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The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
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jvkohl
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Post: #1
The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
11-11-2009 4:47 PM

"It's the placebo effect - the ability of a dummy pill or a faked treatment to make people feel better, just because they expect that it will. It's the mind's ability to alter physical symptoms, such as pain, anxiety and fatigue."

http://www.physorg.com/news177082827.html
11-11-2009 4:47 PM
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Gone with the Wind
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Post: #2
RE: The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
11-11-2009 8:04 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.

The placebo effect is well established and needs to be controlled for if you wish to seperate it from other effects. It can be useful though. I think some witch doctors may be more successful than modern medicine practitioners at curing certain people.

The placebo effect is a shorthand way of saying there is an effect but we don't know what causes it. The article speculates "How does it work? Scientists do not always know, but there are many possible ways. Brain imaging shows that beliefs ("I know these pills will help") can cause biological changes and affect levels of chemical messengers and stress hormones that signal pain or pleasure."

A shaman may find the manipulation of psychological states and the "placebo effect" to be one of the most powerful tools available to him/her. This does not mean that we should a priori attribute every tool the shaman uses to placebo effect.

Quote:Do any herbal remedies work for insomnia? "Not that I know of," Perlis said. "But all of them have potential to be useful with time. It has nothing to do with them - it has everything to do with conditioning."

The quoted text seems quite foolish. For instance valerian root has been known and used since the time of Galen, and quite probably before, to treat insomnia. Contemporary scientists have shown its constituents interact with GABA and benzodiazepine receptors. Just because granny used it is no reason to discount possible non-placebo effects. And in fact the pharmeceutical companies spend considerable resources researching traditional remedies that have no placebo-controlled studies backing them up, just for the possabilities of isolating new drugs that can be synthesized and patented.

The placebo effect can come into play with pheromone testing, especially when we are trying to identify changes in frequencies of behaviors. This is often evident on the AD forum, when a talented writer will describe marvelous effects of a new MX. After that there will often be a host of supporting replies, and then over the course of a few weeks the supporting replies will fade away and no one will talk any more about the marvelous MX, although it still may be available. I attribute the initial response in these cases to placebo effect. I think the reason they fade away is that the placebo effect is not sufficient to sustain the reputation of the MX over time.

Anecdotal reports have their place, to suggest things for more formal testing. It is counterproductive to attempt placebo controls too early, before clear testing objectives have been established.

Gone with the Wind

<p align="center">Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate. Bodhi svaha!</p>
11-11-2009 8:04 PM
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Niatalya
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Post: #3
RE: The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
11-11-2009 8:50 PM

The AP, the essential global news network, has recently published quite a few hit pieces on alternative medicine.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/arti...AD9BMRGKO0
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/arti...gD9BNRHN02
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...637D78.DTL
http://www.wtopnews.com/index.php?nid=106&sid=1782018
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...026D81.DTL
http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=142601
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/he...cation=rss
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/06/08...lement-use
http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=142082
etc, etc, etc
I'm not saying there aren't snake oil salesman out there (scammers, vitamins with heavy metals in them, diet pills, toix ingredients, etc) but people have been using alternative cures for thousands of years with minimal risk compared with conventional medicine. Lets not forget that medical mistakes are one the leading causes of accidental deaths in the United States and by 2006 numbers some 700,000 people went to the ER for adverse drug reactions.
http://www.webmd.com/news/20061017/bad-e...RSS_PUBLIC
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...111344.htm
http://www.livescience.com/health/090902...eaths.html
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/284/4/483
In addressing this particular article it's important to mention the extremely well documented cases of the placebo effect in conventional medicine and the fact that mainstream medicine has never cured anything either. There is no money in cures, just expensive pharmaceuticals.
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/...79,00.html
http://www.wired.com/medtech/drugs/magaz...ebo_effect
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15231...t=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12366...t=Abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12110...t=Abstract
http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLandi...6.5.1.523a
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632...inalpos=41
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19624...inalpos=42
Beware of articles like this attacking vitamins and natural health care among other things. Of course the pharmaceutical industry wants to discredit alternative treatments, they are almost always cheap with minimal risk. Disinformation and fear mongering is a great way to compete. Currently most of the leading causes of death in the United States (heart disease,cancer,diabetes, and strokes) are mostly preventable through diet and exercise. Drugs for diseases like these have a nasty habit of causing more symptoms that you need more drugs to control. It's a very deadly, expensive, and vicious cycle. I'm not saying mainstream therapies don't have their uses. I"m saying that they have a lot of serious issues involved that dwarf the concerns of alternative practices. Could their possible agenda have to do with the implementation of Codex Alimentarius? http://www.codexalimentarius.net/web/index_en.jsp
11-11-2009 8:50 PM
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Diane999
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Post: #4
RE: The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
11-11-2009 9:15 PM

I remember the day I was trying to decide whether or not to apply for medical school. I went to a talk given by the assistant dean of the medical school I was considering. Several pieces of his talk stood out and I remember them clearly to this day.

He said (paraphrasing):
Quote: "Remember that for each of you who enters medical school, while you are in training on average each of you will be responsible for the death of 8 patients. After you are fully trained and in private practice, 10% of what you do will help your patients, 10% will harm your patients, and 80% will have no effect whatsoever."

It is the main reason I chose to do something else.

Diane
(This post was last modified: 11-11-2009 10:00 PM by Diane999.)
11-11-2009 9:15 PM
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mark-in-dallas
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Post: #5
RE: The power of suggestion (Placebo effect)
11-11-2009 11:55 PM

He said (paraphrasing):

Quote:"After you are fully trained and in private practice, 10% of what you do will help your patients, 10% will harm your patients, and 80% will have no effect whatsoever."

And that's why I so rarely go to the doctor and prefer to treat myself, when possible. 3 trips to the doctor for sinus problems and the best releif I've had so far is my netti pot and a damp heating pad. Well that and a prescription he gave me for Allrex at a $169.00 for a 10 day routine @ $8.50 per pill, which I didn't fill as it was basically just psuedophedrene and an antihistimine, which I had already tried and provided no relief!

Your average General Practitioner = slightly educated guesses, and an ability to write RX's. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good doctors, but they get harder and harder to come by every year!

Nobody changes until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change....
11-11-2009 11:55 PM
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