Power of the Placebo

Once dismissed as a curiosity, the placebo effect is now recognized as the key to the brain's "inner pharmacy." If only doctors knew how to open the medicine cabinet.

Sarah Lidstone has a long history with the medical world. A ballet dancer from the age of 3, she developed acute scoliosis and wore a back brace throughout much of her teens. “I spent a lot of my childhood in doctors’ offices,” she says with a wide Cheshire grin. “I loved carrying my X-rays around when I was 10.” The brace gradually coaxed Lidstone’s body to straighten itself out, but her experience left her with an enduring fascination for medicine and a des...

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