The Placebo Effect

17 Jul

Some people argue that virtually all of “medicine” is, in fact, nothing but a “placebo effect” whereby we heal because we believe we will heal–or even die because we believe we will die.

The following video offers some unsettling evidence that these arguments may be true.  There’s even evidence that the the placebo effect is not only found in pills, but even in surgery.  I.e., in some instances, when a doctor performs a “fake” surgery, the patient is as likely to improve as if a real surgery had been performed.

This video doesn’t discuss the issue of vitamin supplements, but I’m left to wonder about the extent that vitamins offer “real” healing and the extent that vitamins supplements heal as placebos.

Whether my health is improved by a “real,” chemical-cause-and-effect medicine (or vitamins) or by a placebo effect is irrelevant, so long as my health improves.  Of course, the idea that we might heal based on our beliefs isn’t new.  Still, the fact that there many be evidence I we heal based in large part on our state of mind is . . . interesting . . . even, surprising.

video   00:52.38

1 Comment

Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Belief, Values, Video


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One response to “The Placebo Effect

  1. Yartap

    July 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM


    Wow! I know my outlook will not be more positive. Thanks for the reminder from scriptures, Matthew 17:14-21, of the story about the belief of the amount of a mustard seed. When the disciples came to Jesus and ask why they could not rid the young boy of his disease. And Jesus answered them, “Because of your UNBELIEF: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

    Just like the movie said, not only does the one receiving the placebo have to believe, but also, the one(s) giving the placebo or laying of hands upon the sick.


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