The Placebo Effect: Body, Heal Thyself

Every time a drug company researches a medicine, they need to demonstrate that their pills work better than a “placebo” pill — a dummy pill with no chemicals, usually just a sugar pill. The fascinating issue is that even that placebo pill shows some positive benefit for patients — 30% or more patients report improved symptoms by taking a pill that logically shouldn’t be helping at all. Over the last ten years, as Wired magazine reveals in their excellent review article, the placebo effect is getting even more strong. The reasons are fascinating, but the real take-home message is that your body is capable of healing itself of many illnesses. It’s as simple as a positive mental attitude; even the simple warmth and good bedside manner of a good doctor is proven to aid patients in recovery.

I think this is a powerful and empowering lesson for all; just a positive mental attitude every day really can ignite a biochemical anti-inflammatory process that can increase immunity. It also speaks for the opposite side, that a stressful or negative mental attitude truly can depress your immune system and spark illness. Think about this if you are working 100 hours a week, including weekends, and never taking vacations!

Wired magazine: Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

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