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The Eagle

Is There Scientific Proof We Can Heal Ourselves?

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Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?

Lissa Rankin, MD explores the scientific literature, reviewing case studies of spontaneous remission, as well as placebo and nocebo effect data, to prove that our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.

Anyone who is currently sick or who thinks he/she might be sick at some point in the future should watch this.

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Pretty sure we can. I've got several scars that suggest the veracity of this belief... but then again maybe God out them there when he created me this morning.

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smells as bit of the medieval "only the bad get sick - you are sick so you must have sinned' fallacy.

If this was true, natural selection would have resulted in animals always healing themselves, never getting cancer etc. but they do. so it's rubbish.

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This is a fascinating book - covers lots of studies demonstrating placebo effects, plus discussion of placebo healing and 'nocebo' effects in different cultures.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meaning-Medicine-Placebo-Cambridge-Anthropology/dp/0521000874

Among the studies, proof that placebo injections are more powerful than placebo pills, branded placebos are more powerful than generic ones, different colour placebo tablets have different effects etc etc.

I think it is beyond doubt that it is a very real effect.

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Placebo certainly works in my experience, a lot of illnesses have a mental component. If you don't push yourself, and want to get better, then the process will take a lot longer, and you may not fully recover.

Can placebos cure physiological diseases - in my experience, no. They can make the experience better, and give the impression of a cure, but the disease is still there. A friend has recently died from cancer, the disease was unstoppable, but he didn't give up until a week before the end. Once he had given up, the change was unbelievable: one sunday he was eating a hearty breakfast and complaining about the coffee, 6 days later he was barely conscious, and was dead 24 hours later. He'd decided that living with it was a pain in the ****, and wanted to go, so he did. The will to live is incredibly strong, and placebos can help with that, but underneath it all, the disease is still gnawing away.

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The placebo effect proves we can indeed heal ourselves through he power of belief.

well, it proves that you stop focusing on the subjective effects of an illness...simply getting on with things, normal movement, normal thinking and sure, that the body carries on regardless.

As you are only aware of the subjective effects, you cant know how unknowable diseases progress.

Did you know about that spinal tumour before you got the pain?...my guess is it was there long before you knew about it.

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Can placebos cure physiological diseases - in my experience, no.

But there are documented examples of serious diseases such as terminal cancers that have completely disappeared and left doctors completely baffled. The mechanism is a mystery, so we have to leave room for such possibilities...

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But there are documented examples of serious diseases such as terminal cancers that have completely disappeared and left doctors completely baffled. The mechanism is a mystery, so we have to leave room for such possibilities...

I see it as a probability thing. Are you likely to be able to cure cancer with a positive attitude - no, the vast majority of people, however positive their attitude, die from it unless there is medical intervention. Are there some unexplained remissions? Sure. Could be some unexplained fault in the cancer cells, could be because they drink their own urine, could be god, could be anything. But most people die without treatment.

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I do believe the body can heal itself. Your immune system is constantly fighting various ailments. If you have an optimum diet and positive mindset it helps the immune system. The immune system is hurt by stress so not being positive or happy will lower the immune system because it makes a person feel anxiety and stressed.

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I see it as a probability thing. Are you likely to be able to cure cancer with a positive attitude - no, the vast majority of people, however positive their attitude, die from it unless there is medical intervention. Are there some unexplained remissions? Sure. Could be some unexplained fault in the cancer cells, could be because they drink their own urine, could be god, could be anything. But most people die without treatment.

I am inclined to agree. Yet it is probably also true that most people with such illnesses believe that these are often ultimately terminal, thus even if they 'try to be positive', deep down they believe that it is a death sentence. Some people might be better at focussing on life in such situations, rather than death, and it might be in these types where unexplained spontaneous recoveries are more common. Who knows. The placebo effect certainly indicates that there is more to our beliefs than we currently accept in our medical paradigm.

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Well stressing out causes my hair to fall out. Being Calm and relaxed causes it to grow back normally.

It's an orange wig! :(

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well, it proves that you stop focusing on the subjective effects of an illness...simply getting on with things, normal movement, normal thinking and sure, that the body carries on regardless.

As you are only aware of the subjective effects, you cant know how unknowable diseases progress.

Did you know about that spinal tumour before you got the pain?...my guess is it was there long before you knew about it.

The placebo effect is not some mysterious pseudo-science written about by cranks and psychics.

It is a measurable and observable phenomenon reported in detail in the scientific literature.

The very reason ever well designed study use a placebo is because it is known to have an effect.

Many drug studies now have had to resort to comparisons against the current best drug, rather than a placebo, because when the drugs are compared to a placebo, there is no effect. Not because the drugs are ineffective, but because the placebo effect now matches the best drugs we have. Some have resported increases in placebo effect over time.

Think about it, you can give the best drug medicine has to offer, and often a pill containing nothing but cornstarch has an effect just as great over a physiological parameter of interest. If you think this is not the power of belief in healing explain it to me from a physiological mechanistic point of view. I will be waiting for your answer.

A placebo control is in effect controlling for the innate ability of humans to heal themselves (and alter physiological parameters) through the power of belief.

You might not agree with this or want to, but its scientifically observable.

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I see it more as a case of if you don't believe you can get better, then you almost certainly won't. Whether you believe in the power of conventional drugs, homeopathic remedies, leeches, or singing on Glastonbury Tor at midnight, the point is you believe that whichever method you are using will make you get better. The vehicle is unimportant. And so therefore I believe the body can heal itself, but it is impossible without the mind being in agreement.

I haven't seen many people ever achieve anything whilst believing they couldn't do it.

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The placebo effect is not some mysterious pseudo-science written about by cranks and psychics.

It is a measurable and observable phenomenon reported in detail in the scientific literature.

The very reason ever well designed study use a placebo is because it is known to have an effect.

Many drug studies now have had to resort to comparisons against the current best drug, rather than a placebo, because when the drugs are compared to a placebo, there is no effect. Not because the drugs are ineffective, but because the placebo effect now matches the best drugs we have. Some have resported increases in placebo effect over time.

Think about it, you can give the best drug medicine has to offer, and often a pill containing nothing but cornstarch has an effect just as great over a physiological parameter of interest. If you think this is not the power of belief in healing explain it to me from a physiological mechanistic point of view. I will be waiting for your answer.

A placebo control is in effect controlling for the innate ability of humans to heal themselves (and alter physiological parameters) through the power of belief.

You might not agree with this or want to, but its scientifically observable.

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You are all making the fundamentally flawed assumption that the mind and the body are separate, when that is clearly not the case.

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HPC off topic finally succumbs to pseudoscience.

Tbh it does that a lot. Mainly the older lot whose understanding of science stopped in the mid 80s

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HPC off topic finally succumbs to pseudoscience.

Tbh it does that a lot. Mainly the older lot whose understanding of science stopped in the mid 80s

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Tbh it does that a lot. Mainly the older lot whose understanding of science stopped in the mid 80s

Any news on the eye of newt and ear of bat cure for lumbago yet? It is a tad tricky finding half a dozen virgins' hearts every time I get a twinge.

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