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Author Topic:   Faith healing:proof of god, or placebo effect?
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Message 76 of 77 (599842)
01-11-2011 5:51 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by ProtoTypical
01-11-2011 1:06 AM

Re: Qi*
Dogmafood writes:

Your super-sphinctered mind is good at pointing out what we don’t know. What do we know?

Why are they able to use fewer drugs?

What we do know is that people across great swaths of history have been able to do the same thing (in essence) with no drugs whatsoever. A "why" for being able to perform the procedure isn't necessary, and a claim of pain mitigation simply hasn't been quantified to the point of proper assessment.

My mind is capable of "pinching it off" there. Might want to make sure you don't leave more skid marks.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by ProtoTypical, posted 01-11-2011 1:06 AM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 2796 days)
Posts: 1277
From: A vast, undifferentiated plane.
Joined: 02-28-2008

Message 77 of 77 (608709)
03-12-2011 8:09 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Panda
01-09-2011 8:52 AM

As Time Avails…
This doesn't relate to my reply at all

It relates to your barf-o-matic “People do prescribe a positive attitude (to everybody continuously). But not everyone listens, so people are tricked into 'self-healing' by being given a placebo.” bromide. But it's not worth explaining.

You suggest ones mind isn’t curing ones neuralgia because it hasn’t the incentive of an inert agent. You don’t think it more likely that the mind isn’t curing ones neuralgia because it doesn’t know how?

Don’t you think that evolution might select for minds to which not having neuralgia is incentive enough to cure neuralgia above those that wait to be conned and then cure neuralgia?

I guess that you couldn't defend your point other than by claiming no-one is providing evidence.

The topic is Faith healing: proof of god, or [astounding] placebo effect?. My point was a query: What evidence i[s] there that the patient ⇛is⇚ better and if the placebo effect could not be attributed entirely to attitude? Exactly what evidence would you require of me to present a question?

If you’re under the impression that you’ve been supplying evidence for your pet magic you’re mistaken. What you’ve been providing evidence of is that there are horn holes in the side of your sacred cow. Maybe if you dose your cow with a few sugar pills purported to be evidence it will get better.

Here it is again: I used the term attitude and referenced attitude five times in the post you originally responded to.

What real effect? What evidence i[s] there that the patient ⇛is⇚ better? That the patient reports that they feel better? To be sure[,] I'm better off with a broken arm and a smile than I am with a broken arm and a frown[;] but[,] I still have a broken arm. Do bones knit faster when we have a better attitude, or is attitude better when we have a better attitude? Paint me blasé.

Necessarily? [dogmafood]

No. Got a lab report where grinning reduces BUN?

As can be seen, I then followed up with the “ginning” comment. Clearly, “grinning” didn’t refer to the act of tensing specific facial muscles. It was short hand for “good attitude’ as “reduce BUN” was short hand for “objective criterion”. (And I guess you were to busy putting a Band-Aid on your cow to read the post were I told you this before.)

Then you went on to [u]not[/u] providing evidence of reducing BUN by grinning but of being able to use biofeedback to reduce bedwetting and an assortment of other things that aren’t placebos modifying objective criteria.

Not presently having the time on my hands to carefully examine what you presented I respectfully responded with the promise to give it its due when time availed. But in the admittedly slight perusal of your reference (Wiki: Biofeedback) I had managed, it caught my eye that in one of the studies the degree to which one scrunched ones forehead was being used as a metric of pain relief. I really do think it’s fair to call the quality of a reference into account that does not reject absurdities as a matter of course. Not that any of it mattered as your stuff was a rabbit hole that I should never have gone down.

If you have anything having to deal with actual evidence of placebo having a real effect I’d be happy to see it.

I wasn't conflating them. I was talking about the placebo effect, not biofeedback. This should have been apparent from "What is being suggested is that placebos cause the mind to heal the body." - which you even quoted.

The appearance of conflation can be overcome by referencing a placebo site rather than a biofeedback site to establish the placebo effect.

What you were suggesting was that placebo caused the mind to heal the body in a way similar to biofeedback allowing us to gain or regain underutilized functions. my point was that biofeedback involves learning, whereas, placebo healing does not. I can watch a video to learn how to play an unfamiliar tune on the piano without actually ever touching a piano. I can not take a placebo to learn how to play an unfamiliar tune on the piano even with a piano. The two are not similar.

