Nova Health Welcomes Family Medicine Practitioner Dana Harbuck APRN, MSN, NP-C

Eugene, OR – March 05, 2021 – Nova Health, a provider of high-quality, convenient primary and urgent care services in the Western United States, is pleased to announce the addition of Dana Harbuck APRN, MSN, NP-C to its team of family medicine practitioners. Harbuck will begin accepting patients on April 26th at Nova Health’s North Bend clinic, located at 1226 Virginia Ave, North Bend OR 97459. With the addition of Harbuck, Nova Health will begin offering primary health care services at the North Bend clinic.

Harbuck brings to Nova Health nearly thirty years of healthcare experience and a commitment to providing the highest patient service level. She has an intimate knowledge of clinical and hospital settings and the systems that make them successful. Harbuck’s areas of expertise include physical therapy, intensive care, orthopedics, and neuroscience. She is particularly focused on preventive medicine.

“What I love most about practicing medicine is becoming invested in my patients and their health,” said Harbuck. “I am thrilled to join the Nova Health team and bring everything I’ve learned over the past three decades to Nova Health’s patients. Now, more than ever, patients need the trust and support of a healthcare provider that they know and trust. I am committed to bringing my patients and their families my total commitment to their wellbeing.”

Dr. Lyle Torguson, Nova Health Medical Director of Primary Care Services, said Harbuck’s lifelong commitment to healthcare and her calm and compassionate demeanor make her an asset to Nova Health.

“Dana is an outstanding medical professional,” said Dr. Torguson. “Her expertise in physical therapy, in particular, makes her uniquely able to add value to our patients facing issues related to chronic pain. We are so glad to add her to our compassionate care team and know that her future patients will welcome her into their extended care team with gratitude.”

Nova Health Opens New Clinic in Lebanon, Oregon

Eugene, OR March 1, 2021 – Nova Health, a provider of high-quality, convenient primary and urgent care services in the Western United States, opened a new urgent and primary care clinic on the first of March in Lebanon, Oregon. The clinic is located at 3400 Cooperative Way and accepts same-day urgent care appointments (both walk-in and scheduled online) and scheduled primary care visits with its expanding team of care providers. 

According to Nova Health Chief Executive Officer Jim Ashby, Nova Health’s Lebanon expansion is the next step in its long-term strategy to ensure quality, convenient care to patients and their families in the Western United States. 

Our new Lebanon clinic is situated squarely in our primary footprint of Northwestern Oregon,” said Ashby. “We have experienced significant patient growth and demand in this region. We want to ensure that our patients feel confident that they can access our team of caregivers whenever they need an urgent care exam and that they have nearby access to our primary care providers for ongoing treatments. 

As of this Spring, Nova Health will maintain 25 urgent care, primary care locations in OregonMontana and Washington. It also offers telemedicine appointments via their website novahealth.com. 

Our current growth plan ensures balanced provider staffing, strategic location expansion, and of course, a commitment to only the highest quality patient experiences from scheduling through follow-up care,” said Ashby. As we grow our footprint in Northwestern Oregon, we do so with a commitment to keep our patients at the core of our decision-making process and everything that we do. 

What is Endometriosis?

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. Here at Nova Health, we’re committed to raising awareness and understanding about this painful condition that affects 176 million reproductive-age women and connecting them to resources and health specialists who can provide treatment and hope. For too long, women’s reproductive health issues have not been discussed openly. We want to reassure our patients and all women in our communities that we are here as advocates and a resource for you and your family. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant—or experiencing fertility challenges—familiarize yourself with the causes and symptoms of endometriosis and become part of the growing national dialogue around women’s reproductive health.

What is Endometriosis?

With endometriosis, tissue similar to the endometrium—the tissue that lines the uterus—grows in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the pelvic lining. In rare cases, it may spread beyond the pelvic organs. Endometriosis is typically painful, as the endometrial-like tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds every menstrual cycle, becoming trapped inside the body. When endometriosis occurs in the ovaries, it can cause cysts, which can irritate the surrounding tissue, developing scars and abnormal fibrous tissue bands that cause organs and pelvic tissue to stick together. In addition to the physical pain of endometriosis, it often causes fertility complications.

