Placebo Effect: Is It All About Expectations?



Have you heard someone says that medicines are only effective if you believe it to be that way? Some people argue that the medical or herbal treatments are helpful only because that is how you see it. The most common term for this is called as the “placebo effect.” This can be confusing at all. In this article, we will attempt to provide more detailed information about this matter.

What is a Placebo?


When we speak of placebo, it merely refers to a kind of medical treatment that is not authentic. This term commonly refers to as a fake treatment. Moreover, a placebo does not contain any substance designed or used to affect one’s health. The effects of this element may be different from one person to another.


In a recent study, it showed that people who were subjected to placebo have reacted both in positive and negative matters. These responses are what we call for the placebo effect.


Understanding Placebo Effect  


According to experts, the placebo effect is highly dependent on the expectation of the person taking it. As already mentioned above, if an individual strongly believes or expects that his pill will treat his sickness, then there is a high possibility that the body’s chemistry would react positively to the said pill. That is precisely what the placebo effect means.


However, there are many factors to take into consideration. Typically, a placebo effect only takes place if the person knows that there is an existence of placebo in a standard setting. Since that person is aware of the fact that there is a stimulant, it is only logical that he would think that it is reacting with his body. It is as if he is tricked into “feeling” or “thinking” about the response of his mind and body.


On the other hand, the same thing happens when the same person is informed that the present stimulant causes some adverse effects. Since he is expecting to experience unpleasant reactions from the placebo, he would experience illnesses such as nausea or a headache.


Placebo Effect and Expectations




The question now is: Is placebo fake?


Well, some professionals claim that just because there are some expectations involved do not mean that the placebo effect is fake. There are also studies that show that there are some changes in the body, which occur with the presence of the placebo. The best example of this is when the body increases its production for endorphins whenever presented with a known placebo. This illustration only shows that placebo works, though it might be dependent on the belief of the patient.


At this point, you are still probably wondering whether placebo effect is real or not. The answer to this question also depends on what you truly believe. Up to this moment, there is still no conclusive proof as to its truthfulness or fakeness. As long as you can see that the concept of the placebo effect is beneficial on your part, then do not prevent anyone from keeping it away from you.