Alternative medicine

Alternative healing and the “Placebo effect”

Even in a world that is using more and more high technology and digital devices in the medical care services, alternative healing practices are still used on a large scale, especially in those countries that are less developed or in developing countries, mostly in those communities having less access to professional medical services. Some of the alternative medicine practices are strongly related to the “Placebo effect”.

What means the “Placebo effect”?

The “Placebo effect” is that improvement of health for those patients that are expecting to improve their symptoms by using false or empty drugs. By using these fake medicines, the patients are telling themselves that their diseases will be heald. Only by saying that to their body while taking those false drugs, the diseases will improve and in this way the “Placebo effect” starts to be present in the treatment. The “Placebo effect” is also called as the “Placebo response”. One of the first mentions regarding the word “placebo” is dated in 1811. The modern definition of the “Placebo effect” has been done in 1920 by T. C. Graves. After another 40 years, at the beginnings of 1960’s, the “Placebo effect” started to be recognized in the medical treatment.

“Placebo effect” and its relationship with alternative medicine

There are opinions that consider that alternative medicine is using mostly the “Placebo effect” to help in different diseases. Due to the fact that most of the alternative medicine practices are not based on scientific methods and are not validated, many people consider that those people that get healed after using an alternative healing method are cured due to the “Placebo effect”. Alternative medicine has as support the idea of positive thinking and self-love. Many alternative medicine practitioners consider that the “Placebo effect” has an important contribution to the healing process while using alternative healing methods, but also the knowledge of the practitioners is very important in this process. Maybe it is more correct to say that most of those that believe in alternative medicine are not speaking about the “Placebo effect”, but they are speaking about “belief” or “selfhealing”.

“Placebo effect” in conventional medicine and in alternative medicine

Even if the results and the ideas are almost the same as regarding the “Placebo effect” in alternative medicine and conventional medicine, we have to say that there are several significative differences. If in the conventional medicine for the “Placebo effect” are used some fake or empty medicine, in the alternative medicine you are using does drugs or products that are always used in the those medical practices, even if you are not speaking about the “Placebo effect” during the treatment. Another major distinction that should be made is regarding the name given to the effects that are called “Placebo” in conventional treatment. In the alternative medicine, those effects are not called “Placebo”. Instead, alternative medicine practitioners use terms like “belief”, “faith”, “autosuggestion”, “positive thinking”.

Even if it is called “Placebo effect” or in any other way, that effect is present in alternative medicine and many patients that have used alternative healing methods may confirm that. It is our personal option to choose the way to heal our body.