4 Feb 2016

Why placebos can work

From Nine To Noon, 10:05 am on 4 February 2016
A pink pill next to a glass of water (stock photo)

Photo: AFP / WBU / Science Photo Library

How is it that placebos can be effective, even when someone knows they are taking fake medicine?

What impact can meditation and slow, regulated breathing have on your nervous system and immune response?

And why do burns victims report much less pain undergoing treatment, if they are immersed in a virtual reality?

Jo Marchant is a science writer in the UK who has written a book on the remarkable healing that can happen because of what people believe in or think.

Cure - A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body delves into the research that shows the mind can have enormous power over the progression and symptoms of disease.

Jo Marchant talks to Kathryn Ryan.