David has a PhD in organic chemistry and spent 4 years in the pharmaceutical industry, developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Inspired by the placebo effect, he left the industry to write books and educate people in how they can harness their mind and emotions to improve their health. He is now author of 10 books, including, ‘The Little Book of Kindness’, ‘How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body’, ‘I Heart Me’ and the Amazon bestseller, ‘The Five Side Effects of Kindness’.

David is an advocate for kindness and is working passionately to help inspire a kinder world. On this podcast we explore the placebo effect and what this tells us about the power of the mind on the body.  We discuss how health professionals can really use this knowledge to maximise the effects of the medications we prescribe.  And the importance of empathy and kindness and the evidence that links cardiovascular disease and the quality of our relationships. 

You can connect with Dr David Hamilton on instagram @davidrhamiltonphd or on his website drdavidhamilton.com. There are links to all his books here – which I would HIGHLY recommend!


Placebo cream on the hand:

  • F. Benedetti, et al,’Somatotopic Activation of Opioid Systems by Target-Directed Expectations of Analgesia’, The Journal of Neuroscience, 1999, 19(9), 3639-3648.

Empathy on the immune system:

  • D. P. Rakel, et al, ‘Perception of Empathy in the Therapeutic Encounter: Effects on the common cold’, Patient Education and Counselling, 2011, 85, 390-397
  • B. M. Craig and M.Niu, ‘Practitioner Empathy and the Duration of the Common Cold’, Family Medicine, 2009, 41(7), 494-501

Marriage experience – “Hard Marriage, Hard Heart”:

  • T. W. Smith, et al, ‘Marital Conflict Behaviour and Coronary Artery Calcification’, Paper presented at the American Psychosomatic Society’s 64th annual meeting, Denver, CO, 3 March 2006.
  • J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser, et al, ‘Hostile Marital Interactions, pro-inflammatory Cytokine Production and Would Healing’, Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005, 62, 1377-1384

Effect of Writing Therapy. There’s quite a few individual studies, but they’re all collected together in the following excellent book by one of the main researchers in the field:

  • James W.Pennebaker and John F. Evans, “Expressive Writing: Words that heal”, (2014), Idyll Arbour, Inc.


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