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How To Self-Administer Placebo Effects

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June 16th, 2022

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Someone asked me today about my thoughts about the mystery of the placebo effect, which I wrote about at length in Mind Over Medicine and which scientists do not understand but have theories about. I thought some of you might be interested in what I wrote. In the original version of Mind Over Medicine, I defined the placebo effect as a combination of positive belief and the nurturing care of someone in a position of authority who we have been conditioned to respond to with better health. My point of view about placebos has changed over the years, and I’ve updated my thoughts in the new revised Mind Over Medicine.

I used to think it was that simple—positive belief + nurturing care—but now I think the placebo effect has much less to do with sugar pills or even positive belief and far more to do with consciousness. The presence of a true healer (whether that healer is a doctor, psychotherapist, acupuncturist, or energy healer) creates a resonance with the patient, which can entrain the patient into a healing frequency. Any treatment administered in the presence of this healing frequency—pills, injections, needles, hands-on healing, perhaps even remote healing—may impact the patient in a way that causes symptom relief and, in some instances, actual cure. So while you might suggest that people can imbue any old sugar pill with positive belief, the impact of the healing presence may be far more of a factor than we previously recognized. As I say in Mind Over Medicine, it’s one the paradoxes of healing; you can heal yourself, and you can’t do it alone.


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