Skip to content

167: Chelsea Sheilds: Faith Healing, Medicine, and the Placebo Effect in Mormonism

Can skeptics debunk faith healing Chelsea Sheildsand priesthood blessings as mere placebo effect?  What can people from strong faith and cultural backgrounds learn about their healing practices from scientific and secular sources?

In this episode, guest host Jon Young discusses social and faithful healing practices, modern medicine, and how they relate to the placebo effect with cultural anthropologist and TED fellow Chelsea Shields.  The discussion addresses LDS priesthood blessings and the often popular use of oils and alternative medicines by church members.

Discover more about Chelsea from her talks, podcasts, and various readings at

The book containing information on early Mormon medical practices that Jon refrenced in the podcast is Bleed, Blister, And Purge: A History Of Medicine On The American Frontier


2 thoughts on “167: Chelsea Sheilds: Faith Healing, Medicine, and the Placebo Effect in Mormonism”

  1. This was amazing! I felt so smart just listening to this intelligent, complex, fascinating interview:) I loved so much of what was said, and especially appreciated her thoughts on ethnocentricity and the healing that can be accomplished in families, religions, and governments when people see each other with respect- validating as opposed to negating one another’s views and beliefs. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *