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Written by Tera on March 3, 2012 – -
by Dr. Lissa Rankin
There’s a lot of “woo woo” talk out there in the land of metaphysics, the law of attraction, and mind/body medicine about our capacity for self-healing. As an open-minded physician, I’ve always been fascinated by this concept. But as a skeptical scientist at heart, I’ve always had this little voice in the back of my head that says, “Bullshit. Prove it.”
My curiosity about whether we really have the power to cure our own bodies fueled an inquiry into the medical literature, not just in the mind/body medicine journals, but in the New England Journal of Medicine and in labs from the halls of Harvard. What I found blew my mind and evolved into my next book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013). The book is broken down into the truths of what I wasn’t taught in medical school, and what I have learned since then.
Truth #1 You can believe yourself well.
I had no clue that this was SO true until I started digging deep into the medical literature. What I found cracked me open, and I want to share some of it with you here.
Most of you have heard of the placebo effect. But do you really understand what that means? Scientific studies prove that when we take a sugar pill or undergo a sham treatment/surgery, not only do symptoms resolve, but the body actually changes physiologically.
Studies show that, when given placebo pills, sham treatments, and fake surgery:
Bronchi dilate in asthmatics
Balding men grow hair
Ulcers heal over
Tumors melt away
Colitis gets better
Depressed people feel happy
Endometriosis symptoms resolve
Knee pain goes away
This doesn’t happen 100% when people are treated with fake treatment, but the numbers I’m finding are pretty staggering. Placebos get people well on between 35-75%. I’ll be sharing all the percentages and scientific references to support what I’m saying in my upcoming book, but I just wanted to give you a heads up so you know how powerfully the mind can affect the body.
How does this happen? I’ll be discussing the biological mechanisms scientists propose in a future blog post, so stay tuned.
What should we do with this information? Should doctors prescribe sugar pills? Or is that too deceptive? Does that sound like quacks selling snake oil out of the back of a push cart?
Should we prescribe placebos but tell you the truth about what we’re doing? Or will that reducing the efficacy of the mind’s belief that it will get well?
Please share your thoughts, tell me your self-healing stories, and offer your opinions about how we should deal with this information. You may even wind up in my book if you’re willing to go on the record and use your real name!
To learn more about my philosophy and to receive the 10 Keys to Optimal Whole Health click here.
Believing in the mind’s power to heal,