The history of Medicine is essentially a history of placebo, as most therapeutic interventions over the centuries have been nothing more than the application of placebos (inert substances and methods)
This medical practice arose from the attempt to determine whether, applying « “false” or “inactive” treatments, the resulting improvement is due to the patient’s imagination or to a transient remission of the disease episode. Placebo is now widely used in clinical trials to scientifically validate treatment. In addition to research, doctors and nurses use placebos in their daily clinical practice to please and reassure patients with anxiety (de Craen et al ’99, Wall ’99).
The placebo effect is essentially an example of a “mind-body” interaction or a demonstration of how, Spiritual activity can affect various pathophysiological functions (Herrnstein ’60, Levine ’78). The same goes for the Nocebo effect, which is the exact opposite of placebo.
That is, the expectation of zero or negative effect from the treatment. This finding raised the placebo to a psychobiological phenomenon, while until now, it was considered simply a tool for clinical trials.
Source: Hellenic Society for Pain Management and Palliative Care