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Deepak Quotes

The most positive action we can take about the past is to change our perception of it.

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Joyful Wisdom

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ABOUT THEBOOK: Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first...

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Book Of Secrets
2005 Nautilus Book Award Grand Prize Winner! New York Times Best Seller! Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets...

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life
ABOUT THE BOOK: This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain...

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)
“God is an empty term except through the revelations of all the saints, prophets, and mystics of history. They exist to plant the seeds of spirituality as a direct experience rather than a...

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Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
ABOUT THE BOOK: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flow of energy in your surroundings.  Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston has pioneered the study...

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)
Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges ( AUDIOBOOK Available )  "Great advice directly from the master on virtually any subject, it just doesn't get any better...

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)
ABOUT THIS BOOK Leadership is the most crucial choice one can make—it is the decision to step out of darkness into the light.      Bestselling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites...

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)
BROTHERHOOD Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream DEEPAK & SANJIV CHOPRA   “BROTHERHOOD is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite...

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)
Learn about Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center's Super Brain dietary supplement - Ayurvedic Brain Support NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy...

Events

 
 
 
August 19 2012

I Will Not Be Pleased - Your Health and the Nocebo Effect

Category:  SF Gate

For decades the placebo effect has existed basically as a nuisance, so far as the medical profession is concerned. Some people benefit from being given a sugar pill instead of an actual drug. This remarkable result cannot be marketed, however. It doesn't fall within the ethics of medicine to prescribe fake drugs. Therefore, a doctor in practice, whose training has drummed into him that "real" medicine means drugs and surgery, will shrug off the placebo effect as psychosomatic, or "it's all in your head."

This attitude shuts down a fascinating possibility, that a patient's expectations plays a major role in being well or getting sick.

The placebo effect is real medicine, because it triggers the body's healing system. One could argue that this is the best medicine, in fact, since: a. drugs do not trigger the healing system and b. the placebo effect has no side effects. Staying well means that the body is taking care of itself - and you - through a feedback loop of chemical messages. Circulating throughout the bloodstream, lymphatic system, and central nervous system, chemical messages are crucial to the healing system, because they keep every cell in communication with every other.

Like it or not, every thought, decision, and action influences this feedback loop. The "or not" is important. Unwittingly, we damage the body's natural state of health with negative input. The fact that this input comes from the brain means that thoughts, moods, and expectations, however intangible, get translated into chemical messages just as surely as molecules of aspirin or glucose. You and I bear the responsibility of sending positive messages to our cells as opposed to negative ones.

This is prelude to an overview of the nocebo effect that recently appeared in the New York Times. The placebo effect, which is based on a person's positive expectation, has been widely studied. Its opposite, the nocebo effect, has not. But clearly a negative expectation can be powerful. Subjects who volunteer for drug trials sometimes drop out, for example, because the side effects of the new drug are too severe. This is true even when the side effects are being induced by a sugar pill and not a real drug. To quote from the Times article:

"We found that 11 percent of people in fibromyalgia drug trials who were taking fake medication dropped out of the studies because of side effects like dizziness or nausea."

"...the discontinuation rates because of side effects in placebo groups in migraine or tension drug trials were as much as 5 percent."

If these percentages seem rather low, consider the following remarkable finding: A study on lactose intolerance took a group of subjects who complained of intestinal problems caused by lactose, the sugar found in milk. Some of these people had been diagnosed with lactose intolerance; others only suspected that they had it. When asked to take lactose by the experimenters, "44 percent of people with known lactose intolerance and 26 percent of those without lactose intolerance complained of gastrointestinal symptoms" - and yet all had actually been given glucose, which doesn't do harm to the intestines.


I Will Not Be Pleased - Your Health and the Nocebo Effect
The two authors of the Times article, Paul Enck and Winfried Haeuser, are German professors of psychology and psychosomatic medicine respectively, and their overview covered 31 studies in the nocebo effect. The most telling case they refer to was a patient who took 26 placebo antidepressants in a suicide attempt and had his blood pressure fall "perilously" low, as would happen overdosing on real antidepressants. What makes this case so telling is that it demonstrates that the body can turn any mental intention into its chemical correlation.

The key to the placebo effect is that the patient expects a good outcome, while in the nocebo effect the expectation is of a bad outcome: I will be pleased versus I will not be pleased. Set aside the medical implications. We make judgments about all of our experiences every day, expecting them to turn out well or badly. Does this point to a holistic placebo versus nocebo effect? We'll explore that possibility in the next post.

(To be cont.)

