A recent study by a variety of top notch doctors and Harvard challenged our conventional wisdom about using placebos. These docs theorized that patients who use placebos and ARE AWARE THAT THEY ARE USING PLACEBOS could improve.
They took a group of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). One group of subjects took no medication. The other group of subjects were given a bottle of sugar pills which were labeled “PLACEBO”.
The “open label Placebo” group was also given:
1. An accurate description of what is known about placebo effects
2) Encouragement to suspend disbelief
3) Instructions that foster a positive but realistic expectancy and
4) Directions to adhere to the medical ritual of pill taking.
So the “open label placebo” group was essentially given positive suggestions. They were all at a place where they wanted to improve and feel better. They were primed for success because they desired success.
The outcome was that the “Placebo” group actually improved remarkably more than the non-placebo group.
Every subject was aware that they were taking inert placebos. Did the process of popping a pill turn on a “healing switch” in their minds?
What do you think caused the “Placebo” group to do so much better?