Essay on Does the Placebo Effect Really Work?

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“Does the placebo effect really work?”

We’ve all been there, sitting in the waiting room surrounded by people coughing a spluttering all over you, surely making you worse rather than better. Then, half an hour after your appointment time, your name is called and you reach the safe (sanitary) haven of the doctor’s office. After a poke and a prod, and a rather uncomfortable “Aaaaahh!” with an ice-lolly stick half way down your throat and a light shone down the dark cavern of your oesophagus, finally! A diagnosis! A prescription is written with the promises of improved health within a week; so off you go to the chemist to pick up whatever anti-biotic someone’s whipped up in a laboratory, or at least that’s what you’re lead to believe. What
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However, it does work, despite a person’s mind set or age. Studies have even shown that the placebo effect occurs in animals. (Freeman, Shanna. (2005))

The History of the placebo effect.
Now days, a placebo is used as a control within the medical world. To be approved, a new medication has to perform better than a placebo sugar pill however many people argue that the placebo should be available as a medication itself.
However, placebos have been known about for hundreds of years. The word “placebo” was first used in the Vulgate (Latin translated bible by Jerome (342 – 420)) and translates into “I shall please”. However, historians think that the concept of a placebo was alive long before the bible as they believe that Stonehenge was used as a “placebo hospital”. They interpret that people thought that the stones possessed magical healing powers and if they touched them, then the powers would be absorbed by their body and they would be cured. (The Royal Institution. (2013)) Obviously Stonehenge does not contain magic powers therefor the improvement that people experienced all those years ago was not from healing powers but actually due to the faith and belief they expressed that the stones were magic and that they would make them better. This is the idea expressed by Ambroise Paré, (translated from French into), “cure occasionally, relieve often, console always.” Meaning that because a cure is not always available it is more important to ensure the

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