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The Remarkable Power of Belief

You've all heard about "the placebo effect," the power of the brain to help alleviate pain or disease merely by the belief that treatment is occurring. But the placebo has a little-studied evil twin, the "nocebo," which is only beginning to be understood.

The BBC comments, "We have long known that expectations of a malady can be as dangerous as a virus. In the same way that voodoo shamans could harm their victims through the power of suggestion, priming someone to think they are ill can often produce the actual symptoms of a disease. Vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and even death, could be triggered through belief alone. It's called the 'nocebo effect.' But it is now becoming clear just how easily those dangerous beliefs can spread through gossip and hearsay—with potent effect."

Possible Preaching Angle:

The power of belief and suggestion is remarkably clear, and even deadly as in multiple examples cited in the article. So how important is it to take what we believe seriously? If belief in a false thing can kill or heal, what can belief in the real power of God—or the enemy—do?


David Robson, “The contagious thought that could kill you,” BBC (2-10-15)

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