The Placebo Effect Proves We Can Heal Ourselves With Our Minds

In a documentary called The Power of Thought, stem-cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton estimates at least a third of all healings – including those involving drugs, surgery and all other allopathic treatment – have nothing to do with the treatment itself, but everything to do with the patient’s belief in the treatment.

The placebo effect, as defined by Google, is a “beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.”

Some believe the placebo effect is explained by patients trying to please doctors by falsely reporting improvements. But many researchers think that if a patient believes a treatment is real, their expectations of recovery actually trigger physiological factors that improve their symptoms.

Placebos are capable of causing measurable change in blood pressure, heart rate, asthma symptoms, and the release of pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins. They also reduce levels of stress hormones like adrenaline, which are known to worsen physical ailments.

While the term “placebo” is generally used in a dismissive context — “no more effective than a placebo” or “just a sugar pill” — the power of the placebo can no longer be underestimated.

The Power of Thought

“It is certainly possible that the so-called placebo effect is the principal component of the cure,” German biology professor Dr. Ulrich Warnke says in the film.

“There have been investigations in Switzerland where it wasn’t the application of drugs or medication or physical therapy that were the decisive factors, but rather the patient’s trust in the doctor’s ability to heal.”

Warnke goes so far as to say “cures are impossible when a patient does not believe in a successful outcome.”

“If you think you have an incurable disease, you’re right. If you think your problem is curable, you are also right,” says Herman Koning, medical director of Medipoint, in another documentary called The Living Matrix


“It’s been discovered in the laboratory over the last 15 or 20 years that intention does have physical effects,” says Apollo 14 astronaut and IONS founder Edgar Mitchell.

For example, one study showed cancer patients’ partners were able to create physiological improvements in the patients with just the power of their thoughts, said President of the IONS foundation Marilyn Schlitz.

The patients partners were trained in a “compassionate intention program including meditation, heart opening and subtle energies,” Schlitz said. “The program lasted 8 weeks. At the end, they monitored the patient in an electromagnetically shielded room.”

“The partner sat in another room watching the patient on a TV screen. At random times throughout the session, they were asked to send loving, compassionate intention to the patient. There was a significant correlation in the physiological activity of the patient and the focused thought of their loved ones.”

Schlitz used to tell patients not to get chemotherapy, because it only works 9 percent of the time.  “I don’t do that anymore. The reason I don’t is that belief itself is the body’s strongest medicine. If YOU believe something is going to work, regardless of what it is, it’s going to work for you.”

She cited a study in Houston where half the patients were given a sham knee operation for arthritis. Over three years of follow-up both sets of patients reported no pain, Schlitz said.

Nocebo Effect

The downside of the placebo effect is it works both ways.

While the placebo effect can cause a terminally ill person to recover, what’s been termed the “nocebo effect can take a perfectly healthy person and kill them,” Lipton says.

In other words, if a doctor tells a patient he has six months to live, unless he gets a second opinion, chances are he’s going to die in six months.

Lipton cited a trial in which a third of the patients receiving placebo radiation lost their hair because they were told they would and believed they would.

“When people have negative thoughts, chronic anxiety or depression, they’re much more susceptible to illness, sometimes twice as susceptible to colds and flus and that sort of thing,” added holistic psychotherapist Robert Gerzon.

The Medical Industrial Complex Doesn’t Want Us to Know about The Power of the Placebo

“Most people know placebos are very, very effective — so effective that before you can bring a drug to market, it has to out perform the placebo,” says pyschology professor Dr. Ellen Langer in the film. “The medical world is often not happy with placebos, because it means this medicine is no better than a placebo, and people overlook just how effective a placebo is. Here you’re taking a drug that’s inert, so if you get better it’s clearly not the drug. So somehow you’re making yourself better.”

In fact, the placebo effect is actually becoming stronger among American patients, setting the bar even higher for pharmaceutical companies.

“What interests me as a biologist and former professor in a medical school is how we can talk about the placebo effect for about 15 minutes in a pharmacology course and then totally ignore the relevance of thought on biology for the rest of medical education,” Lipton says.

By his estimates at least a third of all healing has nothing to do with the process, but with the patient’s belief in the process.

“That means we could cut healthcare costs by one third,” Lipton says.

Ding, ding, ding! That’s why you only spend 15 minutes on it in medical school. Obviously the medical industry isn’t interested in informing patients they have the power to heal themselves.

But not all doctors believe in keeping the power of the placebo a secret. “If the major component of a drug in any particular condition is its placebo component, we need to develop non-pharmacological interventions as a first-line response,” says Ted Kaptchuk, director of placebo research at Harvard Medical School.

“When we make an emotional shift – let’s say from frustration to joy – about 1400 biochemical changes instantly go off in the body,” says Vice President of HeartMath Howard Martin. “Strong negative emotions degenerate us. Positive emotional states regenerate us.”





One response to “The Placebo Effect Proves We Can Heal Ourselves With Our Minds”

  1. Will I Am Avatar
    Will I Am

    Thank you Sara Burrows!
    Ir ramifications and now unlocked information have the power to play Mind Games at a heretofore positive level