THE INTENTIONAL PLACEBO AKA SHIFTING THE PARKINSON'S MINDSET
AN UNDERUSED CAPACITY OF THE MIND
Previous name: SHIFTING THE PARKINSON'S MINDSET
Person’s With Parkinson’s disease (PWPs) are always seeking alternative, effective treatments for symptoms that are not successfully managed by traditional Western Medicine. At the same time, pharmaceutical researchers are frustrated by the extraordinary frequency of PWPs who, in clinical trials, respond to placebos. Recently, investigators are taking a second look at placebos; asking whether they may be inherent properties of the BodyMind that patients with a variety of chronic diseases can utilize to their advantage.
This approach relies on a structured and detailed twelve week immersion in a guided imagery/creative visualization practice. Before going further, let us consider definitions of terms that will be used and their importance to the ten week immersion.
Guided Imagery: An individual using a calm, soothing voice takes you to a state of mind where you will be able to imagine in your mind’s eye what is being described. As it is usually practiced, the guidance process may fill the entire time.
Creative Visualization: This may or may not involve a second person to provide input relating to the process. Experienced individuals may initiate the guided portion of the visualization and then switch to a creative mode during which various thoughts in the mind synthesize a result the individual had not been aware of; even as a possibility. You can see that the word, creative, is essential.
Hypnosis has similarities to Guided Imagery in that two persons are involved. They are called the operator and the subject. The operator provides verbal and non-verbal cues and suggestions. The intention for the subject is to virtually become an unquestioning being who loses all sense of self. This sounds ominous but this state is rarely achieved. Hypnotizability is a trait of the subject, not the operator. For the purposes of our undertaking, a deep hypnotic state is not desirable. Hypnotic induction facilitates achieving the right altered state so the subject is receptive to suggestions but remains in charge of any critical decision making.
The altered state we seek is one in which the parasympathetic nervous system is in control of the autonomic nervous system. That is to say, there is to be no fight or flight, only conscious peaceful awareness and creative receptivity.
Meditation is not part of the process except the preparation stage for meditation. Meditation’s purpose is a focused mind aware of what is happening but not responding to it.
Characteristics of the parasympathetic-dominant mindset include a calm and relaxed feeling in the BodyMind, reduced sense of anxiety, pain, and stress. Blood pressure becomes lower, mood brightens, and the immune system has increased effectiveness.
Some words about the term, BodyMind: Rene Descartes was the first philosopher of the last millennium to state the body and the mind are separate. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle embraced dualism more than a thousand years earlier.
Modern Neuroscience disagrees, stating the brain and the body are so intimately interconnected that it is impossible to say where one ends and the other begins. Daniel Siegel, MD goes further describing the mind, “The human mind is a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information.” That is a mouthful and not easy to comprehend unless you carefully study the three books he has written about the mind. Our take home lesson is this: The human mind is greater than the combined BodyMind and is not limited by the physical universe.
I have neither the skill nor the knowledge to go further with this expanded understanding of the mind. It is plausible that the way I use the concept of mind is true. Even if it is not true, when working with creative imagination, the brain will construct a functioning mindset congruent with what we include and the logic we employ. And since the foregoing is the case, this process operates without the inclusion of religious beliefs. It’s like the title of my novel, Let’s Pretend, A Tale of Mind, Imagination and Healing. I agree with the statement made by Jesus after someone was healed in his presence, “Your Faith has made you whole.” I believe the words ‘faith’ and ‘mindset’ are interchangeable.
For the purposes of this audiobook, I go one step further. I propose there exists an Infinite Mind that came into existence with the Big Bang and is not limited by physics or quantum theory. It is a mystery that may account for unexplainable events every human being experiences some time in their life.
The foregoing discussion serves to affirm the components of healing that I envision for the purposes of this discussion. It need not be true in any absolute sense. It simply provides the basis for our mind and imagination to be internally consistent. Hence mind activity always has a manifestation in what is commonly referred to as the body.
Now, it’s time to go forward and leave it to skeptics and philosophers to pick apart what I’ve proposed.