What if I told you that your mind could unlock a healing power potent enough to rival billion-dollar pharmaceuticals?

Don't worry, I'm not inviting you to join the X-men. But I do want to talk about the placebo effect.

We often brandish the term 'placebo effect' as a signal of failure. It's the word we use to say someone's merely hallucinating. I think this framing hides the true potency of the placebo's power.

A placebo, often used in clinical trials, is a faux treatment, a phantom medicine, designed to assess the true efficacy of a new drug. By comparing the reactions of those given the real drug and those given the placebo, researchers can discern the drug's effectiveness.

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