About placebos, nocebos and the mystery behind them

A placebo is a pseudo remedy without a specific active substance which causes positive effects for the healing or wellbeing of a patient. It is the belief into the remedy which causes healing.

A nocebo is similar but it causes negative effects based on the negative expectations.

Translated from Latin placebo means “I will heal.” And nocebo means “I will harm.”

Now, when we examine this phenomenon in its good and bad effects, then first of all we have to say that it is simply amazing. In many cases the so-called placebos show better effects without bad side effects for healing than normal remedies. This is absolutely positive. On the other hand a negative belief can unfold destructive effects which can cause serious illness and even death.

So in conclusion the power of belief is of great value for positive applications and should be under control regarding its possible negative effects.

But what do our scientists and doctors say about this phenomenon? In main, they simply devaluate it and have fun by thinking about how easy patients can be manipulated. It would make more sense to examine the mode of action and to consciously implement this positive effect into medical care. A lot of drugs could be replaced by placebos for safer and better results in the treatment of patients.

Besides such possibilities, it makes sense to really understand the effects of placebos and nocebos.

Let´s imagine that you have pains. You go to a doctor. The doctor gives you a medicine and says that it will bring you instantly relief from your pains. You take the medicine and your pains reduce directly.

This is a simple action but it is more complex in its psychological mechanism. The doctor represents a higher authority, maybe an absolute authority, a “god in white cloths” as the saying goes. If such a godlike authority says or does something, then this is true. It is reality. It is a fact. It is absolutely right. When the doctor gives you the medicine and tells you that your pain will vanish, then this is like a fact. Then we have the professional package of the medicine. You “know” that such medicine is scientifically proven and developed, so that it must work. So the medicine is the second absolute fact. Then further on, when you think about taking the painkiller, you can feel already in your imagination the relief. Now you take the drug and you know for sure that the pain will reduce. This works like a mathematical function. When I multiply 4 with five then the result must be 20. There is no different result imaginable or possible. And that is exactly how placebos and nocebos work. We create reality on the basis of a logical function working with facts, – simple mathematics. The doctor is a valid fact. The medicine is a valid fact. When you take the medicine, then the result is a valid fact too.

Certainly these “facts” are just a matter of our understanding or perception. But this is the way things work. And it does not only work in this way for medical treatments but indeed for all aspects of life. When you perceive something or someone as true, as a fact and something happens like in a mathematical function, then the result must be a fact too.

Let´s take a politician for example. If the politician has a good image in public, talking of real problems, being serious, trustworthy, etc. people will believe in him and take his positive image as a fact. If this politician gets into some kind of trouble, people will have his good image in mind and will believe his innocence even if in reality he was doing something bad. On the other hand, if a politician is permanently blamed as a bad guy, everything he does will be perceived as deeds with bad intentions, even if these are good deeds. These all are virtual facts and simply results of a questionable human logic.

An even better example is the religious leader or the authoritative holy book of religious teachings. Here we find the same human logic with virtual facts causing reality. If forefathers of my forefathers have believed in the religious leader and if all others from my family, friends and from society believe in him, then his status as the chosen one, an enlightened person and teacher is a fact. If he had written a book with religious teachings, then the content must be true, a fact. So it is logical to follow his teachings independently if they are right, good or bad as your reality is fixed on the religious leader. And all those who do not follow or question the holy book are bad or have to be punished because they go against the facts.

These processes of blind belief in written words and in religious leaders which are often already in “heaven” and cannot be asked how to understand what they eventually have said or done, is a wonderful example of what we call “conditioning” but also “brainwashing” and “peer pressure”. All psychological methods are used to accomplish the desired mental and emotional state with the corresponding behavior. We could go here into details which would be very interesting but in this frame it should be only a hint for own research. This artificial conditioning can be compared with the modern idea to let melons grow in certain plastic templates. Afterwards the melon looks like a cube instead of its natural round form.

The idea to condition human beings in an artificial way has always to be questioned.

The problem is to leave this trance state, this artificial reality. Most people who have awakened from such a reality, suffer from the peer pressure and the threat of punishment or death.

But besides these negative aspects, this topic offers also positive chances to improve life conditions, health, wellbeing and for making progress in the spiritual development.

Indeed, this topic of placebos and nocebos points at an old mystery – the fact that we are creators of reality. We create inner and external reality on the planes of mind, soul and in the material world. The problem is just that most of the time, we create reality in an unconscious way and then often also in an unwanted way. Then we are forced to manage what we have created respectively we have to balance the mess we have done.

In conclusion, we should become aware of the fact that we are creators and we should create in a conscious and beneficial way our inner and outer reality. This requires a clear vision of what we want to realize. Then this vision has to be nourished with mental work and positive feelings for example by meditation. In this way, the vision becomes more concrete, denser and develops a natural drive to realize. In a last step, we have to take action in the material world to cause the right situations for the perfect realization of our vision. The whole process has to be accompanied by a strong faith in the realization of the vision, by a strong will, by a good intellect which prepares the idea and makes in concrete and by positive feelings.

When we perceive our vision as a fact like we do it with the so-called placebos, then we are dealing already with reality on a higher plane and this reality can follow its mathematical function to realize through all planes down into the material world.

Then we are conscious creators.