The Aging Placebo

Connie Michaelis, Lifestyle Consultant at The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

Placebo comes from the Latin word meaning ‘I shall please.’  It is a substance with no active therapeutic effect.  A placebo is given to a person in order to deceive them into thinking that it is an active treatment. In drug testing, a placebo can be made to resemble an active medication so that it functions as a control; this is to prevent the recipient from knowing whether a treatment is active or inactive. This psychological phenomenon, in which the recipient perceives an improvement in condition due to personal expectations, rather than the treatment itself, is known as the placebo effect. The placebo effect points to the importance of perception and the brain’s role in physical health.

There is research going on now to understand the connection between successful aging and mental attitude. The phrase, “You’re only as old as you think you are,” holds deep implications. There are entire cultures where individuals regularly live to be100 years old, and among those people, there is a universal expectation that humans live a long and active life.  Research is finding more commonality between mental attitudes of these cultures than their diet, climate or environment. What if your future was more reliant on your mental attitude than all the other factors, including genetics?  Americans are so dependent on the medical community to cure our ailments, we do not consider our own personal power to promote vitality. We actually believe that age brings illness and incapacity!

There is a great deal of power in mentally preparing to age vigorously.  Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, says, “Your body reacts to your intention and complies.”  This is not an attempt to be simplistic, but it is a ‘pill to put in your daily pill box.’  Remember the power of the placebo and use your brain to play a significant role in your physical health.  Call us at The Piper 913.400.7006, where we fill the pill case with great thinking!