In the News (The Mind Unleashed): “Research on the placebo effect is revealing some amazing discoveries about the power of belief. Placebos were created to control for suggestion, imagination, and bias in both investigators and patients in clinical studies. At the time placebos were first introduced into medical research, investigators didn’t know how they produced their effects. As the field of neuroscience has evolved, it is becoming clear that belief induced within the context surrounding the placebo produces very specific and powerful physiologic effects.
“Research shows there are actually multiple placebo effects. In other words, there are multiple ways the placebo influences the body-mind to heal depending upon the therapy or condition being treated. This research shows that the placebo effect is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters, consistently impacts certain areas of the brain, and even mirrors the action of pharmaceutical drugs on human physiology.
“Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials are the gold standard for proving effectiveness of a medication. The placebo effect provides insight into the complexity of consciousness and how little we really know about the mind and its ability to heal. But the scientific evidence is accumulating and points towards the possibility that the mind has an unlimited healing ability.
“Research shows that a placebo exactly mimics a drug’s effect when the patient has been exposed to the drug prior to the placebo. This has been shown with pain medications, an immune suppressing medication, an anti-Parkinson’s agent, and an anti-anxiety drug. What’s even more amazing is that the placebo effect can even be quantified based on what is told to the patient regarding the likelihood they will be getting a drug.
“The placebo effect emphasizes the importance of belief in overall health and wellness. Be positive in what you say and be discerning about what you believe. Your body-mind is listening.”
My Comment: It is not about belief in higher powers but in the power of self-hypnosis, the authority of the doctor, and the power of medication. Multiple increases of this force is possible during a group’s influence on participants and the impact of the group on each participant.
We usually neglect the intangible effects on a person, but the human being is a complex and composite creature who may be influenced in many ways.