Thursday, March 24, 2011

Placebo effect

     Placebo is a Latin word meaning “I will please”, as the dictionary says. Placebo is commonly used in medical terminology for a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient supposes it to be a medicine. 
     In medical world a story goes something like this, while explaining the placebo effect in the class room. Once a patient, with a stomach ache went to a doctor while the doctor was in a party, not in the clinic. Then the wise doctor gave a small pill from his coat pocket and asked the patient to keep it under the tongue until the patient reaches the clinic. The doctor promised the patient that he would check the patient at the clinic right after the party. By the time the patient reached the clinic his stomach ache was gone and the patient was happy.  A little later as the doctor stepped into the clinic, he saw the patient comfortably moving around. The doctor asked the patient to spit the pill in the sink. The pill is nothing but his coat button, not a real medical pill. Now you know what a placebo effect is. 
     The placebo effect has been known for centuries as the ability of some treatments with no medical value to have a positive effect on a person's health so long as they believe that the treatment does have value. Mystery and beauty of placebo is it’s all-purpose. Happiness and placebo effect may impact healing by faith and prayer.
     Placebo effect is not only limited to medical world but also in our day to day activities, either at home or at work. Praises and scolding or encouragement and discouragement suggest our mind how to behave in such situations, be it a quarrel or tensed up situation or a divorce. Placebo effect unconsciously helps you build strong relationships, avoid conflicts and momentarily avoid unpleasant situations. In the long run, placebo effect may not be effective as the realities pop up. So do not hide behind the placebo effect in maintaining relationships. When it comes to offices, organizations use it as a technique to calm employees and maintain integrity in the team.
      As we all can imagine placebo effect, if wrongly used, can lead to disastrous situations. As any other thing placebo has its pros and cons, good and bad, right or wrong and we should be careful when we plan to choose it.

 “Placebo, is it reality or myth?”

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