Did you ever feel your own shoulders relax when you saw a friend receive a shoulder massage? For those of you who said “yes,” congratulations, your brain is using its power to create a “placebo effect.” For those who said “no,” you’re not alone, but thankfully, the brain is trainable.
Since the 1800s, the word placebo has been used to refer to a fake treatment, meaning one that does not contain any active, physical substance. You may have heard of placebos referred to as “sugar pills.”
Today, placebos play a crucial role in medical studies in which some participants are given the treatment containing the active ingredients of the medicine, and others are given a placebo. These types of studies help tell researchers which medicines are effective, and how effective they are. Surprisingly, however, in some areas of medicine, placebos themselves provide patients with clinical improvement.
Read the full article at The Conversation.