Silva research led the way to psychoneuroimmunology

Regain and maintain health

by Jose Luis Romero

Twenty-five years ago there was no science called psychoneuroimmunology or behavioral medicine. Today these are disciplines within the medical profession that teach that the mind can have a significant impact on the outcome of disease.

There are now scientific studies that establish that attitude: One’s mental state, can affect the immune system, according to author David Tate, keynote speaker at the 1991 International Silva Convention.“

For example,” Tate pointed out, “long periods of feeling helpless and hopeless are likely to result in raised levels of cortisol, a hormone in the blood, and increased levels of cortisol are correlated with a decreased immune response.”

Tate spoke from his own experience. “When I was 27, when diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s disease, a form of cancer,” he said. Afraid and depressed, he reached the point where his doctors could no longer give him a favorable prognosis. “But I had the good fortune, the grace, to have a number of things happen which I believe saved my life,” he said. One of those things was the Silva training.

“I had taken the Silva courses in 1972” he said. “In 1974 I attended the annual Silva convention which was held in Boston. The keynote speakers were Dr. 0. Carl Simonton and Stephanie Simonton.

“Now I had been using the Silva technique of going to alpha, affirmations, visualizations for two years in my own healing process, and so you can imagine how delighted I was to hear a physician, a radiologist who treated cancer patients, talk about the importance of Silva concepts. The importance of hope and a positive attitude in dealing with cancer.

“About the Silva System Dr. Simonton said, ‘I would say it is the most powerful single tool that I have to offer patients.’“

In her part of the address, Stephanie Simonton talked about how they used the mental techniques at their clinic. ‘Probably the single most important tool we have,’ she said, ‘is the mental imagery technique.’ She then went on to tell the audience of the need for all of us to take personal responsibility for our health.

“It is up to us to use the technique that all of you who have had the Silva Mind Control course have learned and to use it regularly,” she said.

In 1978 the Simontons published Getting Well Again, a book that describes in great detail the ideas they discussed at the 1974 Silva convention. The book was a turning point in mind-body medicine, the field now known as psychoneuroimmunology.

“Since that time, hundreds of books have been written, extolling the values of relaxation, affirmations and imagery in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Perhaps the most famous is Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine and Miracles.

“Bernie Siegel, a surgeon at Yale, wrote about his experience in working with what he calls exceptional cancer patients. His book was on the best seller list for years. His seminars and speeches are widely attended.

“His chapter on Images in Disease and Healing begins, ‘I began working with imagery and cancer using the approach developed by the Simontons.’

“I point this out to show you the obvious link between Jose’s work and the so-called leading lights in the field of mind-body medicine or psychology or psychoneuroimmunology,” Tate continued.

“Other examples include Shatki Gawain’s book, Creative Visualization. As many of you know Shatki is a Silva graduate.

“Another classic in the field is Kenneth Pellitier’s Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer, published in 1977. Dr. Pellitier acknowledged the contributions of the Simontons, and in fact they wrote the forward to his book.

“Another best seller was Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. In the earlier edition of that book, she recommended Silva, but that recommendation was omitted in later editions. Louise told me she was unaware that it had been withdrawn, and expressed to me her continued support for the Silva Method.

“In concluding my remarks about health, I believe I have established that Jose Silva is one of the founding fathers of psychoneuroimmunology.

“Robert Stone, the author of eighty books, among them, Jose’s biography, supports me in this view. He told me that at a conference held in Hawaii attended by 100 invited scientists, the term cyberphysiology was officially adopted as the umbrella term for the mind’s ability to affect the entire body. ‘Of course,’ he wrote, ‘Jose Silva has taught this for a quarter of a century.’

“In Jose’s owns words, ‘The body’s immune system is the mechanism that God included in the biological human body to heal all health problems. It is said that doctors and medications do not cure the patient, that doctors and medications help the immune system to heal the patient’.”

Jose Luis Romero, now retired, is one of the original owners of the Silva UltraMind Systems business, and also served as Director of the Ecumenical Society of Psychorientology which conducted research and presented Holistic Faith Healing seminars based on Jose Silva's research.

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