A placebo is a fake treatment.  You think it is real and you start to feel happier and feel better.  Your pain lessens.  It is not a cure.  It is good if you have imagined most of your illness in the first place.  You need a dose of reality. Better to feel bad and face reality than to feel good and end up worse.  What is real cannot just go away. 

Some say we should not just cast the placebo aside as self-deception but admit that it causes real physical and mental and emotional changes that help and sometimes are as good as medical interventions with genuine medicine.  They need to be told that things like that can unravel and stop working or make the person worse off than before.  Plus how many patients are pretending to feel better just to please the nurse or doctor or therapist or whoever?

The placebo is only a good thing when it works with REAL treatment or if the person is only imagining their illness or too much of it.

It is pointed out that if you are given painkillers without knowing, you need twice as much to get significant relief. But if you know, you can avail of the placebo effect and take a lower dose. It has been found that people with fake knee surgery often do as well as those with the real thing. Though a placebo is not lying to yourself that you are seeing improvements that are not there it is obvious that a placebo will lead to that. The open placebo effect is being studied more now. It is when you are told to take a tablet or whatever and you know it has no medical power of its own. This can make you feel better for it is a vote of confidence in your own power to improve how you feel healthwise.

Open label placebo methods recommend rather elaborate ritualistic behaviour to hardwire your brain to let the placebo work at its best pace and to its best potential. Spending a little more time than seemingly needed helps too. This placebo is well known. Occult minded people do meditations and rites and burn incense for say 15 minutes a day to deal with anxiety over say a job interview that might normally require a mild sedative.

With the placebo effect, the illness is still there but the physical and/or mental pain feels lighter. The treatment plan in itself without telling any lies can make you feel better too. Just putting it into action makes you feel better.

If religion and faith are just placebos then what do they need the words religion and faith for?  Why not be inclusive and just call themselves placebos?  Why are they so narrow and bigoted that they can't advocate that one placebo is as good as another as long as it get results? 

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