Reconsidering the placebo response

Acupuncture studies provide new insights into how treatment context affects outcomes.

In scientific studies, the term placebo usually refers to an inert pill or procedure that serves as a comparison to an active intervention (typically a drug or psychotherapy). Now a handful of acupuncture studies not only provides additional evidence that a placebo itself can have dramatic impact on illness, but also suggest that the context in which an intervention takes place can bolster the placebo response.

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