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From a distinguished physician and medical ethicist, here is the definitive scientific investigation of the mysterious mind-body healing process. Did you know that:
- You'll heal faster after surgery if you see trees and grass outside your window than if you're looking at a brick wall.
- After asthmatic children were given vanilla aroma to use with their inhalers, their asthma eventually improved in response to the vanilla alone, even when the inhalers contained no active drug.
- Some patients who had sham angina surgery performed in a double-blind experiment showed improvements lasting six months or more, which their physicians could not distinguish from the results in patients who had had the real surgery.
- When people watched a movie showing Mother Teresa taking care of the poor in Calcutta, their bodies secreted extra amounts of salivary immunoglobulin A, a major germ-fighting chemical.
- When Japanese teenagers, who were allergic to a tree similar to poison ivy, were touched with leaves from a harmless chestnut tree, they developed severe rashes. When touched with the poisonous leaves but told they were chestnut, they had no reaction whatsoever.
- When a new medical treatment is introduced with much excitement and hope, the first patients to receive it typically show a seventy percent positive response rate, even in cases where the treatment--on more careful study-is shown to be medically worthless.
The Placebo Response, grounded in comprehensive research, presents a convincing case that we can harness our inner pharmacy for better health and healing.