Countless research has confirmed the psychological and physical impact of belief. However, until recently, all research has focused on creating beliefs in participants by convincing them of a desired outcome via elaborate subterfuge.
For instance, knee surgery patients have been taken through all normal medical steps in detail and told how successful the surgical procedure went when in fact no surgery took place. Pain relief studies told those in discomfort that they had taken a new pain relief medication when in fact it was an inert chalk pill. All such studies held the assumption that the placebo effect only works if the subject is duped into forming a belief through an elaborate ruse but, new research indicated that this is not necessarily needed for physical and psychological changes to be gained.
For example, Ted Kaptchuk from Harvard Medical School, gave participants with irritable bowel syndrome an inactive pill and openly explained that the pill contained no active ingredient but has still been shown to improve symptoms in other people suffering from IBS. Although the word ‘placebo’ wasn’t mentioned, it was made clear to the inert pill has helped other people with their condition because they believed it would help.
Most in the scientific community were highly sceptical of this experiment, maintaining that a level of deceit and trickery is needed for the placebo effect to work, however, Professor Kaptchuks volunteers showed significant improvements in symptom when compared to those who had not taken a pill, even though they knew it was a dummy pill.
Such studies strongly suggest that we can all improve our health just by believing in the power of our own mind. Through practices such as visualising improved health and wellbeing, through positive affirmations and Manifestation Movies, if we understand the physiological and psychological impact of placebo and believe that our own mind has the power to heal or harm, we can manifest positive changes within our body and lives.
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