Attitude Affects on Health ~ Health Guide

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Attitude Affects on Health

Written by Mystic on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The role of attitude

For most common problems people bring to their physicians, much of the time one's attitude plays a more significant role than many people realize. Some people are just inherently more positive about things and other people look at the dark side no matter what. You can learn how to checking yourself for those negative messages and replace them with more positive messages. To access this "placebo response," one must embrace the power of expectancy -- that the person's expectation can produce a bodily effect under many different circumstances, not merely when the person is given a substance that is chemically inactive.

These positive messages help trigger the "inner pharmacy" you were born with. Essentially, this inner pharmacy consists of biochemical pathways in our bodies, natural healing pathways that can produce measurable bodily changes.

Studies show these pathways influence the health of the body, and we know they are sensitive to the emotional state and produce measurable body change. While scientists don't thoroughly understand how these pathways interconnect to produce a placebo response, that's where the research is heading.

However, "we don't have to wait for those studies to be done. We don't have to wait to find out how it works. When you've got something that's cheap, nontoxic, seems to work even though we don't know the mechanism, why not use it?" says Dr. Brody

To activate your placebo response, first expect that your health will improve. "Since illness is a threat to the organism, the brain may well have stored in its memory files certain pathways of healing: signals that can be sent to the inner pharmacy to stimulate the release of healing chemicals," Brody writes.

Next, reflect on past illnesses and how you have responded. What messages ran through your mind? What meaning did you give the illness? If you come down with a cold, is it an "Oh my God" response or did you take a more positive, pragmatic approach.

The meaning of an illness experience most likely changes in a positive direction when these three things happen, Brody says:

  • The individual is listened to [by the healer] and receives an explanation for the illness that makes sense.
  • The individual feels care and concern being expressed by the healer and others in the environment.
  • The individual feels an enhanced sense of mastery or control over the illness or its symptoms.

Someone who attaches a more positive meaning to the illness will take control of the situation. If it's a common cold they are battling, they will take practical steps, get more fluids, more rest. They're giving the immune system a chance get into high gear, which may cut their down time to a couple of days rather than 10 days.

Brody admits that the placebo response has its limitations. "We can make two mistakes with this theory," he says. "We can't just 'think away' illness. But we also can't delude ourselves that because illness is real, we can do nothing about it. ... We can't make the illness go away completely, but we can affect our day-to-day functioning. That can make all the difference."

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