The Placebo Effect is a very strange thing indeed

Written by on March 3, 2011 in in the news, research with 2 Comments

How exactly does the mind play a role in the way that medicines help us ?

How come even when we know the treatment is fake, we can get better ?

Should we be asking our doctor for a bottle of placebo pills the next time we visit ?

I would love to know the answer to these questions and more!

The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect

Watch The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect on YouTube.

Why Should I Care?

All rosacea sufferers need to be aware of the powers of the placebo effect, as it needs to be included in all evaluations of new treatments.

If a new treatment can’t demonstrate that it is superior to placebo, well then we might be better of taking sugar pills and hoping for the best.

Even Weirder

Just when you think the placebo effect couldn’t get any weirder, try to get your head around this comic.

Can it be True ?

Do you think your mind has a major role to play in treating your rosacea ? Can believing in a treatment help it work?

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. andy says:

    Very interesting. I’d also like to add a story told by Doctor Karl familiar to most aussies and to myself from listening to his BBC show in the u.k.

    He’d been treating patients on a night shift, and one particular patient had chronic pain. He didnt have access to the relevant morphine etc and consequently waited for the nurse to turn up, when she hadn’t turned up, he went through the motions with the patient and secretly gave him some sort of solution in the drip (sugar I believe) The patient responded as if he had just had a morphine shot and the pain subsided with a satisfying ” mmmmmm”.
    The nurse eventually turned up minutes later and the morphine was then administered, the patient responded as if he’d had a double dose and consequently went into arrest..powerfull stuff

  2. Comment via email from Marie.

    ” When I was born, my mother kept a “Baby Book” for the first year or two, and wrote on my reactions as a newborn. Once when she scolded my older brother as I lay nearby, she noticed that my face broke out in a rash. Because I know myself, I can be sure that this reaction was due to the stress of hearing angry words, etc. This probably happens a lot, but parents are not as observant, or do not make the connection. Consider allergies too: there is a lot of research on the psychology of allergies, but it rarely makes the news.

    Since I now have some rosacea, and esp. ocular, I have “sensitive” skin, that is, the organ responds to stress. If it can respond to emotions, then surely, it can respond to feelings about medicine too. If an authority gives out a pill, the ideas and feelings about medicine come into play. Of course other physical conditions are happening also, with rosacea and other things. I have to keep out of the bright sun to avoid redness and itching. What has changed about sunlight, in my lifetime?

    Once when I was in the hospital with Graves’ disease, I was given a placebo, to see if I would respond. But I knew what it was and stayed sick. ha ha…It looked like a little green bird egg, and would never have worked. The doctor thought I “just needed a boyfriend.” Interesting diagnosis of the cause of Graves. Again, this doc thought emotions could cause my eyes to bug out but if I’d asked him if I could will myself well, he might have balked.

    It is good to keep a healthy skepticism when it comes to authorities and medicines, since we have such a commercialized system today. Look at the announcements on tv for “flu” season or “allergy” season, with the attendant nostrums..

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