Tylenol no more effective than placebo


As I’m beginning to write this article, I’m in so much physical pain that it’s hard to breathe.

I’m actually not kidding —  and that’s why the subject of this article is so ironic.

I considered taking Tylenol or ibuprofen for the pain, but I decided against it at the advice of a healing practitioner.  Minutes later, I happened upon a report that these “pain-killers” don’t do much at all.

The effect, it seems, is largely placebo.  Time magazine reported on research, published in the esteemed medical journal The Lancet, which concluded that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, had no greater effect on back pain than sugar pills did.

The study split participants into three groups:  One taking only the placebo, one taking acetaminophen and then given placebos for as-needed use, and the last group taking the real thing and given more of the real thing for the as-needed use.  There was virtually no difference in results between the three groups.

Now, this is a good opportunity to point out that the placebo effect is a very real healing effect.

Contrary to the connotation it has attracted about being a “fake” or illusory effect, it’s still a real healing phenomenon initiated by our minds, one that is probably at the heart of more recoveries than we realize.

In essence, it truly is mind over matter.

However, what this study should make clear is that you’d be better off not spending the money for the sugar pills at all, when you could probably heal your pains with something else, something cheaper.  In addition to that, these over-the-counter drugs probably do more damage to your body than you realize.

As for me, I’ve been using a bit of foot reflexology, and since the start of this article, the pain has subsided about 50 percent.  Placebo?  Possibly.  But I don’t really care, because it’s free and it helps.

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