28 December, 2010

How Rituals Combined With Action Can Cure Illness

Placebo pillsOn Sunday I wrote a post Woman Walks After 23 Years Through Spiritual Healing. I think of this as being a form of 'faith healing'. There was also a video on the post showing her being 'cured' and her first steps.

Today I was reading about how dummy pills can really work in making people feel better - even when the patient knows they are only a placebo!

This perhaps indicates that we can cure ourselves by thinking positive thoughts about feeling an improvement in our health - in other words a kind of faith healing. Our belief can work wonders with our general health.

Dr. Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard University Medical School carried out tests with patients who had an irritable bowel disorder. They were given a tablet with no active ingredients.

Dr. Kaptchuk explained, "Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle. We told the patients they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills."

Clinical tests where carried out where some patients had these placebo pills and others had real medicine. Even though the pills had no active ingredients patients taking them felt better and had improved symptoms.

Dr. Kaptchuk added, "These findings suggest that rather than mere positive thinking there may be significant benefit to the performance of medical ritual. Placebo may work even if patients know it is a placebo.

From these placebo trials we can see that if linked to a 'ritual' they can work and this is very similar to faith healing. There is a ritual of laying on hands, and the like, backed up with perhaps music or rhythm and the patient gets better. The subconscious realises something is happening and associates this with being cured. In the case of a placebo the act of taking a tablet, as offered by a medical practitioner, is sufficient to cause a subliminal trigger to make them feel better.

And, if you think about it, this is also the whole purpose behind magic or religious rituals: to cause a reaction of belief that something will happen, because of whatever act is being performed.

Ritual + an action = a desired response.

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7 comments:

  1. interesting subject mike. my mother goes to spirtual meetings where healing often happens though nothing as spectacular as in the video you mention.

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  2. Great post! We've got something similar coming up. Did you get snowed in??

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  3. Tom: I've never been to a spirtual meeting - must see if I can find one locally, out of interest.

    Trish & Rob: Look forward to reading your post.

    As for the snow the last went from our garden yesterday plus it's turned much milder now. It didn't really effect us much where we live. I quite enjoyed it!

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  4. The power of the mind is tremendous! Wonderful post!

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  5. Thank you Neva - the mind is truly tremendous! Just love your poetry.

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  6. HI,

    Thank you so much for your post....

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  7. Marc: Hello Mark, many thanks for your comment - Mike.

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