The placebo effect is the most convincing demonstration of how powerful your thoughts are.
Most people know that the placebo effect is when you believe something will work, and as a result of that belief, and not anything else, it does. In medical trials they must demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed new medicine by measuring its effects in carefully designed studies. One of the ways they do this is to have one of the groups in the study believe they are being given the drug, when in fact they are taking a totally inert inactive substance, usually just chalk. In most studies a percentage of people in the placebo group, get better. They spontaneously heal, because they believe the medication is working.
It’s not only in drug trials, Dr Bruce Lipton in his excellent book ‘The Biology of Belief’, cites a surgeon who performed a new procedure for correcting a specific knee condition, and the placebo group where anaesthetised and had exactly the same incisions as the “real” patients so that they truly believed they had experienced the surgery. The recovery rate in this group was comparable to those who had the new procedure. Yet nothing at all had been done, the mind spontaneously began a healing process that gave them the same outcome. If you have followed The Placebo Diet Online Programme or been to a workshop of mine, you will have heard me talk about Morris Goodman – The Miracle Man – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfKn92klPeU – who quite literally used his mind to rebuild a completely broken nervous system after a plane crash. You may have seen him in ‘The Secret’.
These are great examples of the positive effect of the Placebo. It was Henry Ford who first said, “If you think you can you can, and if you think you can’t you can’t”. So, what do you think you can’t do? What’s the most common negative thought that you have? Because just by thinking it you may make it come true. Often I talk about the importance of being able to STOP thinking, and change the direction of your thoughts. Need more convincing? Well here’s 2 examples of the power of negative thinking both extremely old cases but that are cited in a reputable English Journal:
- A convict sentenced to death, is convinced by a Doctor of Psychology that having accepted his fate, he could offer him the most painless way to die. This he explained would be to relax on a bed and have an incision in his neck, and that he would then gently and painlessly bleed to death. Not much of a sales pitch I agree! But the convict agrees. At the allotted time, he lays on the couch, bowls are placed beside the couch to catch the blood, and then he is blindfolded. The Dr then makes the scratches which he is told will be sufficient to do the job. A siphon containing water was placed near to his head, and the water it contained began to drip into the bowl. This is the only sound in the room. As time passes the dripping speed increases slightly, then slows again until it gradually ceases altogether. By this time the convict appears to be in a deep trance, however when the Dr removes the blindfold he cannot awaken him, the convict has died, purely because he believed he would. The process took just 6 minutes.
- A young English woman intent on suicide, deliberately took some “poisonous” insect powder and died. An expert Chemist was called to analyse the powder and identify exactly how it killed her. He reported that the powder was in fact harmless for humans.
It’s estimated that the vast majority of our thoughts are negative, now suddenly that seems a lot more significant doesn’t it?
My exercise for you this week is to simply notice your thoughts. Pay attention to how many negative things you think about or postulate on. When you do have a negative thought, how do you respond? Do you go along with it and let it flow its course> or do you now STOP and replace it with a more positive empowering one?
Watch my video, and keep practising daily on thought and visualisation to strengthen your mind map:
I am mindful of my favourite saying – “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choices”.
This is relevant because all choices begin as thoughts. Your mind will run along all by itself based on previous patterns and mind maps, if you want to change how you think and feel, you must get involved in the process. The exercise above is important and works because awareness is curative, when you pay attention to what you think, with the knowledge that thoughts are things and they really do matter, then change becomes inevitable.