A MAFS star claimed positive thinking can 'cure' cancer. The backlash was immediate.

Last week, Ella May Ding, a podcaster and influencer who is best known for her time on Married At First Sight 2022, made some health claims.

The claims were made in an episode of her Sit With Us podcast, which she co-hosts with fellow former MAFS contestant Domenica Calarco. The episode was focused on all things gratitude and mental health. In part of the episode, Ding made claims that positive thinking can "cure" cancer.

"Your mind can kill you. It can make you sick. If you're sick in whatever way it may be, whether it's with illness, if you have cancer, or if you have depression, you can literally make yourself sicker by focusing on how sick you are. You can end up terminally ill," she said.

Watch: Carrie Bickmore speaks to Johnny Ruffo about his terminal cancer diagnosis. Post continues below.

Video via The Project. 

She then made reference to Dr Joe Dispenza – who is a chiropractor, not an oncologist. He has come under fire before for allegedly marketing his meditations as cures for deadly diseases. He is also not currently practising, and has previously been criticised for publishing medical misinformation.


Speaking about Dr Dispenza, Ding claimed he had "hundreds of case studies of people who were sick with cancer, and he literally trained them to just imagine not being sick".

"Imagine the cancer is leaving your body. Imagine the cells are going away. He's literally cured patients without chemotherapy. Your mind can make you sick, and your mind can heal you."

Ding then referenced an experience of a "friend's mum", saying this person allegedly "travelled to Mexico for a four month cleanse that actually did get rid of her breast cancer with no chemo".

There was a swift backlash to the episode, with many listeners branding her claims as "incredibly dangerous" and "quite offensive".

Another former MAFS contestant, Lyndall Grace from 2023's season, spoke out about the comments made by Ding and Calarco on their podcast. Grace is someone who has spoken about her experience with cystic fibrosis, and how it would have taken her life far earlier if it wasn't for a new life-saving medication.

"If anyone on the Internet ever tells you that your illness, disease, your condition, your disability, that your problems are because you don't have the right mindset – please ignore them," Grace said in a video response. 

"Listen to your doctors. It is not your fault, it is not your choice, and it will not change. It will never be because you weren't positive enough. These are things that are TOOLS to HELP you mitigate your anxieties and your feelings around your conditions. They are not cures."


Following on from the criticism, Ding posted a statement to Instagram.

Image: Instagram.

In the statement, she said that although she was "personally excited by Dr Joe's findings and the treatment methods" he has made claims about, she was "not intending to provide any medical or treatment advice".


"I acknowledge and take full accountability that I should have made this clearer. I apologise for this. I understand that I should have reminded listeners to always seek professional medical advice in relation to medical conditions... I will ensure that I am more careful in the future when sharing information and stories in relation to these sorts of topics," she said.

Speaking to Mamamia, the Australian Medical Association pointed to their position statement on health literacy. They noted that the plethora of online information available on health and wellbeing means there is a large potential for misinformation to be spread.

"Many people have difficulty determining which sources of information are reliable, or they easily absorb misinformation delivered directly to them through advertising and/or social media. The internet has the potential to significantly magnify health misinformation campaigns. This has significant implications for Australians’ understanding of health, and consequently their health-related behaviour and engagement with the health system," they explained.

"The AMA calls on social media companies and individuals with platforms to acknowledge their public health responsibility and work actively to counter health misinformation on their platforms."

Feature Image: Instagram.

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