The Nature of Healing

I believe all healing comes from the individual who needs the healing.

So, please bear with me while I explain the genesis of my belief.


What is a placebo and how does it work? (1) A placebo is generally a dummy pill that is given to a person saying this is a drug that will cure them. In a statistically significant percentage of cases, the sugar pill works as well as the actual drug (and, without the usual side-effects of the actual drug)! Why does it work? It works because the patient believes that the sugar pill will cure her. Why do some of the drugs work? Same reason. So, who is doing the healing? Isn’t it the patient?

Not Convinced?

Discover Placebo Surgeries.

Okay, what if I told you that some respected medical professionals have conducted placebo operations and found them to work just as well as actual operations. In a study conducted over 24 months with 180 patients with knee pain, three types of operations were carried out. In simple words, scraping, washing, and a placebo operation. The results: No significant difference in the outcomes in the three types of procedures.2

Still not convinced?

Well, then let’s take the case of the brilliant cardiac surgeon who decided to see if angina pectoris which requires a stent in the arteries, would be healed by a placebo operation. No significant difference in the outcome between putting in stents and not putting in stents. 3

Still not convinced?

Well then let’s take the famous case of Mr. Wright in the 1950s. He became unwell and his doctor discovered that Mr. Wright had tumors the size of oranges and that there was nothing much that he could do for him at that time as the wonders of chemotherapy and radiation were not commercially available.

Mr. Wright resigned himself to the few weeks of life that the doctor had predicted for him. That is till he came across a newspaper article that claimed a new wonder drug has been discovered that could cure his cancer. He rushed to the doctor with the article and begged for the drug to be administered to him. The doctor was reluctant as the drug was still being tested, but he gave in to Mr. Wright’s pleas and procured the drug and administered it. Within a couple of weeks, Mr. Wright’s cancer had completely disappeared!

Mr. Wright went back to his normal life, happy to have beaten cancer and gotten a new lease on life. Alas, this was not to last long as several months later there was an article in the newspaper saying the miracle drug did not work. Mr. Wright’s cancer reappeared. The same old orange-sized tumors were back.

His doctor was stunned. But this doctor was smart. He figured that Mr. Wright’s belief in the drug had cured his cancer. So, he informed him about this new, more powerful, more amazing version of the previous drug that has been discovered and he will administer it to Mr. Wright. The good doctor administered Mr. Wright saline water and lo and behold, soon the cancer disappeared!

Mr. Wright went back to his usual life and was humming along until he came across an article that totally and completely blew the miracle drug’s capabilities to hell.

I am really sorry to tell you that Mr. Wright finally succumbed to his cancer.4


What does this true story tell me? Who or what was the healer? To my simple mind, it’s amply clear that the healing came from Mr. Wright’s belief in the drug.

In our current generation, a large portion of the populace has more or less abdicated all responsibility for their health to the medical establishment. I believe each of us needs to have a stake in our own health, and by this, I mean doing more than hauling ourselves to the nearest GP at the first sign of a dis-ease. 

Thanks to the vast wealth of information available on the internet and the ever more popular alternative healthcare professionals, at least learn about our symptoms, possible causes, and solutions. Solutions that address the cause and not just go for the symptomatic relief of drugs that is today the fast-food equivalent of healing. We know fast food is convenient and tasty and I think by now we also know how nutritious and healthy it is.

Who better than you, dear alternative healthcare professionals, to get this message across to your clients. It will take time to get people to take more responsibility for their health and it’s not going to be easy, but for us in this field, it would be worth it!

One of the professionals I know has a very good approach. She actually gets to the nub of the issue when meeting a client for the first time and assesses whether deep down, the client actually wants to get better. She does not assume that just because the client has made an appointment, he, deep down, wants to get better. This is augmented by her ascertaining what the client is willing to do for his health.

Thank you so much for reading this. I appended some links to support my ramblings above. ☺

With love,

Harish Nim



  1. More Than Just a Sugar Pill: Why the placebo effect is real
  2. A fascinating landmark study of placebo surgery for knee osteoarthritis
  3. How Fake Surgery Exposes Useless Treatments
  4. Placebos Prove So Powerful Even Experts Are Surprised; New Studies Explore the Brain’s Triumph Over Reality