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Healing Cancer With The Mind!
The power of your mind over functions of your body is widely acknowledged. Medical studies that measure the effectiveness of treatment have proved that patients often improve even when the pill they are taking is only a sugar pill. This is because they believe that the pill they are taking will heal them. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect. In fact, in drug trials, the health improvements in the placebo group are often as significant as those in the group receiving the actual drug.
The placebo effect is the measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health not attributable to treatment. A placebo is a medication or treatment believed by the administrator of the treatment to have no power. Placebos may be sugar pills or starch pills. Even “fake” surgery and “fake” psychotherapy are considered placebos.
A medical doctor may have results with a patient on the force of his conviction, and because the patient places his trust -and his life- in the hands of the medical profession, he believes that the doctor cured him, when in fact, he cured himself.
No matter what, you’re healed through your own intervention and belief. You’re the one who controls your entire body through the power of your mind, and if you’re determined not to be cured, no surgery, no drug or placebo will heal you.
Why an inert substance, or a fake surgery or therapy, would be effective in healing is not known. Some believe the placebo effect is psychological, due to a belief in the treatment or to a subjective feeling of improvement. Your beliefs and hopes about a treatment, combined with your suggestibility, may have a significant biochemical effect. Your sensory experience and your thoughts affect your body's neurochemical system, which affects and is affected by your hormonal and immune systems. Current knowledge demonstrates that a person's hopeful attitude and beliefs may be very important to their physical well-being and recovery from injury or illness.
It may be that much of the placebo effect is a matter of mind over behavior. The changed behavior includes a change in attitude, in what you say about how you feel, and how you act. It also affects your body chemistry.
Strangely, the placebo effect is not limited to the subjective sensations of patients; some studies show actual physiological change as a result of sham treatments. In a study of asthmatics, researchers found that they could produce dilation of the airways by simply telling people they were inhaling a bronchiodilator, even when they weren't. Fifty-two percent of the colitis patients treated with placebo in eleven different trials reported feeling better - and fifty percent of the inflamed intestines actually looked better when assessed with a sigmoidoscope.
Spontaneous healing and spontaneous remission of cancer cannot explain all the healing or improvement that takes place because of placebos.
What is the explanation for the placebo effect? Some think it is the touching, the caring, the attention, and other interpersonal communication that are part of the controlled study process (or the therapeutic setting), along with the hopefulness and encouragement provided by the experimenter/healer, affect the mood of the subject, which in turn triggers physical changes such as release of endorphins. The process reduces stress by providing hope or reducing uncertainty about what treatment to take or what the outcome will be. The reduction in stress prevents or slows down further harmful physical changes from occurring.
The truth is that the placebo effect is huge - anywhere between 35 and 75 percent of patients benefit from taking a dummy pill in studies of new drugs - so huge, in fact, that it should probably be put to conscious use in clinical practice, even if we do not entirely understand how it works.
The inconvenient evidence keeps trickling in that if placebos are lies, they can also be, "lies that heal." In an influential article first published in 1955, the Harvard researcher Henry Beecher concluded that between 30 and 40 percent of any treated group would respond to a placebo. Studies since then have shown placebos working for certain conditions - pain, depression, some heart ailments, gastric ulcers and other stomach complaints - in closer to fifty or sixty percent of subjects, sometimes more. Indeed, it's not unheard of for placebo effects to exceed those attributed to the active drug.
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