Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘placebo’

Placebo – but it Works

Posted by terrepruitt on February 26, 2011

I believe teaching Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area allows me to be exposed to a lot of different things. Recently I was able to experience or try two different things. Regarding one of them, I was showing a friend after Nia class, a product that a mutual friend sells. I was explaining what it was for and she said, “It’s a placebo.” This past week I asked a question on Twitter about a healing technique and I was told it was a placebo. These instances make me chuckle. I believe that if one is in a medical study and is told that they might receive the actual medicine or they might receive a placebo, that is applicable. When someone purchases a product or a service completely open to the idea that it might work and then they feel it does work, how can it be called a placebo? If it works for them in a positive manner, if they receive the help they were expecting, then how can it be called a placebo or just said to have the placebo effect? Could that not be said for a lot of things?

I once read a blog which has since been marked private so I can’t link to it, but it talked about all the “placebos” in everyday life. The blog stated that the buttons on traffic signals don’t actually work, they are just there to make people feel as if they have some control. The same with elevator call buttons and, if I remember correctly, thermostat controls in hotel rooms. Hmmm, I don’t actually know about the traffic lights and elevators, but I have had temperatures adjust in hotel rooms, so I think he might have been talking about some hotel rooms. Don’t we ALL press the buttons on traffic signals? And we all press elevator buttons? Do we do that because we actually think it does something? Yes. We might never know if it does actually help because eventually the light will change and eventually the elevator is going to come and by pressing the button it actual stops on the floor we are waiting on.

In regards to some products and some services for our bodies where we are left to decide if it works or not for ourselves, do you think that any of it has to do with what we think? Does any of it have to do with what we believe? I am somewhat talking about something that is difficult to measure. If you buy a lotion and you put it on you can somewhat tell if it is helped your skin. But what about a relaxation product?

Did you drink the tea believing it would help relax you and it did? Was that the actual tea or was it you believing that after you drank the tea you would feel relaxed? Did you believe that putting on cold wet socks (with dry wool socks over) would help your cold and you wake up feeling better? Was that really the wet sock treatment or your BELIEVING in the treatment?

If you feel is works is it a “placebo”?

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