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The Placebo Effect: why expectations are important.

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Humans have participated in theater performances since the beginning. the first being Shamans and Healers. We go to healers with the hope that they can make us feel better, and just as a good performance in a theater can draw us in until we feel we are watching something real, the theater of medicine tries to do the same thing.

Hospitals go to great lengths creating the Theater of Medicine. From large and imposing entryways, with shiny tile or marble floors. Reception desks and directories, listing all the doctors and there specialties. The mandatory white coats and stethoscopes, clipboards and laptops. Groups huddled together talking seriously with others. Nurses going from room to room with trays of medications for all to see. All of this designed to draw us in by creating and  raising powerful expectations in our brains.

Scientists are beginning to see placebos as a window into the neurochemical mechanisms that connect the mind with the body, belief with experience. The better the expectation the better the Placebo Effect works. For more examples look at shrines throughout the world and look at the Hugh theater produced by each.