Placebo: Mind Over Matter in Modern Medicine
Can we really cure ourselves of disease by the power of thought alone? Faith healers and alternative therapists are convinced that we can, but what does science say?
Contrary to public perception, orthodox medical opinion is remarkably confident about the healing powers of the mind. For the past fifty years, doctors have been taught that placebos such as sugar pills and water injections can relieve virtually any kind of medical condition. Yet placebos only work if you believe they work, so the medical confidence in the power of the placebo effect has provided scientific legitimacy to popular claims about the healing power of the mind.
In this intriguing exploration, Dylan Evans exposes the flaws in the scientific research into the placebo effect and reveals the limits of what can and cannot be cured by thought alone. Drawing on new ideas in immunology and evolutionary biology, Evans proposes a new theory about how placebos work, and asks some searching questions about our concepts of health and disease
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
What can Placebos Really
The Acute Phase Response
The Belief Effect
Why? The Evolutionary Question
Nocebo Beyond Good and Bad
Psychotherapy the Purest Placebo?
The Witch Doctors Dilemma
acquired activity acute phase response allow already alternative alternative medicine anxiety applied argued associated become Beecher behaviour belief benefits better blood body brain cancer caused cells cent century certainly Chapter claims clinical trials common compared complex course cure depression designed disease doctors drug evidence evolved example experience experimental explain fact feel fever forms give given hand healing heart human idea immune conditioning immune system important improvement infection involved kind known least less levels look means mechanisms medicine methods mind natural objective operation pain particular patients perhaps pill placebo effect placebo response possible powerful practice problem produce psychotherapy pure question reason receiving reduce reported result scientific seems simply statistical studies sugar pill suggests suppressing sure symptoms term theory therapy thing treated treatment trigger turned various volunteers whole