Many people have a hard time believing their brains can generate physical somatic symptoms in the body. Studies around what’s called the ‘nocebo effect’ prove the brain is capable of producing all sorts of real physical symptoms. The nocebo effect is when there is a negative expectation of having a symptom and then experiencing that very thing in the body. It is around the emotion of fear. I always tell people fear is a magnet that draws to you the very things you are afraid of.
Check out this article titled ¨Nocebo effect may be why people think statins cause muscle pain¨ In this study on statin medications for cholesterol the authors state:
- A new report has found that people who take statins had no differences in muscle symptoms than people who didn’t take statins.
- There may be a strong “nocebo effect” — people expect to experience muscle pain, and then because of that, they begin to experience muscle pain.
Another article titled ¨COVID-19 vaccines: 76% of reported side effects may be due to the nocebo effect.¨ In this article the authors state:
- A study finds that a third of people who received placebos during COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials reported unpleasant systemic side effects such as headache and fatigue.
- The authors of the study find that 76% of side effects reported by actual vaccine recipients are likely the same effects and attributable to nocebo responses.
So these nocebo studies give us the evidence the brain can produce all sorts of symptoms with nothing wrong in the body. We need to let this sink in. Once we’ve ruled out any physical disorder or structural issue in your body, your symptoms may be coming from your brain. When this is the case, then we need to shift gears and understand there is nothing wrong! We focus our treatment on the brain and specifically the emotional part of the brain, since that is the area that has been linked with producing physical symptoms. Reach out if you would like help in solving your chronic symptoms!!