The placebo effect. Its when you are given a dummy medication, a sugar pill, etc, and told that it is a medication designed to heal you. Even though it is not a medication, because you think the placebo is real, your body heals. Some people experience the side effects of the drugs they actually never took, too, because they think they took the drugs. Old school staunch Western medical doctors may snicker at the triviality of “placebos”, but yet, that placebo effect actually cures people! Or, better said, people can sometimes cure themselves!
The real intense power of the placebo effect shines a major light on our personal role in the future of our health. If our minds believe we can heal, we stand a far greater chance of healing, even without drugs, from a malady than if we believe we are not able to heal. The placebo effect is so wickedly powerful, it shines a light on the real mandate we have to surround ourselves with happy people who are positive and supportive, to tune into our own minds and inner voice in exercise and meditation & to do the work to ditch needless worry, especially where our bodies are concerned.
Some doctors can actually make patients sick with their well-meaning “prognosis”. I love Western medicine and science as much as I love Eastern medicine and homeopathy. If I listened to Western medical doctors exclusively, I would be taking 17 (yes, 17) pills a day with disastrous side effects for the rest of my life to manage a stomach issue that just required me to change my diet to heal. Of course, that was my decision, to ditch certain medications, and it was not an easy one to make, especially while being told constantly that it was “not possible.” Have you been in a situation like that?
Here are some of the more valuable and interesting articles I’ve come across recently on the “placebo” effect, as well as the opposite, the negative thought-causing-negative-outcome “nocebo effect.”
- 10 crazy interesting facts from Listverse about the placebo effect will blow your mind. For example, apparently we like certain color pills more than others for our placebos!
- Here’s what a Harvard Medical School professor who specialized in placebo research has to say to NPR about their vast power.
- I love reading Lissa Rankin on this phenomenon of placebo… as well as nocebo effects. This will have you thinking more cheerfully in a few minutes!
- And this New York Times Opinion article digs into the nocebo effect and our experience of side effects.
No matter how you treat an illness or build wellness, don’t leave your mind out of the equation! xoxo Dana