Top comments

  • Is there any use for placebo or nocebo in the New Universe? No, because... Only by living slow... am I able to flow... It is something into which I grow... by letting go... step by step... The worries I know... are worries about what I do not know... But that I do not know is my only truth... Which always brings me back to zero... Lol we put a lot of rubbish into each other`s mind and body... Am only listening to myself nowadays, seem the most healthy thing to do!! Which to me is the only place or no cebo :)

    YourSoul // 2012-08-19 08:32:53 // //
  • Basic AND Brilliant. As humanity accepts this reality, the world will change rapidly - for the better. There can be nothing more influential upon "what shows up" for us in life, that our habitual thoughts, that affect our feelings, that affect our behavior. The advantage we advanced beings have is the ability to interpret the stimuli (data) that our senses bring in...and to be at choice in the distinctions we make. Thing is, for a LONG time now, selfish power hungry humans have acted to overtly manipulate the perceptions and interpretations of other they`ve deemed less worthy, through systematic demoralization, coercion, and simply put...fear. This has influenced a globally passive humanity, where people are externally driven - forces outside themselves drive their inner thoughts, feelings, and thus behaviors. Study EVERY massively successful human (measured by health/happiness/fulfillment, not just $) and you`ll learn that the "secret" is pretty close to what the movie "The Secret" was conveying...that the "power" is INSIDE US. Science knows this, has proven it definitively. What you think, what you expect, matters! Ever been in a bad mood and expect that you`ll get stuck at every red light? What happened? Conversely, have you ever been "sure" there`s a parking space up front, and sure enough...there it is? This is overwhelming true INSIDE our bodies...what you think/expect affects every system. Optimists get sick less, and heal faster when they do, recover from illness/trauma faster, etc. What`s that about. Further, people TRYING to heal, that are surrounded by naysayers trying to prevent them from healing...have a hard time and inadvertently suffer due to others` influence. As we humans accept this reality, that each and every one of us is direct CONTROL, that what WE choose to think - matters, boy will the world change rapidly. We have malfunctioning systems that benefit the few, in large part due to the suppression of the expression of individual will. That`s changing now. Science was overwhelmingly experienced this and measured the influence of thought on particles, we know this stuff - it`s time to use it for individual and collective evolution.

    Martin Matthews // 2012-08-20 10:18:34 // //

 

 

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  • I found this article interesting because it points out the inability of pills to be correctly proven to be effective in the healing process. This would include vitamins as well as pharmacy drugs. While some pills are presumed to have a positive outcome for an illness, there is always the possibility that the person would have healed by "doing nothing." Aspirin may be a placebo for people who believe it will prevent a heart attack when the person`s arteries are blocked. And Vitamin C may prevent colds in some people. Others may insist that rest and chicken soup is a cure. One thing we all can agree upon is that more questions need to be answered and we need to find better ways of measuring the results.

    Cheryle Gagnon // 2012-09-15 12:26:06 // //
  • … And PS, brother “Deek”: *** Further about “Gratitude” = Just be “extremely” grateful that at present I am only targeting you here for now!! God only knows when I will get the good-mystical urge to head over to your other mates fan sites of Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and Michael Roland and totally-completely Mystically-Blast the mega-selfish-glorified “charlatan-Fuck” out of them as well!!! Be grateful that, brother “Deek” that I have kept that reservation, so far… but don’t push you luck, brother!!! Always all for your Greater Spiritual Good, “Deek” …xoxoxo = Mystic Love & Blessings from Spen = ^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-24 14:16:48 // //
  • Gracias .!1

    Rossy Yoga // 2012-08-24 10:48:05 // //
  • Koch's hypothesis please..illness is not magically healed by thought alone. Tell the truth..placebo?= lies

    Cindy Ohlhues Cutlip // 2012-08-24 06:56:21 // //
  • >>> = Here's a "real" mystical insight for you, brother "Deek"... "Feeling energized in the moment will make you feel far better and happier long-term, and as a result, will make you live longer in Life, "in" connection with It All" ~ Spencer Perdriau "REMEMBER "DEEK": THAT'S MY ONE, BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-24 06:10:13 // //
  • Think of the power of the physicians words.

