Recent research, he said, showed that placebos had helped 59% of patients who had been suffering from an upset stomach. Used to treat depression, placebos have the same effect as antidepressants in about a third of cases.
The efficacy of a placebo depends on many factors, according to the report, including the size and colour of a pill.
The more expensive the placebo, the higher the success rate, the study found, and intravenous injections are shown to be more effective than oral medication.
This kind of thing supports assertions that a lot of medicine has more to do with psychology than biochemistry. Going to doctors does not do much for you, compared to things like diet and exercise and avoiding pollution. The main benefit people get from doctor visits is feeling that someone cares about them.