Placebo Effect: Does Faking it Work?

The placebo effect has been used for years and years for different things.  Mainly it has been used for different medical studies and experiments to get variables for results that show the effects of a new drug or treatment has on a condition.

Mainly it has been used for different studies and experiments to get variables for results that show whether or not a drug has an effect on a condition.

Researchers have found that the placebo effect actually works as a constant and could even do more good than just adding in a sugar pill to create fake benefits.

What is the Placebo Effect?

A placebo is anything that seems to be ‘real’ medical treatment — but really isn’t. It could be a pill that’s given, a shot, a certain task that is suppose to provide help or any other type of fake treatment.

What makes it fake is that the placebo does not contain any active substance that would yield health benefits.

So in an experiment, the placebo is given to one group and then the actual drug is given to another. When the placebo is given, researches then compare the effects of the drug and the placebo given to the people and they record the findings.

Sometimes a person can have a positive or negative response to a placebo. Such as if the placebo was for sinus relief, the person’s nasal passage could clear up or it could get worse and he could develop a headache. Or they even can experience the side affects of the “drug”.

The Placebo Effect in Action

In a study for the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers took 164 students from Colorado College and hooked them up to machines that were showing how much time they spent in REM ( rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is the type of slumber that produces well rested nights. placebo effect

In actuality, the machine did not really record the amount of REM sleep. This was the placebo.

There were two groups. One group was told that they had gotten above average sleep; the other group were told the opposite with having below average sleep. Both groups were then given a test.

No matter how well the students actually slept, the ones that were told that they slept better automatically performed better than those who were told they slept bad.

Although they could have actually slept really well, the fact that they were given results from a machine who was “recording” they still took the word of the machine over their own judgement.

The Placebo Effect and the Mind

There is a strong correlation between the mind and how it can perceive the effects of taking medications.

One of the most common theories for the relationship is that the the effectiveness of the placebo effect is based on a person’s expectation. If a person thinks a pill will create a certain outcome, then it is possible that the body can cause things to happen similar to what the medication can cause.

It is all based on perception and how one’s thinking pattern is. The stronger the feeling, the more likely it is that it will come to be. So this method could potentially be the key to manipulation of how we feel. If we are ever in a funk and need help getting out of that bad mood the placebo effect could help that.

Thinking, believing and speaking it into existence is all it takes for the mind and body to follow suit.

How to try the Placebo Effect on your own

After knowing the power of  the placebo effect why not use it to better the way you approach life? Here are 3 ways to trick yourself into the mind set of the placebo effect: placebo effect

  1. BE PRODUCTIVE. Although you can’t get a machine to give you false hope, you can psychologically tell yourself good news. Lets say for instance, you were wanting a good night’s rest. You may not get to do you ideal amount and quality of sleep; however, you can make good from what you did do.
    • If you focus on what rest you obtained that will be more helpful in being positive. Telling yourself you feel rested rather than complaining on how you didn’t do it perfectly can help you naturally feel good and be more productive.
  2. GET ACTIVE. A random study on the placebo effect found that people who were told that they were getting exercise in their daily lives actually became healthier without increasing their activity outside their jobs. A group of hotel maids were the subjects in this study. The maids in one month, naturally lost two pounds, lowered their blood pressure and improved body fat percentages.
    •  This is not an excuse to just avoid exercise altogether, but if there are times that you can’t make it to the gym you can make a list of things you’ve done during the day that were active that count as exercise. Things such as mowing the back yard, taking the kids to the park, using the stairs, or cleaning the house.
  3. BE HAPPIER. Thinking positively is an extension of the placebo effect. You have to speak it into existence with positive statements and also with positive thoughts. Practicing optimism is important to reinforce the positiveness.
    • One technique that you can do is create a optimistic collage. Bring together some pictures that you enjoy whether it be a dream vacation area or a favorite birthday. Once you get these photos, hang them near the bathroom mirror or make them your screen saver so tat you see them multiple times a day. This will instill the happy mood with repetition.

Try these tips and see how happy you become over the next couple of days. Don’t focus on the negative, think positive!

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