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Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay

Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay

The placebo result is a positive therapeutic effect claimed by a patient following receiving a placebo believed to be the drug. Each individual has their personal say on placebo results because it seems ethical or perhaps unethical. It should not subject if it is dishonest as long as the person is healed at the end with the treatment. Placebo effects can help the patients’ illness by simply letting them believe it truly functions since people believe in what they are told coming from a reliable origin.Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.


Placebo effects will not work if perhaps scientists choose the problems off their procedures hence diminishing the placebo effect. According to Harriet Area, who had written “Oxygen Is usually Good-Even When It’s Not Generally there, ” states that the o2 therapies support for illnesses by bathing in that, drinking this, and treating it in veins seeing that oxygen is water (112-113). Hall states that experts can not provide evidence that oxygen under pressure therapies performed work and didn’t job to patients who believe it is a cure (113). Hall as well claims persons bought a brand of oxygen named “Vitamin O” from Flower Creek Business that sold oxygen within a can yet did not have activated air, due to lab issues, that claimed in order to avoid and treat diseases, regulate metabolism, which were advertised to people (114). Lounge includes that the company marketed 50, 000 bottles monthly until the Federal Trade Commission payment required them to pay $375, 000 to get false advertisement to consumers and restricted them to make duplications of any kind (114). Hall declares that the business changed their very own name to R-Gardens, Inc. and appointed an anthropologist who turned out that their product acquired oxygen along with breaking every secret of scientific experimentation therefore they could meet the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements (114-115). Hall brings up that the organization pretended to get scientific so people believed that their very own product got oxygen in it which revealed that the company gave natural medicine to people thus they would keep their health insurance and be exploited to worries about the side effect coming from pharmaceuticals (116). Hall creates that people need to think about the situation deciding in the event the therapy is useful or not (116). According to Harriet Hall, who wrote “Wired To The Drain: Studying Odd Claims For Fun And Profit, ” says that craniosacral therapy is a method used to reestablish health simply by adjusting the bones of the skull and sacrum during your time on st. kitts are fallacies that said craniosacral therapy has become debunked (118). Hall says Dr . Steve E. Upledger, a major proponent of craniosacral remedy, assisted a neurosurgeon and observed which the dura shifted up and down at 10 cycles per minute which indicated that the skull bone tissues must move in and out so generally there won’t be virtually any damage to the nervous system (118-119). Halls mentions that Upledger discovered people who are impaired and had monthly therapies became healthier together with the treatment yet failed to persuade Hall the fact that treatment proved helpful when patients recalled of the experience (119). Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay. Hall says that Upledger’s experiments of tissue storage, energy cysts, somatoemotional relieve, healing energy, Inner Medical doctor, and sound therapy enhanced the patients’ response and therapists’ skill that confirmed no failures in his treatments (120). Accès states that Upledger was convinced that his treatment options worked so well this individual didn’t display any evidence of his functions in case of earning the Nobel Prize or think about the patients’ lives to get providing after that unproven treatment (121). Corridor writes that humans count on the source they are given and base the reality upon that, but we should sit and think about the condition so faults can be prevented (121).

Placebo results can be useful if used to cure instead of misleading others. According to Maj-Britt Niemi, who wrote “Cure In The Mind, ” belief can be powerful remedies even if the affected person is around the brink of death. Niemi recalls an individual called Mr. Wright was dying from cancer until he was presented a new anticancer drug, Krebiozen, which cured him intended for 2 several weeks until press reports asked him about the efficacy of Krebiozen and suffered a urge, thus his doctors lied to him by expressing they being injected a more powerful version in the drug into him. Niemi continues that Mr. Wright was happy about the injection the doctors provided, which did not contain any kind of drugs, and remained cure-free until he died two months later on when he found that Krebiozen was worthless. Niemi says which a patient’s objectives and values can affect the course of a health problem improving the placebo effect. Niemi writes that the placebo effect utilized since the eighteenth century as being a healing process that consisted of inert pills to cure individuals. Niemi states that placebo effect can also grow away of subconscious associations for example a doctor’s light coat, stethoscope, or smell of an assessment room and can help reduce the pain in your body. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay. Niemi says in trials that consisted of controlled placebo effect organizations concluded that the two groups acquired similar info in the end, resistant to the joker pills the patients got the same response as people that have a drugged pill. Niemi says which the patients anticipated relief from the medicine, saline, which usually reduced the pain inside their body and the ones who had a saline and false-saline treatment both got the same results. Niemi writes that brand names and pricing of the medicine may boost the a result of the placebo since sufferers distrusted those that weren’t recognized and thought that all it would not work as well.

