The phrase, “Placebo Effect”, referring to the positive effect of fake medicine, has been introduced into the medical lexicon and widely accepted over the years. It has been scientifically proved that those given fake medicine for their diseases without the knowledge of it lacking any medicinal value, actually could get better. In other words, the patients’ belief alone that the placebo was real medicine helped them recover.
Interestingly, a group of Harvard researchers has demonstrated the placebo effect in exercise as well. To investigate, two groups of workers were assigned to do the same amount of labor. One group was told that the exercise sustained during their work would meet or exceed the surgeon general’s activity recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, while the other was not told anything. The subjects for this research were given health checks before and after the experiment. The result showed some positive health benefits in the former group, while no change was observed in the latter which wasn’t told that the work was good exercise. This embodies the psychological theory that our health is significantly affected by our mind-set. It reminds us of the importance of a holistic approach to our health, taking into consideration both our minds as well as our bodies.