Can the Placebo Effect be used as an alternative to medicine? And how effective would it be?
The Placebo Effect: Any observed effect on behavior that is “caused” by a placebo. Although the term was first introduced to the context of pharmacological research, it has been widely used and may be found in situations having nothing to do with the study of drugs.
During my research I wanted to find out if we could use placebos to our advantage in medicine. My inspiration came from listening to a podcast by my favorite radio hosts on Radiolab (Jad and Robert). They did a segment on the placebo effect and it blew my mind how such amazing healing success could be achieved without any actual drug and simply just the power of our mind. I had a large curiosity toward it after the podcast and it started to make me think of ways that we could use it to our advantage, and in some cases already do. I decided that this would be a suitable topic for my Research Project so I formed a question- “Can the placebo effect be used as an alternative to medicine? And how effective would it be?” And began my research on it as soon as I could.
To understand the placebo effect you must first understand how it works within the brain. I had I key finding in this subject firstly in the Radiolab podcast by Jad and Robert. They explained how the messages in your brain moved whilst taking a placebo and what steps they took. You can see the notes i took on page 8. This lead me to discovering my next key finding “Every single drug on the market your brain has a receptor for and can produce its self” --------- this explains a lot of background on the placebo effect and really interested me. In the center of your brain there is a small “nugget” of opium that, if you have the right tools (a placebo), you can access and this is how placebos can cure pain, depression, rashes etc.
After this I tried to keep an eye out for as much information around me as possible. I came across and article in The Advertiser which
My third key finding was how effective placebos actually are, in some cases they are actually just as effective as the drug that they and opposing to
I used a variety of different methods to collect information on the subject and found that the most effective one was visual (documentaries) in particular, “cracking the code” by --------. They explored the subject deeply and a key finding that I discovered was that placebos are extremely powerful, it has been observed so far that they can actually be as effective as the real drug and this lead me to many success stories such as “the elephant man” he seems to be a very famous placebo story in which an actual physical tablet wasn’t used but hypnosis. His story has come up in a couple of different