Misunderstandings can sometimes save lives. In his book Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins describes an incident that happened at UCLA Medical Center about fifty years ago. Cardiologist, Dr. Bernard Lown treated a very sick and dying patient. This patient had had a massive heart attack, so severe that it had irreparably destroyed his heart. […]
When Deepak Chopra was a young medical resident, training in endocrinology, he had a patient with widely metastasized liver cancer. As was sometimes the case fifty years ago, doctors would sometimes lie to the patient about the seriousness of the diagnosis. They did this because their belief was that being told you only have a […]
In a study from Japan, a harmless leaf was rubbed on the forearms of a group of teenage boys who were known to be allergic to an Asian version of poison ivy. The boys were told it was poison ivy. They all broke out in a rash that looked exactly like the rash caused by […]
Many of the published case studies in refereed journals describe experiments on medical students. In this one, half the students of a pharmacology class in a medical school were given placebos that appeared in every way to be stimulants and the other half of the class were given placebos that appeared in every way to […]
A belief is healthy if it catalyzes positive emotion. Negative, self-defeating or self-deprecating beliefs are unhealthy because they catalyze emotional distress and bodily stress, which is very bad for our health and wellbeing. Although negative thinking is unhealthy, positive thinking can be extremely difficult to achieve when you are not feeling well or things in […]
In one of the studies, half of a large group of students with the earliest signs of a cold went to Karmu, the healer. The other half were treated at the Harvard Health Service. Most of those treated at Harvard Health developed severe colds. None of the Karmu-treated patients developed colds. All of the Karmu-treated […]
In this study, after controlling for potential confounding variables, research psychologists discovered that the most friendly, openhearted people have the lowest rates of cancer and the most optimally functioning immune systems. In other studies, friendly, openhearted people also had less heart disease.
In this prospective study at Johns Hopkins, which was carried out for thirty years, the medical students who in medical school were deemed to be most likely to have meaningful relationships throughout life, were found to have far less cancer throughout life. In fact, the research psychologists discovered that those medical students who had shown […]
In this prospective study of breast cancer patients, those who confided in others had higher survival rates. There was a clear correlation between social support and higher survival rates. This study was conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Maunsell.
This is a case study of a woman treated for intractable asthma with what both the doctor and the patient believed was a powerful new, experimental drug. The doctor, in disbelief over the rapid cure using the drug, believed the drug company had sent a placebo. To test whether the drug supplied to him by […]
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