Placebo Effect may seem quite unfamiliar to you all, and you may not be interested in it. However, it is believed that most of us have experienced it even though we did not notice. When we are sick and consult a doctor, we sometimes feel a lot better before taking medicines just by seeing the doc-tor’s white coat or even the doctor himself. And this is called the Placebo Effect.
Use Placebo to Please the Patient
The word “placebo”, in Latin, means “I will please”. A placebo is defined as a substance or procedure that is adapted more to please than to benefit the patient. In simple words, a placebo equals to a simulated medical treatment. A placebo can be inert pills, saline water and injections. A patient who is given an inert pill and told that it will improve his condition, but not told that it is actually inert, will cause him to believe that the inert pill can really kill his pain and improve his condition. Patients who are given a placebo treatment often result in an actual and remarkable improvement. Placebo can help alleviate pain, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory disorder and even cancer.
Placebo effect relates to how much the patients believe that they will recover, they swallow the placebos with expectations. It is understandable that this may seem a little bit shocking and impossible to you, here are two examples to convince you that this is not propaganda.
Pink Pills Are Better Than Blue Pills?
Some psychologists carried out an experiment in 1972 to determine how the colour and number of pills affect the outcomes. Fifty-seven college students were given either one or two sugar pills, which were either blue or pink. They knew that the pills were either a stimulant or sedative. They then tested for their alertness. Students who took two pills which were pink in colour reacted the most quickly. The effect of colour was believed to be related to general concepts that pink is hyper and blue is calm. All the sugar pills acted as placebos, and this showed how one’s mind and conception affects the result.
How One’s Conception Cures And Worsens Cancer
Apart from that, because of placebo effect, a patient who suffered from an incurable disease – cancer of the lymph nodes, walked out of the hospital symptom-free. He was given a medicine, called Krebiozen. He strongly believed that the medicine could cure the disease as he had read a report done in 1957 claiming that it was successful. Few weeks later, his tumors had shrunk by half. Other patients who suffer from the same disease were given the same medicine, but showed no sign of recovery. Therefore, the effectiveness of Krebiozen was being questioned. He was then given a placebo, an injection which he thought was even more effective. The outcome was amazing and he improved a lot more. He left the hospital without any symptoms. Until one day, when he was told that the injection and Krebiozen were actually worthless, he died within days.
Feed Yourselves with Optimism
The above two examples are authentic and demonstrate how powerful placebo effect is. However, this white lie is considered as unethical, and placebos should only be used when the patient is informed. Although this act violates the mechanism of the effect, some think it is impossible to heal them by lying to them, giving them sugar pills. It is comprehensible that some doctors may misuse this effect simply because they want to do less. In the time being, before scientists can prove the effectiveness of placebo effect, what we can do is to try it out ourselves. When we are not feeling well, just tell yourself that we are going to recover very soon, and this may really come true and become the latest example of the effect.
Video about the wonderful Placebo Effect: http://wp.me/plYsf-6i