Nocebo

Don’t Fall For The ‘Nocebo Effect’! 5 Ways to Implement and Get Positive Results for Your Health

Ever noticed how well a certain treatment worked for which you had positive or high expectations? The patient’s expectations, whether in the negative or positive, directly influence the degree to which a treatment is effective. This has been further noted by a 2012 German-led study, according to which ‘vulnerable, ill, or injured patients are highly prone to negative influences and suggestions’.

A good example of the above is of a participant in one drug trial who developed low blood pressure symptoms by ‘overdosing’ on an antidepressant (or that’s what the participant thought). The person’s blood pressure returned to normal only after he learnt that he had actually taken an inert substance.

There’s reason to believe that the so-called placebo effect or thinking can potentially affect a person’s health – for the better! One fear that doctors have, however, is of the negative health consequences that can arise from the opposite of the placebo effect, creating expectations of harm in a patient.

Wish to banish negative thoughts from entering your mind prior to an important medical procedure or test? Here’s what you need to do;

Get Information from a Reliable Authority

Always remember to get advice from a reliable and reputable source prior to starting any treatment or medication. This is where the Internet will be of use, undeniable being the largest repository of knowledge and information. Of course, most of the information available won’t be reliable or authentic, but staying in touch with experts will give you an idea of what is genuine and what isn’t.

Control Your Response

Doctors have a hard job in general, but when faced with a patient with delicate sensibilities, the difficulty increases manifold. Although the healthcare provider treating you will take the utmost care in making the entire experience a positive one, you too can help yourself by focusing on encouraging phrases from the doctor. Similarly, tune out all negative statements regarding the condition, a particular treatment, or medication.

Engage Your Mind

It’s very important to do so, especially if you’re recovering from an illness or injury. Patients undergoing long rehabilitative periods are recommended by their physical trainers to engage the mind if they cannot engage the body due to pain as this not only helps one stay positive but relaxed as well. An example of creative imagery that you can use to stay positive involves imagination and visualization.

Use the Power of Touch

Conditions as diverse as asthma, arthritis, hypertension, and migraine can be alleviated to a degree by just the touch of a partner, friend, or health practitioner as found out by certain studies. It has also been proven that touch therapy can help reduce pain and accelerate wound healing in patients.

Stay Positive

It’s very easy to stay positive when you’re healthy and injury fee, but maintaining this attitude when you’re sick or injured is a different matter altogether. Now you may have more reason to stay positive, as overwhelming evidence in the matter links fast healing with positive thinking. People who maintain a positive attitude regarding their health are the ones who take responsibility for it and place their focus on getting better as soon as possible.

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