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13 Placebo Effect Statistics & 3 Case Studies

"Healing yourself is connected with healing others."

Yoko Ono

13 placebo effect statistics and 3 case studies

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What is a Placebo Effect?

Our belief has the power to heal disease and this is proven through the placebo used in clinical trials. A placebo refers to a treatment that appears real but is nothing more than likened to a sugar pill or saline solution (salt water), with no therapeutic benefit. A placebo can even be a fake surgical procedure.


According to the National Library of Medicine: To prove a new treatment effective, above and beyond the psychological results of a simple belief in the ability of the drug to cure, a researcher compares the results of the experimental treatment for an illness with those obtained from the placebo. The placebo-controlled trial “is widely regarded as the gold standard for testing the efficacy of new treatments.”

How Powerful is Belief?

“Placebos are extraordinary drugs. They seem to have some effect on almost every symptom known to mankind, and work in at least a third of patients and sometimes in up to 60 percent. They have no serious side effects and cannot be given in overdose. In short, they hold the prize for the most adaptable, protean, effective, safe and cheap drugs in the world’s pharmacopeia.”- Robert Buckman, former clinical oncologist and professor of medicine.

Did you catch that?!?

The placebo effect works in 1/3 of patients. This means that if 100 people are given a placebo, as part of a clinical trial, 33 of them will report healing or positive effects from only the thought that the pill has some healing properties. They believe therefore they heal.


Robert Ader first coined the term PSYCHOEUROIMMUNOLOGY back in 1975 to describe the study of the relationships among the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Way before that, however, mystics, philosophers, and healers knew about the impact of the mind on the physical body and vice versa.

It has been known for eons that a clear mind and positive attitude can help reduce, keep away, and even cure illness. The Start Trek Communicator was based on fiction a few years ago but look at your cell phone now. Much of what used to be called pseudo-science has now become science fact.

3 Cases of the Placebo Effect

13 Amazing Placebo Statistics

💊 Approximately 35% of patients have positive effects when given a placebo!

💊Placebo interventions can improve patient-reported outcomes in up to 60% of studies.

💊In studies for pain relief, placebo treatments led to an average of 33% pain reduction.

💊The placebo effect is more effective when treatment is given more frequently (60% improvement rate).

💊In anti-depressant studies, placebo groups had a 30-40% reduction in depression symptoms.

💊The global average placebo response rate for clinical trials is 29.2%.

💊In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) trials, 11% of patients receiving a placebo reported adequate symptom relief.

💊A meta-analysis found that placebo treatments reduced anxiety symptoms by 25% on average.

💊Placebo injections provide up to 30% pain relief in osteoarthritis of the knee.

💊In asthma trials, placebo groups experienced a 27.9% improvement in perceived symptoms.

💊In a meta-analysis of insomnia trials, placebos resulted in a 20% reduction in sleep latency.

💊Placebos in exercise interventions resulted in a 7.35% average improvement in performance.

💊71% of patients experienced a placebo effect in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.

The simple EXPECTATION of health improvements impacts the immune system. I encourage you to research the placebo effect on your heart's content. In fact, research any of the following:

alternative therapies

Alternative Treatments some call a Placebo Treatment

  • Homeopathy

  • Aromatherapy

  • Acupuncture

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Ayurveda

  • Reiki

  • Reflexology

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Faith Healing

  • Tai Chi

  • Chiropractic

  • Naturopathy

  • Herbal Medicine

  • Osteopathy

Medical literature has already established that we can heal ourselves but can we also heal others? Think about this. If you can heal yourself through belief, what methodology is the belief based on? Let's pretend, for a moment, it's 'faith healing'.

We will assume you go to a faith healer and he or she does their Woo Woo Magic and Kablammo! You are healed. WHAT HEALED YOU? Did you heal yourself or did the healer heal you? We already know that you could have healed yourself, based on nothing but faith alone.

Do you think there is a possibility that the healer could affect your healing?

Science says YES!

Let's Investigate...


Is the Faith Healer, Charlie Goldsmith, using a form of placebo when healing others? Do the patients believe so therefore they are healed?

He performed energy healing at NYU Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, back in 2013 and was able to relieve pain in 32 patients quickly. They had refractory pain, not responding to medication. The patients had been hospitalized for a range of ailments, including cancer, kidney stones, herniated disks, urinary tract infections, diabetes, and other ailments. For 3 weeks, Charlie had a success rate of 76 percent. Please open the source material and investigate for yourself. - SOURCE

clinical assessments of change


Here is a double-blind randomized trial of distant healing in 40 patients with advanced AIDS. Subjects were matched for age and number of AIDS-defining illnesses and randomly selected to either 10 weeks of healing treatment or a control group with no healing. The healers represented many different healing and spiritual traditions. Healers were located throughout the United States during the study, and subjects and healers never met.

Subjects were assessed by psychometric testing and blood draw at enrollment and followed for 6 months. A blind medical chart review found that treatment subjects acquired significantly fewer new AIDS-defining illnesses had lower illness severity, and required significantly fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer days of hospitalization. 🡆 SOURCE

medical course over a 6 month study


The effects of Reiki were measured on physical and psychological health in a large sample of people. 99 Reiki practitioners participated in the study. 1411 sessions were conducted. Each session lasted between 45 and 90 min. A well-validated 20-item Positive and Negative Affect Schedule was used to assess a wide range of physical and psychological variables immediately before (pre) and after (post) each Reiki session.

Statistically significant improvements were observed for every outcome measure, including positive affect, negative affect, pain, drowsiness, tiredness, nausea, appetite, shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, and overall well-being. The results from this large-scale trial suggest that a single session of Reiki improves multiple variables related to physical and psychological health. 🡆 SOURCE

reiki pain chart

Is Placebo Simply Energy Healing in Disguise?

The question to be asked is, "If distant healers, faith healers, people who pray, or reiki practitioners are using their woo-woo magic and people are being healed for feeling significantly better, is this energy healing a form of placebo that often works better than the medicines being tested in clinical trials?"

Do you remember the statistic above where 71% of patients experienced a placebo effect in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease? I would hypothesize that 71% isn't a placebo at all but an actual treatment that far surpasses the drug trial.

Even when people know they are taking a placebo, it works. Ted Kaptchuk published a study testing how people reacted to migraine pain medication. One group took a migraine drug clearly labeled with the drug's name. Another group of participants took a placebo pill and they actually labeled it "PLACEBO PILL". They discovered that the placebo pill was 50% as effective as the real drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack. What tha What?!?!

Doctors call the placebo a necessary nuisance for drug trials but I call it God's gift of healing.

Why You Might Try a Placebo Treatment

There is an ever-increasing body of evidence surrounding the effectiveness of placebos. Some doctors and medical providers are not even naming them placebos anymore but accept the fact that the mind is way more powerful than some believe.


  • can't kill you.

  • have no side effects.

  • are free or cheap.

  • are not addictive.

  • provides hope.

  • helps build a person's faith system

  • are ethical

Placebos are so powerful that 97% of physicians acknowledged having used some form of placebo during their careers. There is even a society surrounded by this phenomenon:

The International Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies.

Since 2000, pharmaceutical companies have been fined thousands of times for unethical activities for sums greater than Hundreds of Billions of dollars. This is why I try not to rely on any drugs that are advertised and instead attempt my own self-healing services first. Call them what you will will. Call them a placebo if you like but the simple fact is that placebos have been proven to work in a large number of illnesses.


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