Medical doctors are trained to apply the “gold standard” for scientific research when it comes to accepting an hypothesis as truth. What is that gold standard? The double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.
The Persistent Placebo
When I make the claim that our beliefs, and our thoughts affect our health, the natural question to ask is: “Where’s the double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that supports your conclusions?”
Well, how about every clinical trial that’s ever been done! Every clinical trial, across all disciplines, must take into account the placebo effect.
Approximately 1/3 of the participants in clinical trials given a sugar pill, or some other inert substance, actually experience the outcome the researchers hope to demonstrate with the new drug or procedure.
Drug companies must demonstrate that the new drug is more effective than the placebo effect, or the FDA won’t grant approval. Consequently, researchers would love it if the placebo effect would go away, but it won’t.
The placebo effect is always present. Rather than trying to dismiss it, I suggest we explore it more.