Dreams: A Dis-ease Warning System

“A dream, like every element in the psychic structure, is a product of the total psyche.”

~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 527

If you dissect the word disease, you will see it is a combination of dis and ease meaning uncomfortable. Your blood pressure, heart rate, body heat, perspiration, mobility, speech, breathing, the growth of hair and fingernails, cognitive skills, reasoning, and dreaming is monitored by your master computer; the brain to keep you from dis-ease.

Our whole body is wired into that master computer called the brain. Our brain is aware of everything going on in the body, and this computer’s job is to recalibrate, adjust and inform the body of the subtle changes taking place and of the possible adjustments necessary to ensure correct realignment for life. Everything is balanced to perfection. Imbalance such as too much sugar in the blood or not enough sugar in the blood can lead to disaster. How can the brain, our computer, help us become aware of any imbalances so we can make the necessary adjustments or seek medical assistance?

One way our brain can do this is through dreams.

All computers have early warning signs, light, bells and whistles to alert mechanics and engineers of ensuing danger. Ignoring these warnings can cause the machine to become overheated; pop a fever. It is their job to understand these signs and make the necessary corrections before the computer breaks down and must have a complete and expensive overhaul. If the signs are interpreted too late, the machine may not be salvageable. And, sadly, that is costly on many levels.

We often take our life-saving functions for granted because they take place so subtly and without our conscious knowledge. How many times daily do we answer someone’s question without thinking or giving our thoughts a second thought?

We often take our life-saving functions for granted because they take place so subtly and without our conscious knowledge. How many times daily do we answer someone’s question without thinking or giving our thoughts a second thought? According to research done by the University of California San Francisco, the left frontal lobe of the brain known as Broca’s area is the language-dominant hemisphere which significantly affects the use of spontaneous speech and motor speech control. Broca’s area is located Under the cerebrum is the Cerebrum, which is the largest part of the brain composed of right and left hemispheres. It performs higher functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing,  reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine movement control.

So why am I boring you with all this detailed brain information?

Because, we pay such close attention and study the parts of the brain that make certain sections work and how the brain sends healing signals to our body….except when it pertains to our dreams which are born in the part of the brain known as the hippocampus section.

Yes, dreams have a place in the brain where dream function begins just as our heart does.

But, here is the truly fascinating part about dreams…they involve the whole brain, not just a portion like the other functions of the body. So, why has the research community paid so little attention to a function that takes place using our whole brain and a function that takes up one-third of our life, called dreams and dreaming? It stands to reason that an action that requires the use of the whole brain must be of vital importance to a healthy body.

How important is the brain during our dreaming world vs. our waking life? According to research published in Science Focus;

The whole brain is active during dreams, from the brain stem to the cortex. Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. … The limbic system in the mid-brain deals with emotions in both waking and dreaming and includes the amygdala, which is mostly associated with fear and is especially active during dreams.

What message or information is our brain, or computer, trying to tell us through the imagery of dreams to bring a healing process back online or to warn us of an eminent physical breakdown? In the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases, published and distributed by Inner Traditions/Simon & Schuster, 2018, the dreaming minds of 41 people told them there was an issue that needs to be examined within themselves. This changed the common dream into a warning dream that diagnosed an issue. The issues in the book turned out to be diseases. The master computer was communicating a problem to the dreamer.

Here are some other similar dream categories experienced by the dreamers in the research book.

Precognitive Dreams: These are psychic dreams that can foretell the future. In regard to health issues, these dreams foretold of medical issues years before they occurred.

Warning Dreams: These dreams alert us to possible danger or problems taking place in the present.

Both of these dreams are an example of the old saying, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

Examples of these types of dreams are in the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases. In one patient’s case, they had a dream about a Franciscan Monk who walked into their dream through what was described as a pop-up-window that lead to an alternate dream world where she was told she had breast cancer that had been missed by the medical community and the tests on which they relied.

