Dr. Avi: Bruce, a couple of questions. I’m from a medical background. There’s obviously … as scientists, the dream is often to see their work go from bench-to-bedside, the answer to be applied in practice. With your work in all the science that you’ve done in this space, what would that look like for you in terms of clinical practice, if what you have discovered is being applied?
Dr. Lipton: One of the most important things I think that is needed in the clinical practice is something different than I was involved with what I was teaching in medical school. When we’re teaching in medical school, we were teaching victimization. That people’s health was really not in their hands. It’s in the chemistry, in the genes, the biology, and that you’re a victim and I am a healer. I come in and say this.
We start to now recognize that the programs manifest. Right? Think about this for the average family. The average family is raised. We’re in a situation that when someone’s not well, what do we tell that person? Oh, we have to take you to the doctor. Mommy is not well, she has to go to the doctor. Billy has to go to the doctor.
In that developmental period of 7 years when programs are being set, what learning does that give the child? It says that if it comes to my health, I don’t deal with it, but I go to the doctor. Why? The doctor is a professional. The doctor is the truth provider I select for my health. Why is that relevant? If the doctor says, “I’m sorry, you have cancer,” my subconscious just heard from the truth provider that I selected, as truth provider, that I have cancer. My mind is shaping my chemistry. Just hearing the word I have cancer will actually start off a cascade that can produce a cancer even though I never have one.
It’s the basis of the placebo effect and more importantly what is called the nocebo effect. Most, everyone, they ask the placebo effect. I have a very positive thought about healing and that thought would heal me because I took the sugar pill but I thought it was going to be the one to heal me and I got healed. Then, I found out later was a sugar pill, so obviously what healed me was my belief that it was the pill. We all know that and yet, at the same time, most of the population is totally unaware of the fact that was called the nocebo effect. The nocebo effect is a negative prescription that this won’t work, this can’t happen. That is equally powerful to the placebo. If the positive statement can heal a person, the nocebo effect has been demonstrated to be a powerful statement that can actually kill a person.
I think the most important understanding that the medical community has to have is to come in to this world of consciousness, understanding the role of that and understand how they are perceived by the patient because that could change the entire way medicine is given. Rather than going in and saying, here is your problem. It’s rather come in and say here is how you can be healthy.
I think the biggest problem in that field is making a statement that is a conclusive statement that, for the doctor, sounds right because of a study, but for the patient, it becomes a law of their life and without the doctor knowing how profoundly important they are by the words that they say.
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Dr Avi specialises in insights and strategies to improve patient and customer experience.
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