Nine-Year Old Battled Brain Tumor With Biofeedback

In response to my blog post Research Supports Mind-Body Therapy For Cancer, I just received a comment from Candida Abrahamson, PhD. I am happy to share it with all of you. You can also read the comments directly and see the links there.

On her blog, www., Candida writes about the case in 1978 of Garrett Porter, a 9-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor who visualized himself to health with the help of Dr. Patricia Norris.

Candida writes:

Norris used the alternative and  mind-body techniques at her disposal, and during an art therapy session Garrett, a boy with a vivid imagination, drew his tumor as Planet Meatball. White blood cells in the shape of Pacmans hovered around, ready to devour it.

And thus was his visualization born. Norris taught her patient about guided imagery, and then. . .Every night Garrett relaxed completely using relaxation techniques, and then underwent his own version of radiation: He pictured spaceships zooming in and chipping off pieces of Planet Meatball.

It is worth reading the whole post (link above).

My friend Anahita had mentioned how humor was helpful when she was dealing with breast cancer (imagining the radiation to be Cupid’s arrows). Candida is in full agreement as indicated in her research-based blog post on sense of humor.

For Dr. Patricia Norris and her work on biofeedback, visualization, and guided imagery, see

4 thoughts on “Nine-Year Old Battled Brain Tumor With Biofeedback

Add yours

  1. Thank you so much for referencing my blog–and, more importantly, the incredible story of Garrett Porter. Just for the record, Porter’s illness was in 1978. He was the very first cancer patient of Dr. Norris, now reknowned for her work with the illness. Best, Candida


    1. Thanks for that correction. I saw the 2006 time frame in one of the several links associated with Patricia Norris and assumed it to be accurate.


    2. Just realized that I had interviewed you many years ago, in late 80s I think, for a yoga article. Heard bits of the audio tape of the interview (Upper Westside)!


  2. Mind/body. How amazing when they work together in such a clear and dramatic manner. Thank you for that reminder! Mary La Croce


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