Our Mindset Can Affect Our Health

Post date: Mar 30, 2017 9:12:31 AM

By: Gina Baluyot

Have you ever experienced as a kid in an attempt not to attend your classes, you pretend to be ill. So, you hang your head low, sniffle, sigh, and walk lethargically in front of your parents to convince them that you are sick. So, they allow you not to go to school on that day. What is surprising is the next day when you wanted so much to be in class because it was your classmate’s birthday, you have a flu - your temperature is 39˚C, you have runny nose and it is red, your head is throbbing, and you feel nauseated.

Mothers also have experiences when they will take their sick child to the doctor because of three days fever and productive cough, but once they are in the clinic, the fever has subsided and there was no coughing fits at all.

Such instances can lead experts to believe that there is indeed an interaction of the mind and body. That is one reason why placebo, hypnosis, and mindfulness meditation, among others similar to these are considered to be used for illnesses that are not cured by medicine and medical procedures.

There was one interesting experiment done to 262 patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). They were grouped into three: one received no treatment, one received a placebo delivered from a cold and uncaring practitioner, and one received a placebo delivered from a warm and caring practitioner. All the patients were informed that they were receiving a placebo without any active ingredients.

The results were patients in the first group improved 28% just from being in the trial; those in the second group improved by 44%; and those in the last group improved by 62%. The results were the biggest effect ever done on the same case of experiment. The researchers suggested that psychological factors are at work that can be connected for treatment. It could be that the mind is giving signals to the body to prepare for healing or to relax adequately to let the body heal itself.

In the book of Jo Marchant, author of Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body, she posited that “Modern medicine’s focus on physical data and objective test measurements has undoubtedly allowed huge advances but it has also led to an obsession with molecules and biochemical pathways to the exclusion of how we actually feel.”

There might not be enough evidences yet of mind-body interactions, but researches are done and evidences are growing. Jo Marchant’s book related many of the scientists she interviewed who have found at least some evidence that mind/body treatments influence physiological markers. As such, we can start conditioning our minds to a healthy body and see how this can work wonders for our health.