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Have you ever taken a drug and felt better immediately only to later be told that it takes hours or days or weeks for it to kick in?  Did you feel foolish?  You shouldn’t. That was just you harnessing the glorious power of the placebo.

The placebo effect has been used in medicine as far back as the 1500s, but nowadays, it is generally used simply as a way to test the efficacy of “real” treatments.  For decades, it has suffered ridicule, been called the sign of a weak mind, and even used as evidence that the patient was faking the illness in the first place. 

Now, after all this time, the placebo effect is finally getting its due as a true healing stalwart.  Recent medical advances have made it possible to measure a placebo response beyond that of self-reporting.  Studies have now found that placeboes can alter the release of brain chemicals,[1] change blood sugar levels,[2] adjust blood pressure,[3] and even stimulate neural activity.[4]

No matter how much the pharmaceutical companies wish it would disappear, the placebo effect shows no signs of going anywhere. In fact,  studies suggest that placebos are actually becoming more effective![5]  

You may ask, “what good is a placebo if I can’t know I’m taking one”?  After all, doctors can’t lie about what they prescribe.  That’s ok, it turns out, new studies by Professor Ted Kaptchuk at Harvard Medical School have found that placebos can actually have a significant effect, even if you know you are taking a sugar pill![6]
We are learning more and more about the miraculous power of our brains to simulate actual medical treatments to heal ourselves.

So how does this help you?  Am I asking you to go take a bunch of sugar pills to stave off depression and anxiety?

No. For one thing, a placebo doesn’t have to be a sugar pill.  Any time you try an exercise or use a strategy that takes you out of a depressed or anxious state, your brain has changed its biological behavior.

More importantly, if our minds have such extraordinary healing potential, is it such a leap to believe that we can learn to harness that power?

Understanding this is half the battle.  Depression is the absence of hope – hope in a future, hope of healing, and anxiety is excessive and unrelenting fear.  Doesn’t knowing that we can harness the power of our brains to heal our minds give you hope for your future?  Doesn’t it ease your fear?

Take advantage of this knowledge. Try some of the exercises and resources on this site to retrain your brain to work to your advantage.  Use the ones that resonate, and keep at it.  You got this!

Jill Gould is a Mental Health Mentor who helps people take their lives back from depression and anxiety.  She is certified in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Life, Happiness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Coaching.

In her other life, Jill is an attorney, recruiter, entrepreneur and author, all of which take second place to her roles as wife to the love of her life, mother to two wonderful grown & happy children, and servant to two mini-dachshunds.

Jill’s life and family are a testament to the fact that with the right strategies and support, you can move beyond depression and live the life of your dreams.  More about Jill

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical or mental health care.  Medication, therapy, and/or other treatments may be indicated.  If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or any other mental health issue, please...  Read Full Disclaimer
Copyright © 2018 Tame Your Brain

Jill Gould is a Mental Health Mentor who helps people take their lives back from depression and anxiety.  She is certified in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Life, Happiness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Coaching.

In her other life, Jill is an attorney, recruiter, entrepreneur and author, all of which take second place to her roles as wife to the love of her life, mother to two wonderful grown children, and servant to two mini-dachshunds.

Jill’s life and family are a testament to the fact that with the right strategies and support, you can move beyond depression and live the life of your dreams.  More about Jill

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical or mental health care.  Medication, therapy, and/or other treatments may be indicated.  If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or any other mental health issue, please consult a mental health professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of information you have read on this website. Do not start or stop taking any medications without speaking to a medical or mental health physician.  Read Full Disclaimer

Copyright © 2018 Tame Your Brain