There’s an iconic jaw-dropper of a study1 from the early sixties that makes a stunning point about the power of the mind over an allergic reaction – in this case, on the skin.
Drs. Ikemi and Nakagawa at Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan studied 13 boys known to be hypersensitive to the leaves of the Japanese wax tree, which delivers an allergic reaction very similar to poison ivy – itching, swelling, redness, and blisters.
The investigators touched their blind-folded student-subjects on one arm with innocuous leaves, telling the boys, who were in a relaxed trance state, they were the poisonous product of the wax tree. All 13 boys showed eruptive skin reactions of varying proportions.