In the March 7th edition of the Boston Globe, Deborah Kotz cited a few well known studies proving the efficacy of the placebo effect. Three years ago it was noted that antidepressants were only effective on 10% of those who took them, according to Irving Kirsch, who lead the study, a psychologist from the University of Hull in Great Britain. Ms. Kotz cites other studies having to do with the dulling of pain due to irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis and another where Parkinson’s tremors were reduced.
Given that the placebo effect occurs about 30% of the time doctors have been prescribing useless pills to those who complain until they feel heard by their doctor’s writing a prescription. For the doctor who has a patient who is looking for some attention, often it is easier for them to pull out their “script” pad, giving the patient the worthless prescription along with the feeling that they were “heard”.
It was even reported that a woman created an innocuous pill to give children realizing that just the act of taking something, for their ruminated ailment to make it go away. Maybe the children got this idea from the adults around them with more prescriptions being written today than in any other time in our history. Given the hugely increased abuse of prescription medications I feel that this is the opposite direction than we ought to be moving in, especially since we know that our unconscious mind is able to be programmed to let go of much of what ails us if it were only trained how to do so.
Just today, April, 4, 2011 Randy Dotlinga published the article Freaked out by heights? Pill may help. The idea is that by giving the person cortisol, known as the “stress hormone” the body stays alert instead of potentially shutting down. A new study appearing in the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences reported researchers giving either a placebo OR small doses of cortisol to 40 people with a great fear of height. The cortisol seemed to allow for a keener focus without mental collapse.
The conventional way of dealing with this problem was through repeatedly exposing the patient to the thing they feared, in this case heights, until they were desensitized to it.
We know from the work of people like Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Bruce Lipton, PH.D. As chronicled in his book The Biology of Belief that our perception of pain is conditioned on the thoughts that we have, because it is the thoughts that we have that create what is perceived as experience.
As a hypnotist and NLP practitioner I can tell you that so long as we go about reframing how our unconscious mind runs us, we may find we are able to do many things we desire while, while being able to refrain from those things that we would rather not, without ever taking any sugar pills.
You see, once we change our thoughts, which is easily done by by allowing for a different stimulus to come into our minds, we are able to get control of our minds. This works because we humans can only process one thought at a time. So for example if we were not feeling very happy, we could shift our mood by watching a funny television show, or talking to a friend who has a great sense of humor.
So my question is: why do we need to push useless pills on anyone when we have the greatest pill of our own, if we would just learn how to use the power of our own mind? And, why are we not teaching children who are in a hypnotic state twenty-four hours a day, how to use their natural state to quell their problems instead of teaching them from an early age to go for the medicine cabinet, which may later on cause a dependence on drugs, and perhaps even addiction with this sort of mindset being programmed into the literal mind of these young people?
The answer to that question is that there is someone some place who is making a whole bunch of money by creating the false notion that we need a pill to take our pain away, be it mental or physical in nature.
I suggest that you all learn how to use your gifted mind, to save you the money and the lousy feeling that goes with becoming dependent on something that is designed to be of no consequence except for a mere 30% chance of helping you with your problem, at least on the surface level, for who cares if the cause of the problem is dealt with? So long as we have our little magic pills we never need be concerned with rectifying the underlying problem, except for the fact that in every experiment that was mentioned the placebo effect wore off as soon as the pills were no longer taken. So you may as well learn how to use that wonderful gift known as your unconscious mind, allowing you to actually be rid of the presenting problem with it never coming back to be of any concern later on.
Prescribing placebos that are harmless other than teaching our youth that all one needs to do “is take a pill and everything will be fine”. However, what happens when a person finds they have been injured, or suffers from a chronic problem that creates a painful condition as happens many times with: arthritis, particularly rheumatoid, some muscular or bone damage, intestinal issues, post surgical pains, etc.?
Now that both children and adults are conditioned to take a placebo pill to take care of what is a most likely a psychosomatic condition, or else the placebo would not have taken effect. (By the way as a hypnotist, I am well aware of the fact that the mind is where all the perceptions including that of pain lives. So it is right there in the mind, the unconscious mind, that the pain can be released with the correct hypnotic techniques or else how would hypno -anesthesia be accomplished? For those of you who are not aware, hypno-anesthesia was the original form of anesthesia before something known as chloroform was discovered, with a much lower rate of infection than what is used today. This was before we even knew of infection being caused by bacteria not having been discovered yet or the infections it could cause. Check out the work of James Esdaile from the 1800’s working as surgeon for the English military in India to learn some amazing facts about the power of your unconscious mind.)
Over the past year or so my partner Donna N. has written many articles for the Dawning Visions Hypnosis, Inc. web newsletter about the very real problem of prescription drug abuse mostly so you may go into the older editions to get that information. However, she just this morning sent me over yet another study reported in MyHealthNewsDaily an online newsletter, done by Thomas McLellan, director of the New Center for Substance Abuse Solutions at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine demonstrating that 11.7% of the 202 million opioid prescriptions made in the United States in 2009 went to children and young adults. 56% of opioid prescriptions given in 2009 were given to patients that had previously filled their prescriptions in the previous month, with many patients procuring multiple filling of their prescriptions. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse state “As a nation, it is important that we all become better informed about effective pain management and the risks of abusing prescriptions.”
Why does this matter? Because opioid pain medications are highly addictive,and resulted in about 12,000 accidental over doses in 2007, up from 3,000 in 1999. There has also been a 500% increase in the number of people admitted to substance abuse programs for opioid addiction. Think about this for a moment: how many more people have this addiction and cannot gain entry into these programs for lack of the high amount of money required to pay for these programs running in the many thousands fo dollars. Add to that figure, the amount of people who have addictions and never go for any help to deal with the problem? I don’t know about how you feel about this dangerous situation, however I do know that DVH, Inc. Is ready to take some serious action in regards to educating particularly our young of the dangers involved not only in opioid abuse, more specifically any mind altering drug abuse including the prevalent incidences of taking a friend’s ADD medication to help them to focus better on their studies. I have had a few clients in their upper twenties and early thirties in graduate courses abusing these sorts of medication to be able to stay up later and study more to get that all so important to them “A” in their courses. The only problem is that in one case in particular, the client was an active bulimic, very thin and petite in size, coming to me to deal with that problem without the understanding that this casual use of her now ex-husband’s ADD med could have caused her to have a heart attack which could have killed her. All for an “A” in her MBA classes.
I would suggest to anyone who is thinking of using medication in any way that is off prescription or who knows that they could be abusing the substance to think hard about the risk that they are taking in continuing these activities, for your life may very well be in the balance here. Also, if you believe that your life is NOT in the balance, just remember that drug addiction and alcoholism are diseases of denial and that denial of the problem has lead to more heart ache, loss and death than ever had to be witnessed by those who loved them.
If you are thinking of using hypnotism or NLP to deal with this issue please make sure that your provider has a proven record of success of healing their clients. You can find this out by checking out their certifications in this area of expertise and by in depth testimonials by others whom they have successfully treated which would be on their websites and in their promotional materials. You can also got to NGH.net, nlpcoaching.com or nlp.com for referrals to professionals who have been trained sufficiently to give you optimum care.
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