Introduction to Placebo Medicine

Intro Essay             Intro Videos

This is an interactive educational website that attempts to unify our understanding of alternative and mainstream medicine through an exploration of the new neuroscience of the placebo effect. The human brain is programmed to chemically compensate for physical insults and suggestion can effect this process. Alternative interventions maximize this effect through psychological mechanisms even if they lack physiological activity. I am suggesting we call this: PLACEBO MEDICINE

With a little knowledge about the neuroscience of the placebo effect, I am suggesting that primary care physicians can safely and effectively incorporate some alternative treatments into their clinical practice. I am also suggesting that many alternative treatments are unhelpful and unsafe and we all need to learn how to better navigate the treacherous waters of healthcare. Check out my most recently posted content, Topics page, Blog site, and the FDA’s Health Fraud Scams site. Let’s start a conversation.

-Morgan Levy, MD


Disclaimer: Readers of this website are advised that the information presented by Dr. Levy is for purposes of information and education only and is based on his research and opinions. It should not be construed as offering medical advice or diagnosis and/or treatment of any illness, injury, condition or the prevention thereof. For any health problems the reader should consult a licensed physician or healthcare practitioner for the purpose of diagnosis and/or treatment.

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  • Richard D. Cox

    I really like your site, I looks great. I do wonder why some of the words are highlighted green. They aren’t links, so why are they green. Other than that, he green words on green background is does look surprisingly good. This site is overall a pretty well made site.

    • admin

      yes, the yellow and green is meant to highlight. When the lettering is white and you make it bold it does not look that good. Blue is the link color on this site. I can see how that might be confusing and will try and figure out a way to improve this. Otherwise thanks for the feedback.

  • http://www.mindyourhealthcast.com Donald D Mayfield,

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Dr. Daniel Amen, MD the psychiatrist out of California.

    He has some interesting SPECT imaages of brains and cannabis.   I also have a collection of

    historical writings on mind/ body knowledge going back 3000 years…it seems that maybe we

    are getting up to speed a little. This could be an interesting site/blog.

    • admin

      Yes, I am familiar with Dr. Amen and I am very familiar with the use of SPECT in neuropsychiatric disorders although I have not seen his study relating to cannabis. I am also familiar with historical literature relating to “mind/body knowledge” although I prefer the term “brain-behavior phenomena.” My previous view from 15 years ago would have been that both Dr. Amen and any 3000 year old text would not contain scientifically arrived at information and would not be particularly valuable. However, recent knowledge that has been gained by looking inside the brain and correlating placebo effects with brain function has changed my opinion. It is now my understanding that the “mysterious” aspects of mind/body medicine that have captivated us for years are not so mysterious anymore. We are understanding how our brains are programmed and how they function and how non-pharmacologic interventions such as hypnosis, psychotherapy, placebo pills, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic care, etc. can cause real brain changes facilitating neurotransmitters to effect specific changes in bodily function. This line of research is captivating to me and I would like to be a part of getting this knowledge disseminated. I would like to help bring it into common practice in mainstream medicine. Dr. Mayfield, you seem to have extensive knowledge in this area and I would love to communicate with you more extensively. If you could offer observations and criticisms of my new website as I develop it I would consider your opinions to be highly valuable. I thank you for you input.

  • Alexandra Levy

    Can cannabis treat MS or MS symptoms?

    • admin

      Yes and no. I think the benefit is exaggerated by a lot of people but there is some benefit in help sleeping and with appetite and maybe a few other things. Check out my personal experience with MS and cannabis: http://www.placebomedicine.com/?page_id=1972