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Ask yourself the most important question: Can you be your own placebo without using deception? If you give yourself a sugar pill, you know in advance that it offers no relief. Is that the end of it?

By no means. Mind-body medicine depends on freeing the mind from its doubts so that people can attain wellness by knowing more about the mind-body connection, not less. Instead of using deception, which keeps the patient in the dark, we need healing based on more awareness—more light—in the patient's life.

To be your own placebo is the same as freeing up the healing power of the mind-body connection. Instead of wondering how 30 percent of patients benefit from the placebo effect, we need to shift our focus and ask about the 70 percent who don't.

Mind-body medicine will reach its full potential only when the following holds true:
  • The mind contributes to getting well.
  • The mind doesn't contribute to getting sick.
  • The body is in constant communication with the mind.
  • This communication benefits both the physical and mental aspects of being well.
That's the vision we need. In my next piece, I'll discuss how each of these requirements can be fulfilled.

Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.

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