    Merilee // 2012-08-24 06:09:52 // //
  • A magical cure without medicini....... Itz..amazing

    Monika Singhania // 2012-08-23 23:35:37 // //
  • Like I said = "Common Knowledge", 'DEEK'!!!! Stop claiming this for your own selfish-glorified self!! Like, I wonder how much did the Chronicle payed you to print so "fancily" that under your so-called good-wise name!!!(???) Was it over a million, YOU SO SICKENING-SELFISH FUCK!!!!!!!!!! Mystic Peace & Love to you, my brother!!! = ^^^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-23 22:46:30 // //
  • So...here's a question, Mr. Chopra. If we follow this notion...than we ask for drug companies and health providers, essentially to lie to us, for our own good, and make a huge profit. Doesn't the poison of lying, eventually, catch up, and re-inflame the illness? For them, and us?

    Anne Marie Pacitto // 2012-08-23 20:53:22 // //
  • I like a doctor who knows I can heal myself, with a little help. Sometimes (I think) I need real antibiotics.

    Margaret Gibson // 2012-08-23 20:37:43 // //
  • our worry and negative thinking only add stressors to the body, preventing the healing process from taking place. a strong willed person can heal themselves with positive thinking...weaker minded people need to be prescribed these placebos so they dont worry about their illness but rather believe that they will get better since thats what medicine is meant to do.

    Jennifer Gonzales // 2012-08-23 19:40:13 // //
  • I agree. I witnessed it with my patients. It's psychological medicine, so to speak.

    Ronald Collins // 2012-08-23 19:13:18 // //
  • it hast to be true both ways right right which i know u know it is so that means we hav the power to HEAL OURSELVES and HURT OURSELVES what we chose to do i guess is what we choose. :)

    Rose Duran // 2012-08-23 18:59:49 // //
  • does this mean you can placebo a disease?

    Rose Duran // 2012-08-23 18:59:15 // //
  • Amazing article! !!!

    Anna Queen // 2012-08-23 18:56:42 // //
  • Well good then quit giving people placebos that can kill them. Instead give them Fukitol that Robin Williams prescribed.

    Jennifer Renae Cosby // 2012-08-23 18:49:04 // //
  • it trigers an effect . now we have to way to keep it. Anu sugestions

    Wanda Sanchez // 2012-08-23 18:46:56 // //
  • Excellent article Dr. Chopra. Like you, I have always wondered myself why won't traditional medical researchers and practitioners treat this phenomenon less as an unexpected effect and more as a tool for healing.

    Ryan Villanueva // 2012-08-23 18:44:49 // //
  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4924385683686207744

    Pj Lydon // 2012-08-23 18:38:56 // //
  • makes sense!

    Amber Stanley // 2012-08-23 18:37:57 // //
  • everything in us regenerates... so I think this is great!

    Liz Barbosa // 2012-08-23 18:37:09 // //
  • Excellent! :-)

    Rachel Huber // 2012-08-23 18:35:05 // //
  • suggestive healing we all have the ability, we just need to let it surface... just like a stratch the body heals it... we all just let the body alighn its self to what needs to be done..

    Bonnie Price // 2012-08-23 18:35:01 // //
  • Your doing it right now! CHOPRA hahahah. Read this later.

    Arvin Robles // 2012-08-23 18:33:57 // //
  • The placebo effect can be created by using the power of the unconscious mind...but it requires your belief and positive expectancy to see the results. As we believe it done unto us...,this is a truth of life that is so powerful, yet few really understand. The question being, how do we get people to BELIEVE in their own power to heal themselves?

    Delissa Syrimi // 2012-08-22 05:19:19 // //
  • If we could only learn how to turn on the Placebo effect at will ...Big Pharma would go Ape lol

    George DeLaet // 2012-08-21 15:29:20 // //
  • Basic AND Brilliant. As humanity accepts this reality, the world will change rapidly - for the better. There can be nothing more influential upon "what shows up" for us in life, that our habitual thoughts, that affect our feelings, that affect our behavior. The advantage we advanced beings have is the ability to interpret the stimuli (data) that our senses bring in...and to be at choice in the distinctions we make. Thing is, for a LONG time now, selfish power hungry humans have acted to overtly manipulate the perceptions and interpretations of other they`ve deemed less worthy, through systematic demoralization, coercion, and simply put...fear. This has influenced a globally passive humanity, where people are externally driven - forces outside themselves drive their inner thoughts, feelings, and thus behaviors. Study EVERY massively successful human (measured by health/happiness/fulfillment, not just $) and you`ll learn that the "secret" is pretty close to what the movie "The Secret" was conveying...that the "power" is INSIDE US. Science knows this, has proven it definitively. What you think, what you expect, matters! Ever been in a bad mood and expect that you`ll get stuck at every red light? What happened? Conversely, have you ever been "sure" there`s a parking space up front, and sure enough...there it is? This is overwhelming true INSIDE our bodies...what you think/expect affects every system. Optimists get sick less, and heal faster when they do, recover from illness/trauma faster, etc. What`s that about. Further, people TRYING to heal, that are surrounded by naysayers trying to prevent them from healing...have a hard time and inadvertently suffer due to others` influence. As we humans accept this reality, that each and every one of us is direct CONTROL, that what WE choose to think - matters, boy will the world change rapidly. We have malfunctioning systems that benefit the few, in large part due to the suppression of the expression of individual will. That`s changing now. Science was overwhelmingly experienced this and measured the influence of thought on particles, we know this stuff - it`s time to use it for individual and collective evolution.

