Final Discussion on Ita Ntutu. Vol. 4, No.12

My line of thought on this issue seemed to be devastating to some herbalist lovers who felt I was trying to express the inauthenticity of traditional medications. No, I strongly believe in the effects of our God given African medicine. I was simply making some clarifications on how some people try to psyche us with the lucrative intentions of making more money. My point remains that in the fields of medicine and psychology, that a patient’s belief in the effectiveness of a particular healing method as well as the competence of the doctor contributes maximally to the healing process. Though science may find some difficulty in clarifying this fact, yet its veracity cannot be empirically denied. This is predicated on the fact that chronic pain patients have often responded positively to treatments in which, instead of real tablets, a sugar pill that has no therapeutic relevance was used. Dramatic recovery has been observed in some patients with pain related illnesses after they were given injections in which the liquid used has no medicinal value (like ordinary salt solution). This is the form of treatment that is called placebo in Latin meaning I please. While the positive response of the patient to the treatment is called placebo effect.
Placebos work because of the body’s ability to heal itself. It has been suggested that people, who respond to placebos are able to profit from the release of endorphins in the body. Endorphin, a substance with pain relieving properties that is found in the brain, is known to be involved in the regulations of pain. If a substance like morphine can have effective control of pain when it is introduced into the body, why wouldn’t a natural substance like endorphin, if it is produced in a regular quantity by the body.
Against this backdrop, a person who is susceptible to ntutu attack starts to feel piercing pain after attending a traditional marriage ceremony. He goes to the traditional healer whom he believes can help him. And he sees the ntutu expert producing needles which he believes are coming out of his body. On that note, he will no doubt, feel instant remission of his pains under the auspices of placebo effect. Besides the patient is not interested in the critical analysis of the process of his or her healing. Moreover, certain questions should be brought to the desk. Why do those ntutu experts practice their act in some dark places, why do they keep their mouths shut and rarely utter a word during the actual ita ntutu, why do they go into their inner room after treating one or two patients if not to stuck their mouth with needles? Indications therefore emerge that it is the patient’s heightened expectations, his or her trust in the ability of the healer to rescue him or her from pains and the anxiety therein that does the magic. That is what may facilitate the body’s production of endorphin that controls pain in the body. Hence we may call it psycho-religious form of healing.
Conclusively, these clarifications have become increasingly necessary because pain and suffering have pulled down the learned from their ivory tower, rubbished the wisdom of philosophers and relegated the invention of scientists as men and women of all classes are all driven to questionable places and dubious practitioners. Ita ntutu is one of them but there are many other practices even in the so called “house of God” where the level of human gullibility and faithlessness are revealed. In tecsthought series, you are free to make a counter argument. We’re here to learn. God bless you!

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