||There are ways to study the
placebo, and within the past couple of decades there have been some remarkable results of
these. It turns out that about two decades ago, Howard Fields and his colleagues reasoned
that if a placebo could relieve pain, it might be doing so by acting through the very
pathways in our brains that control pain involving endogenous opiates. Morphine, a plant
narcotic, a plant opiate, merely provides an outside source of things that are already
circulating within our brain.
They reasoned that if placebos relieve pain through
opiates, if you block uploads, you might block placebo activities. And they showed that a
drug that blocks morphine action, a drug known as Naloxone, completely eliminated placebo
effects to pain.