Today I have been listening to a BBC 4 programme on the shadow side to the placebo effect, The Nocebo Effect “to do harm” , and how the Nocebo effect can be equally as strong, (if not more powerful) in tests with pain as the Placebo effect.
-So for example when we read the side effects of a tablet or Google contra-indications of the medication recently prescribed, we are more likely to go straight to the tablet being the source of our stomping headache and dehydration… Rather than the drink (or two) we had last night.
And, to use a metaphor; If we were out one day (feeling great) and a friend said, "Hmmm.. I am not sure about that top on you..." We can automatically begin questioning how we look, or feeling uncomfortable- even when before that comment, we felt great....The power of suggestion with the Nocebo effect.
We can always call on the consequences of the placebo to do good… But we also need to consider the Nocebo effect- of what we Google when we are worried, or what we hear from health professionals and even friends.
I very much believe in the power of suggestion and self hypnosis as I have been fortunate to have had the experience of simply; just the best grandparents, and so I thought I would share my story with you on why I chose to become a Hypnotherapist.
I was very close to my grandparents when I was growing up, My grandma was disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis at an early age- this meant she couldn’t escape my constant narrative when I visited, and to relieve her, my grandpa used to jump in and take me away; outside in the back garden- to his sanctuary, where we’d sketch, pinch the bits off the tomatoes in his super-heated green house, watch the birds, manure the roses and tell me tall stories of how he would collect the manure from all the wild horses that roamed Swansea, and then he would go back to showing me all the wonders of the universe through that back garden.
When I was at University I used to visit them whatever holidays I could, I loved them dearly and knew they loved me just as much.
My grandpa one day, when I was in my teens became diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease- a muscle wasting disease, and for him, it started in a dropped foot when he walked; the diagnosis wasn’t good and my grandpa’s greatest concern was, who would look after my Grandma if something happened to him?
For ten years Grandpa had the disease which only had a mild effect on his body....Just the dropped foot.
One day in my twenties, my grandma became significantly unwell and needed hospitalisation, in hospital she was accidentally dropped and, due to her Rheumatoid Arthritis and (severely) heavy bruising, she sadly died a day or so later.
Everyone was devastated, but none moreso than Grandpa.
It took just a month for my Grandpa to let the Motor Neurone Disease take him.
My Grandpa, is very much the reason why I do truly believe in the wonders of Hypnosis and self hypnosis- he showed me very early on, what the power of the mind can really achieve, and you know what? Even if you don’t believe like I do, it doesn’t matter, because there is enough crazy evidence to suggest (excuse the pun) when all else fails, even simple Placebo can work.
And why the blog on it's shadow side? Because we find it incredibly difficult to believe that there is power in good things- "It's too good to be true" but find it really easy to believe in the power of negative things, no one ever says, "It's too bad to be true", so if we take the understanding of the Nocebo effect and believe that this too can be used positively (and unmaligned) the Placebo has power, so even if you don't believe in Hypnosis, it can be really easy to believe in the Placebo effect.
So whether you believe that Hypnotherapy works or not.... So what.
With the right ingredients; liking your therapist, being on the same wavelength and wanting to change, whether it is Hypnosis or Placebo that works for you -what difference does it make when the change happens?
If you too would like to listen to the BBC programme......