The "placebo effect" has been recognized in medicine for centuries. Give a patient an innocuous pill and a little persuasion and their chances of improvement are significantly enhanced. The patients' own healing resources are in some way marshalled by faith in the doctor and in the pill. Understanding the "placebo effect", argues the author of this book, is the key to understanding how orthodox and complementary medicine can work together for the good of the patient. Paradoxically, orthodox medicine has recognized the "placebo effect", often measuring it precisely, and ignored it - while complementary medicine doesn't recognize it but does exploit it. As scientific medicine has become more and more effective at dealing with acute illness the problem of chronic diseases and conditions like mild anxiety occupy a greater proportion of the caseload of medicine. It is in these areas, where orthodox medicine often has little to offer, that complementary therapies and the "placebo effect" can be of benefit.