Adam Ruins Everything – The Magic of the Placebo Effect | truTV
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Adam Ruins Everything – The Magic of the Placebo Effect | truTV


Crystals and energy healing
actually work. A placebo is when a doctor
gives you a fake sugar pill instead of real medicine,
and you think that you’re getting better,
but it’s just in your head. Oh, no, the placebo effect is far stronger
than most people think. (chuckles) New studies are finding it can
do such incredible things, it’s almost like magic. Welcome! I am The Great Placeboni! Placeboni! Plus, I’m a magician
who uses placebos! And today’s show features a special guest appearance by… Dr. Kathryn Hall! Ooh, she’s a molecular biologist
and Director of Placebo Genetics at Harvard Medical School’s
Program in Placebo Studies. Nice to be here. Placebos work so mysteriously, sometimes they might seem almost… unbelievable. (Dr. Hall) In one study, scientists gave
a group of asthma patients an inhaler with real medicine and compared them to another group of patients
that were given placebos. ♪♪ (Adam)
And after the treatment,
all groups reported about a 50% improvement. Behold! ♪♪ So air is a miracle drug. It made people breathe better. No, there was no physical effect
on their bodies, but the placebo effect
made them feel like they could breathe better.

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100 thoughts on “Adam Ruins Everything – The Magic of the Placebo Effect | truTV

  1. It gets even weirder. Oftentimes, when telling people who were on Placebo and reported the increase, about the fact that their medicine was just a placebo, they will often reaffirm that it DID in fact help them.

    Meaning they can KNOW they are literally just getting sugar but for a whole slew of reasons they will insist it still worked.

  2. The placebo effect IS REAL,once i read an article about how looking at boobs causes men to be healthier and have bigger penises,Now i need extensive amounts of vaseline 🙁

  3. He may mention this in the full episode, but the more invasive the treatment, the stronger the effect. A fake injection has a stronger effect than a sugar pill.

  4. To truly study placebo, they should also include patients who are given proper drugs thinking it is just placebo.

  5. Well I am some pretty strong opioid painkillers and I always get asked to bring some to a party I brought mints in a pill box and people were of their tits on minty freshness

  6. The placebo effect is so powerful that people who have an injection of a placebo have more improvement than people who take a placebo pill because you assume that injections will act faster and work better. Sometimes the placebo effect still happens when you KNOW you're only taking the placebo

  7. Sometimes the placebo affect can be good. Like when a friend of mine was little and had a surgery, they told her that hugging the pillow would take the pain away, and she was able to feel more comfortable

  8. ok, just one question: HOW do you test the placebo effect, because you'd need a controll group, do they get a fake placebo?

  9. The placebo effect is so unexplained it hurts, as if the emptiness it left in humanity's knowledge was that a dead pet would leave in a heart.

  10. Okay so my point of view on crystals is that the placebo effect may be a good thing. Say someone buys an amethyst to relieve stress and they say it actually works and they are in fact, less stressed. Weather they de stressed by themselves for the crystal actually did something, they still relieved stress. It’s the same with the whole “the universe is giving me a sign” if someone takes something as a sign to say, start working out, it doesn’t matter if it was just a coincidence or if it was a sign, they still started working out. I hope that was understandable

  11. Mind over body. The healing(?) power of the brain or the ability of the brain to turn off its pain and warning systems? 🙂

  12. This might be what it is called faith as well! That is why the Bible where Jesus says “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes ” (Mark 9:23 NKJV). I believe that is what happens.

  13. Placebo effects are indeed real, but for me, it usually works against me. For example, I feel sick, and I feel like I'm getting worse, and that usually makes it worse. But when I try to think I'm getting better, then there's no effect.

    Of course, I might have been just getting worse, placebo or not.

  14. Placebo absolutely has physical effects. This can be demonstrated by the fact that opioid antagonists can block the placebo effect. Adam is spreading outdated misinformation, that is based on simplistic ideas about the connection between the mind and the body.

  15. It has everything to do with the Tinkerbell effect. If you believe something hard enough it is more likely to become reality. Peoples' chances of surviving serious diseases are dependent on their mindset. Positive thinking makes patients more likely to recover.

  16. This makes sense if you think about it. For most of human history medicine was a basicly a placebo. Sure some ancient medicines work decently and are still used today. But most of them where just crazy recipes of random herbs and "strange" animal parts witch at best provided a nutritious (probably unpalatable) meal.

