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8 Facts about Placebos That Aren’t Imagined

You probably see a lot of inspirational messages in your social media feeds from people telling you to just “think positive” or “have a positive attitude” to heal or feel better. However, while they can clutter up your feed, it turns out the people that share messages like those might be on to something.

Placebos (dummy pills) are used in the medical world to gauge if a medication is actually working, or if the person simply thinks they are being medicated thus feeling some sort of benefit. However, how the power of positive thinking affects each person is still being researched. Here are 8 things to know about placebos…

1. Placebos Were Introduced in 18th Century

According to LiveScience, the first medical patent in the U.S. was for “tractors” (a pair of 3-inch metal rods pointed at the ends), which were a medical device touted to treat sore joints and other pains. However, at the time many medical professionals figured the treatment was nonsense, and the benefits imagined.

Apparently being treated with these metal devices was expensive (at least for the year 1796), and experiments were conducted to determine if the patient saw the same benefits if the tractors were made from different materials such as bone. Wikipedia notes the Connecticut Medical Society denounced the devices as “ delusive quackery.”


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