how to use placebo effectDid you know that little white sugar pills many times have a measurable positive health affect? Yes, we all know of the placebo effect. But, did you know that a little opaque blue placebo pill with a letter stamped on it is even more effective than a white one? And, as far as placebos go, a capsule, like the red and yellow ones, are even more powerful than the blue pills. But, the granddaddy of them all is the syringe. If you inoculate someone with an inert substance such as water by syringe, well that has an even higher percentage of positive health benefit than any of the previous mentioned placebos. Researchers have been playing around with placebos for a while and have found that if two per day are prescribed it is better than one and bigger placebos are more effective than smaller placebo pills, and so on and so forth.

You know me, I’m always fascinated by the power of the mind. But, this week, more so than usual, as my boyfriend got a not-so-good prognosis from his doctor that one of his health markers is escalating toward the outer boundary of normal at an accelerated rate. So, he prescribed two supplements and a medicine.

As we talked about the whole thing, it was obvious that we both thought he should take the meds. Hey, if a doctor says “Take this and the technology behind it can stop and even reverse the signs of your illness,” you take it, right?! But, Marty and I don’t like medicine. That’s the problem. We both believe that medicine in general is bad and we avoid taking them at all costs. For example, we’ll suffer through a headache rather than taking a pill to relieve it. Knuckleheads, right? What can I say, two peas in a pod.

So, it was my worry about our beliefs about medicine that fueled more conversation. And, the thought process went like this, “If you are taking a medicine to cure your condition, but believe that medicine is not good for you, will it be as effective as it should be?” I had just a watched an intriguing video of an Indian gentleman that was extolling the health benefits of imploded water (I’ll look into that further for you – a conversation for another day). He talked about how in his part of the world, they never just drink water from the tap or out of a water bottle, but always put it in a copper or brass vessel, bless it, and let it sit overnight before consuming it.  To me, this was fascinating, because they give the water a loving intention for their body, before consuming it. This is much akin to the widely-practiced custom of praying over your food before eating it. So, my thought on the subject was that we should work on changing our beliefs about medicine and if and when it is prescribed give it gratitude before we take it, thinking only of how great and wonderful it is that a technology has been created that can reverse a particular condition.

Our conversation carried with me over to the next day in which I did some research on placebos and the power of the mind in healing. Below is a great Ted Talk by a physician in which she talks of these things and many case studies of spontaneous healings and the like. There is actually a database of 3500+ spontaneous remissions cases compiled by the Noetic Sciences Institute from over the past 50 years, and these cases clearly magnify the power of the mind when it comes to healing.

Isn’t that a great video. It’s funny she talks a lot about the ill effects of stress in this, and I have too. I actually did talks on the subject and wrote this piece about the ill effects of stress a couple years back. But, now they are even finding that people who feel that they preform better under stress and don’t feel it is harmful to them are not at all likely to die from it. Whereas, believing that stress is harmful is now the 15th largest cause of death.

In regard to cancer and other serious diseases, Dr. Bruce Lipton, scientist and author of a great book entitled The Biology of Belief, said “Here’s the connection: With fifty trillion cells in your body, the human body is the equivalent of a skin-covered petri dish. Moving your body from one environment to another alters the composition of the ‘culture medium,’ the blood. The chemistry of the body’s culture medium determines the nature of the cells’ environment within you. The blood’s chemistry is largely impacted by the chemicals emitted from your brain. Brain chemistry adjusts the composition of the blood based upon your perceptions of life. So this means that your perception of any given thing, at any given moment, can influence the brain chemistry, which, in turn, affects the environment where your cells reside and controls their fate. In other words, your thoughts and perceptions have a direct and overwhelmingly significant effect on cells.”

What I’m getting at is, if you have to take a pill, bless it, give it good intentions and have utmost faith in its ability to do its job. When you eat food, do the same. “Goodness, this apple, a delicious whole food, is going to do wonders for me!” And, even when you have a piece of chocolate or the occasional Whataburger with cheese, think “I deserve this little cheat. My body was craving this and it’s going to love it,” rather than “Oh man! I’m so bad. This is going to go right to my hips or clog my arteries. This is bad, bad, bad – why am I eating this?!” See the thought process? May your days, your food – and even your meds – be blessed!
Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet” & personal coach