Adverse drug reactions? Research abounds. Studies at Indiana University in the past year have highlighted the fact that adverse drug reactions are a common and important complication of drug therapy in children. Is there a deeper issue? Does your thought about the drug give it some power? My colleague Eric Nelson, writing for the May 20, 2015 edition of Communities Digital News, suggests the underlying metaphysical truth of a popular car commercial. He helps us to see what happens mentally when our expectations about the nature of the physical body and the effects of drugs are uncovered. Here’s Eric:
A photographer finds himself waist-deep in a Louisiana bayou. As he reaches down to balance himself on a log, he’s bitten by a large snake that quickly slithers away.
Fearing that his life is in danger, he hops into his 4Runner (the real focus of the ad) and begins driving through the remote wilderness at breakneck speed until he sees a group of fishermen.
“I got bit by a snake,” he exclaims as he stumbles out of his truck.
“It’s not poisonous,” one of the fishermen assures him, speaking in a language the man clearly doesn’t understand – except for the word “poison.”
“OK, yeah. I feel that,” he says. “That’s definitely poison.”
Fast-forward to this same man sitting around a campfire with some friends. “Apparently I’m immune to venom,” he brags, and the commercial ends.
That’s the funny part. The telling part has to do with what this ad illustrates, albeit unintentionally, about the impact our thoughts can have on our physical well-being.