Psychoneuro-immunology and the power of placebo

For many centuries, physicians have been aware of the critical connection between what a patient believes, and the outcomes of an illness. Medical literature is full of stories of miraculous remissions from fatal diseases that seem to result from individuals’ unshakeable confidence in their treatment, or that they will simply get well. It’s often referred to as the power of positive thought. But this emotional state has also been associated with the placebo effect, which plays an important part in much recovery. This is where patients believe that they are getting a powerful drug treatment, or even surgery, and make the anticipated improvement, even when they have received no treatment at all.

The process of course, works both ways. A wide range of studies has shown that people who are depressed or stressed are both more prone to illness, and will decline more rapidly if they have a chronic condition.

It’s pretty obvious that our emotions or states of mind affect our immune system for better or worse. The problem’s been that until fairly recently, there’s been little clinical understanding of just how this occurred. Now what was once the realm of medical anecdote has developed into an important new field of medical research and potential treatment.

It’s called psychoneuroimmunology, and one of the leading researchers in the field in this country is Professor Alan Husband, who heads the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Sydney.

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One thought on “Psychoneuro-immunology and the power of placebo

  1. Dear Dr Rameshji

    I heartly appreciate work done by you in field of research on benefits of Meditation.

    What is taught by Pujya Guruma Nirmaladeviji is being done by ‘Samarpan Dhyan’ under Pujya Guruji Shri Shivkrupanandji Swami. Its purely based on divine anubhuti.He is truly a gift to mankind from Gurushaktees. I will really like you to visit http://www.samarpanmeditation.com and know more about it. It will provide new scope for more medical research.
    I know I may be sounding very amateurish to you but just out of seeing your profound interest in spiritualism I am embolden to introduce you to Guruji.

    Pl pardon my brazenness.

    a sadhak.

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