Faith in the Brain’s Healing Powers

June 23, 2024 by  
Filed under blog

We all have good days and bad days with our health, and it can be frustrating when our bodies are not performing the way we want them to or need them to. But our health is not out of our power to control. As a matter of fact, we all do have a super powerful tool right in our own heads. It’s our amazing brain.

Researchers that study the brain-body connection have shown in numerous experiments how the brain can be tricked into believing it is getting better. A simple sugar pill can relieve pain or even cure an illness if the person believes that the pill being taken is genuine medicine.

That’s how powerful our brains are. They can make physical changes in our bodies beyond what we would normally give them credit for. There is a book I reread regularly called Super Brain. The authors, Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi, point out that any of us can, if we so chose, set up or create our own placebo effect at any time without any kind of pill.

What’s supper interesting, as Chopra and Tanzi explain, is that “the effect isn’t limited to drugs, which is important to remember: anything you believe in can act as a placebo.”

They also ask where the relief comes from when the placebos are not actually doing anything themselves. They explain that it is simply, “the mind telling the body to get well.” The body really believes what it was being told and then it relieves the pain or heals the sickness because it believes it can. In other words, your mind can and does control healing of all kinds including pain, disease, and wounds that our bodies deal with from time to time.

These authors go on to say “Being your own placebo is the same as freeing up the healing system through messages from the brain. All healing is, in the end, self-healing. Physicians aid the body’s intricate healing system (which coordinates immune cells, inflammation, hormones, genes and much else), but the actual healing takes place in an unknown way.”

One of the conclusions that the authors come up with in regards to conquering and taking advantage of the mind-body connection is that, “In serious illness, doubts and fears play a marked role, which is why a practice like meditation or going to group counseling has been shown to help.”

That is certainly worth trying for most, if not all of us, whenever we want to cure our pain, problems, or disease. These kinds of things are probably very helpful to do on a regular basis even.

The authors suggest that there is a method through which anyone can apply their own placebo effect. It requires the same conditions as in a classic placebo response:
1. You trust what is happening.
2. You deal with doubt and fear.
3. You don’t send conflicting messages that get tangled with each other.
4. You have opened the channels of mind-body communications.
5. You let go of your intention and allow the healing system to do its work.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves. When we get a cut finger or knee we slap on a band-aid and know that it will heal without further help from us. In doing that, we’ve just let our brain send a positive message to our cells to do their job. But when we get a serious disease we let our minds jump into the mix with all kinds of worry and negative thoughts doing pretty much the opposite of the list above. If we can have faith and believe in the body’s ability to heal itself then the brain will send the right messages to bring on and support that healing.

The bottom line here is if we are going to benefit from our own built-in ‘placebo effect’ we’ve got to, at a minimum, follow the list of 5 conditions above. If you can do that, you are supporting your body’s ability to take care of you, as it is supposed to do. I’m not saying modern medicine is not super helpful and needed, but it’s certain to get a big boost from your brain if you strongly believe in the ability of the medicine and your body to do their jobs and heal you.


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