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

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How Your Mind Creates Stress

How Your Mind Creates Stress
How Your Mind Creates Stress

Hello, I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Lately we’ve been learning about stress and how it can cause severe illness and disease. Now let’s look at a definition. Wikipedia defines stress this way:

“Stress refers to the consequence of the failure of an organism— human or animal—to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined.”

Did you get that? Stress is not only caused by an actual threat, it’s also caused by nothing more than your imagination. As a life coach, I hear many examples of this from my clients on a daily basis.

Know why some people cry when the hero tragically dies during a movie? They know perfectly well that nobody really died, but their subconscious minds respond to the stimulus as if it were real. This is because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real, and what is vividly imagined.

This is critical information to take advantage of if you’d like to improve your health. And by the way, without this inborn subconscious function, going to the movies wouldn’t be nearly as much fun!

We know that stress is a mental state that creates an emotional response in the body, which means it’s a mind-body phenomenon. And what is an emotional response? Emotions are electromagnetic signals sent out from the brain to communicate a particular message to the body at the cellular level. Then, neurochemicals and hormones kick in to provide what we feel in response to the mental information we’re busy processing.

Medical textbooks state that over 90 percent of all illnesses in the U.S. are due to stress and other mind-body factors. This means that nine times out of ten, there is an emotional stressor underlying the disease. Worry, frustration, anger, resentment, unworthiness, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and other emotional factors are known to cause the symptoms of stress, and lead to stress-related illness.

–Peter Winslow

Negative Or… Not?

I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Recently, someone in the life-coaching group advocated the exercise of rejecting all negative thoughts as they occur and accepting and acting upon only the positive ones. Could one do this for a week uninterrupted, she told, one’s life and fortunes would certainly change for the better.

Would that we could only entertain and act upon our likes and loves rather than being pushed and pulled by our fears or by worries and concerns over daily challenges. Some may think it naive to do so; that it may not be possible to live in a world where negative influences are not addressed or even acknowledged. However, there are others who live with the mindset that everything serves in some way or another and therefore nothing is truly negative.

These people vow that to adopt this philosophy for a week (or better yet—a month) will release us from ailments and suffering. They also suggest that in so doing we become a magnet to attract the people and resources we really desire. Do you buy it?

I’m going to do this for a month and I challenge you to join me:

Let’s believe only those thoughts which add to our faith and conviction in the goals we have set, and in ourselves. Immediately dismiss all others. The conflicting and challenging thoughts that often occur are only temporary and lacking any power to manifest in the world of form without our permission and belief.

We’ll check in with ourselves daily by using the practices of meditation and contemplation, remaining steadfast in the knowledge that what we put our beliefs in must come to pass. We now create from within and are never the “victims” of external circumstance.

– Peter Winslow

Law of Emergence – Part Four

Hello I’m Peter Winslow, a life coach and counselor in Scottsdale AZ. We’ve been discussing the Law of Emergence, a superior realization of how to get what you want in life. It comes to us from life coach and New Thought philosopher Derek Rydall.

We looked at how to apply this law to achieve your dreams step by step, beginning here: first, change your language, and stop talking about what is “negative” in your world. Second and most importantly, stop looking at “why” your dream isn’t happening. It may feel counterintuitive, but that is what often blocks you—the search for (and focus on) what is holding you back.

Third, let all the “negative” stuff pass you by like flotsam on a river, and instead stay focused on navigating where that river is taking you. Give 100% of your attention to what you desire, and 0% to what you don’t.

More than an exercise, it’s a way of life—one which replaces any dogma that demands you must work hard to improve yourself before you can have your goals and dreams. While hard work has its reward, it is just not enough. For example, you can dig ditches 12 hours a day for years, fill them back in, and never reach a satisfying conclusion.

In many cases hard labor is counter-productive as it keeps you myopically bound to the toil at hand, unable to recognize the many hidden opportunities that pop up all around you—which then get picked up and taken advantage of by more open-minded adventurers.

The Law of Emergence entails a deep realization that replaces any inferior concept of who you are. Make this breathtaking breakthrough and you simply cannot return to any worn-out belief that somehow in some way, “I am not enough” and so must work harder and harder to “earn” your success.

You are not just a physical body; you are a mix of elements and energy operating in a quantum field. This realization combines inner harmony with outer order, and activates the Law of Emergence in very powerful ways.

When you finally get it, nothing can stand between you and whatsoever you would have, and be.

–Peter Winslow