The power of medical placebos is in the way they blend in, looking like a pill rather than something else in order to trick the mind into believing that it is medication. (Maya Kornyeyeva)
The power of medical placebos is in the way they blend in, looking like a pill rather than something else in order to trick the mind into believing that it is medication.

Maya Kornyeyeva

Mind before matter

The way placebos act upon the brain in order to heal the body

January 21, 2020

Relief beyond measure. 

All the pain, gone. All the worries, evaporated. 

But what could have caused this kind of change? What new science was at work inside the body, spreading a sense of freedom throughout the mind?

The answer is nothing.

Throughout humanity’s existence, stories of miraculous healing have dotted the pages of history books. Beginning with the ancient Greeks 2,500 years ago, the power of belief or placebo medication has had an incredible effect on those with various “untreatable” ailments. 

This spiritual form of medicine quickly spread through China and influenced the creation of acupuncture. Hair-thin needles provided an easy escape from pain by redirecting the body’s energy, sending qi flowing through the different channels of the being.

Traveling to the other side of the planet, the concept of placebos helped create the basis of Western medicine. As placebos were integrated into the fields of psychology and medical science, methods of drug testing were transformed as cures for various diseases were produced more efficiently.

Still, the question remains. How do placebos really work?

About the Photographer
Photo of Maya Kornyeyeva
Maya Kornyeyeva, Staff Writer
Maya Kornyeyeva is a sophomore at Carlmont High School and she enjoys photography and digital design. She is a passionate choir kid and a co-founder of an ocean ecology club at school. Kornyeyeva also participates in volunteering activities with Key Club at Carlmont and likes to write about topics such as the environment, student life, and service.

Twitter: @kor_maya
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