Yoga and Placebo

The term “placebo effect” has been around for a very long time, and it is popularly associated with the mind manifesting physically. What you think is what you get. Meaning that the concept’s effectiveness depends on an individual’s perspective. This is mostly used in the medical field, especially in treating diseases. The belief that the mind has the power to heal the body from within has been lingering for decades, but it is only given more attention recently after a “sugar pill” has proven the miracles of the mind.

Placebo means giving a patient a dummy drug that contains sugar or saline, and the main factor that causes healing is faith. The experiment that included the “sugar pill,” or a fake pill that is nothing but sugar, is a study in which one out of three participants experienced the same healing effect as to those who took the real medical drug without experiencing any side effects. This proved how the mind can strongly affect human’s biochemical composition through therapeutic belief. Since this experiment, the placebo effect has been in the limelight in the medical world.

Mind and Body!
Another story that hyped science about placebo is a story of a patient who suffered from metastatic tumors in 1957. A drug called Krebiozen was introduced to the public as an effective solution to cancer. The patient was desperately asking for it from his doctor, who happened to be a part of the Krebiozen’s research team and allowed him to take the drug. His tumors were dissolved and his life was almost back to normal in no time. But, reports that Krebiozen wasn’t as effective as it claims to be. Upon hearing about the reports, the patient’s health degraded. In desperation, the doctor tricked the patient by offering a new and more effective solution of Krebiozen, which is nothing but distilled water. The patient recovered and was back to his functional self. But after two months, the official findings that Krebiozen was totally ineffective went out and the patient died days after hearing the news.

In accepting that placebo is effective, the counterpart of the effect must be taken into consideration. Nocebo effect happens when negative thinking plays the role. When a patient believes that the placebo drug–or even a real medication–can’t help improve his health, then the drug will fail.

Yoga is the most effective way that promotes the placebo effect. The “journey,” in which people who practice Yoga are taking, is a path that leads to the realization of self and the discovery of possibilities that are hidden within. The practice allows a person to overcome obstacles through faith, both on the practice and oneself. This includes positive thinking, changes in perspectives and belief system which one adopts to help progress and improve his/her overall being.

How the mind is transformed along with the benefits of the physical practice to the body is one of the common motivational grounds why people invest effort in the practice. As one gets deeper into it, the understanding of one’s capabilities is opened as a result of discoveries made along the way. Trust within the self, both to the physical and mental potentials is built. The mind is conditioned to look on the brighter side of things. This also creates a mentality that whatever the mind can conceive is achievable. A stronger faith towards healing, development and awareness is constructed.

This is how placebo effect plays role in Yoga. As one changes and upgrades to higher frequencies, they develop a happier environment from within. This is added to a positive outlook about life, and the physical manifestations of thoughts and emotions which fruit healthier individuals who continuously heal and develop.