Popular Science News | Placebos – the kiss it better effect

Popular Science News – placebos are used in pharmaceutical research projects and contain nothing of medical use, at least that is what has been thought up until now. We all know of mothers kissing a child’s scratch better and the child walking away content but now it seems there is more to it that just make believe.

Damien Finniss, from the University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital says that, “Research shows that placebo effects may occur in conjunction with any form of treatment where the mind-brain interaction works to promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms.”

38 published clinical trials involving more than 3000 depressed patients were analysed and it was discovered that 75% of those taking the placebos – sugar pills with no active ingredients – had the same results as those taking the anti-depressants; they stopped feeling depressed.

While it makes sense that psychological ailments would respond to psychological treatments it’s less clear why there is such an element involved in chronic sinus problems, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and even Parkinson’s disease, for example, unless they are of mental rather than of physical origin.

A company called Universal Placebos was founded on the basis that what they were selling was not medicine at all and was nothing but sugar. Amazingly the company thrived and turned the owners into millionaires. For some reason people were buying the sugar pills, taking them and in some cases curing themselves! Makes you wonder how many people are taking genuine medicine which partially work because the patient believes it does!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.