by Jacob Devaney
that placebos are becoming
in treating illness.
Meanwhile the science of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is echoing what mystics and shaman have been saying forever which is that,
Spirit and science converging
This coming together between the spiritual and scientific communities shows an unprecedented opportunity for humans to embrace vibrant, healthy, thriving lives.
Recent research on placebos (Increasing Placebo Responses over Time in U.S. Clinical Trials of Neuropathic Pain) comes from a McGill University and is published in Pain, the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.
I first learned about this in a wonderful article by Carolyn Gregoire in Huffington Post titled, Placebo Effect Puzzle has Scientists Scratching their Heads.
I highly recommend reading the entire article which shows how the placebo effect is exploding in the United States, but nowhere else.
This may have something to do with the fact that the United States has 5% of the worlds population yet consumes 75% of the worlds prescription drugs.
The 'sugar pill' is working
The above study focused on pain-killers, but similar results have been observed for anti-depressants.
With more than 1 in 5 Americans taking mental health drugs the number of people seeking alternatives and preventative measures continues to grow.
Yoga, meditation, healthy diet, and exercise do not come in the form of a pill but tend to address the larger picture of wellbeing that is too often overlooked by the medical establishment.
Tuning into our trauma
All of this points to the innate ability our bodies have to self-regulate, seek balance (homeostasis), and heal.
You would think that we would be eager to listen to our own bodies when they speak to us through symptoms, yet we usually do the exact opposite by numbing the pain or ignoring what we feel.
Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, is an expert in trauma resolution and a lead voice in field of Somatic Experiencing, which invites us to tune in to our bodies as well as our emotions in order to reclaim our health.
Through hundreds of hours of client sessions, Levine began to witness how clients' bodies told their stories of trauma, even if the clients had no specific memories.
Once Levine guided them into the sensate experience of trauma, the body then took over and finished what was unprocessed, or incomplete.
Clients receive the added gifts of increased body awareness, a stronger connection to self, a shift in deep-seated patterns, a more regulated nervous system, and a sense of mastery.
Peter Levine speaks
about Somatic Experiencing
Prescription of the future
The mind, our beliefs, emotions, and lifestyle play a much larger role in our wellbeing than we tend to recognize.
While researchers are wondering how to avoid the dreaded monkey-wrench of the placebo effect in testing new drugs, the general public is recognizing that taking charge of ones health doesn't need to always start with a call to the doctor or a new prescription.
As Carolyn Gregoire underscores in her Huffington Post article (Placebo Effect Puzzle Has Scientists Scratching Their Heads),
Placebos are showing us
we have the power to heal ourselves
Popular books like 'Your Body Speaks Your Mind' are a significant indicator that a new paradigm in health is upon us.
Science and spirituality, like the brain and body have lots to gain by embracing the wisdom that the other has to share. We are evolved enough to know that the answers we seek aren't always either/or.
A balanced and holistic approach is a prescription for wellbeing.
So keep your doctors number close by but also take the power of your health into your own hands. Your body will thank you for listening to it, your emotions will release freely when they feel welcome and your quality of life will increase.
Placebos may not be the miracle cure after all, but what they might be showing us is that we already possess an untold capacity for self-healing...