Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The power of the mind

Is there validity to the idea that your mind can cure you? The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), an offshoot of the National Institutes of Health, says yes: There is "considerable evidence" that mind-body interactions can "have positive effects on psychological functioning and quality of life."

Check out today's New York Times article on the subject, which profiles holistic doctor
Carl T. Javert, an obstetrician at Cornell University Medical College who died in 1981. Javert, who believed that ailments were often psychosomatically induced by emotional stress, helped pregnant women manage problems and stresses in order to avoid miscarriages and other complications.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can our mind "cure" us of ailments? It's an interesting notion that we internally have the power to alleviate some symptoms that we may be having. If fact, researchers, such as myself, have studied this and found that yes, we can reduce the harmful effects of stress or pain through suggestion, conditioning, bio-feedback, and many other techniques. However, this placebo effect may be short lived and much research is needed to determine whether we can one day fight disease with our minds. We must be very cautious not to increase the already prominent notion that people afflicted with mood disorders do not have a physical disease and that it is "all in their minds". But, if you would like more evidence for this power of the mind and which chemicals in the brain are associated with it, you can check out a recent article: Zubieta JK, Bueller JA, Jackson LR, Scott DJ, Xu Y, Koeppe RA, Nichols TE, Stohler CS. Placebo effects mediated by endogenous opioid activity on mu-opioid receptors. J Neurosci 2005;25:7754-62.

-Josh Bueller

12:16 PM  
Blogger Kerry Needs said...

Hi Melissa,

Hope you're well.If you're interested in writing more scientific articles relating to the power of the mind, my new site Whole Science may be something you might be interested in. We cover topics such as telepathy,the placebo effect, mind over matter, meditation research, plus much more. I'd be happy to give an interview or comment on some research (the mind-body orgasm is particularly interesting!)


1:30 PM  

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