Saturday, January 31, 2009

Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind

Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind: "In recent decades reports have confirmed the efficacy of various sham treatments in nearly all areas of medicine. Placebos have helped alleviate pain, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory disorders and even cancer.

Placebo effects can arise not only from a conscious belief in a drug but also from subconscious associations between recovery and the experience of being treated—from the pinch of a shot to a doctor’s white coat. Such subliminal conditioning can control bodily processes of which we are unaware, such as immune responses and the release of hormones.

Researchers have decoded some of the biology of placebo responses, demonstrating that they stem from active processes in the brain."