Proponents of mind-body therapies have recently been looking at the placebo effect as a positive response that should be enhanced and taken advantage of, rather than tossed away as useless.
I agree with this completely. If I can get healthier by believing that I am getting healthier, why should I let go of that belief?
My only concern is when the therapies are expensive and controlled clinical trials on the effects (beyond placebo) have not been established. It is especially worrisome when marketers of unproven therapies take advantage of people who are desperate.
Many types of herbs might not be any more effective than a placebo, but I don't want to have to pay $50 for a herbal supplement when most of its efficacy comes from my belief in it. I can get a similar effect by picking a flower from my backyard, smelling it and staring at it. They are both placebo effects. The difference is, one costs $50 and the other costs nothing.
If an acupuncture session costs $100 but is really no more effective than a placebo, than I would rather save my money and do something just as evoking of "remembered wellness" but much less expensive, such as taking a walk in a park or going to a comedy club.