The brain can heal the body. It can also harm it as well. The placebo effect works because of the influence the mind can have on the body. In other words, you can treat yourself by assuming you are getting the right medication even though that’s not the case.
But there is more to this. Positive thinking alone might not bring about healing.
In this post, you will understand more concerning the power of the placebo effect; how it works and the benefits one can achieve from it.
Placebo Effect: More Than a Positive Mindset
For most individuals, the placebo effect is about having a positive mindset. But this process is more than believing or thinking positive and having the mind that a particular procedure or treatment will work for you.
First, you need to develop a strong connection between your body and brain. If both work together, the chance of one experiencing relief from an ailment would be high.
Do placebos have the power to cure a disease?
As earlier said, connecting the body and mind can help to relieve you from certain conditions. But have in mind that placebos cannot shrink a tumor or lower one’s cholesterol. These conditions need actual medication.
You can’t trick your body into believing that the placebo you took can help cure conditions like tumor, cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is not even advisable to take such risks.
However, placebos work particularly on symptoms modulated by your brain such as perception of pain. They can make you feel a lot better from this kind of conditions but are not sufficient enough to cure you.
Here are conditions placebos tend to be most effective on:
• Insomnia (stress-related)
• Pain management
• Reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease fatigue.
• Cancer treatment side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
The placebo effects won’t work on conditions like blood sugar or blood pressure. These are conditions we cannot influence or control with our minds. Your mind might have an important role to play in the healing process. But you shouldn’t rely on placebos for a cure.
Does susceptibility to placebo vary?
Our bodies all react differently to traditional treatments. The same can be said of the use of placebos. Some people may have a higher response than others when they take a placebo.
Past research indicated that the more neurotic an individual is, the more effective the placebo effect would be. Recent studies support these claims, but also suggest that people who are more optimistic tend to benefit more from the use of placebos.
The bottom line is that susceptibility to placebos varies. And some people might not benefit from taking a placebo.
How the Placebo Effect Works
The manner in which placebos work is still a big mystery. But there is a belief that the process involves a complex neurobiological reaction. And this suggests higher activity in some areas of the brain linked to emotional responses, self-awareness, and even moods. Others include an increase in feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins.
However, the importance of a healthy mind is still vital to how the placebo effects work. One needs to be mentally healthy and believe that the treatment (placebo) is the ideal thing.
In other words, the placebo effect empowers the brain to tell the rest of the body what it needs to hear to feel a lot better.
Placebos don’t work by relying on brainpower alone. As a placebo patient, one needs to go through a treatment process, (even though you won’t be given real drugs), in order to experience the benefits.
Of course, you can’t sit home and expect to see results. You need to perform the rituals of treatment. In other words, you need to visit a clinic and let a medical practitioner examine you. You need to feel that you are receiving proper attention and treatment for your condition.
Only then will the placebo effect have an impact on an individual. You need to convince the brain that you are getting the right treatment from the right person.
Benefits of the Placebo Effect
Placebos are not real drugs. In other words, you are not going to receive medication. It’s just about having a positive mentality and being able to convince yourself that you are being cared for adequately.
However, one of the benefits is that you will be free from toxicity associated with drugs. Also, there will be no room for side effects. The healing process is entirely natural because you have nothing to do with drugs.
Self-induced placebo: Does it work?
Placebos work most times because people don’t know it’s what they are receiving. But the question is, what happens when you find out you are getting a placebo instead of a real treatment? Could self-induced placebo work?
From the traditional wisdom point of view, it won’t have much effect. One has to be tricked into believing that they are taking a real drug. But the open-label placebo has a contrary view of this.
The driving force behind the placebo effect is the simple act of taking a drug for an ailment. Many believe they will get their healing after receiving a specific medication or treatment. So, even if they are much aware that what they took is not a real drug, the action performed can cause the brain to accept that the body will receive healing.
The mind is, no doubt, a powerful tool that can influence many aspects of our lives. It can also contribute to our healing process. The placebo effect is still active. And you can even benefit from a self-induced placebo. Meaning, even if you know what you are taking is not the real thing, you might still feel better.