Now, all my life I've wondered this. Why, when the solstice comes in late June, is the hottest part of the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) late August? Sure, things take a while to warm up. But two months?
Just finished my first read of Daniel Moerman's Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect'. First, because I knew within a few pages that I'll be reading it several times. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, but I'm starting to identify my ambition: it's to learn to mobilize (invoke? organize? release?) healing processes in the way that Shamanic rituals or Western surgical rituals do, without their deceptions and inflictions of injury.
It may be impossible: for the stories to be compelling they may have to be false, and for the rituals to be effective they may have to be genuinely risky. I don't know.
(For the obdurately mechanistic: I imagine that surgery sometimes works exactly as advertised. But I want someone to explain why sham surgery is also sometimes so effective, in the rare cases in which it's been allowed to take place; and if you are not going to allow “placebo” surgery you have to expect your results to be looked at skeptically by anyone with a genuine respect for science.)