What are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?

Symptoms of endometriosis may include:

  • Pelvic pain that worsens during ovulation and menstruation
  • Infertility
  • Painful bowel movements or urination
  • Painful intercourse

Treatment Options for Endometriosis

Women who experience endometriosis do not need to suffer in silence. After a diagnosis, your doctor may recommend one or several of the following treatment options:

  • Pain medication – May include an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease menstrual cramps
  • Hormone therapy – In combination with pain relievers for women not trying to become pregnant
  • Progestin Therapy – May include an intrauterine device with levonorgestrel, a contraceptive implant, contraceptive injection, or a progestin pill
  • Hormonal contraceptives – Including birth control pills, vaginal rings, or patches
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GN-RH) agonists and antagonists – Drugs that blog the body’s production of ovarian-stimulating hormones
  • Aromatase inhibitors – Medicines that reduce estrogen levels
  • Fertility treatment – To help women who are having difficulties getting pregnant
  • Conservative surgery – To remove the endometrial tissues without removing the reproductive organs
  • Hysterectomy and oophorectomy – Surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries—the most invasive treatment option

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If you are suffering from painful periods and intercourse and are struggling to conceive, talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment for women of child-bearing years can help you overcome the physical impact of endometriosis so that you can conceive and carry a healthy baby.

Join in the Conversation During Endometriosis Awareness Month

No matter your gender or whether you are a parent or trying to become pregnant, everyone can be an ally in the conversation around endometriosis and help raise awareness this month. For more information or support, visit the Endometriosis Research Center.

Nova Health Partners with Physicians Immediate Care & Medical Centers

Expands Service Capabilities to South Eastern Washington 

Eugene, OR – March 1, 2021 – Nova Health, a provider of high-quality, convenient primary and urgent care services in the Western United States, has announced that it has acquired Physicians Immediate Care & Medical Centers, a healthcare organization offering urgent care, primary care, occupational medicine, women’s health, and laboratory services in Richland, Washington.

According to Nova Health Chief Executive Officer Jim Ashby, thacquisition expands Nova’s growing footprint for urgent and primary care services into its fifth state of operations, consistent with its strategy to reach more markets in the Western United States. 

The partnership with Physicians Immediate Care & Medical Centers (PICMCrepresents the merging of two harmonious entities,” said Ashby. “We are both committed to offering the highest quality patient care and serving the Pacific Northwest’s underserved communities. Together, we will be even stronger thanks to our combined resources and our shared vision of keeping people out of the hospital. We expect that the combined company will be even stronger, enhancing access and quality care for patient in the Tri-Cities area.”  

Joining the Nova Health family brings our team a lot of excitement,” said Dr. Douglas Crawford, owner  of Physicians Immediate Care and Medical Centers. “Nova Health has demonstrated its dedication to quality healthcare and optimized operations, their reputation as a powerful healthcare network is well-earned.  We want to assure patients of PICMC that they will continue to see the same staff and receive the same great carewhile enjoying the benefits of a large, interconnected healthcare organization.”

What Counts as Cardio and Why is it So Important for Your Heart Health?

Does walking count as cardio? What about yoga—the kind that leaves you out of breath and shaky? Is swimming cardio, even if you’re underwater?

Twenty-one percent of Americans now wear a fitness tracker to monitor everything from their steps to time spent paddle boarding, to cross-training to playing badminton. Fitness fads always seem to come and go (with CrossFit and pickleball among the latest trends), yet doctors and health experts always suggest cardio as a central component of one’s fitness routine to support heart health. So, what is cardio, and why does it matter so much for your heart? Read on for the answers.

What is Cardio?

What we call “cardio” is cardiovascular fitness, also known as aerobic exercise. If what comes to mind when you hear “aerobic exercise” is an image of men and women in the 80s wearing neon spandex and getting fit together in group classes, know that the scientific term applies to a much broader category of fitness.