  17. Seriously, I’m fascinated by the placebo effect. Even though I know about the placebo effect and how it works, I am able to convince my mind to things that I know aren’t real to make it more pleasant.

  18. Placebos don't work with everybody my brother was in more pain with placebos it only work for some people. Doctors told me the same thing.

  19. new studies? dude the placebo effect is the power of negative and positive thinking. Your mind can either heal you or break you. Just by thinking you can do anything.

  20. In other words (as this video cuts off before a conclusion) the mind can have impact on the body. The belief in a treatment can be as important as the treatment itself. As such if a person believes Crystals, Homeopathy, Reiki, or Hopscotch can aid in healing and they are seeing results then there is no harm. The harm is when they refuse any other treatment.

    I used to use Bloodstone as a contact treatment for pain in my knee. I also took as needed medication to help it too. I took the medication less often when I used the bloodstone. Placebo or not the bloodstone helped the pharmaceutical treatment. It also made the pain feel less even if I didn't take the Medication. Which means I took the Medication (which wasn't treating an injury just the symptom) less

    It may have been a placebo (scientifically it likely was and is (I still drop one in my pocket from time to time)) that doesn't matter. The fact I used it to enhance a proven pharmaceutical is. At the time I was taking 2000mg of Ibuprofen a day to get any relief. Not only expensive but also not sustainable in the long term. I took 2 500mg tablets twice a day. They would only give about 4 hours of relief and I'd take that second does literally 4 hours later. 8 am and noon and that would just get me though the school day. The Blood stone meant I didn't take it until closer to 1 even 1:30 as I didn't notice the pain coming back as quickly. That meant I spent less time in the evening in pain. As the injury healed as much as it was going to, some times all I needed was the bloodstone. I love Placebo. This is why I don't doubt things can work just because it isn't a proven effect.

    So basically something being a Placebo doesn't mean it doesn't work. It means it acts more as a focal point for your mind and body to work better. In that sense crystals do work… so long as you believe in them.

    The issue isn't convincing people that Crystals don't work get "real" medicine. It is convincing people that will only use crystals and new age wackadoodle stuff that medicine and hospitals work too and that together they can work better. Attacking people who dislike or avoid science based medicine in favour of new age and alternative 'medicine' isn't a help getting them to use both is the right way to go.

    The short of it. If it doesn't hurt and you are still seeking other science based treatments too… stand upside down on a bed of sea salt and chant in yiddish for all I care. If you feel it helps more power to you, just don't refuse other treatments that are known to work.

  21. The real danger is that the placebo inhaler does not improve lung function, the way the drug does. This means that the user is at a greater risk of complications, and even at risk for death.

  22. For me, I don't think that there's anything wrong with the placebo effect in some circumstances. For example, when I was little, if I got a minor injury that caused a bit of pain and my mom would kiss it, it didn't really hurt as much. In some cases, it wouldn't even hurt at all. It was just the placebo effect, but how I experienced the situation was real. Even if I had that minor scrap or bump that didn't necessarily heal itself, I didn't feel like I was in pain anymore, and so it calmed me. The feeling of the effect is real, and that, I feel, is what matters in minor situations. Do crystals and other things make you feel better? Maybe certain smells make you feel less tense or relief minor pains. If so, I agree, and as long as you aren't using them to try and cure your cancer or anything else too serious, then I don't see a real problem with that.

  23. I’m sure it actually works too. Let’s stop giving cancer patients chemo and diabetes people insulin and give them placebos and let’s see how that works out.

    Placebos work to a point but they rarely, if ever, actually cure anyone in the long run. Pretending that your not sick will help you a little cause you’re not focused on it like you would normally be, but you’re sick either way. The stress of knowing you’re sick can make it worse (as stress weakens the immune system). If you think you’re cured or at least getting medicine that helps your illness, you become more relaxed about it and it lets your body heal itself better or at least manage the illness better.

    Placebo didn’t cure or help those people’s asthma, they just stopped thinking about it as much. A proper physical exam would show that their asthma is just as bad (or almost as bad) as if it was untreated, especially compared to someone who had asthma but was undiagnosed or completely unaware they have it.

  24. My dad embodies this "mind over matter" thing that placebos do. When he got sick with the stomach flu, mom was worried about him going to work. I think it went like this:

    Mom: Stay home, dear. You could throw up at work.
    Dad: No, I won't.
    Mom: And what makes you say that?
    Dad: I don't like puking, so I don't do it.

    I've never once seen my dad puke in my entire life.

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