Placebo; It’s Not Just About Medicine

We can improve our lives, grow our business, recover from illness; we have the ability to rally from financial challenge, restore confidence, and move forward, even when all appears against us. All we need do is find something that leads us to believe that the power to accomplish all this is within that thing, or pill, or teacher, or book, or methodology. Once we believe we have found the answer, we have, for sure, found the answer. All we need is the belief, and result is assured. And most importantly, as we’ll learn in a few paragraphs, the solution isn’t in the “thing,” it’s within us!

Ted J. Kaptchuk, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School: When a person goes to a medical professional, everyone thinks it’s the drug, or the moving of the hands, or the exercises. But in fact, one of the major contributors of what effects the outcome is the empathy, attention, emotional support, thoughtfulness, laying on of the hands that goes on between the patient and the provider. It’s experiencing a trust, a bond that potentiates good medicine and the patient feeling better.

The fact that an inert pill can make you change how you feel, suggests that there are a lot of other things that can change how you feel. We’re not locked into complaints of headache, fatigue, or nausea. Our thinking can change due to a sugar pill, we’re looking for ways in your ordinary life to help reduce those complaints and help avoid exacerbating those complaints.

Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, Chief of the Pain Management Division, Stanford School of Medicine. A placebo is an inert substance that has no pharmacological or medical action. The placebo effect is the pharmacological or medical benefit that a patient gets from getting that inert substance. It’s effect is generally influenced by a patient’s beliefs. If a patient believes that they are going to experience a positive result from the substance, even though it has no pharmacological action, there is a likelihood that they will improve.

By merely holding an expectation that a patient will get well, or at least better, the patient’s health status improves. Dr. Mackey tells of a 24 year-old man who suffered a severe crushing injury to his forearm such that a mere stroking of the arm caused a level 7 pain, on a 0 – 10 scale, with 0 being no pain, and 10 being the worst pain. Brain scans indicated that pain activity areas in the brain were at elevated levels. The man was told that he was being given a strong pain reliever and his pain went from level 7 to level 3. Brain scans indicated reduced activity in those same pain activity areas.

They had given the young man placebo. They had not actually started the active medication. When given actual medication for pain reduction, the pain reduced even further. Dr. Mackey says what this proves is that placebo effect is real. The effect is evidenced in the brain, and the patient’s belief system has a huge impact on the effect of the placebo.

The statements above, emanating from two doctors associated with prestigious universities affirm what I have been teaching for well over two decades; the most powerful tool we have to influence our lives is our mind’s ability to think thoughts. Any thought directed out into the thinking substance of the universe will create corresponding results. This is the system we refer to as The Law of Attraction.

The Law of Attraction: Like attracts like; thoughts held in mind produce after their kind; what we focus on and give attention to expands in our lives.

I had a frustrating reminder of how this works just the other day. I was purchasing a couple of items at a local big-box hardware store. The weather outside was absolutely perfect. The sky was clear, little humidity, the temperature around 70 degrees, with a light breeze. I said to the two employees behind the counter, “I hope you have a chance to enjoy this beautiful day once you’re off work.” One replied, “Oh yes, I can’t wait.” The other started lamenting about recent weather; “Oh it’s been so rainy and the humidity has been so awful. I didn’t think it was ever going to be nice outside again.” The other chimed in, “I know what you mean. I hate driving in the rain. Everyday last week, it was rain, rain, rain.”

Wow! By means of their focusing on past weather, they turned a beautiful day into experiencing another rainy, unpleasant day, all while the actual weather outside was just about perfect. That’s the Law of Attraction at work. They were focusing on crumby weather and they were living it again, even though it was gone. That’s a good example of the misuse of the Law of Attraction. In medicine, it’s referred to as the “nocebo” effect; experiencing negative effects from an inert substance because you’re warned of possible side effects and you believe in the side effects more than you believe in the therapeutic powers of the medicine.

Be careful what you think about, focus on and talk about, because you’ll bring it about.

Now that we have the proof that what we think influences our life experience, let’s look at my opening statement, “We can improve our lives, grow our business, recover from illness; we have the ability to rally from financial challenge, restore confidence, and move forward, even when all appears against us.” We will do all these things, at least on some level, with our thoughts. We’ll use creative, imaginative thoughts that support what we want in those areas of our lives and others. And then we’ll experience the desired outcomes in varying levels.

It stands to reason then, that we need to know what we want. If we’re going to welcome desired outcomes, we’d better know what those outcomes are. That’s our second task; define for ourselves what we want in all areas of our lives such as health (it starts with our health), self growth, business, relationships, financial, leisure, and more. Take the time to put thought into your goals and dreams, and record them. Once again, that’s our second task.

Our first task is the “quits.” Quit gossiping, moaning, whining, complaining (particularly about something you have no control over), criticizing yourself and others. Quit sharing your problems with people who can’t help you solve them. Quit talking about, thinking about and focusing on what you don’t want and place your attention instead, on your desired outcomes. That’s your first task. If you find yourself engaged in those negative thoughts or conversations. stop and remind yourself, “OK, that’s what I don’t want, what do I want in these circumstances?”

This is all a good beginning. And, if we did nothing more than what we’ve read here, we would lift our life experience. Just as with a placebo, we’ll be better off because we’re believing in and focusing on circumstances that lift us. Yet, there’s a lot more to be gained in utilizing the Law of Attraction. I’ll be teaching a four-week class, beginning on October 17, noon to 1:15pm, titled Grow Your Business Through The Law of Attraction. It could easily be titled Grow Your Life Through The Law of Attraction. It will utilize the “placebo effect” or our belief systems, and our thought systems to improve our business and living circumstances. It will be held at the Algonquin Village Hall, 2200 Harnish Dr. Seating is limited,. The class requires a personal investment of $160. I hope you choose to invest in yourself and join us. Sign up here.

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