Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Cause of Some Cancers: Not What You Think

Before we get into the general subject of cancer I want to expand on my previous article on Natural Killer cells (NK Cells). The research we did years ago showed enhanced NK production after one year of our therapy, and by that I assume better control of cancer; that is what these cells do—look out for developing cancer cells and attack and devour. But why would reliving those early imprints increase production of NK cells? Here I have to make an assumption: when we have traumas during womb-life there is a deregulation of many biochemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. The whole system, in short, changes to accommodate the input; and what that does is alter set points. How do we know that? Because in all of our studies we have found that set points seem to change after therapy and “normalize”. Thus, for example, NK cells seem to change set points and come back to normal after one year of our therapy. As do the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

So once we go back to those generating sources, those early imprints, the system appears to re-regulate itself back to what it should have been before the trauma intruded itself. Our therapy seems to “erase” the input and allow the cells to normalize. It is as if the trauma never happened; which is why I maintain that we can go back and undo and redo our early lives. The mechanism for this may well be the pattern of methylation that “seals in” the trauma—cancer is characterized by “methylation imbalance” (Baylin, et al., 1998). There are other factors, as well, which are being sussed out anew each and every day by biochemists and other specialists. We will leave that to those experts. But it seems as though we are reversing those early changes that caused a detour of biochemical set points. Along with this was a rerouting of brain circuits as well. The neurotic system changed. I am painting in broad strokes for the moment, details can be found in my book Life Before Birth.

So what happens when the NK cells are increased? We have a stronger army to fight cancer, an army that was weakened by trauma occurring during our womb-life (and also possibly during the birth process). The system has a normal amount now and can amass a greater force to fight cellular anomaly. The cells seem to know when something is amiss and rush to correct it in the same way that repair cells rush in to stem the flow of blood and help in healing when we cut ourselves. We are a naturally healing system when given the chance; and what is wonderful is that we always have the chance in our lives to go back and restabilize the system. That is why when NK cells are extracted from tumor cells, processed and reintroduced to the system there is an increase in cancer fighting ability.

Here is the good news: when the NK army is bolstered there is less cancer. And when there are even metastasized cells the NK cells can fight each and every appearance of abnormal cells, no matter where they are, and stop them in their tracks. It is not like chemotherapy, a poison that destroys the malignant cells and also healthy cells along with them. Here, it is but a matter of increasing the health of the cells in order to combat the intruders: a much healthier way to go. In other words, the system now has a normal amount of NK cells, which it should have had early on but did not. And the same trauma that may have lowered the set points of NK cells could have also increased the likelihood of cancer; for example, it can epigenetically affect the tumor-suppression genes, leaving the system open to later cancer. The problem is that the distance between the early trauma and the appearance of cancer at forty is so vast as to be incomprehensible. It is only when we allow patients to back and relive early trauma that we see the connection. And for now, it still it has to be an assumption.

This can never happen with a cognitive therapy that never touches deep-lying imprints that deviated and deviate the system. Intellectual therapies never operate on the levels that set off deviations. They operate on the derivatives, the effluvia of the early imprints such as deviations in perception or thought patterns or learning. Treating all that never makes a profound change. And who suffers? The patient.

Baylin, S.B., Herman, J.G., Graff, J.R., Vertino, P.M., Issa, J.P. 1998 Alterations in DNA methylation: a fundamental aspect of neoplasia. Adv. Cancer Res. 72:141–96.


  1. Like the waves on the sea... rise feelings up to surface without us know how. We see the waves violently rolling in towards shore... but not like feelings... remains where they are.


  2. Hi Art

    I can imagine that any child who starts off in the womb with trauma is going to also experience many trauma's in his childhood and as you say these compound the early trauma. Thus what the medical establishment calls a cancer personality is going to have started off in the womb as we are quite obviously not a Tabula Rasa when we are born because we have been preparing for the environment we are to grow up in.

    I remember not so long ago reading a survey in the UK where when asked privately most of the women questioned didn't like children. It was one of the saddest things I have ever read. I am sure there is a lot of compounding going on in those families sadly. having had a Mother who openly told me she did not like me I can vouch for how damaging that was to my development.

    Thus the cancer personality in considering the inability to express and FEEL deep feelings and having had a difficult relationship with the parents is looking in the right direction but is not looking far enough into the past.

  3. Art:

    Are you in contact with any of the folks cited in the URL below? They seem to say some things similar to you...like: "During gestation or in the first two years of life, more subtle issues like maternal depression can affect a baby chemically."


