The Placebo Effect of Alternative Medicine

The placebo effect is a phenomenon whereby a patient may feel relief or wellness from ineffective or alternative treatments he or she receive. This is because the patient believes that the treatment will cure his illness, and it cures him eventually. Every medication or treatment can induce a placebo effect, depending on the belief of the patient. If a patient believes that a certain treatment can cure him, then it will cure him.

Placebo is a Latin word that means “I shall please.” History proves that the placebo effect was used by ancient physicians to cure patients. It mobilizes the ability of the patient to fight his illness and eventually get well. It could be a substance or a treatment that looks like real medicine but in fact is not.

There are numerous alternative medicines or treatments around the world that are believed to have the ability to cure the sick. Acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine, ayurveda, chiropractic, herbalism, hypnosis, homeopathy, neural therapy, traditional medicine and others are alternative treatments. These treatments can cure illnesses, not because they are effective, but because patients who take them believe that they will be cured. The same thing with taking scientific or real medicines: no matter how faithfully people take their medication, if they do not believe in it, then they will not be cured. Not all patients who take alternative treatments are cured either.

The placebo effect is a nightmare for researchers, because it is misleading. However, they realise that the mind is the key to the patient’s wellness.

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