Whereas once heavy opiates like OxyContin and Vicodin were reserved for extreme pain or cancer, they’re becoming more commonly prescribed for arthritis and other conditions. Every year this results in thousands of emergency room deaths. While efforts to regulate and clamp down on abuse are being made, it won’t make a dent in the demand unless we find a new treatment. Enter the placebo.
Whether it’s receiving fake acupuncture treatments to relieve the symptoms of menopause or ingesting sugar pills to run faster, it’s becoming evermore difficult to deny the power of the placebo. We’ve been saying this all along, but the phenomenon that was once dismissed as an illusion has been making inroads in the greater scientific community.
Writer Jo Marchant, author of the forthcoming book, Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body, wrote, “People who are ill often improve regardless of the treatment they receive. But neuroscientists are discovering that in some conditions, including pain, placebos create biological effects similar to those caused by drugs.” Put in other words, the function of the brain—to create thoughts, feelings, and emotions—really does shape the reality in which we live. This means each of us has within us the power to harness a new life and a new reality for ourselves through our thoughts.
Care to take a guess who’s not happy about the placebo or a new you? Drug companies—they’re having a hard time beating the placebo, in fact many companies are intentionally seeking out people who are less susceptible. Placebos might be ruining drug trials, but they are proving there’s a new approach to treating pain. If the end result of our thoughts is a biological function, imagine the possibilities of our brain offering an alternative to addictive painkillers?
You’ve probably heard me say it before, but there’s no better pharmacy than the human body. Consciousness activates our chemistry to improve our biology; after all, the body’s primary function is to create a state of homeostasis so that we can function optimally in our lives. Renewal is the norm, and degeneration and disease are the exception. Once we understand how our bodies renew themselves, we can start to harness these physiological processes through intention. It all starts with our thoughts or beliefs, which is what makes the placebo work. And if you’re familiar with this work, we all know that by changing our internal state, we can actually change our external reality.
Pain studies have shown the body can make its own morphine, Parkinson’s Disease studies have shown the brain can make dopamine, and asthma studies have shown our cells can make antihistamine. If the placebo represents a new possibility in the quantum field, what will it represent for you?