The Placebo Effect

peter winslow (life coach)I’m Life coach Peter Winslow. In an interesting bit of science news, research studies found in medical journals have reported that there are anti-depressant medications on today’s US market that register no measurable results in clinical trials. It has been accepted that a “placebo effect” is responsible for all the benefits that the retail users of those medications reported to their physicians.

You likely realize that the placebo works only because you believe it will. The placebo effect happens when you think a neutral substance will have a positive effect on you and just because you believe it, it really does.

In modern medicine, there have been studies conducted on the effects of placebos for decades, reporting confirmed cases of the placebo effect in action. One of the more astonishingly invasive studies from 1959 conducted by the National Institute of Health concerned a “mammary artery ligation” procedure used as a cure for angina pain.

The heart surgeon makes an incision in the chest and ties off two arteries, causing an increase in blood flow to the heart. The cardiologist hired for the study performed “sham surgeries” in which 8 out of 17 patients got incisions and stitches, but nothing else. 100% of patients who got the sham surgeries reported being cured.

Such invasive studies are not as common today, but are still being done. In 2002 at the VA Medical Center in Houston, 180 patients with osteoarthritis in their knees were treated with either arthroscopic procedures to remove damaged cartilage or placebo surgery which simulated arthroscopic surgery by making an incision but not removing any cartilage. After two years, and not being told who did and who did not receive the “real” surgery, there were no differences between the placebo and non-placebo groups. Every patient reported improvement in pain and in the ability to use their knees.

Dr. Bruce Moseley, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgeries reported: “I was initially very surprised… I could not imagine anybody suggesting that anything we do in surgery would benefit from the placebo effect. I associate placebo effect with pills. In my simple explanation of this outcome, the magnitude of placebo effect is directly proportional to the patient’s perceived intervention.”

In light of this information, you won’t find me volunteering for any surgical clinical studies.

– Peter Winslow

Your Identity Makes All the Difference – Part 8

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. We have so far discussed the inner identity, also called the “true self” and learned that it is composed of three fundamental elements: Love, Joy, and Peace of Mind.

Here is an interesting corollary: you’ve probably heard of people who psychologists refer to as “energy vampires.” These types can suck the energy right out of you. Everyone knows someone who can burn you out just by spending an hour with you, or even less. As a life coach, I deal with these types quite frequently.

So—do you know what it is they’re sucking out of you? It’s your love, your joy, and your peace of mind!

Because they have become so disconnected from their own true selves, they must get their energy directly from others as a never-ending quest for victims of their perverse needs.

These unfortunate souls have covered their true self over with layers and layers of what they refer to as “my story.” And these stories always involve static thinking about things that don’t exist anymore, things which all happened in the past. There is no dynamism for change here; they cannot change the past. They just continue to suck more and more energy from others throughout their lives.

Do you know someone like that? Maybe somebody close to you? Somebody you’re aware of… right now?

As earlier noted, they cannot change the past; yet what they can change is how they feel about the past. What would solve the issue is for them to become aware of their own inner identity—the love, peace and joy at the core of who they really are. When fully realized, these things continue to grow and to give, nurturing and sustaining them from within, as it does for all emotionally healthy and spiritually connected people.

When you identify yourself as being the love, peace and joy that resides within you—we can call this your spiritual or true self—you will constantly grow and prosper in awareness, abundance and ability.

Then an amazing revelation occurs: you attract love, wealth and abundance from the outside world.  So rather than trying to get what you want from the world, you become what it is you seek—and the world provides you with more and more of what you really are.

This is precisely how it is that in life we don’t get what we want, we get what we are—which you now recognize as the Law of Identity.

–Peter Winslow

 

Your Identity Makes All the Difference – Part 7

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. In this series of posts we have been discussing your inner identity, also called the “true self.” As such we have seen that who I am and who I “think” I am are often two different things.

We learned that the true self (your inner identity) is comprised of three aspects: Love, Joy, and Peace of Mind. These things only occur within us, yet most people seek them in the outside world, usually to no avail or lasting satisfaction.

We have taken a brief look at the first two aspects—love and joy—and how, until we realize them internally, they do not sustain in our lives. Today we will consider peace of mind, the third aspect of the true self. It’s the most elusive of the three, partly because people seem to believe it is the product of experiences in the outside world.

“I’ll know peace as soon as my kids do what I’ve asked them to do.”

“I’ll have peace when my neighbor moves out and I get a new one who respects my space.”

I’ll believe in peace of mind when the politicians do what they ought to.”

“I’ll find peace as soon as things go my way.”

But are these external events really likely to happen?

Like love and joy, peace of mind dwells within you—dynamically growing and giving, until negative thoughts derail it. It takes training and skill to cultivate your peace of mind, so please get started right away. As a life coach, this is one of the most common things my clients ask me for assistance with. Yet peace of mind is there within us all, waiting to be fully realized. We must simply learn how it works.

Realize these things as aspects of who you are—love, joy and peace—and watch joyfully as life continues to provide you with more and more of the good things your loving heart truly desires.

In our next installment we’ll discover why realization of your inner identity is so critically important for real health, true wealth, and lasting abundance in life.

–Peter Winslow

Your Identity Makes All the Difference – Part 6

I’m Peter Winslow, a life coach based in Scottsdale AZ. In this series of posts we have been learning about your true self, and what it means. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a matter of your name, rank and serial number; your address, education or career; your religion, family history, personality or even your physical body.

What are the three core aspects of the true self? You will recognize them as: Love, Joy, and Peace of Mind.

In the last post we discussed love. Now we’ll look at the next aspect of the true self (what we are at our core) which is joy.

Many people go into the world seeking joy, yet too often it remains elusive and fleeting to them. Why? Because joy is something we find within us, not something that others can grant us.

“When my boss gets off my back, I’ll be happy.” “When I get that new Ferrari, I’ll be ecstatic.” “As soon as these things happen I’ll be truly joyful…” are expressions that indicate a profound misunderstanding of one’s own true nature.

When you acquire the Ferrari, the joy doesn’t come floating out of the steering wheel. Joy isn’t emanating out of the metal and rubber and leather and other things that make up the car. It is the joy within you becoming fully present with the circumstance that you are feeling.

You are made of eternal joy, but your thoughts may have gotten in the way. The thoughts you choose to believe are the only things that can block you from feeling the joy within you.

Like all authentic aspects of the self, joy is dynamic; it is growing and giving. It’s one of the dynamic essences that make you who you really are. And who you are, you will find, the world reflects back to you in equal measure.

So it is that we can bring joy to the world, rather than expecting the world to bring us constant joy—which simply does not happen. Expecting the world to provide us with perpetual joy is a dysfunctional expectation that always leads to disappointment, and worse.

In our next meeting we’ll discover true peace of mind. Now wouldn’t that be nice?

– Peter Winslow