Psychoneuroimmunology and the Placebo Effect

There is an entire legitimate and well-researched branch of medicine called psycho-neuro-immunology which studies the effect of thoughts and emotions on human biochemistry.  Biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton actually left his tenured University position to pursue his research in this fascinating field.

Until recently, conventional medicine dismissed the role of the mind in the functioning of the body, except for one pesky exception – the placebo effect, which demonstrates that the mind has the power to heal the body when people hold a belief that a particular drug or procedure will effect a cure, even if the remedy is actually a sugar pill with no known pharmaceutical value. Medical students learn that one third of all illnesses heal via the magic of the placebo effect.  With further education, these same students will come to dismiss the value of the mind in healing because it doesn’t fit into the flow charts of the Newtonian paradigm. Unfortunately, as doctors, they will unwittingly disempower their patients by not encouraging the healing power inherent in the mind.”  -Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Spontaneous Evolution

The placebo effect cures one-third of all illnesses.  This is a staggering statistic – It means that a wide range of health problems can be cured by our minds!  In fact many ailments are literally created, sustained, and eventually healed via completely non-physical processes involving the mind and emotions.  Acne, allergies, angina pectoris, rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis, asthma, cancer, the common cold, diabetes, fever, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, radiation sickness, seasickness, ulcers, and many more diseases have all been cured using a mere placebo.  This of course strikes another blow at the root of the western medical paradigm which traditionally teaches health as a purely physical bio-chemical phenomenon.  The non-physical psycho-emotional aspects of health are dismissively disregarded.

In numerous cases patients are cured simply by taking the placebo alone and with no genuine supporting medication whatsoever.  This works because the patient sincerely believes, beyond any doubt in the mind of the patient that the placebo is in fact real medicine that will cure them.  In this case the patient has subconsciously used their own imagination upon themselves, but the result is exactly the same, often to the considerable surprise of doctors and all others concerned; a complete cure.  The patient visualized themselves as being cured as a direct result of taking what they believe to be an effective medicine, in turn influencing the energy of the inner bodies, thereby manifesting as an observable cure within the physical body.  This process works both ways of course and there are people who unwittingly become ill due to the subconscious use of creative visualization and of the imagination generally and thought processes generally.  This occurs when a normally healthy person strongly believes they are, or should become ill for some reason, perhaps out of guilt, or for example as happens in the case of someone considered to be a hypochondriac.  This belief coupled with the person subconsciously and very often intensively imagining and believing themselves to be ill, will in turn attract that illness.” -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality” (563-4)

Experiments have shown that even an injection of caffeine will put caffeine-sensitive patients to sleep if they believe that they are receiving a sedative.  People with multiple personalities can change eye color, turn off/on allergies, and even have multiple menstruation cycles for each personality.  Under hypnosis people can control heart rate, body temperature, visual acuity, and will away scars and birthmarks.  If humans are simply biochemical machines as the western medical paradigm professes, and our beliefs/subconscious plays no role in bodily health, how can such physical effects possibly come about from non-physical causes?

We may not think that a thought could be enough to undermine an entire system, but, in fact, misperceptions can be lethal. Consider the situation of a person with anorexia. While relatives and friends clearly perceive that this skin-and-bones individual is near death, the anorexic looks in a mirror and sees a fat person. Using this distorted view, that resembles an image in a funhouse mirror, the anorexic’s brain attempts to control a misperceived runaway weight gain, by-oops!-inhibiting the system’s metabolic functions.”  -Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Spontaneous Evolution

Even surgery has been used as a placebo.  In the 1950s, angina pectoris, recurrent pain in the chest and left arm due to decreased blood flow to the heart, was commonly treated with surgery.  Then some resourceful doctors decided to conduct an experiment.  Rather than perform the customary surgery, which involved tying off the mammary artery, they cut patients open and then simply sewed them back up again.  The patients who received the sham surgery reported just as much relief as the patients who had the full surgery.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (90)

Psychologist Shlomo Breznitz at Hebrew University in Jerusalem performed a telling experiment with several troops of Israeli soldiers.  Each troop had to march 40 kilometers but different groups were given different information.  Some groups were told they would march 30 kilometers, and later informed they had another 10 to go, other groups were told they would march 60 kilometers, but were then stopped after 40.  Some groups were allowed to see distance markers along the way to keep track of how far they had marched; other groups were not shown distance markers.  Once the 40 kilometers were complete Breznitz performed blood tests and found that the stress hormone levels in the soldiers’ blood always reflected their projections and not the actual distance they marched.  This experiment shows another example of our bodies physically responding not to “reality” but to our perception of reality.

