Placebos are not the endgame

The Institute of Medicine released a study in 2011 reporting that chronic pain “affects at least 116 million American adults …and costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity.”  The report offers many recommendations but it seems none that will actually eliminate pain.

With so few solutions, treating pain with placebos is on the rise. An ABC News report noted “placebo treatments were as good as real medication in making asthmatic patients feel they were breathing more easily.  And, Daniel E. Moerman, an expert from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, says dummy pills “can be as useful as ‘real’ ones.”

On one level it’s encouraging to see the scientific community recognize that the mind of the patient has an effect on his health.  I wonder, however, if the use of placebos in treating pain is the final solution. And, there is an ongoing debate about the ethics of the deception often tied to the use of placebos. Perhaps their best role is to point researchers in new directions for more effective pain care.

Because placebos involve deception, it seems to me that they give us an important glimpse into “how consciousness affects health.” Maybe consciousness goes beyond the use of “fake” medicine. Perhaps it’s through understanding the spiritual nature of man that permanent healing of pain is accomplished.

A promise found in the Bible has always been helpful to me when confronted with pain:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more … pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)

In my exploration of how consciousness and spirituality affect health, I’ve found that positive results extend beyond those of placebos. I’ve realized that application of spiritual laws brings healing to many medical conditions. And, I’ve personally experienced it.

To me, spirituality is the endgame.  It not only makes the patients better physically but also benefits them mentally and spiritually. Then, patients are not tricked into health but made new from the inside out.

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