelings and negative decisions thus rehabilitating character; (6) confronting lack of intimacy and trust in others and this way rehabilitating the ability to love; (7) rehabilitating the will to live, breaking through and falling in love with life; (8) assuming responsibility for the social relations; and sometimes (9) quality of life is improved radically with indications of spontaneous remission of the liver tumors.