No. We should ascribe that specific salivary response to the wax bead placebo.

No. We should ascribe that specific salivary response to the conditioned (read “learned”) reflex that we know was the cause rather than conflate a learned behavior with a placebo effect.

That sounds correct. Did someone claim that there should be [an opportunity for the brain to learn an association between the treatment and the desired response.]?

Yes; specifically they said “We should ascribe that specific salivary response to the wax bead placebo.”

People don't need to know what the 'long words' mean - they just need to think that the placebo will work.

One would think my point was the end of a spear the way you’re trying to avoid it.

Now, if I go to my Dr. for scabies and diarrhea and he treats me with a placebo telling me it’s a powerful antipruritic and I don’t know what that means, what will it treat?

If I don’t know what an antipruritic is will the placebo treat the diarrhea or the itching? Which am I to believe it will work on? If I change my mind midway through will the effect be transferable?

Did someone claim that people had to know medical terminology for placebos to work?

I would hope ‘someone’ would recognize the need for the Dr. to define in an understandable form what the placebo is supposed to effect if it is to work at all.

"what new motive or information has the Dr. added to allow me to remedy it now?" ... hmmm ... what are we talking about ... ummm ... Oh! I remember! A placebo!

We were actually talking about "Mind can't cure wart — add placebo — mind can cure wart." Has the placebo taught the mind a new skill that it can use on the next wart, or will another placebo be required?

So you are happy to support 'suggestibility' as a cause, but not 'placebo effect'? But as placebos involve suggestibility, denying 'placebo effect' also denies your 'suggestibility'. (I am also chuckling at your "I have read many reports - but I don't believe them!" comment.)

Yeah, I am. I drag myself into the emergency room and sob to some kindly, old bat that I have a killer, to-the-bone, three inch gash in my shin. She wheels me into an examination room and hands me a johnny. Twenty minutes later an auburn goddess comes in to debride the wee scratch on my shin. There’s something about the situation that suggests I shouldn’t act like a wuss. But note that that injury received different descriptions without any moderation of its parameters. I do not support “suggestibility” as a cause of healing, but of attitude adjustment.

And I take it you’re chuckling at the bit where I wrote:

I have read many reports where it seems that a placebo is used to stimulate a conditioned response. I have a modicum of doubt that they are not entirely bologna.

As most of the literature on placebos is written by alternative medicine practitioners whose cumulative research is into what pills the gullible will swallow I’d think that a well advised stance. Are you saying that we should accept all reports at face value? I just can’t bring myself to agree with that. But then again, the paraphrase that I can’t bring myself to agree with is about as accurate at the paraphrase you’re chuckling at.

We agree that placebo is a real effect. The argument seems to be the nature of that effect. From our first kiss-to-make-it-feel-better we are conditioned to associate treatment ritual with feeling better. Yet the objective cause remains the same while the subjective symptoms change: We are not healed, just happier.

I have also not suggested placebo not be further investigated. Though, it would be my guess that when it is we’ll find the same kind of thing we found when we looked further into the chewing of willow bark: Whole bark isn’t required.

Also “Placebo” has become a sort of catch all. Some true biological effects not well understood in their cause are attributed to placebo; i.e., reduced anxiety ➠ reduce stress hormones ➠ reduced blood pressure. As these effects come to be biologically understood they’ll be placed into a category having its own name giving the word “placebo” less to encompass.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, willow bark has been regulated to herbalists and witches. Just as well, the homeopaths will repurpose the bagasse of placebo. I’m sure they’re working on a 30C placebo as we speak.

You seem to have forgotten whatever point you were trying to make.

Biofeedback: Placebo:: Learn: Wish unrelated to the topic.

I’ve confessed to having yet read a study by a reputable source of the placebo effect wherein the purported benefit isn’t subjective and therein susceptible to the ambiguity of cause or magnitude that any subjective report is disposed.

Your point seems to be that rolling your eyes is a placebo treatment for my ignorance. May I request that I be removed from your control group and given the real treatment: a study showing objective effects of placebo?

When cometh the day
We lowly ones
Through quiet reflection
And great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we'll make
The bugger's eyes water
—Roger Waters

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Panda, posted 01-09-2011 8:52 AM Panda has not yet responded

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