Power of Placebo in Sport

July 2, 2008

A study of the athletic effects of Growth Hormone show the athletes on the fake drug got better performance results than the athletes on the real drug. Placebo is a very real part of effects from treatment. Depending on the attitude of the people administering the treatment a person can be either effected in a positive way, placebo, or have the opposite response called nocebo.



“The study told us that athletes who were on the dummy drug, but who believed they were on growth hormone, thought their performance had improved and actually showed some improvement in all measures of performance. One test in particular, jump height or power, showed a significantly greater improvement among these incorrect guessers.”


“There were some men who were 110% sure they were on active treatment, and their cards said they were on placebo. They almost refused to believe it. It was as if some felt they’d been cheated.”


The Meaning of Placebo

June 6, 2008

The movie “The Secret” talks about the Law of Attraction. How we attract is caused by and filtered by the meaning of our beliefs. In Daniel Moerman’s book “Meaning, medicine and the ‘placebo effect'” the strength of the placebo directly connects to the meaning a person puts on to the remedy.

Moerman calls this the “meaning response”; the meaning response seems to be most effective if meaning is reinforced from an authority figure. This athority figure gives permission to the patient to get a better response from the remedy. The meaning response from placebo doesn’t seem to work if an authority figure doesn’t give permission to the patient to respond. If the patient could get a meaning response without the authority figure would they even be available to be studied?

Many aboriginal medicines were effective because the amount of meaning patients and healers put on them. Voodoo, Witchcraft, ect, use icons to produce spells on people. Can these spells be another version of the “meaning effect” of placebo?


The Power in the Belief of the Placebo

June 2, 2008

Placebos are fake medicines designed to fool people involed in a clinical study. Many times the Placebo is almost or just as effective as the medicine being studied. Placebos are so effective they will now be sold as a dietary supplement and will be recommened for nagging children.

Placebo works so well that Nocebo is it’s opposite. Nocebo is something that people are convinced is the exact opposite of what it really is.

The biggest problem with it is it’s unpredictability. The effectivness depends largly on how susceptible the patient is to the suggestion. The more susceptible someone is to an outside solution the better the result will be.

Many watchdog organizations are worrying the drug companies are teaching kids to seek solutions from pills made by drug companies.

“Dr. Brody said parents did not need a pill to induce the placebo effect. Mothers have long promised to “kiss it and make it better” and it is that type of placebo children really yearn for, he said.”