Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2007-11-04

Helping people not to endulge in illness

Electromagnetic sensitivity was the subject of one of my absolute favorite podcasts, Skeptoid. You often hear that there is not enough research in the area and I was amazed on Brian Dunning's extensive list of recent and valid research. Since this is an illness found mostly in Sweden and the UK, most of the studies were from these countries.

The podcast, which I really hope you take your time listening to, especially if you hear about this condition, also touches an important issue: strengthening a person's perception that somethings is bad for their health makes that true by increasing their stress. And long time stress can cause physical problems. In other words: if someone believe that they are exposed to something that makes them sick, they become just that.

We are sometimes tricked into concurring with someone making these claims (even if we know they are absolutely ridiculous just not to make them sad or just to be "nice"). Sometimes we hear someone saying that they will get the same decease as a near relative. And by enforcing that claim, we help making them sick. So, if someone says: I'm going to have bad knees because my mother has bad knees, they might stop exercising properly or start walking really wearily and in that way getting themselves some bad knees on their own. So, instead, what should you do? Well, in the case of the bad knees you might suggest a good exercise program to help them in case they do get bad knees. And if they start exercising they might feel some joy from that and might forget about those bad knees. And perhaps avoid them all together.

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