How much of what you feel is in your mind?
One of the things that make my bike ride into work more enjoyable is listening to inspirational podcasts.
One podcast I really like is called, “Good Life Project” by Jonathan Fields.
Its, “About” section on it’s website, describes the projects intention:
“It’s about becoming a creator, a leader, a mentor, a giver, a doer. It’s about telling a story with your life that you’d want to read and share”.
Every week Jonathan interviews people with remarkable stories.
This week I listened to Dr Lissa Rankin, who described her life leading up to her current book, “Mind Over Medicine“ which I’m now going to buy.
The interesting bit for me was her description of the placebo effects, in case studies and how effective they were. In particular was the amazing story of a surgeon named J. Bruce Moseley.
This is an extract from The New York Times:
“Moseley had 10 patients scheduled for an operation intended to relieve the arthritis pain in their knees.
The patients were men and all 10 would be wheeled into an operating room, draped, examined and anesthetized.
All 10 would be dispatched to the recovery room and sent home from the hospital by the next morning equipped with crutches and a painkiller.
But there the similarities ended.
For while two of the men would undergo the standard arthroscopic surgery for their condition, three would have the rinsing alone, five would have no recognized surgical procedure at all.
Their surgery would be a placebo, an exercise in just pretend.
The placebo worked.
Six months after surgery, the 10 patients still didn’t know whether they had been faked out or not. But all of them reported much less pain.
None were unhappy with the outcome of the operation”.
The conclusion Lissa Rankin came to was that it’s not only positive thinking on behalf of the individual patient that helps the placebo become effective but that fact that patients were introduced into nurturing, caring environment where qualified people provided the patient with hope and a positive outlook.
This environment turns off the, “stress” response and turns on the “relaxation” response, which allows the nervous system to perform rather than be paralysed with worry.
If you want this explained more eloquently than I have then you’d do a lot worse than to spend an hour and 4 minutes watching the interview on YouTube.
In my mind (and this is the important bit) this evidence is irrefutable.
It just goes to prove that not only are you what you think you are but you become what you think you can become.