[I have known Marc Wolff for many years now and I am thankful to have had him as a friend. I learned much from him over the years,  especially his "Care of the Cancer Patient" seminars and workshops.  Several years ago, a woman heard a story about me at a hypnotherapy conference.  The presenter got some of the facts wrong and based on that report, she said that she thought what I had said and done was unethical.  I was not at that conference, but Marc responded to her accusations and gave her the factual account of what had happened.  Sometimes after that encounter with Marc, the woman saw me and apologized to me for the accusation that I had acted inappropriately.  (Interestingly  enough, I now consider that woman to be one of my best friends in the hypnosis field.) I will always cherish Marc standing up for me because he knew the true story of the incident. Marc Wolff Died in 2001. Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D.]

Many times we hear that in order for someone to control pain with hypnosis they need to go into a deep state. If they are not a "good hypnotic subject," they can not be helped with hypnosis. Is this true? Of course not. In fact you can achieve pain control without a formal induction

Have you ever seen a young child crying because they fell and hurt themselves? How often did you see a parent say, "I'll kiss it and make it better?" Did the pain go away? Why? Because at that young age children believe everything you tell them. As the Hilgards discovered, the unconscious is aware of the pain but blocks that feeling to the conscious mind.

Almost everyone has experienced distraction as pain relief. Here is an example in everyday life. You're in pain and the phone rings, while on the phone you forget about the pain. After you hang up, you remember the pain.

If you don't need depth to control pain, why use hypnosis? Because sometimes hypnosis is needed.

To be able do pain-control work, it is necessary to understand what is pain. There many pain theories, specificity theory, pattern theory, gate control theory, motivational-affective system, etc. But they are still theories. We have acute pain and chronic (intractable) pain. Pain has been described as a chemical irritant of nerve endings. Pain has also been described as where it hurts. But all pain is a perception, the way the brain and mind interpret the message from the nervous system. This is why hypnosis can be very effective in controlling pain.

There are many ways to change perceptions. We can use imagery, parts therapy, or any other method you feel would be effective. I like to use a method I call "conversations with the mind." I explain to the mind the changes I want and ask it to carry out my request. The mind can answer using ideomotor response.

Case Study Number I: Hal Wilson was going into the hospital for a bone marrow harvest. He was told that this was a very painful procedure and that he would be given general anesthesia, but when he regained consciousness he would be in severe pain. I asked him if he wonted the pain and he replied, "No." 1 said, "Then don't have the pain." I then hypnotized him and using ideomotor response, 1 asked the unconscious mind to eliminate the discomfort from the procedure. The mind said it would. I replied, Thank you!" The patient responded that when he awoke in the recovery room, he asked the nurse when they were going to operate. The nurse replied, "We already did." Hal then looked at the bandages and said, "I don't feel any pain." When they took him back to his room, he got off the cart and walked to his bed without any discomfort at all.

Case Study Number 2: Mary Hall had a wrist broken in 10 places. She had severe pain in the wrist for over one year. Physical therapy was very painful. In this case I also used ideomotor response. After hypnotizing Mary I asked her unconscious mind if it was aware of all the discomfort Mary had in the wrist. It replied it was. I then asked if this discomfort was needed for Mary's wellbeing. It replied, "No!" I then asked the mind if it would please eliminate the discomfort. The mind replied it would, and I said, "Thank you." When Mary returned to conscious alertness, she was able to move the wrist without discomfort.

Case Study Number 3: Bob Kinney was suffering sever leg pain. The doctors had no idea what was causing his discomfort. He had been to many different specialists with no improvement. Not only was he unable to, walk more than a short distance, the pain would awaken him from his sleep. Again, using ideomotor response, I asked the unconscious mind if the discomfort was needed. The reply was, "No." I then asked it to eliminate the discomfort, which it did. The patient reported that the discomfort went away but occasionally it would return in a milder form. I instructed the patient if the discomfort returned, just say, "Go away, I don't want the discomfort." Bob reported that this command worked successfully.

When using ideomotor response, be wary of fabricated movement by the conscious mind. The patient may be consciously given the answer he think you want. True unconscious ideomotor response is always repetitive and sometimes hardy visible.

Before doing any pain control work, always get permission from a physician. We don't want to mask signs needed for diagnosis. Another thing to check if you are dealing with chronic pain is the benefit the patient is receiving from the pain. There usually is a benefit. In treating pain, I always ask for the discomfort to be removed not the pain since pain may be needed in that area in the future. You'll find that working with pain control is fun and easy.


Definition of Cancer: Cancer is not an overpowering infection. A cancer begins with a cell that contains incorrect genetic information. This can be caused by external sources or because the body in the process of reproducing billions of cells will occasionally make and imperfect one. If this cell reproduces other cells with the same makeup, then a tumor begins to form composed of these imperfect cells. Normally, the body's defenses, the immune system would recognize these cells and destroy them. At a minimum they would be walled off so they could not spread.

In the case of cancer, sufficient cellular changes take place so that they reproduce rapidly and begin to spread to adjoining tissue. There is normally a form of "communication" between normal cells that prevent them from overproducing, the malignant cells are so disorganized that they do not respond to the communication of the cells around them, and they reproduce rapidly. The body normally destroys them, but if it doesn't, the tumor may begin to block proper functioning of body organs. In severe forms of cancer, malignant cells break loose from the original mass and are transmitted to other parts of the body. The breaking off and spreading is called "metastasis."

In other words, cancer is a disease of the immune system. The immune system is not doing it's job. In their book "Getting Well Again," the Simonton express their belief that a stressful event six to eighteen months prior to the onset on cancer weakened the immune system to the point it was unable to successfully fight the cancer.

Definition of Mind-Body Healing: Ben Franklin said, "God heals, physicians collect the money." What did he mean? The body is a self healing mechanism. The body repairs itself. Doctors don't heal. Only 15% of all prescription drugs heal. If we assume the body has the power to heal, why doesn't it do it all the time? The complex system we call our body works so well, there must be a controller keeping tabs on what is happening. We call the controller the unconscious mind. Therefore, if the body is not functioning properly, the unconscious has the ability to correct the problem. Out job is to get it to do it's job.

Why use Mind-Body Healing: Since ancient times, healers have been aware of the effects of our beliefs upon our well being. This beliefs, conscious or unconscious, can evoke real physiological responses in ourselves. Records written around 1500 B.C. indicate the practice of using incantations and rituals to facilitate healing in an altered state. In the middle ages, "healing touch" was used to evoke cures. The works of Mesmer and those that followed used suggestions to effect healing. Their discoveries led to the research that has shown the positive results of using the mind to assist healing. This treatment is no t a substitute for medical treatment. The patient should be seeing his /her physician on a regular basis. This is an adjunct treatment.

The Initial Interview: The initial interview is most important in working with a cancer patient. First and foremost is why is the patient there. Don't assume the reason is to eliminate the cancer. The patient may just want a better quality of life for his/her remaining days. It is not our job to change their desires.

Find the benefit to the cancer. There is almost always a benefit. The patient must be willing to give up the benefit or be able to give up the cancer while keeping the benefit. This is very important. I had one patient that was not willing to give up the cancer because the benefit (not having to work)was too important to her.

Explain Simonton's theories of cancer.

The patient must believe that he/her can recover from the cancer. (See number 4 in the pre-talk script.) The patient and yo u must have this belief if the treatment is to succeed. Work on this before deciding on treatment.

Deciding on treatment: If all the patient wants is a better quality of life, work on that. If the patient wants to recover then the first thing is to convince the patient that he/she can sunrise. Once this is done, the actual treatment can begin. If there are side effects from the medical treatment work on them. The success of this will increase the patient's belief in the treatment. After convincing the patient that he/she can recover, next work on removing the negativity that caused the weakening. Then work on improving the immune system to clean the body of cancer.

Methods of treatment: Scripts 1, 1-A, & 2 or similar can be used to help the patient believe in recovery. Ideomotor response or parts therapy can also be used for this purpose. After making sure the patient has the desire to live and the belief he/she can survive, you can start dealing with the cancer. To improve the immune system, you must remove the negativity associated with the weakening of the immune system. I recommend using regression therapy. To release the negativity the conscious mind does not need to know the cause. The unconscious can release the negativity on its own. You will see the signs of the release, usually crying or a very sad expression. Methods of dealing with the cancer include visualizing the white cells in an attack form attacking the cancer (See script 3), visualizing the cancer going into remission, ideomotor response, and parts therapy

