Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Powerful Placebos

Scientists have recently agreed that the placebo effect is real and powerful. For those of you who have not been waiting for scientific proof, another way to say this is that the mind is a powerful tool. Stimulation of the immune system and the release of hormones can be triggered by our thoughts and feelings.

Why else do you think that sometimes in double blind studies, people who got the placebo did just as well as those who got the "real" medicine?

I have always maintained that sometimes we do need drugs and surgery, but sometimes changing our mindset can heal a wound as well as solving a problem. Relief from pain, anxiety, depression and more can be stimulated by non-invasive techniques. Some of the simple things I have written about before, from music to art walks in nature to reiki to ritual can work wonders.

For many years, the placebo effect was referred to in a context that implied that it was all fake and that only a fool would be happy with a placebo. Interesting that the tables are turned now that scientists have researched and reached the conclusion that the placebo effect can be real.

I know that many people reading this are either healers of some sort or have called on healers for their services. The fact that people choose from this variety of alternative techniques without insurance reimbursement is testimony to their effectiveness.

Here's another point to consider. Sometimes being with a person who seems to really care how you are doing makes a difference. If you feel that the healer is genuine in their concern and their effort, you could start to feel better even before the treatment begins and when you continue with that person, your feelings continue to improve.

Another way of saying it? Love, in the humanitarian sense of compassion and kindness that comes through the healer, is itself part of the healing mechanism.

Example? If you have experienced reiki or another form of energy healing and had nothing more than a drink of water, you could come away feeling much better than you did before the session, yet when you analyze it, what was done? No medicine was ingested, not even a lotion rubbed on the body, nothing more than a simple laying on of hands while the energy flows, and yet, you feel better.

It is my experience that all of this type of healing, when a person is really engaged in the process, is heart energy that is moving and doing the healing work. Heart. This might perfectly fit the definition of placebo.

When a person is going through a significant life change, especially a really trying time, a ritual can also serve as a placebo. The mere fact that you and a facilitator take time out from your daily routine in order to focus on the negative energy and shift it, can lift your spirits and help you creatively embrace and transform the changes in your life. Another placebo to the rescue!

The other joy and beauty that provide a practical aspect: placebos are usually very affordable healing sessions. Whatever it takes to feel better is very much within your reach.

1 comment:

Lynda Lippin said...

The word "placebo" has negative connotations that are just silly. If something makes you feel better on a consistent basis then why not use it? Reiki, other energy work, and prayer are all shown to be at least as effective as most medications.

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