The placebo effect (non-specific effect) is a psychological or psychophysiological improvement caused by therapy with an inert substance or simulated by a (fictitious) procedure. Research has shown that the effect may be due to a person's expectations of the treatment, rather than the direct effect of the treatment itself. The placebo effect can be activated by a person's self-hypnosis about the benefits of the substance used. The best way to activate the positive placebo effect is hypnocorrection and self-regulation.
A placebo does not differ from other methods of influencing the body, the only difference is in stimuli. Just by remembering a good or bad event, you get the same feelings through chains of associative connections. Everything is well described in Reflexes of the brain by I.M. Sechenov.
The placebo effect is a by-product of the development of human consciousness, the human psyche. One of the manifestations of this side effect is healing - various healing rituals that affect the psyche and cause a placebo effect. This effect explains the actually recorded cases of recovery under the influence of “charged water”, “conspiracy”, “laying on of hands”, etc. In animals (including laboratory ones), the placebo effect is not found.
The more active the participation of the nervous system in the development of a disease, the more pronounced the "placebo effect" or "self-hypnosis effect".
Ie. The "placebo effect" is manifested mainly in a wide variety of mental, neuropsychiatric, psychosomatic and neurological diseases, in which the leading role is played by molecules - mediators of the nervous system. The nervous system has a strong influence on the endocrine system, so there is a noticeable placebo effect in the treatment of endocrine diseases. Likewise, the immune system is controlled by the nervous system, and immunodeficiency develops rapidly under stress; the placebo effect is also quite pronounced.
Take hypertension, bone fractures and malaria as examples.
In hypertension, the state of the nervous system has a leading role in the level of blood pressure, so it is very difficult to distinguish the actual effect of the drug from its "placebo effect". To do this, conduct "double-blind, placebo-controlled" drug trials.
In case of bone fractures, the rate of their fusion depends, to a large extent, on the saturation of the body with calcium, vitamins and protein, and to a very small extent, on hormones, the level of which is influenced by the nervous system. Therefore, the "placebo effect" is weak. "Self-hypnosis" slightly accelerates bone healing in young organisms, but does not manifest itself at all in the elderly, for example, in women with age-related osteoporosis.
In malaria, the disease is caused by the ingestion of malaria plasmodium, and no "placebo" can save you from it, only antimalarial drugs.
Apply all of the above to yourself: how much is your nervous system “to blame »In your condition, and how beneficial the drug or treatment is to your nervous system. And if the "placebo effect" in your case is strongly pronounced - this is very good, then you have another channel of influence on your disease - through the restoration of the nervous system and psycho-emotional balance.
This is great, you should definitely take advantage of this!
The problem of the placebo effect has two aspects - efficacy and safety.
Efficiency is easier - you need to find the right control points, which, on the one hand, are important for the prognosis of the disease, and on the other, are not subjective , i.e. do not depend on the patient. For example, in the treatment of hepatitis C, the true checkpoint is the absence of the virus in the blood, and weakness and pain in the liver area are false checkpoints, and they simply do not need to be used.
Safety (number of side effects) - more complex topic. Even without taking medication, a person periodically has various undesirable phenomena, and even more so while taking pills. But here it is important what side effects appear. The frequency of side effects may be identical, but in the placebo group there will be such phenomena as insomnia, irritability and headache, and in the drug group - a decrease in hemoglobin levels.
That is why double-blind studies are carried out to assess the effectiveness and safety ... Until the end of the study, neither the investigator nor the patient is aware of the treatment group (study drug or comparison drug or placebo).
If we are talking about double-blind clinical trials, then both the placebo and the placebo are encrypted. and only after the completion of the tests, when decoding by comparing laboratory tests and other scientific data, it becomes clear whether there is a difference between taking a drug or a placebo. This is if we consider the problem from the side of a physician and pharmacologist.
If we look at the problem from the side of the patient, the participant of the tests, then in this case the psychosomatic characteristics of the person are connected. There are drugs (antibiotics for example) that act on the cause of the disease caused by external pathogens. Here, placebo differs radically from a really active drug.
And there are drugs (antispasmodics, for example) that act on a symptom. And often the latter can duplicate the functions of the organism itself. A person, taking a drug, can imagine its effect on the body, and thereby trigger processes similar to the effect of the drug. And this is where the placebo effect can work.
Purely subjective - it won't work. The only clue is the time of action. Some drugs personally begin to act on me immediately after taking, although it takes time for absorption, transport to target cells and some intracellular processes.
Well, logically, the placebo is in any case weaker than the real effect. At least in my experience it turned out that way.
If you are talking about a placebo, apparently, it is somehow connected with the intake of some drugs. If you are taking any medications, then you are ill with something. So, try the next time you get sick with this disease, do not take the drug. Compare sensations, if they do not change, then there is a placebo effect. But what really matters is what kind of illness you have, cold / flu is one thing, stroke is another.