A seminar in Humanitas on the theme of the therapeutic relationship between patient and doctor, demonstrated not only by psychological and ethical factors but also through scientific bases: it is called “Non-verbal communication in the therapeutic relationship. Neuroscientific bases of empathy placebo and nocebo” and was held on January 16 in Humanitas.

Among the speakers there were also experts from other research centres and universities such as Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti of the University of Parma, Prof. Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin, Prof. Riccardo Fesce and Prof. Roberto Gatti, Head of the Physiotherapy Service at Humanitas.

The importance of non-verbal communication during therapy

“In the face of the disease, patients feel discomfort and anguish of the unknown and the unpredictable. This insecurity generates the need for someone who has the answers, who knows what to do: we do not only need to be treated, but that someone “takes care”, explained the organizers.

“To do this is an essential part of the work of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and graduate students. These psychological observations, perhaps taken for granted, seem to be guided by an ethical, bioethical and deontological perspective rather than by scientific evidence. The aim of these seminars is instead to present experimental data on non-verbal communication and its relationship with the pathophysiology and the response to the disease”.

During the seminar, the scientific father of “mirror neurons”, Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti illustrated the neuronal bases of empathy while Professor Fabrizio Benedetti dealt with the theme of biological modifications induced by the placebo effect, which from a mere variable disturbance in clinical studies can assume a therapeutic value, supporting standard therapies.

Next appointment in February, in the meeting where physical contact will be treated, a powerful tool to awaken the body’s ability to react and resilience and compliance and adherence to the therapy by the patient.