I have found that the use of ideomotor response to be very effective in dealing with the cancer, the side effects of treatment, and with pain. If you are not familiar with ideomotor response, I recommend reading 'Mind-Body Therapy"by Rossi & Cheek Using ideomotor response, speak the unconscious and tell it what changes are wanted. If you do not get a positive reply, question the mind until you find out the problem. When you do get a positive reply, get a firm date for it to be accomplished. Next week or six weeks etc. is not a definite date, Tune loth isD The mind tends to procrastinate so this is very important. Almost all treatment can use this process For instance, a patient going in for a bone marrow was told that the procedure would be very painful. It would get general anesthesia but would be in pain when he awoke. Using ideomotor response, I asked the mind to eliminate any discomfort from the procedure, it replied that it would, The patient did not feel any pain from the procedure. This same process worked with the treatment of side effects of treatment and for the remission of the cancer.

Parts therapy can be used in the same way as ideomotor response. Always thank the mind for it's cooperation.

Dealing with physicians: Always advise the patient's physician about the treatment your are giving his/her patient. Make sure he /she understands your treatment is adjunct therapy and is not replacing medical treatment. When the physician understands you are making his /her job easier, you will get cooperation.

Getting Referrals: Use your patients to tell his /her physician the benefits of your treatment. Also have them tell their local chapter of the American Cancer Society or any other support group they are associated with. Speaking engagements at these groups will expose you to nurses and they will tell the physicians about. This will get you referrals.

CANCER PRE-TALK: The pre-talk is the most important part of the session when working with cancer patients. I do most of my suggestions during the pre-talk (waking hypnosis) and just use the hypnosis session to reinforce these suggestions. I breakdown the pre-talk into different parts:

1. Question:

a. Ask the patient if he / she wants to live and respect the answer. My first patient wanted to die. All she wanted from me was relief from pain.

2. Explanation of cancer:

a. What is cancer? Cancer is a weak confused cell out of control. Normally, our immune system destroys the se cells. In a cancer patient, the immune system for some reason is not destroying the cancer.

b. Simonton's theories. Oncologist O. Carl Simonton believes some stressful event caused damage to the immune system allo wing the cancer to spread. By strengthening the immune system, the body can destroy the cancer.

c. Give example of how the immune system affects cancer. I use the example in Simonton's book, "Getting Well Again." Here explains how a man received a transplanted cancerous kidney and the cancer spread rapidly. When the doctors realized what happened, they took him off immune suppressant drugs and the cancer disappeared. They kidney was then removed and the man was cancer free.

3. Hypnosis is not a substitute for medical care:

a. The patient must continue seeing their oncologist. This is very important. The patient must understand hypnosis is an adjunct therapy only.

4. Convince the patient the he /she can recovery from the cancer.

a. The patient must believe that he / she can recover. It is almost impossible to have success without this belief. Emphasize with the statement, "Beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies."

b. Explain the power of the mind. I use several quotes: Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." Henry Ford -- "If you think you can or you think you can't you're right."

I also use the story of Mr. Wright: Mr. Wright had far advanced lymphosarcoma. All treatment had become ineffective. He had tumors the size of apples littering his neck, armpits, gro in, chest and ab do men. His spleen and liver were enormously enlarged. The thoracic lymph duct was swollen do sed, and one to two quarts o f liquid had to be drained from his chest each day. He had to have oxygen to breath, and his only medicine was a sedative.

However, Mr. Wright still had hope. He'd heard of a new drug called Krebiozen, which was to be evaluated at the hospital in which he was a patient. He didn't qualify for the program, because the experimenters wanted subjects with a longer life expectancy than he had. Wright begged so hard, however, that they decided to give him one injection on Friday, thinking he would be dead by Monday.

On Friday, he was febrile, gasping for air, completely bedridden. Monday, he was walking around the ward, chatting happily with everyone he could. None of the other patients showed any improvement. The tumor masses had melted like snowballs on a hot stove, and in only these few days, they were half their original size! He had no other treatment outside of the single useless 'shot.'

The injections were then given three times weekly. Within 10 days he was able to b e discharged from his "deathbed practically all signs of the disease having vanished in this short time. The "terminal"patient gasping for his last breath through an oxygen mask a short time ago was now breathing normally. Fully active, he took o ff in his own plane and flew at 12000 feet with no discomfort."

`...Within two months, conflicting reports about Krebiozen began to appear in the news, all of the testing clinics reporting no results...This disturbed Mr. Wright considerably... He was logical and scientific in his thinking, and he began to lose faith. After two months of practically perfect health, he relapsed to his original state and became very gloomy and miserable ."

