Does Positive Thinking Have Power to Cure Cancer?

Sound too good to be true? Braden doesn't think so. He said all we need is to look at the facts. "If we look at the data, look at the records where the healings are recorded -- video records of cancers healing in less than three minutes and we can see it in real time," he said.

Sounds great, but author Barbara Ehrenreich, who has a PhD in cellular immunology, isn't buying it.

"That's crazy," said Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed." "There is no reason on earth that you could cure your own diseases through some quantum effect of your thoughts. It's not possible."

Ehrenreich said there was no evidence to prove that positive thinking or quantum mechanics could cure oneself of anything.

Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. She said she was bombarded with messages that argued her attitude was linked to her prognosis.

She researched the supposed connection between positive attitude and cancer survival during her own bout with breast cancer.

Ehrenreich used her findings to author "Brightsided," a book criticizing the self-help movement.

"Studies pretty much put to rest the idea that a positive attitude has any effect on recovery from breast cancer, lung cancer, and neck cancer," she said. "There are studies that will even show that pessimism, or a somewhat more negative and critical view of the world, is better in terms of being able to cope."

Is Positive Thinking a Bad Thing?

Ehrenreich conceded that science has a lot to learn about the so-called mind-body connection. However, she and other critics warn that relying solely on positive thinking can be damaging and dangerous.

Beckwith said that it is not simply positive thinking he and other self-help healers are promoting. "We advocate people to develop the right condition within themselves, which is prayer, meditation, exercise, proper diet, and checking in on yourself," he said.

Like many gurus who have appeared in "The Secret," Beckwith backs away from a strict interpretation of the power of positive thinking, dubbed "The Law of Attraction" in the movie.

Beckwith said that his intent is not to sell the idea that you can get whatever you want by thinking about it.

"Having a vision is one of the first stages," he said. "It's not magical thinking. You have to walk in that direction."

This latest presentation of the Beckwith's ideas seems to stray from the message "The Secret" heralds, that thinking in a positive way is the sole means to getting what you want.

Here Beckwith is saying first people think, and then act. "'The Secret,' as the movie, I think was an entry level into this way of thinking," he said.

On closer inspection, the same dialed-down language should be used to describe Trent Aaron's "miracle cure:" James Ray may have fixed his attitude, but it took four surgeries to fix Aaron's back.

According to Aaron, "It was the thinking that led me to the doctor, that led me to the idea that I could be healed and play tennis again," he said.

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