Can we really treat people with fake medicines? The question sounds insane, right? It shouldn’t be possible in the real world. But the truth is that fake medication might actually work.
For example, do you know that 75% of all the anti-depressant medicines are actually nothing more than sugar pills? But yet it works wonders for those who take it.
So, how can fake medicine treat people? How is it possible?
The answer is the placebo effect and the real facts associated with it.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the top three facts about the placebo effect that you probably don’t know.
So, let’s dig in…
Its Effects Are Both Psychological And Physical
For a quite long time, the experts believed that the placebo effect is a purely psychological phenomenon. In other words, they thought that it just helps the patients to feel better. And even though it showed to help patients with their recovery, doctors thought it’s a result of positive thinking or some kind of miracle.
But that was in the past. And according to current research, we know that it’s a fact that the placebo effect not only has psychological but also direct physical effects. Or more specifically, when the effect takes place, our brain releases endorphin hormones that are known to be natural painkillers. These hormones then tackle the pain and promote the healing process.
This way, the patients recover much faster than just receiving medicines.
Animals Experience Placebo Effect Too: Placebo Effect Facts
Experts have researched for a long time about the placebo effects and how our brain reacts to it. And although we have discovered a lot, we still have a lot more to learn about it. And one of those unexplained yet incredible facts about the placebo effect is that it also works for the animals.
According to recent studies, in a few specific cases, animals can also benefit from this special effect during their treatment process. The study shows that animals, especially canines might benefit from this effect to recover from a lot of difficult conditions. And these benefits stretch as far as treating epilepsy in them.
Now, isn’t that surprising?
There’s An Opposite Effect Of Placebo: Placebo Effect Facts
We are so invested in the positive effects of the placebo technique that very few put their interest in the exact opposite effect of the placebo. This opposite of the placebo effect is known as the nocebo effect.
So, what exactly is this nocebo effect? And how does it really work?
Well, if the placebo effect helps the patients recover faster, then the nocebo effect hinders the pace of recovery of the patient. So, if you tell a patient that their situation is getting worse and if we see an unusual half in that patient’s recovery, then the patient is affected by the nocebo effect.
But that’s not it. The nocebo effect can affect the health of a normal healthy person in a negative way too. And that’s what makes it so dangerous.
Regardless, just like the placebo effect, it is also helping us understand the relation of our mind and our body. In fact, investigating the nocebo effect has helped us understand the placebo effect even better. And it might help us in the long run.