15 January 2019 - A placebo is anything that seems to offer a real medical treatment, but doesn’t. It could be a pill, an injection or even fake surgery.
What all placebos have in common is that they work by persuading you that they will work. Placebos depend on the power of belief.
The word placebo comes from the Latin for “I shall please” and conjures up images of dodgy Victorian doctors giving anxious patients coloured liquids. However, just because a placebo pill doesn’t contain an active chemical ingredient doesn’t mean that there is nothing real going on.