Placebos

I’ve been thinking about placebos. It was something I heard on Radio National, Professor Susan Greenfield mentioned, right at the end, placebos… well let me step back a bit.

Before that she mentioned chocolate. And this is an important bit. She said studies have shown that just smelling chocolate is enough to make your body fight disease more efficiently. She made the point, and I think it a good one, that we should have chocolate smelling scent in hospitals rather than that of disinfectant.

Then she went on to discuss the point that often if people think they are getting a drug when in fact they are only getting something that looks like a drug, in other words, a placebo, they still get the effects of the drug they are not getting. It’s called the placebo effect.

But it got me to wondering. How on earth do you tell if a drug is working or not if even if you don’t give the drug you get the same effect??

And doesn’t that mean that the drug is working, even if you only think it is working?

Maybe in the future all we’ll need are thought drugs. A kind of reprogramming that gets your body to sort itself out.

Or is that just hypnosis?

You’re right. It would need to be a thought drug given in pill form.

A thought pill.