Yes, Spiritual Healing is a placebo effect!
No, the above answer is not a misprint. I do genuinely believe that Spiritual Healing is ‘all in the mind’ and what in medical terms is often referred to as a ‘placebo (effect)’. You may be somewhat surprised that as a Healer I hold this belief – indeed, you may even be alarmed by me making this admission, particularly if you, too, come from a healing background. But before anyone should become disturbed by the above statement, let us clearly establish what the word ‘placebo’ actually means and correct some common misconceptions.
A typical definition in a medical dictionary will define the word ‘placebo’ as a term to describe a medicine (or pill) given to a patient, not because it will have any definite action, but because the patient will not be satisfied unless he or she receives some ‘active’ treatment. Another medical dictionary actually states a placebo as being a medicine that is ineffective but may help to relieve a condition because the patient has ‘faith’ in its powers.
A further selection of definitions of the word ‘placebo (effect)’ given in general English dictionaries is:
As can be seen from the above selection of definitions of the word ‘placebo’, there are both subtle as well as definitely different meanings of the word and I presume that you can accept at least one of these as your understanding.
The word ‘placebo’ comes from the Latin and literally translated means ‘I shall please’. The word has developed to take on meanings associated with placating or humouring the patient but which in effect are unreal or imaginary.
However, the reality is that the meaning of the word placebo largely comes from a medical understanding which until relatively recently believed that the mind alone could not cause a chemical reaction and only the intervention of some form of medicine could be regarded as having any real effect.
Incredibly, it wasn’t until astronauts returning from space were showing weakened immune systems that any serious research began to measure what effect stress had on our physical well-being. Numerous medical tests have now been conducted which have proved conclusively that our mind does in fact regulate and control the very complex chemical changes that take place in our body and which determine our physical well-being. The medicines which we ingest are merely interfering with this process which can often be to our detriment as well as our benefit.
Hence, the billions of pounds spent by drug companies on testing new compounds to determine if any improvement in a particular medical condition can significantly outweigh possibly harmful side effects.
For those who require a more detailed medical explanation of how our mind affects us physically, please consult my Advanced Topics Part 2: The power of the mind document. That paper includes a more in-depth review of the scientific evidence, as well as explaining how Spiritual Healing can help with the healing process.
Increasingly, modern medical research is realising that the mere absorption of chemical substances into our blood stream does not on its own cause an improvement in any adverse condition. It is the mind (the programming) in our brain (the computer) which is determining how these substances will be utilised by the complex cellular structure that makes up our body.
Many understandings of the word ‘placebo’ are thus becoming out of date as medical science increasingly realises that our minds do very much have an effect on our physical well-being. The fact is that properly carried out scientific experiments have now proven that physical changes can take place in our bodies without the intervention of any chemical or organic substances.
One of my favourite expressions when carrying out Spiritual Healing is that “You must firstly heal the mind” (before any improvement can be expected in our physical well-being). Only when any faulty programming in our mind has been corrected can we expect any physiological changes to take place. See topic Will I experience any sensations or effects during a healing session? for further information on this subject.
In my view, the most profound statement that can be made concerning the act of carrying out Spiritual Healing is that ENERGY FOLLOWS THOUGHT. Of course, everything in the Universe, including thought itself, is an expression of energy. If we can cultivate our mind to think positively then we will attract positive energy. Conversely, if we think negatively we can only expect to experience negative effects. For me, healing is first and foremost about creating the optimum conditions to cause a positive outcome and this very much requires the co-operation of both parties i.e., healer and recipient. This is why you will find this particular theme constantly referred to on this website and which in my experience is so often overlooked, or given scant regard, when performing the act of healing.
Therefore, any stimuli from whatever source that brings about a positive effect in a person’s physical or mental well- being are REAL. The only difference is that in the case of a ‘placebo’ it has been brought about without the intervention of any medicine and without the risk of causing any harmful side effects.
For me, this is exactly what Spiritual Healing is all about. It is not in competition with mainstream medicine and can, in fact, very much complement it. When more of the medical fraternity can come to realise how Spiritual Healing can accelerate the body’s own immune system and the repair of physical damage, will the greatest strides in medical science be made.
Instead of trying to eliminate the so called ‘placebo effect’, it should be encouraged and research done to find the most effective means of harnessing and developing it, whereby our minds are stimulated to combat any adverse medical condition.
There are those who maintain that the fact that animals and babies can be so successfully treated by Spiritual Healing, disproves the placebo theory. In fact, the exact opposite is true. It is the openness of their minds without human conditioning that makes them so much more receptive to the process. Perhaps one of the penalties of human intelligence is that we have largely lost the ability to tune into and absorb these cosmic forces which are all around us and which can accelerate natural healing.
This energy is available to all life forms – even humans, if only we are prepared to open our minds to the process!