The Nocebo and its Effects on Your Health

I see the Nocebo effect in so many of my chronic pain and chronic health patients. It’s not talked about as much as it should, even though we have solid research it plays a big part in health symptoms. The nocebo, as mentioned in the article below, is the “sibling with a dark side” to the much publicized placebo. Placebo and nocebo effects are literally changes your brain and neural patterns, but with the nocebo it’s to the negative side.

The attached article gives some good substance behind the nocebo effect and its health effects. Like I have talked about before, one of the most important aspects for recovery is a change in your beliefs and expectations. Moving from the negative (nocebo) to the positive (placebo) can have miraculous effects that are transmitted from your brain to your body.

From the article:

People who are prone to catastrophizing, neuroticism or anxiety may be more susceptible to the nocebo effect, experts say. And “if you tend to have lots of medically unexplained symptoms, you’re more likely to have a nocebo response,” Barsky adds. Similarly, if you have a history of unsuccessful treatments, you might become conditioned to expect more of the same.”