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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Energy Healing or the Placebo Effect?



The placebo effect.  Is it just "all in your head"?  Not according to an experiment reported at http://www.physorg.com/news105029324.html.  The experiment, led by Tor Wager, Columbia professor of psychology, found when scientists applied a placebo cream to volunteers’ forearms,  opioid release occurred in brain areas associated with pain relief.    Wager explains: “These results extend our knowledge of how beliefs and expectations affect the brain's neurochemistry and show that one's mental response to a challenge can affect the brain and body in ways that are relevant to health.”

Even the folks at http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html admit there is something more to the placebo effect than pure psychology.  They report that according to Dr. Walter A. Brown, a psychiatrist at Brown University:    " ...there is certainly data that suggest that just being in the healing situation accomplishes something."  Dr. Brown and others believe that the placebo effect is mainly or purely physical and due to physical changes that promote healing or feeling better. 

Physical changes..... caused by our beliefs....... that result in healing?  How do we tap into this unbelievable power?   Many of us already are!   Practitioners of Reiki, Sound Therapy, Shamballa and other healing energy arts draw on this power during every treatment.  The therapeutic effects are real: opioid release reduces pain; endorphins, cortisol and adrenaline changes result in reduced stress.  Stress reduction prevents or slows further harmful physical changes.   Does this explain everything that happens during an energy treatment?  Absolutely not.  But understanding there is a direct link between our psychology and our physiology is one more tiny step along the path of understanding.

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