The effects of Positive thinking are real. The drug companies know it and take account of positive thinking in every single clinical drugs trial.
A recent BBC news report reminded me of the importance of positive thinking. If I’m honest, for years I used to roll my eyes when people talked about the power of positive thinking. I didn’t buy into it, possibly because I wasn’t practiced in its use and so didn’t have the evidence it worked. Now I know differently.
The COVID19 drugs trial
A hospital in Southampton is part of a clinical of one of the drugs that’s showing some promise for the treatment of COVID19.
Clinical drugs trials are blind trials, which means that patients taking part don’t know if they are actually taking the drug or not. Half the people on the trial get the real drug and the other half get something that tastes, looks and feels like the real thing but isn’t the real thing. It has no medicine in it.
Why? Because it is known that if we think we are taking good medicine then just knowing that can improve how well the medicine helps us. And the reverse is true, if we think we’ve got the dud one, we can do worse than if we hadn’t been involved in the trial at all.
Body Medicine and Mind Medicine
So both the mind and body are participating in the trial. There’s the physical medicine and then the mental medicine and the trial has to be able to tell the difference, that’s why half the patients are given the real thing and half aren’t.
This is a great demonstration of the power of the mind in healing the body. If you give a patient the medicine and tell them they are having it, they can do better than if they remain unaware they are taking anything. But if you give them the dud one and tell them it’s the real thing, they can also do better than when not being given anything at all.
So positive thinking really is a thing, the power of it is factored into every single clinical drugs trial. In order to work out how well the actual medicine is working, they deduct the positive thinking effects, by using a blind trial.
“I could see myself taking it home”
There was a great example in a BBC report of the drugs trial for one of the drugs that’s showing some promise for the treatment of COVID19. A 67 year old lady who has COVID19 and is taking part in the trial is taking the drug, which is given via a nebuliser, said "You don't notice you're taking it 'til you're finished. It's not so bad. I could see myself taking it at home."
To me as a hypnotherapist who helps people change the way they think, that final sentence is very welcome to read “I could see myself taking it home”. The language is positive, if she can see herself taking it home, in her mind she is going home. And if she’s going home, she’s getting better. And that’s fantastic. I wish her well.