Placebo Wonder Drug

A University of Chicago survey of internists revealed that 45% of respondents had prescribed a placebo at least once during their years in practice. A majority of these doctors also indicated that they believed the mind-body relationship can influence overall health.

Of the doctors who admitted prescribing a placebo, 34% told their patients the sugar pill was "a substance that might help but won't hurt" while 19% said that "it was medication" and 9% described the placebo as medicine with "no specific effect." Just 4% of these doctors told their patients that they were prescribing a placebo. The matter of whether it's ethical to not tell patients exactly what they're taking is open to debate.

The Bigger Picture: When you think something works, your body often responds favorably regardless of whether that something has any medicinal properties or not. Imagine the possibilities when you follow a plan of healthy eating and regular exercise that everyone knows to be effective.
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