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article imageBetter health really can be all in the mind

By Andrew John     Feb 20, 2010 in Health
It really is possible to think yourself better, a scientist has claimed in an article in a leading peer-reviewed medical journal.
Pills and other preparations with no apparent active ingredients can exert a psychosomatic effect and be “very powerful in changing a person’s physiology”, claims Dr Damien Finnis, a pain-management consultant, in the Lancet.
He and colleagues say many psychological and biological mechanisms have been identified as helping people to “think themselves better”.
“State-of-the-art scanners have identified different placebo effects in the body, such as changes in heart and lung function – and different effects in conditions such as Parkinson's disease,” says an article in the Scotsman.
The word “placebo” is from the Latin placere, meaning “to please”, and, literally translated, means “I shall be acceptable or pleasing.”
Since the placebo effect was discussed in a 1955 paper entitled The Powerful Placebo by the anaesthesiologist Henry K. Beecher, it has been recognized as having powerful physiological effects.
Homeopathic preparations have been described as mere placebos by detractors, because a solution is diluted so many times that, in some cases, it would be impossible for one of the original molecules to exist in the end product. However, homeopathy believers point to a “memory effect” in the water in which the original active ingredient is diluted.
The process of repeated dilution is known among homeopathy practitioners as "potentization."
More about Placebo, Health, Mind, Psychosomatic, Homeopathy
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