Your Progress

The placebo effect is the response to a sham procedure or an inert substance, such as a sugar pill, that suggests our minds have the power to relieve physical symptoms or even cure disease. The placebo does not actually cause the effect—it is the patient’s belief that they have received a medicine or procedure that leads toward healing. In some cases, the effect is related to the practitioner’s belief in the healing method.

Results suggest that something fascinating is at play and, considering the side effects that sometimes come with conventional treatments, that our research dollars might be better spent on honing the potential therapeutic effects from the power of our minds to accomplish healing.

We know from documented medical trials that a wide variety of illnesses have benefited from the placebo effect, including chronic pain, asthma, depression, infertility, colitis, headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, warts, and more. Likewise, there are some cases where patients who, after being told they had just months to live based on initial testing, have died at the exact time predicted, even though an autopsy later revealed no sign of the diagnosed condition.

Successful healing might be related to the relaxation response, a lowering of stress that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is related to the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Many factors facilitate this relaxation response, including nurturing care, work-life balance, positive emotions, spiritual connection, community support, relationships, creative expression, and financial health.

A regular habit of meditation also contributes significantly to overall relaxation and a reduction of stress. Ultimately, all healing might be attributable to the mind, whether through conventional Western medicine or through alternative approaches.


To maintain full health, in addition to following any traditional treatments prescribed by your personal physician, ensure that you are giving full attention to your spiritual health. With mind and heart, give attention to relationships, seek and offer community support and follow your personal passions.