Should the Placebo Effect Have a Place in Conventional Medicine?| Kathy Marshack

Research is showing that the Placebo Effect should be used for much more than making clinical trials fair. Did you know that people who regularly attend psychotherapy heal faster, have stronger marriages, and live longer? Our thoughts have tremendous power to influence our state of health and well-being. Since we can change our body chemistry with our thoughts and the Placebo Affect taps into this power, shouldn’t we learn to use it ethically?

What is the Placebo Affect or Placebo Response?

According to Webmd, “A placebo is anything that seems to be a “real” medical treatment — but isn’t. It could be a pill, a shot, or some other type of “fake” treatment. What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health.”

While definitions like this circulate, people will discount the value of the Placebo Affect, since they view it as “fake” medicine. They think that you have to be weak-minded people to be susceptible to its power.

Therefore, you might be surprised that research is showing there are credible reasons for using the Placebo Effect in treatment. In a recent New York Times article, the writer Gary Greenberg reports on a recent conference that sheds light on this controversial subject. He gives some convincing arguments for the efficacy of Placebo Medicine. I especially found the genetic correlation to the Placebo Response intriguing. Also of interest is that researchers using fMRI machines have found consistent patterns of brain activation in placebo responders. There’s obviously more to the Placebo Effect than once thought.

However, the point is that, for whatever reason, the Placebo Effect does have the power to make people feel better. Maybe because we call it placebo, instead of the name of a proper healing method, we find it hard to accept its benefits. An Ancient Greek healer Asklepios built a retreat center in the hills, where Greeks came to heal. He insisted that theater, exercise, diet, and peaceful surroundings were necessary for healing. He also administered medicines and surgeries.

When Hippocrates came along, Asklepios’ was diminished. Now we, in the west, are locked into a regressive healthcare system by corporate insurance interests. The human body has many natural healing mechanisms, if we only encourage people to use them.

If you have a chronic condition that isn’t responding to conventional treatment and you’d like to explore holistic treatments that have proven to be very effective for my clients, and you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.

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