When it comes to healing, there are a myriad of factors that promote it. By exploring the placebo effect and the principle of faith, we can discover how mental processes and belief play the most important roles in facilitating the healing process.
Meaning of Placebo and the Placebo EffectThe word placebo originates from the Latin word placēre, which means to give pleasure. Today, it is used as a name for any substance or action that produces the effect of healing in patients, despite having no scientifically-based therapeutic effect. Ironically, mainstream medicine discards its use in clinical practice no matter the effectiveness of the placebo, even if it is superior to the drug tested.
The Science Behind the Placebo EffectBelief seems to be the number one factor influencing the actions and effectiveness of the placebo effect, but some other factors are:
- The patient’s previous therapeutic experiences: The standard of practice in the patient’s region will influence their expectations, and as a result, the effectiveness of the placebo. For example, in Western medicine many believe that the more invasive or expensive the procedure is, the higher the expectation of effectiveness for the patient!
- The emotional and mental state of the patient: As a general rule, more mentally stable patients seem to respond better to all forms of therapy.
- Spirituality as an essential part of the patient’s beliefs: Or the “real power behind the throne.” A patient’s spirituality, or lack of spirituality, will have an effect on a patient’s response to a therapy.
- The influence of the therapist/physician: The placebo effect can again occur, based on other patients’ experiences, or the degree of education and specialisation of the therapist/physician. Our medical system believes that more specialisation guarantees better care, and so this together with a compassionate professional who shows genuine interest in helping, is, in my opinion, one of the most potent activators of the placebo effect.
I nner Wisdom
H eal you
Causality in the Disease ProcessWellness is the natural balance between all the parts of the universe. A disease is an imbalance created by the reaction of the elements of the universe trying to recover its equilibrium. It’s like how severe natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, are only trying to correct the imbalances created by man-made destruction of the planet. The law of cause and effect rules all of these actions and reactions since its primary role is to keep the universe in balance. The results of the law directly come from the intentions of all of us living in the universe.
- An intention guided by the thought of the universe and everyone in it, creating a positive result in the universe = Dharma
- An intention steered by selfishness, therefore harming the universal equilibrium = Karma