Simply put, aerobic exercise, or cardio, is anything that elevates your heart rate. More specifically, it is any rhythmic activity that increases your heart rate into your target heart rate zone—the pace at which you burn the most calories and fat.

Why is Cardio Good for Your Heart?

By raising your heart rate and increasing the flow of oxygen throughout your system, cardiovascular fitness offers such health benefits as:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Decreasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Encouraging healthier nutrition choices
  • Decreasing stress
  • Improving your mood
  • Improving your workout efficiency
  • Improving blood flow
  • Reducing the risk of heart arrhythmia—an irregular beating of the heart

Examples of Cardio Exercise

Since cardio is anything that raises your heart rate, it’s easy to understand why so many types of fitness activities can be considered cardio, such as walking, running, biking, and swimming. If you’re someone who closely monitors their fitness tracker, you may wonder what your smart tech is counting as fitness minutes on days when you don’t clock time on your Peloton. Since some household chores can raise your heart rate, make you sweat, and leave you exhausted—they can count as cardio too. Such activities may include dusting, vacuuming, mopping, landscaping, or painting.

How Much Cardio Does the Average Person Need?

With so many activities qualifying as cardio, you should be able to find a sport, hobby, or fitness routine that you enjoy to achieve the ideal amount of cardio that you need weekly for optimal heart health. Talk to your doctor to find out how many exercise minutes are right for you before starting any new fitness routine.

On average, adults should strive for at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise each week. That’s the equivalent of about 20 minutes a day each day of the week, 30 minutes five times a week, or 50 minutes three times a week. If time is your enemy, you can strive for a 20-minute dog walk or jog each day to meet your goal. If you’re someone who feels more engaged while participating in a class or group event, you could hit the gym for an hour three times a week. What matters is finding the activities that interest you and a schedule that fits your lifestyle and that you can commit to as part of your daily routine.

A Note About Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight, on average, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week to see substantial changes. Again, talk to your doctor before beginning any fitness or diet plan.

American Heart Month isn’t over yet—and it’s never too late to recommit to optimal heart health. If you have concerns about your heart’s health or your risk of heart disease, find a Nova Health location near you or schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Telemedicine appointments are also available.

Protect Your Heart With Regular Visits with Your PCP

As we celebrate American Heart Month all February, we’re reflecting on the most critical steps our patients can take to protect their heart health. From daily lifestyle habits to small changes, improving your heart health doesn’t have to be daunting—but it does have to be a promise you make to yourself and a priority you make in your life. One of the most impactful commitments you can make to improve your heart health is to obtain an annual wellness exam with your primary care provider (PCP). If you don’t already have a PCP, find a Nova Health location near you today.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

Early detection of the signs and symptoms of heart disease is crucial in treating the lifestyle and health factors that can escalate into a catastrophic event if left unchecked. Your doctor will seek to identify such concerning risk factors as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and high blood glucose during your health screening. Regular check-ups with your PCP enable vital conversations about lifestyle habits, family histories, and heart-healthy decisions. Your doctor is the greatest ally in your quest for a healthy heart and a long life. By meeting with your PCP regularly, you will benefit from their continuous care and insights and can address any health risks before they become problematic.

Why You Should Receive Regular Cholesterol Screenings

Depending on your age, risk factors, and health history, your doctor will determine the frequency they recommend you to obtain regular cholesterol screenings.  The results of a cholesterol test could be critical in recognizing a potentially dangerous heart condition. Even if you believe you eat healthily and lead an active lifestyle, genetic factors may put you at risk. For such individuals, a cholesterol screening is crucial in the pursuit of early detection.

The American Heart Association recommends adults receive a cholesterol screening every four to six years starting at age 20; however, your PCP will determine a schedule that best addresses your needs and risk factors.

Ask Your PCP for a CACS

If you are concerned about your heart health, your doctor may recommend that you participate in a CT scan of your heart, known as a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan (CACS). This test can help detect developing heart issues and has been known to help save lives in asymptomatic patients—those who have developed risk factors but are not yet showing symptoms.

