Advertisement

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

I Will Not Be Pleased” – Your Health and the Nocebo Effect (Part 2)

Mainstream medicine has uncovered the placebo effect and discounted it at the same time.  But more and more it appears that a patient’s expectations, beliefs, and personality are important in the outcome of an illness. By extension, they are also important is preserving health. In the first post devoted to this topic, I cited new research on the opposite of the placebo effect, known as the nocebo effect, in which negative expectations produce bad results. In drug trials, patients who are given dummy pills can have either positive or negative outcomes despite the fact that the fake drug is chemically inert.

 

If you’re a researcher running such a trial, you’d simply discount the placebo-nocebo effect as “statistical margin of error.” Nothing counts except the real drug and how it affects your subjects. But in real life, outside controlled experimental conditions, the implications spread much wider.

 

The body operates as a vast feedback loop, with each of 50 trillion cells sending and receiving messages all the time. To be understood, a message must be written in chemical form. The vast majority of messages are coded as brain chemicals that enter the bloodstream, along with minute electrical impulses generated in brain, heart, and muscles. When you delve into the structure of brain cells, the source of these electrochemical impulses, you find that genes must be activated to produce them. The picture becomes incredibly complicated – imagine the body as a biological internet with trillions of computers and just in the brain alone up to a quadrillion connections – but the upshot is clear cut. What you think, do, and say influences your body.

 

Two obvious correlates follow. The first is that holistic medicine is the only approach that attempts to consider the entire feedback loop, since conventional medical training is all about bits and pieces. The second is that the input that runs the body’s feedback loop matches the output. Since the body is not a thing but a dynamic process of information exchange, the familiar cliché from the computer world, “Garbage in, garbage out,” applies.

 

It is up to you to keep the messages that course through your body positive instead of negative.  No other duty in life is as important or vital to your health and well-being.

 

The proof lies in some new assumptions that are promising to overturn our conventional approach to illness and wellness:

– Positive lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and stress management actually cause your genes to alter their output. They are activated in life-enhancing ways.

– Meditation seems to affect the production of the enzyme telomerase, which in turn builds telomeres, the end points of each chromosome. The fraying of telomeres is associated with aging; keeping telomeres intact is associated with the health and youthfulness of your genes.

–  It appears that fat isn’t as neutral, chemically speaking, as was always assumed. Fat cells send out hormonal signals that appear to have deleterious effects, particularly in triggering inflammation.

– Inflammation is being associated more and more with illness on every front, including cancer and heart disease. Inflammation is an imbalanced state, the opposite of homeostasis, the body’s normal state of dynamic balance.

– Diseases don’t begin when symptoms first appear. In almost every chronic illness that sets in after childhood, there are precursors in cellular structure or genes that extend back to childhood, infancy, and even the womb. In other words, the feedback loop is processing input and output every second of your life, with long-term consequences.

– Genes are rarely the determinative cause of disease. Far more often they make you susceptible to illness. What determines whether this susceptibility turns into full-blown illness is complex.  But it’s worth expanding on.

 

In the next post I’ll cover how susceptibility works and what you can do to minimize its effects. What we’ve seen in this post is that holistic prevention isn’t an alternative to something else. You are either preventing or not preventing illness all the time. There is no such thing as benign neglect. The feedback loop is inescapable. Rather than considering that a threat, we can create a new model of well-being that gives you much more control over your health for life. Ultimately, the feedback loop that embraces mind and body is the basis for a quantum leap in health for everyone.

 

(To be cont.)

 

www.deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

The Best Way to Get Rid of Evil
    By Deepak Chopra, MD.   The best way to get rid of evil is to change our ideas about it. The two concepts about evil that do nothing to end it are, first, the concept of cosmic evil embodied by Satan, and second, the concept of human evil as a permanent human inheritan

posted 11:07:42am Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Can Wisdom Save Us? Why It Has To (Part 2)
Although almost everyone fears the effects of climate change and deplores the inaction of governments around the world, neither attitude gets us any closer to solving the problem. Many pin their hopes on a breakthrough in technology that could somehow clean the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, while

posted 11:58:46am Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Can Wisdom Save Us? Why It Has To
There's always a sense of crisis in the air generated by whatever bad news is making the headlines. At the moment, the greatest alarm is being stirred by terrorism and the spread of Islamic extremism. Yet at a deeper level, our anxiety centers on something much deeper, the possibility that the human

posted 10:23:44am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Your Body Is Wise, But It Needs for You to Pay Attention
Although complementary medicine has made strong advances, mainstream medical practice still keeps faith with drugs and surgery as the default methods of treatment. The way forward for anyone who wants to establish a high level of wellbeing isn't going to come via the family doctor but through self-c

posted 11:41:39am Feb. 16, 2015 | read full post »

Why Spirituality Matters More than Ever
In troubled times, when the world seems to be on fire, people think about God and the religion they were raised in--a source of solace and hope matters more in a crisis. I don’t find myself thinking about spirituality in those terms, however. Like a winter coat that’s put away in spring, for man

posted 12:33:52pm Feb. 09, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.