D octors have long thought
the placebo effect is all in the head,
and it turns out - - -they just may be right!
Using modern functional magnetic resonance imaging, which captures differences in blood flow in the brain, researchers have successfully produced the strongest evidence yet of how the placebo effect actually works.
In a study conducted at Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Health System, the University of Michigan along with Princeton University, the subjects were given harmless but frequently very painful electric shocks and then they were provided with what they were told was a new experimental pain-relieving cream. After the bogus cream was applied, nerve activity in the brains of the volunteers defiantly changed. The pre-frontal cortex, involved in easing pain, became more active, while regions normally involved in sensing pain defiantly quieted down. When it comes to feeling less pain, it seems, you gotta believe. (Remember, your mother told you it was all in your head)
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