Treatment Options and Ongoing Collaboration with Your PCP

If your regular health screening identifies that you are at risk of developing heart disease or a more emergent issue, your doctor will devise a treatment plan to lessen your risk factors and improve your health. Depending on your symptoms and risks, your treatment plan may include medications, lifestyle changes, or a referral to a cardiologist—a heart specialist. What’s crucial, however, is that you take the first step by meeting your PCP. Without their guidance and expertise, you will be less equipped to battle your risk factors and fight for the health of your heart.

Ten Types of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD)

The heart can be a fragile thing—both emotionally and physically. The journal Circulation estimates that 1 million children and 1.4 million American adults have a congenital heart defect (CHD). The condition is defined as several types of abnormalities in the heart muscle present at birth, and that can affect how blood flows through the heart and into the system. Some CHDs are mild, and some are severe. In the more severe cases, babies born with CHDs require surgery after birth or throughout their life.  If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, familiarize yourself with the most common types of birth defects and understand what options may be available to help heal your baby’s heart.

The Most Common Types of CHDs

The most common types of congenital heart defects include:

  • Atrial Septal Defect – Causes a hole in the wall between the heart’s upper chambers.
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) – The presence of holes between the right and left-side heart chambers and deformities in the vales that control the flood of blood between the two chambers.
  • Coarctation of the Aorta – A narrowing of the aorta, the large blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart.
  • Double-Outlet Right Ventricle – Two of the large blood vessels in the heart do not correctly connect.
  • Dextro-Transposition of the Great Arteries (d-TGA) – Two of the main arteries carrying blood from the heart are transposed or switched positions.
  • Ebstein Anomaly – The tricuspid valve (the valve located between the upper right chamber and lower right chamber) is not formed correctly. As a result, blood leaks back through it and into the right atrium. It is a rare heart defect.
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – The left side of the heart does not form properly. As a result, blood does not flow properly through the heart.
  • Interrupted Aortic Arch – The aorta does not properly develop. It is extremely rare, accounting for only about one percent of all CHDs.
  • Pulmonary Atresia – The valve that controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs does not form. As a result, blood does not properly flow to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
  • Single Ventricle – One of the two pumping chambers in the heart is not large or strong enough to work correctly or is missing a valve.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot – A rare CHD in which four different heart defects are present at birth and result in oxygen-poor blood flowing out of the heart and into the body.
  • Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) – Oxygen-rich blood does not return from the lungs to the left atrium and instead returns to the right side of the heart.
  • Tricuspid Atresia – The valve that controls the blood flow from the upper right heart chamber to the lower right does not form.
  • Truncus Arteriosus – The blood vessel that leaves the heart fails to separate during fetal development properly. As a result, it leaves a connection between the pulmonary artery and the aorta.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect – There is an abnormal connection between the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart).

Symptoms of a Congenital Heart Defects

CHD symptoms may appear shortly after birth or not until later in adolescence or adulthood. Common symptoms may include:

  • Cyanosis (a blue tinge to the skin)
  • Difficulty or rapid breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting while exercising
  • Blue-tinted lips or nails
  • Sleepiness, especially when feeding
  • Shortness of breath during feeding, which makes it difficult for babies to gain weight and older children to be active
  • Swelling in the belly, legs, and around the eyes, in the ankles, feet, or hands

In the most severe cases, CHDs can cause complications, such as problems during growth and development, respiratory tract infections (RTI), heart infections, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure. If you are pregnant, make sure you follow your doctor’s advice and meet with them for regular visits during pregnancy and after your baby is born.

The heart may be vulnerable to complications, but it is also strong—especially the heart of a parent. With proper care and treatment, many babies born with CHDs can lead long, healthy, heart-strong lives.

February is American Heart Month. Here are 6 Things You Can Do Today to Show More Love to Your Heart

February is American Heart Month, a time to recommit to making the diet and lifestyle choices needed to keep your heart healthy and strong. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. A loved one dies from cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds in the U.S., resulting in around 655,000 lost lives every year. This February, show your heart some love by honestly assessing your heart health, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors and then making decisions in collaboration with your doctor to lead a heart-healthy life moving forward.

