While doing research into the placebo phenomenon, I stumbled across some astonishing facts. In medicine, the placebo effect is observed when a patient gets better due to a sugar pill. In such cases, it is presumably the patient’s belief in the treatment (not the treatment itself) that effectuates the healing. But did you know that the placebo effect also occurs based on the doctor’s belief in the treatment, even if there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the treatment? Did you know that ultimately, all successful treatments are based on belief? Read this article and find out more. The data are mind blowing!
Trust and you shall be healed
In his book Timeless Healing from 1996, Dr. Herbert Benson, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, talks about the changes in the effectiveness of therapies designed to alleviate angina pectoris (i.e. pain in the chest and arms caused by decreased blood flow to the muscle of the heart). At one point in history the cure for angina pectoris ranged from injecting cobra venom to surgeries to remove the thyroid or parts of the pancreas. While these techniques were used and believed in, they were effective 70 to 90 percent of the time. Later, when the research was out showing that there was no physiological reason why any of these treatments should work, the doctors continued to perform them for some time but their effectiveness dropped to 30-40 percent.
In the same book, Dr. Herbert Benson marvels: “Once, doctors were confident that a low-roughage diet was the best treatment for an inflammation of the colon called diverticulitis, but a few decades later they urged sufferers instead to eat plenty of roughage. Once, physicians assured postmenopausal women that hormone replacement therapy did not increase likelihood of breast cancer; recently they have announced the opposite findings…” In fact, according to Dr. David Eddy no more than 15 percent of medical treatments are founded on “reliable scientific evidence”.
The “evidence”, according to Dr. Benson is highly influenced by culture, personal bias, beliefs and emotions. He goes on to suggest that part of the reason why experiments contradict each other is because it is hard to account and control for all the different beliefs and expectations that the individuals (researches and subjects) bring to these experiments. His conclusion is that “…if medicine allowed for different groups of different minds to produce different results, as diverse people do, science might achieve more consistent results”.
My conclusion? It is all in our head! There is no objective reality; everything is subjective, scientific research including. This essentially forms the premise of modern quantum healing therapies (such as BodyTalk) and the science of Epigenetics (i.e. the biology of belief). Therefore, don’t worry, be happy and expect the unexpected. Keeping a positive outlook on life and having faith is the best thing you can do to help your healing process.