Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Placebo as the Real Deal


Noun: placebo; plural noun: placebos
1.     A harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.
"His Aunt Beatrice had been kept alive on sympathy and placebos for thirty years"
2.     A substance that has no therapeutic effect, used as a control in testing new drugs.
3.     A measure designed merely to calm or please someone.
 {{From the Latin meaning "I shall please"}

I have a friend who is a retired physician. She insists that most doctors don’t know much most of the time. But she also says that appearing to be in the know and having a Ms./Mr. Fix-it demeanor is half of the treatment right there.

This didn’t make me happy to hear. We pay a lot of good money for what might be a fifty percent pretend.

In an article in the New York Times Magazine (November 10, 2018) the question as to whether placebo is part of the cure seems to be settled. The power of the mind was scientifically vindicated, sending the western scientific method into uncharted territory.

Seems to me this pertains to the rest of our endeavors. It tells me that if I think I can, I am already halfway there. In certain instances, I am all the way there.

So marching on, and encouraging ‘y’all to believe. Not in fairies, but in the power of the tales they tell.


  1. I love the placebo effect! The whole mind-body-spirit connection!

  2. I heard Dr. Andrew Weill on PBS years ago talking about the placebo effect. Apparently our wondrous body is so constructed that a healing mechanism is built in at the cellular level, so that in many injuries and even illnesses, little units go into operation almost like soldiers to work on what's wrong. He said that is what is working during the placebo effect: somehow the belief activates the body's system.

  3. I've most often heard this as "fake it til you make it" or "the power of intention" - if you will it, live it, it will happen. The danger I have with this is that I am often thinking about all the bad things that can happen, whether than good, and I hope I'm not willing the bad things to happen!

    I fully believe in the mind-body connect but have to make sure my mind is sending the right signals :)

  4. I agree - doctors don't have a clue half of the time. We've been going around and around with doctors for one of my kids. After 3 years, we still haven't figured out what's wrong. Frustrating!