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No, I am not talking about Wolverine the X-Men. The movie is great but we are very far from healing ourselves the way Wolverine does.

There is however a widely accepted and clearly demonstrable condition in medical practice which gives insight into self-healing. The condition is called ‘placebo effect’. Placebo effect is a phenomenon where a ‘dummy pill’ behaves like genuine drug in our body. This is where ‘sugar pill’ and ‘water injection’ relieve pain and headache. This is not only seen in sophisticated medical studies but also in our daily mundane life. The results show up both in statistics as well as in simple observations.

Placebo effect ultimately gives raise to what medical people call ‘spontaneous resolution’ of illnesses. Scientific community now increasingly believe, based on multitudes of studies, that ‘spontaneous resolution’ of any diseases is indeed possible and real. These diseases are including terminal illnesses such as end-stage cancers and HIV. The lay people probably call this ‘miracle cure’.

There is one common factor in placebo effect, spontaneous resolution and miracle cure. That is a genuine belief that something (or someone) can cure. Apparently, patients need to believe wholeheartedly that the ‘placebo’ is effective, for it to actually work. In other words, only if they believe, can this placebo effect takes place.

Unfortunately this belief cannot be faked or created through some pep talks or counselling. When a patient genuinely believes (rightly or wrongly), only and only then this so called spontaneous healing can occur. Unfortunately, it is also true the other way around. If a patient genuinely believes that he has another six months to live following a diagnosis of certain cancer, he will die almost exactly six months later!

It is therefore safe to assume that the healing power is actually from our own body. While the precise mechanisms are still poorly understood, many theorists are pointing toward immune system and hormonal changes which ultimately help the body to heal itself. Self-healing therefore is possible and it has been shown to be possible, but only if you believe.

This has a very important implication in our health. If you believe in your doctor and believe in the medicine that is given to you, you might be very well cured. On the other hand, if you doubt his diagnosis and medicines, very likely you will get no benefit from the treatment.

It makes sense for you to choose doctors that you have faith in. Seeing a doctor who you don’t have any confidence and taking medicines you have some doubts will not make your illness go away. Similarly, if you believe (angrily or not) your doctor’s words that you have only six months to live; you will not be alive six months later.

Self-healing is possible, only if you believe. Similarly self-destruction is equally possible, only if you believe.

Article contributed by: Dr Rizin H Kusop. MBBS, MSc (Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Aesthetic Med), Dip. Family Med. ( Source is available upon request.

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