Just as surely as positive thoughts can heal, negative ones – including the belief we are susceptible to an illness or have been exposed to a toxic condition – can actually manifest the undesired realities of those thoughts.  Japanese children allergic to a poison ivy-like plant took part in an experiment where a leaf of the poisonous plant was rubbed onto one forearm. As a control, a nonpoisonous leaf resembling the toxic plant was rubbed on the other forearm. As expected almost all of the children broke out in a rash on the arm rubbed with the toxic leaf and had no response to the imposter leaf.  What the children did not know was that the leaves were purposefully mislabeled. The negative thought of being touched by the poisonous plant led to the rash produced by the nontoxic leaf! In the majority of cases, no rash resulted from contact with the toxic leaf that was thought to be the harmless control. The conclusion is simple: positive perceptions enhance health, and negative perceptions precipitate disease. This mind-bending example of the power of belief was one of the founding experiments that led to the science of psychoneuroimmunology.”  -Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Spontaneous Evolution

Our ability to control the body holographic is molded by our beliefs.  Our minds have the power to get rid of warts, to clear our bronchial tubes, and to mimic the painkilling ability of morphine, but because we are unaware that we possess the power, we must be fooled into using it … No incident better illustrates this than a now famous case reported by psychologist Bruno Klopfer.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (93)

Dr. Bruno Klopfer had exhausted all standard treatments trying to cure a man named Wright of his advanced cancer of the lymph nodes.  Wright’s entire torso from groin to neck was covered in tomato-sized tumors.  His spleen and liver were so enlarged and toxic that he had two quarts of milky fluid drained out of him everyday.  At his wits end, Wright heard about an exciting new experimental drug called Krebiozen and begged Dr. Klopfer to let him try it.  At first Klopfer refused because Krebiozen was in the testing phase and only being tried on people with very short life expectancies.  Regardless Wright was persistent and insisted that they try this remedy.  Eventually Klopfer agreed and within a week Wright’s tumors “melted like snowballs on a hot stove” to half their original size, a result far surpassing even the strongest radiation therapy.  Within another week, the tumors had vanished completely and Wright walked out of the hospital seemingly cancer-free.  Later on, after two months of good health, Wright began reading articles on the internet claiming that Krebiozen actually had no effect on cancer of the lymph nodes.  He started becoming nervous and depressed reading more and more studies until he suffered a relapse, all the tumors came back and he had to be readmitted to the hospital.  Seeing that Wright’s hypochondria brought back the tumors, this time Dr. Klopfer decided to try an experiment.  He informed Wright that Krebiozen in fact was effective on lymph node cancer as they had seen themselves, but some of the initial supplies had deteriorated during shipping and that was to blame for the relapse.  Furthermore, Klopfer said he just received a new highly concentrated version of Krebiozen and this time it would work for sure.  Wright enthusiastically agreed, rolled up his sleeve, and his fibbing doctor injected him with a plain water placebo.  Miraculously within days Wright’s tumors once again melted away, his chest fluid emptied, and he was released from the hospital feeling healthy and symptom-free from the mere water injection.  About two months after this the American Medical Association published their nationwide study of Krebiozen which flatly stated that the drug had no effect whatsoever on treating cancer.  Wright read the study and was devastated.  He immediately lost all faith in the treatment causing the tumors and chest fluid to come back full force, and he died two days later.

One reason why people who are not aware of true healing cannot be cured is because they believe in their own mind that only doctors, surgeons and other members of the medical profession can ‘cure’ an illness.  Unfortunately, that very belief will ensure that true healing will not be effective, due to the fact the true channels of healing will be blocked by the conscious and subconscious mind, and energy influenced in the same direction.  It is sensible to visit a doctor with any ailment, and to respect their words and actions, but it is extremely important to know beyond any doubt the true origin of healing, and to focus accordingly.  Even if you are given a course of medicine, exercises or even a surgical procedure, view these as secondary influences while always knowing that the primary and true healing influence is by virtue of the energy from which we are all made.” -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality” (571)

 

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