    Another "sorta-related" piece documents the importance of early childhood support, followed by letting kids take more risks and learn by failing:


    There seems to be a slowly-growing awareness that early traumas CAN have life-long effects. Support is suggested as one palliative for the wounded. But how many know the imprinted can enter the "Janovian Time Machine," revisit their traumas, and be healed?

    1. Hi Trevor,

      Yes, just recently all NHS Maternity Hospitals in UK have been advised not to cut the umbilical cord before a certain period of time has passed and to leave the baby on the Mums' tum.

      Personally speaking I think the shit has actually hit the fan and it's only a matter of time before the full weight of the truth leaks out. I am sure there is a landslide of evidence stacking up about how we treat pregnancy and it is not going to go away or be effectively suppressed by the powers that be.

      Sure, the drug companies will find a way to keep a commercial grip. So too will some maternity suits keep on with old damaging practices. Gradually though, the more progressive organisations will have to take note of what science is showing us all and move with the evidence. This is what happened with smoking tobacco in UK. It's pretty well outlawed in public places now.

      Some Science does have a positive, dare I say 'evolutionary' effect.

      Paul G.

  4. When your therapist lies to you -- you get confused.

    When you get confused -- you make bad decisions.

    When you make bad decisions -- accidents happen.

    When accidents happen -- you get an eye-patch.

    When you get an eye-patch -- people think you're tough.

    When people think you're tough --people wanna see - how tough.

    And when people wanna see how tough -- you wake-up in a road-side ditch.

    Don't wake-up in a road-side ditch.

    Ditch your denial therapist, and up-grade to Arthur Janov's Primal Therapy.

    Call 1-310-392-2003

    There's an abundance of denial therapies out there for the people that think they can't deal with reality. Then there's Art's PT for the people that are willing to see and feel their truth.

  5. For the people that are genetically predisposed to getting cancer, that were traumatized inside the womb, during birth, and in their earliest years -- these people will not get cancer if they do Art's Primal Therapy and relive their worst experiences. For the same reason a tree can't bare fruit if it's continually cut at it's base; a life can't be lost to cancer if the cancer isn't aloud to grow.

    I also think, after the system normalizes (and I'm sure I'm thinking this because I've already been influenced by so much of Art's writing -- if I'm wrong, I take full responsibility for my comments -- these and the comments above), cancer won't need to grow, because cancer was the way the body reacted to stress. When the stressor is removed (because the original pain was re-experienced), then there's nothing to react to. There's no opposite reaction (cancer) because the action has been eliminated (because it was felt).

    Doesn't the outside world have to mimic the inside world; the brain and it's synaptic connections? The active pathways and the abandoned pathways, abandoned because we got hurt on the literal pathway (the outside world), so we abandoned the synaptic ones as well (they became useless because we stopped using them). If that's what happens, by reliving the trauma that shut that pathway down (or any pathway), it must reopen because the block was felt and therefore removed.

    Art, you're the best! I'm working on my end to get to LA so I can do your therapy. I turn 48 in November. I'll be there before I turn 49. I wish I could be there sooner, but it's so hard trying to accomplish something when I wasn't allowed to accomplish anything while I was growing up. Giving up is what I do best (I learned that from my parents -- I'm very good at that). Hanging in there is hard because it reminds me of my pain. Being aware of that helps me to see the big picture, so I can continually refocus and do what I need to do so I can get out there. Your writing has often given me the strength to keep moving forward. I would post more but, I don't always feel confident enough to post. Thanks for doing what you do. I have benefited from it tremendously!

  6. Art my dearest pal!

    Do you know who you are talking to as you describe how feelings and thoughts makes them self’s impossible behind the scenes at us? I mean… emotions that are not conceptually linked confuse the mind beyond recognition for the role... what might come out of it?

    Who is behind the words of the political... religious... military and commercial context? The scenario has its comparison in the production of all these terrifying novels and films who showcasing the images of the truth in it.

    We live in hell mazes of ourselves… on a terribly fragile thread to the child in us ... it screams out its pain… pain in a forbidden adult body... forbidden to recognize itself as small.


  7. The Primal Therapy could support modern immunology to improve the working conditions for our immune system.

    A traumatic womb life is a sure way negatively to influence the quality in our lives. Therefore, it is interesting and important that the science of modern immunology can prove that an overtaxed immune system is giving way to the invasion / creation of cancer cells. If by reliving old pain / imprints we can strengthen our immune defense, we might in the future be able to develop a new cancer treatment paradigm.

