Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The strange powers of the Placebo Effect

Everyone's heard of the Placebo Effect -- that curious phenomenon where taking a substance that has no known medicinal value makes us feel better. This video takes a look at the many strange effects of placebos ("sugar pills"), as well as the effects of our perceptions on their efficacy: pill size or number of pills swallowed, pill colour, packaging, delivery method (pills versus injections, for example), our symptoms, where in the world we live ... and yes, it's possible to become addicted to placebos! The government even uses the Placebo Effect: if a new drug can't outperform a placebo there's no proof it's effective.

via The strange powers of the Placebo Effect | Science | guardian.co.uk.


ileana said...

Just when i wanted to take a break from posting on many sites, comes this very interesting subject. I'll make an exception (i like too much the stuff that other people call "strange") :)

"Our minds create the medicine. And that is pretty freakin' weird." Hey, yep, this is how we are, how we were created. We are the (successful so far, i'd say) "human experiment".

Our bodies heal themselves. If we BELIEVE that what we take is good for us, chances are the thing will help us. To me, the key is to sincerely BELIEVE.

I for one, although i don't believe in traditional medicine, i believe-in and may take tylenol every now and then (maybe once a year?). I also go to the dentist, but mostly for cosmetic purposes. I prayed for years not to feel pain in my teeth and prayed not to have any infection in my gums under the root canals - and it immediately came true (BELIEVE it or not...LOL). My dentist was expecting to find some infection in my mouth, but she didn't.
I believe in the non-traditional approaches, and for now i'll comfortably stay here.

The above led me to think about fire walking. A "fire walking" search on the yahoo site returned 66 million 200 thousand results... [blink, blink]

The very first one is (to me, at least) conclusive.

There it says "firewalking is explainable in terms of basic physics and is not supernatural or paranormal." But wait, and here's the part i absolutely LOVE: right after this phrase there comes a "However". However blah, blah, blah... To make it short, the test still remains standing: firewalking is a proof of faith.

ileana said...

another test of faith: breatharianism (i'd try it again as the first time i wasn't really prepared for it, but i'll not re-try now)