As much as 89 percent of negative side effects of prescription medications have no detectable medical cause, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The culprit is the “nocebo” effect, the placebo’s evil twin. Just as with the placebo effect we feel better even if the medicine has no active ingredients, under the nocebo effect, having learned the potential side effects we actually manifest them. The negative state of mind does far more than increase our pain. An article in New Scientist magazine cites episodes of the nocebo effect causing serious, long-lasting heart damage. Dr. Henry Grayson, author of USE YOUR BODY TO HEAL YOUR MIND, says that most people are unaware of how they may be contributing to their own suffering. “Negative thoughts that foster self-criticism, judgments, fearful reactions, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy all increase the flow of stress hormones, which decreases immune response,” says Dr. Grayson. “And if we don’t identify and clear out the barriers that are lodged in our limbic system, many of which are not conscious, then placebos, positive thoughts, exercise and taking medications and supplements may do us little good.” Join the conversations live or send your thoughts and comments ahead of time to [email protected].
06/19/12 • 61 min
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