The placebo effect is when someone’s physical or mental health changes after taking a dummy medication or receiving a fake treatment.
Many studies have proven that when someone believes they’re receiving effective care, they experience a “spontaneous” improvement.
The placebo effect has been tested extensively.
Here are a few examples…
- In an asthma study, nearly half of patients experienced symptom relief using a fake inhaler, or receiving fake acupuncture.
- In another study, over 60% of people with inflammatory bowel disorder felt better after receiving a placebo treatment.
- In another, placebos were found to be more effective than morphine at treating physical pain.
The placebo effect proves the remarkable power of the mind.
It confirms that believing you’re receiving treatment can be more important than the actual treatment.
The power of placebo links up with the power of visualization, as they’re both based in the mind.
Let’s look at a few visualization studies…
- Can visualization make you a better pianist?
In one Harvard study, people who visualized practicing a five-finger piano
exercise showed the same brain changes as the people who physically practiced.
- Does mental rehearsal improve physical strength?
In another study, one group of people imagined lifting a weight while a second group actually lifted a weight for five minutes, five days a week, for 12 weeks.
The group that imagined the exercise measurably improved their muscle strength by 35%.
They didn’t beat out the physical exercise group, who improved by 53%, but the results are still remarkable.
- Can you become stronger through imagination?
Along the same lines, in a third study, 10 volunteers imagined exercising their biceps as hard as they could, five times per week.
They experienced a 13.5% increase in strength in just two weeks, and maintained that increase for three months.
While the NES system has been shown effective in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we’re huge advocates of the power of the human mind, and we love that it’s been proven in so many mainstream studies.
Visualization is very popular right now, with thought leaders like Joe Dispenza sharing thousands of client success stories.
“We have a natural ability to change the brain and body by thought alone.”
– Dr. Joe Dispenza
The power of your mind can be applied to any goal you have.
Here’s how you can start experimenting with the power of visualization and the power of positive thinking today…
1. Notice your knee-jerk reactions.
What thoughts come up when you’re stuck in traffic? Applying for a new job? Headed to the airport?
Do you automatically think you’re going to be stuck on the freeway forever? That you could never get that job? That your flight will definitely be delayed?
The first step to shifting your mindset and using the power of visualization is noticing your current thoughts.
Keep a journal with you and write down your inner observations 1-3 times a day, or use the notes app on your phone.
2. Flip your negative thoughts on their head.
After you’ve practiced observing your thoughts for a week, start to flip them.
If you notice a negative thought pop up, simply “try on” a new one, the same way you’d try on a pair of pants: you don’t have to buy them unless you love them, but you’re willing to give ’em a whirl.
As negative thoughts come up, notice them, release them, then practice a positive thought, as if it was already your reality.
For example, if you’re in traffic, relax your shoulders, notice your thoughts. Then imagine the traffic letting up and you arriving at your destination in perfect timing.
“The traffic let up so quickly. It was just a little accident we needed to get past. The freeway is clear now. I’m arriving in perfect timing. This is great!”
Notice how your body might relax, and you might be able to enjoy the current moment just a little bit more.
Keep doing this – the power of repetition is key here. It’s like training a new muscle. With enough repetition, you’ll develop new knee-jerk reactions.
3. Ease into visualization meditations.
If you’re a meditator, you may have already experimented with visualization. If not, now is a powerful time to start.
To play with the practice of visualization, set a timer for 5-10 minutes, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and begin to notice your breath.
Deepen your breath, counting to six on the inhale, and six on the exhale, letting your belly fully expand and fill with air on the inhale, and fully relax on the exhale.
Take stock of your inner environment: What sensations do you notice in your body? What thoughts are present in your mind?
As you exhale, release tension and thoughts.
From there, begin to visualize something you want. Maybe it’s a new home, a different career, or your dream partner.
Imagine what that would look and feel like, as if you were watching a movie. See the visuals, and feel the sensations in your body.
Imagine it was already your reality, and enjoy that feeling, as you continue to breathe and release any tension and intrusive thoughts.
Repeat this exercise a few times a week.
If you enjoy it and notice benefits, you can increase your time to 15, 20, then perhaps 30 minutes.
Whether you notice an improvement through visualization – like many people have – or not, the truth is that practicing visualization and positive thinking can never hurt.
They can only bring about benefits, as long as you’re being safe and not ignoring immediate actions you should be taking such as seeking medical care.
Are you curious about the power of the human mind and how you can use it to improve your health and life?
Practices like the ones we’ve shared today can be part of your toolbox and things you can share with your loved ones and clients.
In the Bioenergetic Health Coaching Program, we dive deeper into the power of the mind.
If you’d love to deepen your knowledge and share these proven tools with other people, click here to check out the full program details.
Founder, NES Health