Hello, everyone... Steve Ozanich's The Great Pain Deception is a great read, and I take notes for my own use as I read in order to get as much as I can from it. Since the book group is doing the chapter today, I thought I'd share my notes with the group. They are, of course, just my personal thoughts. I added some discussion questions at the end. Feel free to comment! Summary On my second reading of this chapter I see it playing more off of Ch. 7’s discussion of the Placebo and Nocebo effect, which, I believe, is Steve’s main goal with this chapter. More specifically, Steve uses Jungian Psychological concepts, archetypes, collective unconscious, to demonstrate how physicians can influence our placebo/nocebo reaction so much. These concepts have a profound impact on how seeing physicians and receiving PT treatments (massage, physical therapy, orthopedics) will keep us in pain. It is our belief, implanted by physicians unaware of TMS, that makes us susceptible to developing chronic conditions, and why TMS moves around. Notes from earlier read through The main goal of this chapter is to show the role placebos and the power of suggestion play in medicine. He begins by discussing archetypes and collective unconscious. There are two main archetypes in play the Healer, which places doctors in authority positions, and the fool, which is accepting that certain activities can create chronic pain. He tries to show that authority figures, especially doctors, influence if we have pain or not. He criticizes doctors for only looking at what they expect to see, and can’t think of new ideas. The Fool Archetype may be the reason that if a co-worker has back pain, you will develop back pain. Goodism and Timing are critical in accepting a belief and “periods of isolation, tension, and stress are open wounds awaiting the emergence of the next suggestion. He provides an example from Amir’s book, where Fred started having back pain when he sneezed because his coworker commented one day that sneezing must really hurt. He suggests that it was Fred’s need to be good and do what is right that led him to having pain when he sneezed. He goes on to argue that we have pain because we want to avoid conflict and be part of the collective pack. In the next section he begins discussion placebos and argues that “if belief can improve and even heal, it’s logical to assume that the mind can even create the disorder.” Quotes “normally believe what the physician tells them, especially if it allows them to opt out of things they don’t want to do—avoid places they don’t want to be. Even if the physician is wrong, most people will believe him or her because of their position of influence. If your doctor doesn’t believe Dr. Sarno, and you believe in your doctor, then that’s it—your healing has been negated.” When a physician tells the patient he has bad knees or feet, or back or neck, he believes the healer at a deeper level of consciousness—filling the patient’s dry river bed, helping to form his personal unconscious. How do people interpret Steve’s idea of the dry river bed. He mentions that it has something to do with archetypes, but only says that filling it sort of creates a person’s unconscious. “A good person tries to avoid conflict, and will often do so by accommodating others’ realities at the expense of self. We live in a society that celebrates individual achievement; but regarding our health, we allow ourselves to be pulled into the collective pack.” Steve believe we get symptoms because we see them in other people. It is an epidemic. We get chronic conditions “if the individual can be persuaded to focus on them—to fear them.” He discusses quite a bit the role of placebos in medicine and the power of suggestion “This is why identifying a sense of purpose in life, and refusing to feel like a victim, eases pain. Find a way to turn your obsession toward an activity that you love and focus on it, and the pain will slowly leave, as this new, more productive obsession becomes the competing stimulus.” Questions: Steve believes we get symptoms because we see them in other people. Have you ever had a symptom someone close to you has had? Is there a sort of contagion connected to TMS? I tend to think, and Steve writes about this, that a lot of the standard medical approaches people receive, especially surgery for pain, is just a placebo. They may relieve symptoms temporarily, but after a while it will come back in the same location or a new one. Have any of you ever experienced a placebo? Can TMS have a placebo effect? How do commercials for Fibromyalgia drugs or Shingles Shots affect the number of people who get those conditions?