Niemi recalls that patients whom thought they’d received a transplant increased better such as the sham nuclear physics that was a success in improving the quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease while others received human wanting dopamine neurons, and one year later both parties had been doing literally, socially and emotionally very well. Niemi produces that doctors might plan to manipulate the conscious and subconscious head in order to get rid of people, or perhaps not carry out harm by least. In respect to Olivia Judson, who have wrote “Enhancing The Placebo, ” the placebo result is a great medical cure if used smartly. Judson writes that the patients’ health boosts knowing that the doctors are helping them become better. Judson says that medicine can improve a patients’ illness when a doctor notifies them that it would work, the patient would get better faster because the doctor ensures them of your recovery. Judson says that placebo results vary depending on individual activities since people are different from other folks and have distinct thoughts about particular disorders. Judson creates that people are more at ease with medical rituals along with doctors than pills and therefore are better placebo treatments. Judson says in an experiment, people who were given a saline infusion requested less of the drug rather than individuals who had artificial saline, which in turn people state is underhanded but the placebo enhanced the procedure in the end. Judson concludes the fact that placebo effect can help enhance cures in illnesses instead of being a hassle. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.

By a price, the placebo impact can be seen as a substitute way that doctors employ for their sufferers if it is their particular last resort. People don’t need hear unfavorable news using their doctor when given several hope, it could help them climb up out of the darker hole. The placebo effect can help for most people but have their downsides when told it does not work.

This research paper attempts to explore the mechanism of Placebo effect and how it affects the brain. Starting with a detailed introduction to the Placebo Effect, touching the background of Placebo technique lightly, the paper will review some available, relevant theories and research literature on the topic and will conclude with a summary of the research review findings, in relation with the theoretical explanations available for the process of placebo. This paper is basically an attempt to find out how placebo effect works and how the brain reacts to a placebo to make it successful.

Placebo treatment is also known as ‘sham’ treatment in the world of medicine. Fake pills, sugar or bread pills, saline injections and other harmless substances are administered to restless patients, while keeping them in dark about the reality of treatment, to sooth them and make believe that they are being given some extensive, suitable medical treatment which will ensure cure in them. This treatment is known to have positive effects on many types of patients and it actually psychologically helps in curing the patients (Harrington, 1997)

Placebo effect is effective form of treatment in many cases, specifically depression, anxiety, headaches, migraine and Parkinson disease.

Placebo Effect

According to Shapiro (1968) cited in Harrington (1997), placebo is defined as any sort of therapy, administered knowingly or unknowingly by a practitioner or layman in order to heal a medical condition while it actually has no direct therapeutic effect. A placebo is any treatment that is intended to improve the general condition of the patient but has no physical or chemical impact directly on the condition. Placebo effect is therefore defined as:

‘The non specific psychological or psycho physiological therapeutic effect produced by a placebo or the effect of spontaneous improvement attributed to the placebo treatment’ (Shapiro, 1968, cited in Harrington, 1997). Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.

As per Cavanna and colleagues (2007), a placebo effect can be defined and explained as a healing reaction induced by non specified verbal or behavioral actions, which work via the patient’s belief in treatment. Placebo effects work through a variety of pathological conditions thus enabling the scientists to understand and study quite a lot of interaction occurring between the mind, brain and the body (Cavanna, 2007).

History of Placebo Effect

‘Placebo’ is an italic word meaning ‘I shall please’. This term was first used in the eighteenth century, in the world of medicine and meant a treatment the purpose of which was to please the patient instead of having a medical therapeutic effect (Cavanna, 2007). According to Harrington (1997), the word ‘Placebo’ is also found in the opening lines of the Catholic Vespers for the Dead.

