It's the power of Hope. There is nothing more powerful than hope when you need it; nothing.
You are very close Loobie, but more specifically, it is the power of BELIEF (and this applies to hypnosis as well as placebo).
In order for hypnotic suggestion to work, people need to believe they are hypnotised and that subsequent improvements are taking place because of hypnosis. In order for a placebo drug to work people need to believe that improvements are happening because they are taking the actual drug and not a dummy substitute. (By the way these substitutes do not necessarily contain any sugar)
Last year a major research study in the UK by Irvin Kirch found that prescription drugs for depression work mostly because of placebo.
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/01/28/the- ... sants.html
I remember hearing about a man sentenced to death who was about to receive a lethal injection. They placed a blindfold over his eyes after the catheter was inserted into his wrist. A few moments later. the technician (executioner) accidentally brushed the man's wrist with the sleeve of his white coat. Thinking this sensation was the lethal drug entering his vein the young man died. No poison was ever released.
I have written many times on this forum about the latent power of the mind and body but sadly, many people are offended by this notion. This is because once you start investigating how the mind can heal, it inevitably leads on to the possibility that the mind is also a factor in creating and sustaining MS. The trouble is, that most doctors are so totally drug orientated these days they are dismissive about the latent power of the mind.
This attitude is ironic when you consider the possibiity that all drugs are working largely because of belief! Even more ironic is that doctors may be using the power of belief negatively, for example, when a doctor tells someone that cancer may kill them, it increase the chances that it will.