The power of the mind to heal, or perpetuate disease, is profound.
In part I, I discussed the science of belief. The expectation that one holds about an intervention leading to either harm (nocebo effect) or healing (placebo effect) literally impacts one’s physiology and resulting health outcomes.
The mind-body cannot be separated, even the most biologically-oriented scientists acknowledge this. In fact, drug and supplement researchers have struggled for years to prove that their pills and potions would outcompete the response from their control, a sugar pill (AKA a placebo). For randomized trials to be successful, a shift in biochemistry from an outside intervention must either override negative biases or compliment a subject’s reassuring belief in order have efficacy (a drug meeting its desired effect) and/or effectiveness (a treatment meeting its intended, clinical purpose).
Having knowledge of this concept, both patients and doctors can be empowered! They can use their mindset to assist with the healing process. An individual’s positive anticipation that a treatment can result in better results is strengthened by a trusting, therapeutic relationship with one’s physician. (source, source, source, source) Unfortunately, poor doctor-patient interactions and old, negative, subconscious programming can also potentially contribute to disease and mental health decline.
In this post, I explore how the placebo effect, nurturing patient-doctor interactions, and a growth-oriented mindset can merge for better wellness responses.
The Placebo, The Patient, and The Physician- A Potential Master Mind Trio
“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” – William Osler
Utilizing the placebo effect and harnessing the qualities of healthy interactions with those seeking their services, doctors have a unique ability to multiply the impact of their treatments. According to a 2017 commentary in the British Medical Journal:
When interacting with patients, physicians communicate scientific evidence within the framework of subjective judgments, expectations of treatment outcomes, and perceived patient preferences. Patients are influenced by their trust in physicians and how their physicians listen to, engage, and inform them. Context or environment, such as the branding, price, and advertising of drugs, or the hospital or doctor’s credentials, also have an influence. Rather than being incidental to treatment, these psychological and social elements play crucial roles in determining clinical outcomes.
From this perspective, the whole meaning of placebo effect changes.
Previously, I have explored how naturopathic doctors embody the principles of holistic medicine, personalized treatment, and therapeutic doctor-patient partnerships. Functional medicine also honors the sacred interaction between the physician and their patient.
Unfortunately, these types of healing scenarios are rarer than they should be in conventional care. Many of my new naturopathic clients often express that they sought out my services because they felt frustrated, not listened to, and unsure of their current medical plan.
Through no fault or intention of many physicians, they often find themselves caught in a health care system that only manages disease or the damaged organ, not one that aims to heal the person. Much of my job is supplementing my client’s medical care with a whole-person program that incorporates the mind-body connection. This approach is sorely lacking in sick care.
As a naturopathic and functional medicine practitioner, I aim to merge the biochemical with the psychological aspects of health. Tools such as essential oils and mind-body practices are some components I use to assist with the “emotional reset” necessary to create one’s wellness transformation. However, these modalities must rest upon the foundation of managing one’s mindset in order to be truly effective and long-lasting.
Shifting the Mindset to Health
Over the past several weeks, I’ve taken you on a mindset shift. I’ve discussed how attaining health is more than a transaction of exchanging symptoms through a suppressive effort.
Achieving true vitality and wellness is about transformation.
This takes a change in mindset.
What is mindset?
According to Psychology Today:
A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations—the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. Our mindsets help us spot opportunities, but they can also trap us in self-defeating cycles.
The Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (2006) popularized the idea of mindsets by contrasting different beliefs about where our abilities come from. If we have a fixed mindset and think that our ability is innate, then a failure can be unsettling because it makes us doubt how good we are. In contrast, if we have a growth mindset, then we expect that we can improve our ability—and a failure, therefore, shows us what we need to work on.
How does one get from a place fixed in fear and anxiety to positive expectations and grit to achieve growth?
Below are some of my previous articles that highlights some research on this topic and how to using essential oils and other holistic tools can help to reset the mind:
- Good Expectations, Negative Beliefs, and Their Health Consequences
- How Positive Belief, a Little Hope, and Essential Oils Can Bolster Health Outcomes
- How to Un-Tox the Modern, Toxic, Mind – Why You Should Consider Emotional Detox
- The Most Important Life Hack Most Avoid: Acceptance, How to Achieve it and How Essential Oils Can Support Moving Forward with More Ease
- Feeling Fatigued? My Favorite Herbs and Essential Oils to Boost Focus, Energy, and Cognition Health (Part 3: My Top Essential Oils for Attention, Mood, and Brain Vitality)
- Emerging Back into “Normalcy”: How Naturopathic Doctors & Using Essential Oils Can Ease the Overwhelm and Emotional Strains
- Feeling Unmotivated and Brain Foggy? How Staying Stuck, Stress, Mental Fatigue, and Mindset Impact Your Motivation and Drive to Move Forward
Summary & Conclusion
So…. What do you think about your beliefs impacting health outcomes?
If your thoughts are constantly ruminating on worse case scenarios, this concept may frighten you. It doesn’t have to.
You have the power to take back control of your mind and positively influence your health span trajectory.
I’d love to be your partner in making this shift, as most need a little support.
For this reason, I’ve been obsessing and tweaking my PREMIER online, live, program to get it up and running.
It combines mindset, intentions, and lifestyle interventions for optimizing wellness and alleviating stress and overwhelm.
After being in practice for over fourteen years and mind-body, holistic healing for over twenty, I’ve observed that accounting for mindset and belief are often the key to unlocking the next level of healing, yet this is not addressed in many areas of wellness, nutrition, lifestyle practices, and medicine.
Stay tuned for it’s release!
Regardless of where you take your next step in your health, please literally keep all that has been discussed in your mind and use it for believing in better outcomes!
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures, vaccination, and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and Canva.