It has been my experience that people often come into a treatment with pre-conceived notions and expectations that may either improve or inhibit its effectiveness. I have pondered on this phenomenon for quite a while and came across some interesting ideas on how we can influence our own reality.
I put together a couple of excerpts that expand on this idea below.
Placebo effect - Also called the placebo response. A remarkable phenomenon in which a placebo -- a fake treatment, an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution -- can sometimes improve a patient's condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful.
“Placebo effects are often considered unworthy and illegitimate. They are thought to be unscientific and caused by bias and prejudice. This attitude obscures a core truth of medicine: medicine's goal is to heal, which can include cure, control of disease, and symptom relief or provision of comfort. When no cure is available — an inevitable occurrence at some points — medicine's ultimate mission is to relieve unnecessary suffering..."
“Supportive and attentive health care (preferably with effective medications, but even without) legitimately creates a “therapeutic bias” in patients toward hope and an experience of relief and reprieve. Research suggests that distinct neurobiologic mechanisms are activated...”
“Empathic health care creates a cognitive–affective–sensory orientation, tapping into conscious and nonconscious mechanisms that can predispose patients toward reduced symptom severity and lessened reactivity to underlying pathophysiology. Or to borrow terms from the behavioral social sciences, healing interactions “frame,” “anchor,” or “nudge” patients toward shifts in their perceptions of their symptoms and illness, making them less disturbed or perturbed. This shift is part of medicine's moral imperative to relieve unnecessary suffering in a manner consistent with trust and transparency.”
-Placebo Effects in Medicine Ted J. Kaptchuk
The idea that communication and the power of suggestion coming from the practitioner can determine the outcome of the patient seems to trend in more research. In fact, more evidence is coming out about the effectiveness of placebos and nocebos (belief that a treatment will not work from both the practitioner and/or patient)
Below is a paraphrased excerpt from the book, Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton about how our minds influence our very own biochemistry.
“You, have 50 trillion cells inside of you
You’re a skin covered petri dishes with a culture medium called blood!
Your brain responds to the world and then sends chemistry into the blood!
And it adjusts the culture medium based on what you just saw, what you just experienced
So as you feel and interact with the world, if you feel angry, you release different chemistry in your blood.
If you feel happy, you release different chemistry in your blood. If you feel fear, you got different chemistry in your blood?
The chemistry shifts the fate of the cells, so in essence, you’re a cell biologist!
But more truthfully, you are a self-biologist
You are creating your own biology by the way you are responding to the environment
And it works simply like this: Environment has the signals, the nervous system; the brain picks up the signals in a process called perception!
That’s how you perceive the world! And when you perceive the world then that information goes and is handled by the processing of your mind
What did I just respond to? What just happened? Your mind creates a story about what’s happening and then what does your mind do? Well your mind, responding to the perception then causes the release of the chemistry of the brain and that chemistry controls the behavior and genetics of your cells
As you change your mind, you change your biology
Okay, cool except for this interesting part
Then you still say first, if my mind was creating this I wouldn’t of created this, I would have created something better than this
You’re creating your life whether it was your beliefs or other people’s beliefs that you are creating with.
Well what’s that mean?
Well, the function of the mind, is to create coherence between your beliefs and your reality
But if you believe life is hard, well guess what, life is hard
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company had a very famous phrase which summed all this up when he said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
It seems to me that most people with chronic conditions will hold onto the belief of their condition and ultimately identify with it. According to the content I put together, the belief of your current state will continue to manifest until you shift your mindset/perception and seek an alternative path.
Remember, that within the entire biopsychosocial model of health, you’re the one in control of deciding which path to lead. As you embark on your new healing journey, you can take the responsibility and full advantage of all the possibilities you have from your family, friends and community to optimize your life within the spectrum of health and wellness.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. -Wayne Dyer
My perspective on health and wellness trends