Often it’s best to start with a placebo

Even if you know it’s a placebo.

In a very interesting randomized study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)  in the US and published in the journal PAIN, nearly three-quarters of people with moderate to severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who got a placebo still reported “clinically meaningful improvements in their IBS symptoms”, which in English means that they felt better after taking the placebos, and they certainly reported fewer symptoms than did those in the non-pill group.

Amazing really how much we can control so many of our symptoms if we just put our heads into it.

I certainly wouldn’t rely on a placebo to get over my bacterial pneumonia, for example, or some life-threatening condition for which we know that we have excellent medications.

But for something not as dire, hey, always worth asking about.

Even if, clearly, in some cases you know that it’s a placebo you’re getting.