This is an older documentary (2002), and there is a lot of new information on placebo power, for example, the effect seems to be getting stronger. Here are a few more recent studies for those who are interested: A Comprehensive Review of the Placebo Effect: Recent Advances and Current Thought (2008), Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Placebo Effect (2005), and The Placebo Effect: Advances from Different Methodological Approaches (2011).
Featuring members of the the Harvard Placebo Study Group, “Placebo: Cracking the Code” examines the power of belief in alleviating pain, curing disease, and the healing of injuries.
The placebo effect is a pervasive, albeit misunderstood, phenomenon in medicine. In the UK, over 60% of doctors surveyed said they had prescribed placebos in regular clinical practice.
In a recent Time Magazine article, 96% of US physicians surveyed stated that they believe that placebo treatments have real therapeutic effects.
Fascinating documentary about the science and psychology of placebos, centered on a gathering of the Harvard Placebo Study Group at a remote cottage in Ireland, featuring Nicholas Humphrey, Anne Harrington, Dan Moerman, Howard Fields, Fabrizio Benedetti. Directed by Jemima Harrison.
Watch the full documentary now - 53 min