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Healing

Placebo studies

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Healing

[i'm changing the title of this topic to "Placebo Studies" so we can collect them all in one place. The placebo phenomenon is important for us to understand better. It could be a clue to a lot of things -- physical, psychological, and spiritual.]

 

 

Placebos Help Even When You Know They're Placebos

 

A recent study published in PLoS One suggests that placebos can work even when you know they're placebos. The researchers told the participants that the pill they were being given for IBS "had no active ingredients, but -- this is key -- they also explained that placebos can improve IBS symptoms 'through mind-body self-healing processes'."

 

At the end of three weeks, 59 % of placebo-takers reported adequate relief (vs. 35 % of controls) and double the degree of symptom reduction and improvement in quality of life.

 

http://www.itherapize.com/uploads/5/9/2/9/5929991/wishinguptpdummypills.pdf

 

Now, it seems to me that even though they're not using placebo-deception, they *are* using suggestion. But, still, this merits further exploration.

Edited by Healing
Made this a general thread about placebo studies

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Altostrata

Just feeling you have some kind of care and someone is taking your situation seriously can make you feel better.

 

Other research shows that having company is calming, including that of an animal. Attention from a researcher probably has the same effect, as long as it isn't annoying.

 

This is what bemuses me about these placebo studies! What they may be proving is constructive social contact is good for us.

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Healing

Definitely care and attention promote healing. However, in this study, the control subjects got the same amount of care and attention in order to control for this variable.

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Altostrata

Definitely care and attention promote healing. However, in this study, the control subjects got the same amount of care and attention in order to control for this variable.

 

Hmmmm.....

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Hopeful

I would have been happy with a placebo! :)

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Rhiannon

I want a placebo!

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alexjuice

Somebody tell me that a boiled eggs will cure digestive dysfunction and reflux... Tell me it with gusto and give some support too!

 

I'll do my part, I promise. I'll be Cool Hand Luke if need be. Just make me believe in the curative powers of the hard boiled egg.

 

Alex.I

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Healing

Nearly all drug trials scientifically invalid due to influence of the mind; Big Pharma science dissolves into wishful thinking

 

by Mike Adams

22 Feb 11

naturalnews.com

 

A new study in Science Translational Medicine has cast doubt over the scientific validity of nearly all randomized, double-blind placebo controlled studies involving pharmaceuticals used on human beings. It turns out that many pharmaceuticals only work because people expect them to, not because they have any "real" chemical effect on the body. As you'll see here, when test subjects were told that they were not receiving painkiller medications -- even though they were -- the medication proved to be completely worthless.

 

This particular experiment involved applying heat to the legs of test subjects in order to cause pain, then adding a painkiller medication to an IV drip while assessing the subjects' pain levels. When the painkiller drug was present, the test subjects were told about it, and just as expected their pain scores significantly dropped. But when test subjects were told the pain medication had been stopped, their pain levels returned back to the original, non-medicated levels even though the pain medication was secretly still being dripped into their IVs.

 

The mind of the patient, in other words, is what actually determines the "effectiveness" of the pain drug, not the chemical effect of the drug itself.

 

Talking to the BBC, Professor Irene Tracey from Oxford University said, "It's phenomenal, it's really cool. It's one of the best analgesics we have and the brain's influence can either vastly increase its effect, or completely remove it." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12...).

 

As pointed out by George Lewith, a professor of health research at the University of Southampton, these findings call into question the scientific validity of many randomized clinical trials. He said, "It completely blows cold randomized clinical trials, which don't take into account expectation."....

 

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/031451_drug_trials_placebo_effect.html

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alexjuice

I remember hearing about a major feature in one of the news monthlies a few months ago.. sorta an expose of medical research. I want to say it was in the Atlantic... HOLD for Googling...

 

Yes, indeed:

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

 

I haven't read it, so I can't vouch. But I remember hearing a great deal about this some months ago. My doctor basically said this article was hugely influential on email lists between docs. I don't think its about placebo effect necessarily however, so mods move if this is the wrong place.

 

Alex.i

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alexjuice

I took some time to read and reflect on the article I linked above:

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

 

The work of Dr. Ioannidis, and its conclusions, are not surprising to me given what I know of the conventional 'wisdom' and the complexities of human motivation.

 

While I am not qualified to dispute or affirm his findings, I recommend the article to anyone unfamiliar with the analysis of medical research conducted by Ioannidis.

 

Alex.i

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Healing

Alex -- If you feel up to it, please consider posting a couple of the highlights from the article that you think are most germane to our situation. Some people are not going to be well enough to read the whole article, but would really profit from a couple of ideas to chew on. Thanks! :)

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