Faith healing

A few days ago, No Forbidden Questions posted a fascinating Derren Brown video on faith healing, which I strongly recommend.

My lasting impression from the video was that faith healers have tapped into a very easily manipulable aspect of human physiology, i.e. the stimulation of neurotransmitter release. The brains of people in a heightened, excited state of anticipation will release various neurotransmitters (such as adrenaline and endorphins), the well known effect of which is to dull pain and ready the body for fight or flight.

No surprise, then, that back pain or a headache feels miraculously healed. And no surprise that faith healers steer clear of amputees, whose needs are beyond their pathetic tricks.

The more people are educated about the brain and how easily it fools us, the less successful the faith healing scam will be. As usual, education for the win…

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2 Responses to Faith healing

  1. First, what is up with evangelists and shellacked coiffures? Yikes!

    The video with Derren Brown looks terrific. I watched the first couple minutes, and I’ll definitely watch the rest of it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    My wife is a Mormon, so we have people who come over occasionally to give a blessing to our boys if they’re sick. It’s a bit different from the faith healing shown in the video, but it’s still quackery.

    Cheers from central Iowa!

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