When he went back to the hospital the doctor told W right that there was a new version of Krebiozen. He was told he would get a new super refined double-strength version. This caused Mr. Wright to regain hope and a positive expectation.

This time the doctor injected him with water. Recovery was even more dramatic than the first time. Tumor masses melted, chest fluid vanished, he had be come ambulatory, and even went back to flying again. At this time he was certainly the picture of health. The water injections were continued, since they worked such wonders.

5. Explain the treatment.

a. Explain what you are going to do. I say at the first visit that they must believe that they will recover and that is what I'm going to work on.

b. On future visits I explain what I'm going to do in that visit. (Such as visualization, or regression therapy, or talk to the unconscious to get it working in the right direction.

6. Demonstrate the Power of the unconscious mind.

a. Use chevreul's pendulum test.

b. Other tests you can use are the hand drop test, the hand clasp test or any other test you are familiar with.

7. Remove all fears of hypnosis. I demonstrate hypnosis by asking them to put feet flat on the floor, hands on their lap, eyes closed, take three breaths, then stand on their head and whistle 'Dixie." When the y don't whistle I say,'You didn't whistle because it was a ridiculous suggestion, but you put your feet flat on the floor, you put your hands on your lap, you closed your eyes, and you took three deep breaths. Why? Because they we re reasonable suggestions. That's the way hypnosis works, I can't make you do anything you don't want to do, but if the suggestions are reasonable, you will accept them.

8. Waking hypnosis. Make any suggestions as to what you want the patient to do.

9. Hypnosis. Proceed with the hypnosis.

Cancer Script #1: Now that you have permitted yourself to be hypnotized, you have shown your desire to get rid of all the cancer in your body, to have a healthy, vigorous body. Being in a relaxed hypnotic state causes your body to relax, enabling the body to function in a more productive way. This allows the healing functions of your body to work more efficiently. Your conscious mind continues to relax, to drift off someplace else entirely now. The unconscious mind will hear and receive all that I tell you.

Your unconscious mind knows what caused the weakening of the immune system. What happened that allowed to cancer to grow. Now your unconscious mind will begin to review and examine the information that's in it's storehouse, to find the cause of the cancer and what to do to correct the problem. The unconscious mind will work out a plan to cleanse the body of cancer, destroying the cancer and eliminating it through the normal elimination systems of the body.

See your self free of cancer and what that means to you. Enjoy the wonderful feeling you get when the doctor tells you the cancer is in remission. Hear your friends and family telling you how happy they are. You can already feel the pleasant changes taking place in your body as the immune system gets stronger and stronger. The unconscious mind is already making positive changes in your body. You will not get rid of all the cancer at one time. You will get rid of some today, more tomorrow, more the next day and so on until you are cancer free. Enjoy the wonderful healing taking place in your body.

The healing processes of the body are controlled by the unconscious mind, therefore the more positive your unconscious mind becomes, the healthier your body becomes.

Happy people are healthy people. Your attitude toward yourself is one of the most important factors in you health and therefore in defeating the cancer. Feel good about yourself. Have confidence in your ability to defeat the cancer. You are now developing a happier attitude, creating greater- self confidence and self esteem.

Know that every day in every way you are getting better and better. You have the ability to defeat your cancer and your unconscious mind is directing your body to cleanse the body of cancer.

All the suggestions I have given you are now being completely implanted in your unconscious and will remain there as long as they are useful to you. These suggestions are getting stronger and stronger with every breath you take, with every beat of your heart.

Cancer Script #1-A: You have the power to make changes within your body. You are the master of your bo dy. The power to heal is already available to you. In a relaxed state it is easier to learn how to use this power. Your immune system is capable of eliminating the cancer in your body/ You know the body knows how to heal cuts, bruises, scrapes, broken bones and infections. Ben Franklin said, "God heals, physicians collect the fees."Now is the time to tell your body to heal.

Now relax, and go even deeper as your unconscious mind starts to make the changes needed to rid the body of cancer. A sense of calmness is spreading through your body. Continue to feel the calmness and tranquility as the healing process increases. Feel the sense of well being now spreading through the body.

See yourself free of cancer. Hear your friends and family telling you how happy they are now that you are getting better. You will not get rid of the cancer all at once. You will get rid of some to day, more tomorrow more the next day and so on until you are cancer free.

