In scientific circles and common parlance, we commonly refer to the placebo effect as a sign of failure.

A placebo is used in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of treatments and is most often used in drug studies. For instance, people in one group get the tested drug, while the others receive a fake drug, or placebo, that they think is the real thing. This way, the researchers can measure if the drug works by comparing how both groups react. If they both have the same reaction — improvement or not — the drug is deemed not to work — Harvard Health

The element of this we often underestimate is the acknowledgement that your brain, with no additional resources, can often replicate the effects of billion-dollar pharmaceutical marvels.

A 2014 study published in Science Translational Medicine explored this by testing how people reacted to migraine pain medication. One group took a migraine drug labelled with the drug's name, another took a placebo labelled "placebo," and a third group took nothing.

The researchers discovered that the placebo was 50% as effective as the real drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack.

Despite references to the placebo effect being relatively commonplace, I don't think we pause enough to fully appreciate that simply by believing something will make us better, our brain can reconfigure the associated sense of pain and neurological discomfort.

Beyond that, even when we know we are taking a placebo, the mere act of putting a pill in our mouths (i.e. behaviours we associate with healing) can be half as effective as actually taking medicine.

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