Does Medicine Make Us Better Or The Placebo Effect?

You know what a “placebo” is. During any testing of medicines or drugs for what are known as trials, in order to make doubly certain the results are accurate, a “fake” or harmless substance is used along with what is being tested.

To further insure accuracy in what are called double blind studies, even those administering the tests don’t know which is which. I guess that’s a good way to eliminate confusion.

Anyway, the point is there’s a fake in the bunch and no one knows who’s gonna get it.

What’s really interesting is the impact of the placebo on the unsuspecting particip_DSC4776ants. It needs to be added that this doesn’t just apply for trials on drugs, but even on surgery. Really? Keep reading because this gets more interesting.

Here’s a link you may find interesting as it relates to depression. This is one guaranteed that your Dr. is not likely to tell you about, and almost certainly your pharmacist.

Should we call it the mind or the brain? One of the two is beyond any words to describe it’s power. Even scientists don’t know how to account for all that the “placebo effect” seems able to do. This is not just some trick the intelligent mind plays on the body.

An ability to believe on a positive result to such a degree that it manifests the benefit is the issue here. The “mind over matter’ has been bandied about for years, and has always sounded like so much positive mental attitude palaver. Then when you talk to professional athletes and they tell you that their bodies are always in pain and they simply ignore it, something begins to click.

Over the years in my continual quest to find that “ultimate” product that would create the magic cure for everyone’s health, I have tried so many. There were the Amway products, followed by lessor knowns. Then Herbalife, Tree Tea Oil, Noni Juice, Xocai Chocolates (without question my favorite), Kangen Water Purification System, and there were more.

In each and every case, all failed to provide the “magic pill!” The only one that “did,” was a product called Protandim. In short order, after being on the product for 2 weeks, my acid reflux and arthritis (minimal joint pain in hands and some minor gout in one big toe) was gone. Four years later with no pills it’s still gone!

So is it mind over matter or those pills? Because of the chronicled medical and scientific peer reviews that lend credibility to this product, did it really work, or did I just believe it would? Wouldn’t it stand to reason if the pills made the difference, not taking them would cause the reflux and arthritis pains to come back?

Or is the belief so strong that I have cured myself? A better question might be is my mind that capable? No one in my high school class would ever have accused me of superior brain power. Back then I only had one thing on my mind it seems, and thinking wasn’t one of them.

This is today, and change has been ever present throughout all these years. Indulging in expanding my mind has been constant. Has it been successful is the question? Beyond knowledge, intelligence, understanding, meditation, neural linguistic programing, positive affirmations, self hypnosis’s is about getting to the bottom of the placebo effect.

Who dares to try and understand it? So far, it’s like trying to understand the mind of God. Explanations as to why it works and to what extent have not been discovered.

Lastly, when the placebo effect can work even in surgical situations, it really makes you want to scratch your head in amazement.

Patients numbering 180 at the Baylor College of Medicine admitted for knee surgery were divided into 3 groups. Each group knew they were there for surgery. Of 324 potential participants many declined because of knowledge some would receive a placebo. Surgeries were performed on two groups, and simple incisions were made on the third, but no surgical instruments were used and nothing removed.

Here are the amazing results. This is a quote from the actual study. “During two years of follow-up, patients in all three groups reported moderate improvements in pain and ability to function. However, neither of the intervention groups reported less pain or better function than the placebo group. Indeed, the placebo patients reported better outcomes than the debridement patients at certain points during follow-up. Throughout the two years, the patients were unaware of whether they had received real or placebo surgery.”

To read the full report check out this link.

Is there an answer whether it’s medicine or the placebo effect? This I know…I think. When I had the infectious disease several years ago, I’m not sure my best mental efforts would have cured me, compared to the antibiotics I was given. With a 40% fatality rate I can only say something worked, as I’m here to write this.

What do you think? give me some feedback. Is it medicine, or placebos that make the difference?

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Alan Written by:

Alan is retired and resides in Quito, Ecuador. Writing is a passion which has resulted in two eBooks thus far, with more in the works. Married 47 years with four sons and 13 grandchildren, provides potential grist for the mill! Alan is a charter "Boomer", a Viet Nam veteran, committed to roasting his own coffee and writes about whatever pops into his mind. He loves to build and ride recumbent bikes, play racquetball, writes almost daily, travels Ecuador, and talks to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, and an active sense of humor. His desire to encourage others to write is being answered through his articles on the Internet.


  1. Maria Eugenia
    May 4, 2016

    This is funny.

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