1. Quit Smoking.

If you are a smoker, the number one thing you can do to improve your heart health is quitting smoking. Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. The over 7,000 toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage your body’s ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your heart. They can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This generic term includes those conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysm. If you need help quitting smoking, talk to your doctor, or get help from Smoke-Free Oregon or the Montana Tobacco Quit Line.

2. Get Active.

Even individuals with heart disease risk factors benefit from regular activity. Those who stay active lower their risk of early death compared to those who lead sedentary lifestyles. Strengthen your heart by getting at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five days a week. Before you start a new fitness routine or make any dramatic changes to your existing habits, talk to your doctor to ensure you choose activities appropriate for your current level of health and cardiovascular capabilities.

3. Get Enough Sleep.

Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to present with such health problems as heart attack, asthma, and depression. Unfortunately, about a third of American adults say they get less than seven hours of sleep per night. Some common reasons people struggle to get enough sleep may include stress, caffeine intake, an inconsistent sleep schedule, or too much time late at night on an electronic device like a smartphone, laptop, or television. If you need help adjusting your sleep schedule and improving your sleep quality, talk to your doctor (and know that regular exercise and quitting smoking can help too).

4. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet.

A diet high in fat can increase your risk of developing a dangerous heart disease. When fatty deposits in the blood build up over time, they narrow the arteries in the heart, resulting in a condition called atherosclerosis, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Fuel your heart with lean proteins, healthy grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce your intake of sugary processed beverages and foods, salty, fried foods, and fast food high in saturated fats. Add to your diet such superfoods as lean meat and fish, oatmeal that’s high in fiber, blueberries, leafy greens, and healthy nuts like almonds.

5. Reduce Stress.

Researchers believe that stress may affect lifestyle behaviors and health factors that increase your risk of heart disease risk, including smoking, inactivity, unhealthy diet choices, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. While many aspects of your life—from work to family to social pressures—may be causing you stress, every effort you can make to lead an emotionally healthy, balanced lifestyle can improve your heart health and happiness. If you worry that stress could be negatively impacting your emotional and physical health, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a mental health professional.

6. Have Regular Wellness Exams.

The best asset in your quest for optimal heart health is your doctor. Make sure you are following age and risk factor appropriate recommendations for regular health screenings with your doctor. If you do not currently have a primary care provider (PCP), our compassionate providers at Nova Health are accepting new patients. Find a location near you, or make an appointment for a secure and convenient telemedicine visit.

Living with Emphysema: What Are Your Treatment Options?

As of the time this was written, over 406,000 Americans have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Many of them were vulnerable to the disease because of pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and emphysema. Emphysema is a lung condition that causes difficulty breathing. It is typically caused by long-term exposure to airborne irritants, primarily tobacco smoke, but also marijuana smoke, chemical fumes and dust, and air pollution. For the over three million Americans with an emphysema diagnosis, day-to-day living with the disease is often marked by discomfort and lifestyle limitations. If you are among the millions living with this incurable disease, there are treatment options that can mitigate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Emphysema Treatment Options

Emphysema causes the lung’s air sacs to deteriorate. As a result, less lung surface area leads to shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. There is a range of treatment options for emphysema. Depending on your condition’s severity and any other health issues or risk factors you may be living with, your doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Therapy

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. You learn breathing techniques to improve your breathing and ability to complete cardiovascular exercise.
  • Nutrition therapy. Proper nutrition and weight loss can improve life in the early stages of emphysema.
  • Supplemental oxygen. Patients with severe emphysema that causes low blood oxygen levels may be prescribed regular oxygen use up to 24 hours per day.

