When discussing alternative medicine and healing methodologies outside of the typical doctor/medication solutions, there are many different types that we can look at. Each have different potential benefits, and reasons why they can work for different people. But there are some questions about the Placebo Effect, what it is, and if energy healing is similar. While placebos can be very effective for some people, it is drastically different from energy healing, and here's how:
The placebo effect is psychological
According to WebMD, a "placebo" is defined as "anything that seems to be a 'real' medical treatment -- but isn't. It could be a pill, a shot, or some other type of 'fake' treatment. What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health."
When a response to he Placebo is recorded, as in the patient (either aware, or unaware) claims it is helping him/her or relieving his/her symptoms, this is called the Placebo Effect.
Typically, placebos are used in studies as treatments for control groups to compare the effects of actual drugs. But placebos in themselves have been found to have some benefits if the patient responds psychologically. Simply taking a treatment (even without active ingredients) can make someone feel better. Through the power of suggestion and belief, the psyche can activate self-healing, or even just a sense of relief.
Healing works with energy that affects mind, body, and soul
Whereas the placebo effect is entirely psychological, healing can improve pain and suffering on a very physical level. When a patient has an imbalance, or is suffering mentally, emotionally, or physically, energy healing can work to restore this balance. It is not a trick being played on the mind, as there are very real effects.
Energy healing is different than the placebo effect in that it may take a patient time to feel the lasting effects of healing, and several sessions working with an energy healer to understand the specific ailments or needs of a client as an individual. Because energy healing is a very personal experience, how it is applied, and the specific methodologies used can vary.
Why we shouldn't paint alternative medicine with the same brush
Just as all medical treatments are not created equally, we need to work to ensure that all types of alternative medicine aren't painted with a broad brush. Some treatments work better than others for different people, and healing in any capacity is a very personal experience.
As we've discussed previously, patient empowerment is crucial. And one way to ensure patients have more power, is to provide access to more information and varying treatments themselves. Part of the information that is so important for patients seeking alternative medicine to have, is the understanding about how different treatments work, and the pros and cons of each. Through this, people suffering can then make more informed decisions about how they want to approach their treatment and relief journeys.
While the placebo effect can prove to work well for some people, the reasons for its effectiveness are not the same as energy healing. The placebo effect is a psychological phenomenon that can result in relief, while energy healing is an actual rebalancing that can result in mental, emotional, and physical manifestations. The important thing is that patients have better understandings of how all alternative medicine works, so that we all can make the best decisions for ourselves when it comes to managing and treating our issues.
Image: AdobeStock © Andriy Bezuglov