How strong is the power of the mind?

I loved watching the Winter Olympics and because of my passion and what I do I notice so many of the “anchors” that many of the athletes performed just prior to their event. They put themselves in the optimal mindset to perform at their very best.

It may have been a double-tap on the front of their shoulder or a grab of their thigh or even a set of two or three body movements.

We can use our minds to change our state, block negativity, and perform at a higher level. These athletes were putting themselves in an optimal mental state with physical anchors. It’s a very effective strategy that I use myself and also teach to my clients.

It works much like how a sight, words, a smell, or a location can be a trigger that takes us back to a trauma in our lives. Only in this case we use it for good.

Wim Hof

There have been many studies on the great Wim Hof.

Wim is the incredible Dutchman who has defied the laws of nature on cold exposure and virus resistance simply through the mind.

He has been the subject of numerous scientific studies to ascertain why he can withstand extreme cold temperatures and the introduction of viruses to his system.

These studies have been carried out both in the field and laboratory settings. The same level of cold and viruses would be extremely dangerous to other humans but don’t affect Wim.

I use his breathing and cold immersion teachings to great benefit with my own health regime. I also plan to spend time with him at one of his 6-day experiences in Poland.

Professor Fabrizio Bendetti  

Fabrizio Benedetti is a professor of physiology and neuroscience at the University of Turin Medical School in Turin Italy.

He and a group of researchers conducted a study on just how much our mindset and beliefs can influence our recovery and resistance to pain.

Thoracic Surgery Study

During the study Professor Bendetti and his researchers studied a group of patients who were recovering from Thoracic Surgery.

This particular procedure is extremely invasive as the surgeons have to cut through the large muscles of the back & sides to gain access to the lungs and heart of the patient.

Shortly after coming out of surgery, the effect of the anaesthesia wears off. As you could imagine patients experience an incredible amount of pain after this procedure.

During the study,  Professor Bendetti and his colleagues placed the patients into two groups.  Morphine Sulfate is a very powerful pain killer and is normally administered to recovering patients.

In this study, both sets of patients were administered the exact same dosage, of the exact same source of Morphine Sulfate.

One group was administered the drug by a doctor whom the patient acknowledged whilst the other group was administered it by an automatic pump.

The Results

This is the interesting part. Whilst both received the same dosage of the same drug from the same source the results were vastly different.

The patients that saw a doctor administer the drug reported a pain level of 4 out of 10 precisely 1 hour after receiving it.

The patients that had the drug administered via the pump rated their pain at 6 out of 10 exactly 1 hour after receiving it.

Further Studies

Professor Benedetti replicated the same study with groups of patients suffering from Parkinson’s, hypertension, and anxiety.

The results were exactly the same. The patients who saw a doctor administer a medication described a higher pain relief than the people who did not witness and acknowledge they were being given medication.

The Milkshake Study

Dr. Alia Crum who is now an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard University has also been involved in some incredible studies and the Milkshake Study is one of the most famous.

In this study, a group of people was given a milkshake to drink. They were told that the milkshake was either a 620 calorie “indulgent” milkshake or a “sensible” 140 calorie milkshake. In fact, they were all secretly given the same milkshake that was 320 calories

Now the aim of the experiment was to test if physiological satiation (feeling satisfied after food) measured physically by the gut peptide ghrelin had a psychological effect.

Blood samples were taken from the participants at 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes post-consumption. The blood samples were taken to measure the ghrelin levels in the blood.

The experiment was carried out on two occasions with the same participants.

The results were that those who drank the milkshake labeled as low calories had a higher spike in ghrelin than when they had the same “620 calorie” milkshakes but that was labeled indulgent. On both occasions, they were actually given a 320 calorie milkshake.

“Participants’ satiety was consistent with what they believed they were consuming rather than the actual nutritional value of what they consumed” as reported by Professor Crum.

How Much Power Is In The Mind?

From the Olympic athletes to the salesperson preparing to pitch.  we all know the power of the mind.

Looking at the research by Professor Bendetti, Professor Crum, and others we can see the power of the placebo effect and no doubt the associations of positive psychology.

If we in fact can change our performance by our self-talk and positive mindset, how far are we able to change our physical health as well.

With the right training and coaching how much more could you achieve in your life?

To your health and abundance.