Mind-Body Link
What do you think?
(excerpt follows:)
The "placebo response" has been widely recognized since the 1950s, when Harvard's Dr. Henry Beecher described the phenomenon. Until recently, most experts dismissed it as a feat of self-deception, in which people who remain sick (or never were) convince themselves they're better. But we're now discovering that expectations can directly alter a disease process. Consider those Parkinson's sufferers who improved with sham surgery. Using PET scans, researchers compared their brains with those of patients who received an active treatment. As expected, the active intervention caused a significant rise in dopamine, the neurotransmitter that people with Parkinson's lack. But the patients who improved on placebo experienced a similar dopamine surge. A related study found that fake analgesics could boost the brain's own pain-fighting mechanisms. In both cases, the placebo response was not an imaginary lessening of symptoms but an objective, measurable change in brain chemistry.

Link: Mind-Body Link
Annette, Tuesday, 9-21-04 6:04 PM
Makes sense...
The article really just says about what I would've asserted anyway. The mind (and those mythical things called emotions - okay, maybe not mythical) can effect real physical changes.

The danger is when you push that to the point of ignoring practical physical steps you can take. For instance, the fake surgery may have an effect, or it may not. And by announcing that some are fake, the chances of any surgery being effective is decreased. (Mental works in the negative as well as the positive.) Also, while mental state can fend off much sickness, sometimes one ends up pushing it too far, and while a simple over-the-counter pill would've worked originally, one is now bed-ridden or hospitalized.
David, Friday, 9-24-04 3:53 PM
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