The Brain's Natural Ability to Heal the Body Essay example

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The Brain’s Natural Ability to Heal the Body Doctors and scientists have been studying the brain’s natural ability to heal the body for many years. Researchers have been discovering evidence of the brain’s captivating ability to influence healing. Without the use of medication cancers are disappearing, tumors are diminishing, and depression is fleeing. Science is making advances in brain studies that are providing proof that one’s thoughts and lifestyle remarkably affect the brain’s chemistry, which promote physical and mental healing. Two considerable forms of the brain’s healing power over the body are shown through the placebo effect, as well as maintaining a positive lifestyle through stress reduction and meditation. One way the mind works as a powerful healing agent is through the placebo effect. Geoff Watts defines a placebo as an artificial medical treatment in the form of a pill, shot, or procedure, which contains no medicine, to produce a psychological benefit to a believing patient (34). The effect, therefore, is an occurrence in which some people experience a form of healing after receiving the placebo (34). A fascinating example of the placebo effect is found in the testimony of Mr. Moore, a 55 year old man who was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was given a death sentence by his doctor, but shockingly, five years after receiving his placebo treatment, the cancer had disappeared without a trace (Hirshberg and Barasch 8-11). The belief in the “dummy pill” activated the healing power through Mr. Moore’s brain.
Even though there is not always a medical explanation for this miraculous phenomenon, research is facilitating the advancements for making the placebo effect more effective. For instance, a rheumatologist in London discovered that the brain’s power to heal the body is greatly influenced by the color of the placebo given. Through the work of the rheumatologist, he learned that red capsules produced a greater effect for pain relief than blue, green, or yellow (Watts 34). The color red appeals to our emotions, with power, more than tranquil colors such as blue, green, and yellow. Hence, it seems logical that the effect from the red pill would be more beneficial.
One last interesting finding in the effectiveness of the power of the mind when receiving a placebo is the attitude and disposition of the physician. Research that compared doctors’ bedside manners revealed that physicians who were encouraging, warm, and friendly had better outcomes than those who were more formal in their consultations and did not offer reassurance (Lettus 30). This explains why practitioners, who are known for being compassionate, giving freely of their time, exercising tender loving care, and offering physical contact, often receive better results from the placebo effect (Lettus 30). Ultimately, the placebo effect serves as evidence that our brains are capable of healing without the use of chemical medicine. Another powerful way the brain offers healing to the body is through stress reduction and meditation. Stress has consistently been proven to be linked to serious health conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, lupus, and type II diabetes (Lettus 30). Stress is also the number one culprit in the delay of wound healing, according to “Think it Out,” an article in Men’s Health, published in March of 2003. This article describes a study conducted in Ohio, where researchers removed flesh from the roof of eleven dental students’ mouths during their summer vacation. The researchers removed flesh from the opposite side of the students’ mouths three days before their first exam of the next school term. The Ohio researchers discovered that, on average, it took 40% longer for their wounds to heal during the stressful exam time as opposed to the easy-going summer days.
Every time one feels injured or under the weather, taking a vacation would help in aiding the healing process, however,