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The Placebo Effect

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Scientists have long been fascinated by the effects of a placebo in the experiments used to?test?drugs designed to?control pain and illness. A placebo is a?substance with no actual medical or therapeutic effect, and is?designed?to convince? the participant that they are receiving some type of medication. Any?effects derived from a placebo is?psychological.

Placebos lead people to believe they are taking something that will?heal them. Scientists have discovered that placebos may actually work and aid healing, because they have the effect of blocking signals from the spinal cord to the brain. That is, when people believe a treatment is going to be effective it causes a response from the part of the brain that deals with pain control, releasing of endorphins which suppress pain signals. The effect is similar to drugs such as morphine, and seems to confirm the belief that ?mind over matter? does work when it comes to the human body.

The new research supports the view that more should be done to enhance the body?s natural powers to heal and prevent pain. This supports the perception that ?what you think will do you good, actually does do you good?. Scientists are starting to find out why this works and drug companies are already trying to see if it can provide clues for a new generation of pain killers that may focus on psychological as well as physical treatment.

What this tells us is that a person’s attitude plays a large part in the healing process. Specialty Care Services home care?nursing professionals can provide assistance?not only in the?treatment?of the?physical effects, but?also ?the psychological effects of aging, which can?result?in?illness and injury.? This approach?focuses ?not only on ?treatment?, but the ?quality of life?, which is often overlooked in a facility.? These type of patient?needs?are often?addressed better?in a familiar home environment.?

 

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