Medications

  • Drugs that relieve breathing problems and coughing by relaxing tightened airways. They are available as inhalers in powder and metered dose forms and through nebulizer machines that convert a liquid to aerosol.
  • Corticosteroid drugs inhaled as aerosol sprays. Reduce inflammation and may lessen shortness of breath. The brand Advair brings salmeterol (a bronchodilator) and fluticasone (a corticosteroid) together.
  • If your emphysema is worsened by bronchitis or pneumonia, antibiotics may improve respiratory symptoms.
  • Oral steroids. Oral steroids like prednisone can improve lung function.
  • Mucolytic agents. Coming in the form of expectorants, they help to bring mucus up from the lungs.

Surgery

  • Lung volume reduction surgery. A surgeon will remove small wedges of damaged lung tissue to allow the remaining tissue to expand and work more efficiently. Lung reduction surgery is generally not performed on older adults due to health risks.
  • Lung transplant. When lung damage is severe and other treatment options fail, lung transplantation may be the most viable option.

Long-Term Outlook

Without lifestyle changes and treatment, emphysema can cause tissue injury and eventually become fatal. While there’s no cure for emphysema, by working with your doctor and following their treatment plan, you can keep your condition from worsening to the point where only an invasive procedure can improve your lifestyle.

If you need help quitting smoking, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Placebo Effect: Is it Real, or is it Fake?

placebo noun

pla·ce·bo | \ plə-ˈsē-(ˌ)bō \
plural placebos
Definition of placebo
1: a usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder

2: something tending to soothe

More commonly, the placebo effect is known as the mind’s ability to convince your body that a false treatment is real, producing physical improvements.

If something appears in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, it must be legitimate. Right? Something about this idea of a physical substance that offers relief through mental trickery sounds like something akin to magic.

The placebo effect has been a healing approach employed by caregivers for millennia, and modern-day scientists rely on placebos in research and clinical trials. Yet, patients still doubt the possibility of a pill that can soothe symptoms without medicine by merely making the patient believe its efficacy.

Is the placebo effect real, or is it a myth? For the answer, we turn to science.

More Than the Power of Positive Thinking

Researchers tell us that while there are emotional and physical benefits to positive thinking, the placebo effect is stronger than the concept of mind over matter. It can be equally as effective as some medical treatments in certain circumstances.

It is vital to understand that placebos are not cures. They cannot remove scar tissue from your heart or heal a broken bone. Placebos can, however, mitigate the symptoms associated with some conditions. More specifically, placebos can impact the body’s sensation of symptoms regulated by the brain. Situations in which the placebo effect can be useful include stress-related insomnia, pain management, and some cancer side effects, like nausea and exhaustion.

Researchers believe that to maximize the possibility of the placebo effect, you need to pair it with the mind’s understanding of the ritual of treatment. It is not enough to swallow a pill. We must believe that we are being treated by a caregiver and trust that we are being prescribed a legitimate solution as part of a formal plan for the placebo effect to be as effective as possible.

The Role of Placebos in Clinical Trials

The placebo effect has long been used in clinical trials to test the efficacy of new drugs and treatment modalities before they enter the market. To ensure that a medication or treatment produces the intended benefits, researchers will give a segment of a clinical trial group a placebo—often a sugar pill with no medicinal qualities.

In a blind study, neither the group that received the placebo nor the group that received the drug knows which version they received. In this way, researchers can help mitigate the possibility of the placebo effect—patients believing that they are experiencing benefits, and reporting them back to researchers, simply because they have been told that they are receiving a viable treatment. As an alternate approach, both groups are told that they have received the treatment being tested. If both groups report improvements (or none), researchers know that the drug or treatment is not effective.

The Reliability and Ongoing Mystery of the Placebo

Scientists are still not entirely sure why placebos are effective, although they believe a complicated neurobiological reaction in the brain is involved. Is it a surprise that the mind, which has the power to release feel-good endorphins, can be leveraged to soothe pain and mental anguish through some harmless coaxing?

If there is anything that we can learn from the placebo effect and the mysteries surrounding its efficacy, it is this: your mind is a powerful ally in your quest for healing. Treat yourself kindly, listen to your body, and prioritize activities and rituals that promote positivity and wellness. With a positive outlook and a team of caregivers you trust, you put yourself in the best position to live a healthy, happy life.