Warning Dreams of Cancer: Physical or Metaphorical?
Dr. Larry Burk
February 4, 2016
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Modern medicine emphasizes high tech diagnostic methods such as MRI and laboratory tests with little credence given to intuitive approaches to the acquisition of knowledge about disease. However, dreams have provided useful information in medical diagnosis for centuries, from ancient shamanic traditions to the healing temples of Asclepius. Shamans would dream intentionally for ailing tribal members as well as interpret dreams that occurred during a healing crisis. Pilgrims to Asclepieia would incubate dreams overnight in the temples of Asclepius, the Greek God of Medicine, and report them to a priest the next day.
Recent anecdotal reports of women dreaming their breast cancers led to a survey of 18 women from around the world published by Dr. Burk in the 2015 May/June issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, “Warning Dreams Preceding the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: A Survey of the Most Important Characteristics.” These vivid, extraordinary dreams were described as life changing experiences characterized by a sense of conviction about their importance. In more than half of the cases, the dreams prompted medical attention, were shared with consulting doctors, provided the location of the tumors, and led directly to diagnosis.
Some of the breast cancer dreamers also reported using their dreams for healing during their therapy. As a follow up to this groundbreaking study, additional reports of warning dreams for other types of cancers are being collected for a new book on the subject. Thus far, these dreams include warnings about thyroid, prostate, skin, brain, lung, uterine, colon, and kidney cancers. Hopefully this research will lead to a return of dreams to a position of importance in the holistic medicine of the future. The goal is to inspire everyone to adopt the time-honored habit of keeping a dream diary with the modern option of doing it on a smart phone.
Larry Burk, MD, CEHP, President of Healing Imager, PC, in Durham, NC, specializes in teleradiology, EFT, hypnosis, and dreamwork. He was associate professor of radiology and director of integrative medicine education at Duke University Medical Center from 1998-2004. He was a founding member of the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition and a board president of the Rhine Research Center. His book Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist was published in 2012.
Dr. Burk has given two previous talks at SFF on “Emotional Freedom Techniques for Attracting Abundance in Wealth, Health and Relationships” in 2007 and on “Symptoms as Metaphors: Every Illness Tells a Story” in 2013. He published his paper “Warning Dreams Preceding the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: A Survey of the Most Important Characteristics” in the May/June 2015 issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. A link for the paper is on the homepage at www.larryburkmd.com.