As research for my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself, I have been digging deep into the medical literature, going back as far as the 1920’s into medical journals in order to find cold, hard science to prove what I have long believed – that we hold within us self-healing superpowers that are stronger than any chemotherapy and more effective than any surgery.
So it delights me that, more and more, such evidence is appearing in modern day media. This week, a CNN headline reported on a fascinating study from Harvard University which was also just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study investigated 39 asthma patients and rotated them through four treatments – an albuterol inhaler (standard treatment for asthma), a placebo inhaler, sham acupuncture (the patients thought they were getting real acupuncture, but the needles were just placed willy nilly), and nothing. Every week, they got a different treatment, but the patients didn’t know some of the treatments were fake.
So what happened? Unsurprisingly, 50% felt better after getting the albuterol inhaler. But lo and behold – a similar percentage felt better after getting a placebo inhaler (45%) and sham acupuncture (46%). Even among those who received no treatment, 21% felt better.
Although those who received the albuterol inhaler had more dilated bronchi, symptom improvement between the albuterol group and the two placebo groups were not statistically different. Which brings up an interesting phenomenon.