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  • Rena Sassi

Paradigm Shifting = Decolonizing = Timeline Jumping [Episode #4]: Nocebo Effect


Dr. Mario Martinez, a leading scientist in psychoneuroimmunology and author of “Mind Body Code” tells of a story of two people in hospital; one, a dying elder, the other a young man admitted for a simple medical procedure like an appendectomy. The hospital chaplain sets off to read the final rites of the dying elder but is accidentally given the wrong room number and instead reads final rites to the younger man. Within two days the younger man passes away and the dying elder continues to live healthily for several months after.


This is an example of the nocebo effect; just as there is a placebo effect whereby a person can manifest a positive outcome based on positive beliefs, there is also the nocebo effect, in which a person can manifest a negative outcome based on negative beliefs.


This is just one of the dangers of remaining in fear-based medical paradigms, that we will in fact manifest the very thing we are fearing most. Is it not curious that rather than the media sharing ways in which to build our immune systems and our general health so we don’t get sick, the media continues to focus on all the ways we are bound to get sick and die from this disease. Rather than boosting our immunity by encouraging healthy lifestyles and positive understandings of our body and health, we are constantly bombarded with information about how broken and sick we already are and how deadly and dangerous the virus is.


What will these negative expectations and beliefs do to our bodies and our ability to mount a healthy response to the virus? Couldn’t it be expected that some people will manifest exactly what they are expected to? The scientific answer to that last question is “Yes absolutely!” We can expect that not only will more people be susceptible to falling ill to this disease, but all also that more people will likely develop severe symptoms and may even die from it, simply because they are expected to. I know this is hard to accept as true but it is true. It is one truth of many regarding how this epidemic will play out. One way it will play out for many people is exactly the way they are expecting it to.


Some of you may be saying, well the media is only reporting the facts. Do you sincerely believe the mainstream media, its captured government agencies and medical institutions are reporting facts? I am asking this without judgment as it is a genuine question I think all of us need to explore within us, “who do we believe and why?”. This is important to uncover for each of us because by deciding who we believe we are also inadvertently allowing that belief system to be manifested in our reality. Because as we now know just considering the two natural phenomena of the placebo and nocebo effects, that which we believe and think become our reality.


The fact that we are makers of our own realities can be the hardest thing for people to accept-. Though it is a difficult responsibility to integrate and practice as it requires constant shadow work, accountability and dismantling beliefs and thoughts, it is the pathway to full autonomy and self-determination. To choose what to think and believe is your only choice really. And it is your whole reality.


This IS science and is even substantiated throughout time by traditional sciences and also more recently by quantum science and mechanics. In my own SWANA/Islamic tradition, we are advised to cancel negative thoughts and beliefs out by using talismans, prayers, smudging and ceremony but also by never speaking negative expectations out loud and if we do we follow it by saying things like “b3d el shar” [God Forbid] or “Astighfurullah” [I seek forgiveness in Allah]. What practices does your tradition have to manage the manifestation of healthy realities?


This is not a request for you to ignore any fears you may have just out of fear of manifesting them because that is just spiritual bypassing and will likely still result in manifesting the very thing one is trying to get away from. Instead I invite you to confront and unpack your fears, to process and transmute them.


The ebook curriculum "decolonizing our souls :: liberation medicine for BIPOC" helps you do just that!


Does this speak to you? Would you like to hear more about the metaphysics of manifestation or do you prefer to keep the conversation around health and disease? I’d like to hear from you!

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Sukuun Holistics 

Healing Arts Center of Altadena

1927 N. Lake Ave. Altadena, CA 91001