The placebo effect has been in the media quite a lot recently, and I often hear people wonder whether the effects of a particular treatment are ‘just placebo’. So, what is actually happening, and does it matter if it is ‘just’ the placebo effect?If your health problem improves after receiving a treatment, there are three reasons why this may have happened. 1. The treatment you received was effective and has addressed whatever health problem you had. 2. Your health problem got better naturally and would have done so anyway, even if you had not received the treatment. 3. The placebo effect.