In earlier times, the only placebo thought of and administered was a sugar pill.Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.  But nowadays placebos can include many types of harmless treatments, injections, drugs and even sham surgeries.

The placebo effect shares the mechanism of faith healing. It causes cure via faith- the belief that the person now has the power to heal.

The Neurology of Placebo Effect

The belief of going through a medical treatment often causes changes in brain neurotransmitters that are remarkably similar to those changes which occur due to real medicines (Fowler, 2010). According to Fernandez and colleagues (2006), a neuro transmitter Dopamine is known to release with placebo treatments in Parkinson disease. This neurotransmitter is also known to play a role in the brain’s reward mechanism. There is growing evidence that release of Dopamine causes the healing effect in the patients undergoing placebo treatments.

2.1 Perception of Placebo effect by the Brain

According to Fowler (2010), when humans take a medicine or go through a treatment, their belief system is of utmost importance in the process of healing. The more one believes in the medicine, the more quickly it produces healing. For instance, when we take a pain placebo treatment, the brain stops (or reduces) sending pain signals to the body which in turn stops experiencing pain. The brain actually perceives the placebo as a treatment and starts giving signals of being healed to the body, which is wired to act according to those signals- the process therefore results in producing healing effects. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.

Literature Review

A research was conducted by Patterson (2002), to investigate the placebo mechanism among patients of depression. The results regarding the patient’s belief system were surprising. The subjects were divided into 2 groups. One group was administered placebo and the other; antidepressants. The brain studies revealed that the activity in the right hemisphere of the placebo group had increased while in those having the antidepressants had decreased. However, both groups reported an equal amount of depressive symptoms reduction. They study further found that healing effects in some of the placebo patients were not lasting. The researchers conclude that placebo is effective in treating mild depression but chronic depressives do need real treatment for reduce the depression long term.

According to Friedman and Dubinsky (2008), after review of many studies on placebo effects, Goetz and colleagues (2008) concluded that placebos cause similar brain activity to the one caused by original medicine. In one study for example, where the medicine intended to increase dopamine level in the brain, the placebo did the same and had similar healing effects. Other studies reviewed regarding depression and Parkinson disease also showed similar brain activity via PET scans in both the control group and the treatment group. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.

In one study, Zubieta (2005) found that the pain patients who were being given a placebo produced higher levels of endorphins, which are the actual, natural pain killing elements produced by the brain. This study clearly shows that placebos have the power of inducing healing actions in the brain and body.

In another pain related placebo study, Benedetti and colleagues (2005) found that the expectation of pain reduction is an important factor in release of pain reducing hormones by the brain. The findings of this study were also consistent with the notion that the endogenous Opioid system (Placebo responding regions of the brain) is an important component of the interactive neurological connection between the brain and body. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.

All the above reviewed research findings suggest that placebo effects bring about changes in the brain’s level of neurotransmitters, especially Dopamine. This change may or may not be the same as original treatment but the effect on healing of both is usually similar.


3.1 Some ethical Considerations in use of Placebo

There has recently been a lot of controversy as far as usage of placebos is concerned. Some scientists suggest that this falls in the category of deception while others suggest that this is an unethical practice in a way that the patients are unknowingly given placebos when better, tested and reliable alternative true medicines are available. Giving a placebo may produce only temporary symptoms of healing and the patients might be subjected to a delayed proper treatment for the disease.

According to Freidman (2008), all placebo studies must attempt their best to make sure that no patient in the end of the study is left deprived of the real treatment and that the placebos offer have virtually no negative side effects on the patients.


The mechanism of placebo can therefore be summarized as follows:

The patients are deceived.

They expect a cure or some sort of pain reduction.

They benefit from the expectation and their brain starts behaving like it does in case of real treatment.

The body gets healing signals and reacts accordingly.

This healing affect may or may not be permanent depending on the intensity of disease and varying from person to person.

The placebo effect is therefore an expectation effect. Which means that the brain will react and behave on the lines of something that it is expecting will occur (Fowler, 2010). Placebo techniques are being successfully used in current medical world in many areas. Understanding The Placebo Effects Strategy Essay.



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