The Placebo Effect (Updated)

The Placebo Effect (Updated)

Sep 10



“A placebo is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect. The placebo effect consists of several different effects woven together, and the methods of placebo administration may be as important as the administration itself.”


Major Resources:

Wikipedia on The Placebo Effect
Harvard-Wide Program in Placebo Studies (PiPS)





Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself
By Lissa Rankin

Amazon Book Description

We’ve been led to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics. Or it’s just bad luck — and doctors alone hold the keys to optimal health. For years, Lissa Rankin, M.D., believed the same. But when her own health started to suffer, and she turned to Western medical treatments, she found that they not only failed to help; they made her worse. So she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Through her research, Dr. Rankin discovered that the health care she had been taught to practice was missing something crucial: a recognition of the body’s innate ability to self-repair and an appreciation for how we can control these self-healing mechanisms with the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself for over 50 years.

Using extraordinary cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out the scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, depression, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, sex, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.

In the final section of the book, you’ll be introduced to a radical new wellness model based on Dr. Rankin’s scientific findings. Her unique six-step program will help you uncover where things might be out of whack in your life — spiritually, creatively, environmentally, nutritionally, and in your professional and personal relationships—so that you can create a customized treatment plan aimed at bolstering these health-promoting pieces of your life. You’ll learn how to listen to your body’s “whispers” before they turn to life-threatening “screams” that can be prevented with proper self-care, and you’ll learn how to trust your inner guidance when making decisions about your health and your life.

By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles.




Amir Raz (Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Psychology) is the Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention. He is also a researcher affiliated with one of McGill’s teaching hospitals, the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, and the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. He works closely with neuroscientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute as well as other departments, including Psychology, in McGill’s Faculty of Science.


NHNE Coverage:

• New Book: ‘Mind Over Medicine’
60 Minutes: ‘Treating Depression: Is There A Placebo Effect?’ (02/21/12)
Pain Of Arthritis Eased By Mind Game (04/16/2011)
Placebos May Work Even When People Are Told (12/27/2010)
The Magic Cure: Startled By The Power Of Placebos, Doctors Consider How To Use Them As Real Treatment (05/09/2010)
Placebo Effect Caught In The Act In Spinal Nerves (11/5/2009)
Scientists Present First Genetic Evidence For Why Placebos Work (7/21/2009)
The Placebo Effect Is Not All In Your Mind (6/4/2009)
Placebo’s Power Goes Beyond The Mind (8/23/2006)
This Is Your Brain Under Hypnosis (11/23/2005)
Placebo Sparks Brain Painkillers (8/24/2005)
Acupuncture, Real Or Fake, May Help Migraines (5/3/2005)
First Glimpse Of Mechanistic Explanation For Placebo Effect (5/19/2004)
Cough Medicines ‘No More Effective Than Placebos’ (6/24/2002)
Placebos Fight Depression As Well As Drugs (5/8/2002)
The Nocebo Effect: Placebo’s Evil Twin (5/2/2002)
The Placebo Effect: The Power Of Nothing (5/26/2001)


Other Articles:

Patients Show Fewer Symptoms After These Words From Doctors
By Melissa De Witte-Stanford
September 5, 2018

You Can Heal Yourself With Your Mind (For Real)
Jo Marchant
The Daily Beast
March 5, 2016

Study Claim: Placebo Effect Relieve Symptoms And Improve Treatments
By James McIntosh
April 7, 2015

Placebos Are Getting More Effective
Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why

By Steve Silberman
August 24, 2009


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