While enjoying my dream, it suddenly stops, much like what happens when a computer screen freezes or a TV show is put on PAUSE.  In the center of my dream, a pop-up window appears, much like on a computer. The window turns into a door, and a spirit guide/guardian angel dressed as a Franciscan monk in a brown hooded robe with a knotted rope belt and leather sandals steps through the Sacred Dream Door. His hood is pulled up which covers his face. “Come with me. We have something to tell you.”

The monk dream was validated three months later by a pathology report that stated the dreamer had stage 2 aggressive breast cancer that was also found in a lymph node.

In another dream story titled The Playground of Life and Death, from the book Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer and Other Diseases, Dr. Jay Troutman, a medical doctor dreams that he is carrying his dead body through a playground filled with children and tosses it into a ravine.

I am carrying my dead body and disposing of it in a schoolyard. It felt like the body was made of rubber. As I entered the schoolyard, the kids were playing, which made me feel very reminiscent of those days as a child.  It made me feel like being on a mission and that this body double needed to go. It was very uncomfortable carrying my body as it was rubbery and hard to manage.  Once I get to the edge of the playground, I threw my body off the side of a ravine. I woke up shortly after the dream and knew something was very wrong with me. The next day I found my testicular cancer.  

Our computer-brain is perfection at work.

The idea seems less radical if we first acknowledge that detectable changes occur in the body at the onset of disease, prior to the presence of recognizable symptoms. This is a fact taken for granted in many areas of diagnostic medicine—such as using a blood test to detect early physiological signs of infection or disease. These changes are also detected by the brain on a subconscious level and may be translated into “prodromal” dreams—dreams that reflect the onset of an illness prior to the appearance of symptoms.

Prodromal dream cues can be useful for establishing early interventions against sickness.

Perhaps someday soon a patent will enter a doctor’s office with the statement, “I’m here because I had a health-related dream.” And the doctor in all seriousness will reply, “Please tell me your dream.”


Speech & Language;

Speech & Language | Memory and Aging Center

Broca’s Area-

The function of dreams (REM sleep): roles for the hippocampus … – NCBI

Burk, L.: Warning dreams preceding the diagnosis of breast cancer: a survey of the most important characteristics. Explore 11(3), 193–198 (2015).

Larry Burk, Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist (Durham, NC: Healing Imager Press, 2012), p.316-318.<

What happens when we dream? | Science Focus

Kaur, J. (2013, October 18). Dreams May Be Linked To Health Problems, Experts Say.… (link is external)


Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is the award-winning author of Surviving Cancerland, and co-author of Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She’s a three-time cancer survivor, and co-publisher/editor of WEBE Books Publishing. Her dreams diagnosed her illness as seen on Dr. Oz, Doctors, NBC News, American Express Open, in Newspapers and magazines. She’s a Contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, TV/Radio Host/Producer- Dreaming Healing on DV7Radio/TV Network, Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™, Kat Kanavos Show, Internationally Syndicated Columnist in BIZCATALYST 360°, Dream Columnist in Positive Tribe Magazine, and Desert Health Magazine, Keynote Speaker, Performance Coach who taught Special Ed & Psychology @USF, and Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and Spiritual guidance. She is co-author to the inspiring books; Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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    • I could not agree with you more, Anita Kaiser. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments with us.

  1. I enjoy all that brain info and have been learning more and more about since a close family member was diagnosed with Alzheimers.
    When is the last time you were advised to have your brain checked? We hear about breast exams or prostate checks, but not so much about the brain. This is something hugely important!
    Now learn that our dreams can advise on our health is more wonderful knowledge to tap into about our miracle body.

    • Teresa Salhi, I never thought of getting our brain checked, but what a wonderful idea. Yes, when the main computer, our brain, goes down the whole body follows. We can live without our arm, leg, eyes…but not our brain. Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. I’ve had premonition dreams as well as precognitive ones in the past, Kathleen. The premonition ones have foretold deaths which have happened shortly after and I realize that I was being prepared to help loved ones in their grief process.

    • Vatsala, how beautiful. As the article says “Forewarned is Forearmed” so you were armed by a dream for the inevitable death of a loved one. Love it! I’d like to hear more about your precognitive dreams because Dr. Larry Burk and I are collecting more dreams for our second book in the series. Thanks so much for your comment.