To date all studies of the placebo effect have relied on anecdotal data, viz., qualitative responses as reported by the patient. But a new study that explored brain chemistry
“This deals another serious blow to the idea that the placebo effect is purely psychological, with no physical basis,” said Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta, associate professor of psychiatry and radiology at the Michigan Medical School. “The mind-body connection is quite clear.”It’s amazing if you think about it–too bad administering placebos in actual medical practice is considered unethical. I once had a bout of chronic pain, and if I ever have another one I wouldn’t mind one bit if a physician prescribed me a placebo that he had convinced me would relieve my pain. I doubt it would take much convincing, either.