Healing Miracles event where I met Mike Adams, the tall and affable editor of health mega-site Natural News.
Adams kicked off the day with a talk about a powerful strategy to actively welcome the placebo effect. That is, instead of a placebo effect happening to you, he persuaded the audience that we could actively encourage it in our daily lives, and reap the benefits.
"We all have an inner healing ability, not just the immune system, but to rebuild your own mind and heal your tissues. We are self-healing beings," Adams said. He noted that we can't turn it off.
A recent skin pain study showed the power of placebo. Adams described how researchers placed pain-killing creams on the arms of study participants, with one group thinking they had placebo and one thinking they had the active ingredient. In reality, both creams were placebo creams. While aiming painful heat at the arm, researchers used a functional MRI to check part of the spine that, according to Popular Science, "normally lights up with pain response. But no pain-related neural activity showed" in the spines of people who thought they had the real pain-killer cream on their arm.
Adams then noted that the pharmaceutical industry "bases its success on the placebo effect" and cited anti-depressants as an egregious example. "JAMA says they don't work any better than placebo. The ads make people feel like the pills work." [Note from your editor: Recently on NPR doctors lamented how hard it is to get anti-depressants approved since the placebo effect is now so big due to advertising that they have a harder time showing the drug works better than placebo! In other words, Big Pharma advertising is dooming the "gold-standard" double-blind placebo-controlled trial by creating too big of a placebo effect.]
"Be your own placebo," said Adams. "The pill is the metaphor for your healing experience." We have to realize that our language processing centers are always on, so we are constantly being influenced by words. Though our conscious minds can dismiss disharmonious information, we still have to process it first. He recommends turning off the TV and not looking at drug ads in magazines, for example.
Then Adams got to the big idea. "What if you believed superfood was medicine? It's the power of intention going into your foods to make that belief real." He recommended making our own in-house advertising campaign by deciding what messages we do want to hear. On your bathroom mirror, for example, you could put "I am a self-healing being." Or, "I am healthier and more vibrant every day." Adams said that "instead of allowing Big Pharma to dominate your consciousness, you can get into your own head by focusing messages on your goals." He even suggested adding images of nature or of people who look healthy, to reach two levels: images for your heart and words for your brain.
Finally, Adams emphasized we have to abandon disease language. Don't let a doctor say you "are" a disease or that you "have" a disease. Adams suggests a different statement relegating the condition to a more transitory state: "My body currently expresses a pattern of symptoms that have been given the name X and I can change that."
Well, I can live with that, but my symptoms certainly can't!
Other incredible talks from the Healing Miracles event came from extraordinary health professionals: Dr. Len Horowitz, Charlotte Gerson, Dr. Julian Whitaker, Jay "The Juice Daddy" Kordich (can he be my juicy grandpa, please?), Dr. James Chappel, and Dr. Carolyn Dean. Finally, I want to put a shout out to Jonathan and Helaine Landsman who organized the event, all without a hitch - they hit it out of the park.