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Why does the placebo effect work?

Healing oneself with the power of the mind is possible, but the effectplacebo is more than just positive thinking. Your mind can be a powerful healing tool if given the opportunity. The idea that the brain is able to convince the body of the effectiveness of fake treatment, the so-called placebo effect, which can stimulate healing, has existed for millennia. Today, scientists know that under certain circumstances, a placebo can be as effective as traditional methods of treatment. Yes, you will feel better, but this does not mean that you are healthy. Let's try to figure out what a placebo effect is and how it works.

The placebo effect works in conjunction with several factors.

In fact, the placebo effect is not only positive thinking., as is commonly believed. It is the belief that a treatment or procedure will work. It's about creating a stronger link betweenbrain and body and how they work together. However, it is very important to understand that the placebo effect is not a magic wand and will not help lower blood cholesterol.

The principle of action of this effect affectssymptoms that the brain models, such as pain perception. According to researchers at Harvard University, a number of studies have shown that the placebo effect works best for insomnia caused by stress, pain, and side effects of chemotherapy during cancer treatment, including fatigue and nausea.

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Is the placebo effect good or bad?

For many years, the placebo effect was consideredsomething not very successful. Today, the placebo effect is used during clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatment and is most often used in drug research. For example, people in one group receive a test medicine, while in the second group, subjects receive a “dummy” but do not know about it. Thus, scientists determine whether the medicine works by comparing the reaction of both groups. If both groups reacted the same or no improvement is observed, the drug is considered not effective.

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However, only recently have scientists concluded thatthat the placebo effect is not evidence that a particular treatment is not working. Rather, it indicates the presence of another, non-pharmacological mechanism. However, despite a string of scientific studies, how exactly the placebo effect works is not completely clear. It is known that during placebo is involvedcomplex neurobiological reaction: from increasing the level of neurotransmitters responsible for well-being, such as dopamine and endorphin, to greater activity in certain areas of the brain that are associated with mood, emotional reactions and self-awareness. Together, these factors can have a therapeutic effect. Read more articles about how our brain is deceiving us on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site, subscribe.

Placebo effect - This is the way the brain tells the body what it needs to feel better.

However, there is something important without which a placebo is unlikelyDoes it work. This is a ritual of healing. If you look at studies that compare drugs with placebo, it turns out that the case was not without environmental and ritual factors:

You need to regularly go to the doctor’s office andto be examined by health workers in white coats. In the process of treatment you will be given different drugs, and you will also undergo strange procedures. The combination of all of the above factors has a serious impact on how the body perceives the symptoms of the disease, since you feel the attention and care of doctors.

But that is not all. Very often, a placebo works because people don’t know that they are being treated with “dummies,” such as homeopathic remedies. In more detail about fuflomycins and not effective antiviral drugs I wrote in this material. But does a placebo work if the subject knows that the prescribed drug is “dummy”?

Does the placebo effect work?

In order for a placebo to work, therapeutic rituals must be followed.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, duringa 2014 study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, scientists decided to test how people react to pain medications for migraines. One group took a cure for migraine, the second group consciously took pills labeled “placebo,” and the third group took nothing at all. The results showed that the placebo effect was 50% more effective than this drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack. As the researchers suggest, most likely the reason lies in the very act of taking the medicine.

We humans associate the ritual of taking medication with a positive healing effect. And even if we know that this is a dummy, the action itself can stimulate the brain to think that the body is getting better.

Thus, it cannot be said that placebo isgood or bad. A placebo is natural and works in many situations. But a placebo is not a panacea for all diseases. So, the treatment of certain diseases, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease with homeopathic medicines can be fatal. You need to be careful about your health and not trust any kind of specialists who are ready to sell sweet balls from any ailment. Has the placebo effect ever helped you? Share your experience in the comments to this article, and also join the discussion of this and other equally interesting topics to the participants of our Telegram chat