Saturday, December 17, 2005

Placebo Effect Real. Alternative Therapies False. Alternatistas Jump for Joy.

Alternative Medicine and Natural Health has a posting about "Mind Over Matter for Chronic Pain" which mentions an experiment using MRI scanning where subjects were taught to increase or decrease their perception of pain.

AltHealthInfo crows
The implications of these results are quite exciting and could lend credit to alternative therapies that are based on this type of mind-over-matter techniques such as Creative Visualization.

Links are provided to a copy of the paper, as well as a news report.

While EoR has some doubts about the scientific understanding of the reporter ("functional MRI, a type of telescope that can peer deep into the inner workings of the brain") it seems the alternatistas, in their rapture, failed to even read the first sentence:
They had tried everything for their pain: prescription drugs, alternative remedies, even hypnosis. Nothing seemed to work.

Note: alternative remedies did not work. Perhaps this sentence might help their understanding:
Recent studies suggest that meditation, and even the much maligned placebo effect, may have considerable power at naturally relieving achy joints and sore muscles.

"Much maligned placebo effect"? Maligned only by the alternatistas, who insist there is no placebo effect in their magic water, their magic handwaving, their magic water filters etc etc ad nauseum.
It would be interesting to see more research into this area to see if this could be done between two people, for instance a therapist focusing on the MRI scan of a patient to diminish the chronic pain response.

Of course, the real therapists should be able to do it without the patient present, by simply focusing on a photo and adjusting the 'vibrations'.

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