So what is actually happening?
I’ll be digging deep into this issue in my book, but suffice it to say that something very powerful happens when you BELIEVE you are being treated with something that will heal you. In all but the “do nothing” treatment group, patients believed they were being given real treatment, and the combination of the belief in getting well and the support of a therapeutic relationship has been proven, time and time again in clinical research trials, to result in powerful symptom relief.
In fact, in clinical trials across the board, the placebo effect ranges from 30-75% efficacy. And it’s not just symptom relief. Although this study showed 20% improvement in lung function in those receiving albuterol, compared to 7% in those receiving placebo, some studies show even more marked physiological effects in the placebo group. Which means that it’s not just in your mind. Your body is actually responding physiologically. Through a series of physiological shifts, your body is actually activating a cascade of healing mechanisms that can improve your asthma, relieve pain, increase energy, and even – sometimes – cure cancer.
Regarding the Harvard study, study author Ted Kaptchuk said, “It’s clear that for the patient, the ritual of treatment can be very powerful. This study suggests that in addition to active therapies for fixing diseases, the idea of receiving care is a critical component of what patients value in health care. In a climate of patient dissatisfaction, this may be an important lesson.”
Yes, I agree with that. But I would argue that it goes beyond the active therapy and the idea of receiving care. I think hope is a powerful healing force, and your state of mind greatly affects the state of your body.
What do you believe?
So what do you believe about your body? Has a doctor told you that your illness is “incurable?” Do you believe you’ll have to take medication for the rest of your life? Do you BELIEVE you might be able to heal yourself, not just from a physical health condition, but from an emotional, sexual, professional, financial, interpersonal, or other type of whole health issue?
I believe you have the power to heal yourself. And I’ll be writing more about the proof I’m finding in the medical literature to support that belief as I dig deeper, so make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter.
What do you believe? Have you healed yourself from a health condition? Have you tried to heal yourself – and failed? Tell us your stories in the comments below.
With faith in your self-healing superpowers,
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.