Every method of treating illness works. High-tech laboratory-tested therapies of Western medicine work--so do the ancient techniques of Eastern medicine. Laser surgery and chemotherapy, crystals, ginseng root and echinacea bark, low-fat diets and vitamin megadoses, as well as the whole armamentarium of New Age medicine --such as aromatherapy, music therapy, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, macrobiotics--they all work. Every possible decoction of forest and garden, and yes, a rag, a bone, and a hank of hair have been used to heal and have healed. In the history of the world, there has never been a medicine or a treatment that did not heal someone.
How is this possible? What is really going on here?
To compound the puzzle, why doesn't a given treatment work on everyone who has the same disease? And, if a treatment is effective in Switzerland, why doesn't it work in Swaziland? And, if a treatment worked in the year 1800, why didn't the identical treatment work in the year 1900?
Science always claims to look for the simple answer, the elegant solution. Is there one that could explain this conundrum? Indeed there is. It is the subject of this book.
I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am a poet, a writer, and a professor of English--but one who has experienced profound self-healing. I owe allegiance to no profession, no colleagues, and no industry. I have no educational bias. Indeed, my singular experience demolished my former lifelong bias in favor of medicine and scientific materialism.
Faith and the Placebo Effect is an argument for self-healing. It is also a record of my own mental and spiritual journey. I have assembled ideas from the scriptures and practices of many religions, from philosophers, scientists, doctors, theologians, and from the cultures of many periods and places. I use these plus a wealth of testimonials from ordinary people to make the message carried by the phenomenon of the placebo effect incontrovertible to the thoughtful person. This book is a blend of experience, intuition, research, and mysticism that together form a vision of life and health.
Along with countless others, I have discovered a great truth. Neither I nor the others invented it. The truth is that your health is in your mind.
Copyright © 2001
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