(Telegraph) How a simple sugar pill from the doctor may not be a thing of the past
The placebo effect is so powerful that doctors want to make more use of our ability to ‘trick ourselves better’, says Liz Bestic.
Not so long ago, it wasn’t unusual for your friendly GP to have at hand a bottle of sugar pills for patients’ minor aches and pains. While sugar pills are no longer on offer, a report out last week revealed that half of all German doctors are happily dishing out placebos to their patients for ailments such as stomach upset and low mood.
The study, published by the German Medical Association, said that placebos – here defined as sham treatments without any active constituents – from vitamin pills to homeopathic remedies and even surgery, can prove effective as treatments for minor problems and are completely without side effects.