I refer to the mental power that can heal as the mind-power effect. The mind-power effect is one of the greatest forces in medicine. The mind-power effect cannot only heal by itself, but also makes effective physical therapies and medications more effective. For example, you would be more likely to recover from an illness if you knew you were receiving an effective drug than you would be if you received the same effective drug, but didn’t know it.
The mind-power effect is most effective in patients who have positive outlooks, and who are responsive to the power of suggestion. Generally, patients who respond well to sham drugs also respond well to effective drugs. For example, in one study, a group of patients who had responded well to a sham drug responded with a 95 percent relief rate to an effective drug. However, another group of patients, who had not responded well to the sham drug, experienced only a 50 percent relief rate from the effective drug.
In the same way, drugs and surgeries that are later proven to be relatively ineffective tend to work well in the early stages of their use, before patients and doctors lose faith in them. In one study, surgeries that were later proven ineffective enjoyed an early success rate of 70 percent. There’s an adage in medicine that says, “You should use drugs when they first come out, while they still work.”