Feel good about yourself. The better your attitude toward yourself, the better you will be. Have confidence in your ability to defeat the cancer. Yo u are now developing a happier attitude, creating greater self confidence and self esteem.

Imagine yourself cancer free. See yourself cancer free. Your immune system has eliminated the cancer. Feel good.

All the suggestions I have given you are now implanted in your unconscious and will remain with you as long as they are useful to you. These suggestions are getting stronger and stronger with every breath you take, with every beat of your heart and are becoming your new habits for health.

Cancer Script #2: Napoleon Hill stated, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve."..... Henry Ford stated, "If you think you can or if you think you can't, you're right."..... What they mean is, if you believe you can do something, you can.

You have the ability to overcome your cancer,...... the ability to strengthen your immune system...... You have the right to a healthy body. Your body was created to be healthy.... If you cut your skin, it heals....If you bruise, it heals....broken bones heal.....It isn't the medicine that does the healing, the body heals itself.

The body has all the materials it needs to heal itself..... It knows what to do to keep you healthy..... Your unconscious mind controls all of your body functions..... It keeps your heart beating,.... it controls your breathing....It knows how to separate food from waste products,.... it knows how to keep your blood circulating.... and it knows how to keep your immune system functioning properly to destroy and eliminate all the cancer cells in your body.

Studies have shown that the unconscious mind controls all the body functions.... Research also shows that negative thoughts or ideas can go into the mind and cause the body to develop illness or disease. They call this psychosomatic illness....However, positive thoughts or ideas can cause the body processes to function Properly and heal any kind of illness or disease.

Hypnosis allows you to give positive information to your mind to cause your body to function more effectively. This allows you to get rid of your cancer.

Your unconscious mind is directing your immune system to destroy all the cancer cells within your body.....and eliminate them through the normal elimination processes.

See your self free of cancer....Enjoy the feeling of being healthy...Hear your friends and family telling you how happy they are that you succeeded in overcoming cancer....let that wonderful feeling spread throughout your body.

All the suggestions I have given you are now being completely implanted in your unconscious and will remain there as long as they are useful to you.... These suggestions are getting stronger and stronger with every breath you take, with every beat of your heart.

Cancer Script #3 -- Visualization: [In this script I assume the patient visualizes his/her cancer as white "pacmen" and that the patient is getting chemotherapy -- see endnote for changes.] Relax, relax.... and listen to my voice.....let your mind fill with what I have to say.......

See your immune system.....see your white cells as white "pacmen".....See them attacking and destroying the small gray cancer cells.....Hear them munching, eating the cancer....Enjoy the wonderful feelings of good health......Those pacmen are going through your system destroying all those little gray cancer cells....See it....Feel it..... Enjoy it....Feel your body getting healthier....See yourself getting stronger....Hear your family and friends telling how exited they are at your improvement. Enjoy these feelings of good health.....Confident in the knowledge that you are getting better and better every day.

Now, see your chemotherapy as red "pacmen".,...See them going through your body attacking only the cancer cells, not damaging any of your healthy cells....The white "pacmen" directing the red "pacmen" to the cancer cells....You will not have any side effects from the will not feel any will not have hair loss...your immune system, the white "pacmen" are directing the red "pacmen" to the cancer cells, so that the chemotherapy attacks only the cancer cells....Feel your self getting better...,The cancer cells being destroyed and eliminated through the normal elimination system of the body.

Enjoy these feelings of good health as each day your feel better than the day before.... Every day in every way you are getting better and better.

Your unconscious mind is strengthening your immune system....See those white "pacmen" destroying the cancer and any other foreign invader that can do damage to your body.....Your immune system is getting stronger and stronger every day.

All the suggestions I have given you are now being completely implanted in your unconscious and will remain there as long as they are useful to you.... These suggestions are getting stronger and stronger with every breath you take, with every beat of your heart. Feel good knowing that your body is becoming healthier and healthier. You have gained control.....Your unconscious mind understands that you do not need this cancer..... there is no need for cancer in your body....You are becoming cancer free. (Long pause)

All these suggestions are getting stronger and stronger with every beat of your heart, with every breath you take...and will remain with you for as long as they are useful to you.

1. You can substitute any positive white attack image for the white "pacmen." Let your patient decide what they want to represent the white cells. Make sure the cancer is seen as small gray cells. If they are not receiving chemotherapy, leave that part out. If they are receiving radiation, have the immune system direct the radiation to the cancer cells, not damaging any healthy cells.