    Martin Matthews // 2012-08-20 10:18:34 // //
  • Wow Interesting...

    Diane Belair // 2012-08-20 07:30:55 // //
  • I agree ABSOLUTELY!!!

    Jenny Millar // 2012-08-19 19:20:45 // //
  • = Common Knowledge, Deek! ... As lovely and eliquent you put it in such words here, this knowledge does not belong to your selfish self, YET AGAIN personally clamed by your own little ego-self. NO!!! This belongs to us all, Brother!!!! **...**STOP CLAIMING FOR YOUR MEGA-EGO GLORIFIED SELF WHAT BELONGS TO US ALL VERY EQUALLY SO!!!! = = YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD, BROTHER - YET AGAIN FROM THE WISER - NOT JUST ME HERE!!!! Mystic Peace & Love to you, Deek!! xoxoxox = ^^^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 13:17:25 // //
  • = Common Knowledge, Deek! ... As lovely and eliquent you put it in such words here, this knowledge does not belong to your selfish self, YET AGAIN personally clamed by your own little ego-self. NO!!! This belongs to us all, Brother!!!! **...**STOP CLAIMING FOR YOUR MEGA-EGO GLORIFIED SELF WHAT BELONGS TO US ALL VERY EQUALLY SO!!!! = = YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD, BROTHER - YET AGAIN FROM THE WISER - NOT JUST ME HERE!!!! Mystic Peace & Love to you, Deek!! xoxoxox = ^^^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 13:05:57 // //
  • = Common Knowledge, Deek! ... As lovely and eliquent you put it in such words here, this knowledge does not belong to your selfish self, YET AGAIN personally clamed by your own little ego-self. NO!!! This belongs to us all, Brother!!!! ****STOP CLAIMING FOR YOUR MEGA-EGO GLORIFIED SELF WHAT BELONGS TO US ALL VERY EQUALLY SO!!!! = = YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD, BROTHER - YET AGAIN FROM THE WISER - NOT JUST ME HERE!!!! Mystic Peace & Love to you, Deek!! xoxoxox = ^^^

    Spencer Perdriau // 2012-08-19 12:59:38 // //
  • Neceario saberlo y creerlo

    Cirilo Zavala Urquidez // 2012-08-19 12:36:00 // //
  • Acredito nisso!!!

    Rosana Da Silva Camara // 2012-08-19 12:31:39 // //
  • An..impressive..advent..in relevant..placebo..auspices...ordained sound approach..all the best in studious wakes..Deepakji !

    Pradeep Raj Takhar // 2012-08-19 12:25:51 // //
  • Yes I think it works that way,...

    Regina Van Gerven // 2012-08-19 12:12:54 // //
  • Yes I think it works that way,...

    Regina Van Gerven // 2012-08-19 12:12:51 // //
  • Yes I think it works that way,...

    Regina Van Gerven // 2012-08-19 12:12:48 // //
  • Yes I think it works that way,...

    Regina Van Gerven // 2012-08-19 12:12:41 // //
  • Yes I think it works that way,...

    Regina Van Gerven // 2012-08-19 12:12:37 // //
  • This provokes me to play Melanie again!

    Dondi Maria Smith // 2012-08-19 12:04:16 // //
  • All healing is because of placebo effect according to Dr Art Martin. And Bruce Lipton says one third healing is because of placebo. I personally agree with Art Martin.

    Preet Khatri // 2012-08-19 12:04:14 // //
  • Is there any use for placebo or nocebo in the New Universe? No, because... Only by living slow... am I able to flow... It is something into which I grow... by letting go... step by step... The worries I know... are worries about what I do not know... But that I do not know is my only truth... Which always brings me back to zero... Lol we put a lot of rubbish into each other`s mind and body... Am only listening to myself nowadays, seem the most healthy thing to do!! Which to me is the only place or no cebo :)

    YourSoul // 2012-08-19 08:32:53 // //