The term placebo has often had negative connotations in the past. It is almost as if something that helps the body heal itself naturally is somehow cheating or suspect.
The word placebo comes from the Latin for ‘I shall please’. Most of us have experienced the placebo effect while taking traditional medicine. If you have ever bought a branded medicine instead of a generic alternative, some part of your mind was convinced by the packaging or the extra cost that the branded medicine would work better. If you believed it enough, it probably did work better. That is the placebo effect and we all experience it.
In recent years there has been lots of research into the placebo effect in the area of pharmaceuticals. It has shown that the size, colour, shape and the name of medications has an effect on their efficacy. Even the smell has an effect. Researchers found that if they wiped TCP antiseptic around the top of a bottle of tablets, the tablets were more effective!
The attitude of medical practitioners also has an impact on their patients. The more the practitioner builds trust and rapport with their patient, the more the patient is likely to respond positively to treatment.
Bestselling author and speaker, Dr David Hamilton, has carried out a lot of research in the area of the placebo effect and you can read his thoughts at http://drdavidhamilton.com/?page_id=8
So, in my opinion, we should be much more open to understanding and using the placebo effect to aid our natural healing processes.