• Andrew

Mind, Body, Faith & “The Placebo Effect.”

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

You’ve probably heard of the placebo effect - where medicines are substituted with sugar pills and saline solutions, but patients respond as if the “meds” were real.

Examples can be found everywhere in the medical annals….injured soldiers on the battlefield far from medics being given salt tablets and told that they’re powerful painkillers and the pain is eased, patients being “hypnotised” and operated on

without anaesthetics and without pain…

The Placebo Effect is the subconscious mind in action and is based on our strong

belief system - it means that our body responds “as if” the drug was real. Our mind expects the result and our bodies deliver to expectations.

This power of the mind to impact on our physical bodies presents a major problem for our pharmaceutical developers - it’s the reason every medical drug, before it’s approved for use, must be “double blind” tested.

Double Blind testing means the patient and the research doctor have no idea if the drug being delivered is the active ingredient or just a sugar pill - only after the results are scored is it revealed which patient had the real drug!

Because we’re programmed to believe and trust authority figures such as doctors, healing can occur even if the treatment is complete bogus….and the results are remarkably consistent - around 30% of people respond to the placebo effect - that’s nearly a third of us!

In religious circles, “Faith Healing” has deep roots with many ancient cultures relying on the Priest, Holy-man, Shaman or Medicine man to deliver the healing through emotionally charged rituals.

Divine intervention? Anything is possible! As scientists we do know that it’s the power of the subconscious mind that drives our deepest emotions, beliefs and behaviour and that includes directing many functions of our body, through the release of hormones and precursor chemicals into our blood stream. When the body chemistry is out of balance over extended periods, illness is inevitable. The subconscious is also capable of re-setting and in regaining balance, reversing the damage and returning the body to health.

Research into developing a better understanding of the subconscious mind is an area of intense clinical focus worldwide. At this stage there are several promising therapeutic applications, but the full potential, (with any luck accessible in the near future!), will be a game-changer for human health.