    In many individuals, it seems to take up to four - five decades for the imprinted pain, working on different organs throughout the body (including the brain) to develop our most common illnesses such as cancer, ulcers, heart and angina, stroke and arthritis. For my own part, I experienced early how my pain / anxiety created an irresistible craving for painkillers like sugar, caffeine and nicotine. (Alcohol triggered my pain and was for that reason, fortunately, no problem for me.)

    My neurotic sugar addiction overtaxed my pancreas and caused, within short, hypoglycemia. Without that I was aware of it, a chain reaction / continuous vicious circle of pain, anxiety, irresistible sugar craving, hypoglycemia and epilepsy was established. Because the overload of pain searches and finds several outlets in the body, it also overtaxed my immune system, which meant that I was an easy victim to colds (including herpes and sinuses) and allergies and for decades, I lived without a sense of smell).

    My physical tensions (closely related to my original imprint, cramps/pain) influenced and distorted my posture and hampered my coordination. The original pain created a disharmonious and uncoordinated way of walking, which became tense and jerky. My vital signs were during many years too high, although I was addicted to physical exercises and, at times, tried to keep a strict control with my diet. Later, my intake of strong antiepileptic medication worsened my immune defense and intoxicated my liver and my kidneys with added negative consequences for my well being.

    Reading and writing about the severe effects that pain / imprints are having on our immune system and on our organs is bringing up my old dream / vision of a holistic treatment / therapy based on the principles of PT in cooperation with, for example, Rolfing, career counseling, physical exercises (like stretching and yoga) and detoxification, etc.. PT, as a stand-alone therapy, is valuable, but, without the support of a number of other therapies, it will not be able to put it all together. At best it may be a remedy for a lucky few.

    PT opened up for the connection of soul mates between different levels of my brain (and in the extension in my external life). Based on the combination of PT and a number of treatments, in a curing ensemble, I have succeeded in getting rid of most of all my symptoms and today my immune system, pancreas, liver, kidneys and heart are being far less overtaxed.

    Jan Johnsson

  8. Art
    I am slightly anxious because there are a few people who have had cancer who also had primal therapy, including, I think, one of the therapists. Is it due to unfelt need still lying dormant deep down in the body, please?

  9. The fysiological need of mom!

    How can we learn about an exhibitionist’s needs... unless the time for its cause becomes the target? I mean... when a child seeks his mother's good graces… but rudely are rejected. A time when the childs needs of mom was so elementary that another physiological activity was compelled... compelled as masturbation. For the time... the only possible relief... relief through physical action as masturbation... a denial of mom through masturbation... a denial for what an absent mother caused... caused an exhibitionist!?


  10. The physiological need of mom!

    How can we learn about an exhibitionist’s needs... unless the time for its cause becomes the target? I mean... when a child seeks his mother's good graces… but rudely am rejected. A time when the child’s needs of mom was so elementary that another physiological activity was compelled... compelled as masturbation. For the time... the only possible relief... relief through physical action as masturbation... a denial of mom through masturbation... a denial for what an absent mother caused... caused an exhibitionist!?


  11. Art: I've read some of your articles recently on some of the physiological changes to your patients after doing Primal Therapy, i.e., breasts getting larger, foot growth, growing taller, etc. I thought, if you and your staff could gather the physiological changers from when they started therapy to when they finished therapy (or after a year of therapy), and put it all down on a list and/or in a flier -- I believe it would give people that might not be looking into your therapy (for what ever reasons), a reason to consider your therapy.

    Let me quickly explain: Many people play the lottery in spite of the "dismal" odds because they feel there's something missing in their lives. Some women get their breasts enlarged for the same reasons. Some men want larger penises for similar reasons; something isn't quite right or they feel they're not enough.

    My point: Make that list. It gives you a reason to list the things that you haven't talked about yet. It then gives everyone else something else to think about; along with the list/flier is everything else pertinent to PT on your website. People will have all they need to make the choice of doing PT or not doing PT. But, for the people that are extremely desperate, who play the lottery, thinking/hoping that maybe this time their numbers will come up -- having a list of things that have actually happened to people, will attract a group of people that might never have been attracted to your therapy. You're not trying to trick anyone into doing your therapy; you're just showing other possible outcomes besides reducing or eliminating a host of physical and psychic ailments and normalizing the body.

    Primal Therapy: What our patients on a whole have experienced...

    1. Larry: It is a good idea but who has the time? art


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.