A group of doctors from Boston University School of Public Health and Harvard stated that to give a patient a placebo ‘that has a known efficacy of zero was highly unethical.’ At the time several other doctors jumped into the debate stating that placebos are a nuisance variable because they can’t be explained in any scientific manner.
Overlooked in these discussions is the fact that placebos have produced some rather remarkable and at the same time unexplainable results. I am not posting the sources for the following quotes, if someone is interested a review of the literature will provide those answers.
“In the 1950s, rather than doing the customary surgery for angina pectoris, (pain in the chest and left arm), some resourceful doctors cut ten patients open and then simply sewed them back up again. The patients who received the sham surgery reported as much relief as the patients who had the full surgery.”
“In nine double-blind studies comparing placebos to aspirin, placebos proved to be 54% as effective as the actual analgesic.” One would expect that placebos would be even less effective when compared to a much stronger painkiller such as morphine. In six double-blind studies placebos were found to be 56% as effective as morphine in relieving pain.”
“In a study of a new kind of chemotherapy, 30% of the people in the control group given placebos, lost their hair.”
“A group pf patients were told they were given LSD when in fact they were given the placebo. They had all the physiological effects noted with LSD.”
“In double-blind studies for psychotropic drugs for depression, the placebo had the same effect in 58% of the patients…in a treatment with lithium, 62% of the placebo group had the same response.”
“Ipecac is a product known to induce vomiting. A 28 year old woman who was suffering two straight days with nauseas and vomiting was given 10cc of Ipecac syrup and was told it was a new drug that stopped vomiting. In twenty minutes the vomiting stopped completely. Her stomach showed normal contractive activity.”
“In a test of Clofibrate versus placebo for cholesterol level and cardiovascular mortality, the placebo outperformed the drug.”
“During a study for headache, 120 out of 199 patients receiving the placebo obtained relief.”
“In a study for Raynaud’s Syndrome, utilizing an apparatus with saline and the clicking of dials, every case using the placebo improved. Six had excellent improvement and all held their improvement one year after the trials.”
Under hypnosis we know that people can have major surgery without any pain and without any medication being given. There is also evidence of limbs being removed and the patient not feeling the slightest pain while under hypnosis. I had shared in one of my former posts of a group of diabetics who were told that there was a new medication that they were testing. During the trials they were given only the placebo without any of the patients going through any diabetic incidence. Is a placebo a form of hypnosis?
“Placebos have had a high percentage of success in the areas of cough, mood swings, diabetes, anxiety, asthma, sarcoma, dermatitis, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, radiation sickness, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.”
Some medical professionals say that these results are ‘in the patient’s mind.’ Isn’t that the important point of the placebo effect? When the patient is having a major surgical event and doesn’t feel anything, the question is, is the pain in our body and not within our control, or is pain only something that is in our mind and belief?
In an earlier post I mentioned how Charles Kellogg, the naturalist in the 1920s could affect a flame of fire based on sounds he could generate. He could raise, lower and extinguish a flame through a sound that he could whistle.
The Rafai school of Sufis could generate sounds through chanting and neutralize the effects of fire and the Lap-Readers from Lapland as well as natives in Bali generate sounds that affect fire and flames. After personally experiencing hearing all of these sounds, all different, I realized that it isn’t the sounds, but the belief of the person that determines the effect.
To inspire and empower. In love, with love and through love.