Can mindset affect medical treatments?


Mindset can significantly influence the effectiveness of medical treatments. Research led by and discussed on the provides compelling examples:

  1. Food Allergy Treatment: A study with children undergoing peanut allergy treatments showed that reframing symptoms and side effects positively improved outcomes. The children who viewed side effects as indicators of the treatment's effectiveness experienced less anxiety, fewer symptoms, and better immune responses 1.

  2. Combining Mindset and Medication: and discussed broadening the understanding of placebo effects to include "belief effects," where the specific information given about a treatment can amplify its effects. For instance, patients forewarned about the benefits of a drug might experience better results, potentially even reducing required dosages 2.

  3. Stress, Exercise, and Nutrition: Mindsets about everyday aspects like stress, exercise, and even foods impact how our body reacts. Studies show that if you believe a particular workout or diet is beneficial, your body may respond more favorably than if you are skeptical or unaware of its benefits 3 4.

    Improving Medical Treatments

    Alia discusses her work on improving medical treatments by instilling positive mindsets in patients. She shares a study where reframing the mindsets of children undergoing treatment for food allergies led to better outcomes and reduced anxiety.

    Huberman Lab

    Dr. Alia Crum: Science of Mindsets for Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #56
  4. Milkshake Study: One interesting study revealed how participants' beliefs about a milkshake's calorie content influenced their ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels, demonstrating that mindset can affect physiological responses to food 5.

These insights underline the potential of integrating positive mindsets into medical treatments to enhance their effectiveness, reduce side effects, and improve overall patient outcomes.