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comment by Odder

I'm going to call bullshit here, on the basis that this is founded in the ancient Chinese philosophy of chi. I thought you should be aware. Though if this doesn't set off all of the alarm bells in your head, we aren't going to have a productive conversation.

oyster  ·  1382 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh trust me I'm skeptical. My thoughts were that maybe people are more susceptible to believing in this stuff in a place life uganda enough so a placebo can affect more people. That sentence has started to sound really odd too me though. I had this neighbour who has all sorts of problems relating to his time in the military and good old agent orange. He does everything his doctors tell him but the reality is his good days are limited. I remember him telling me about this thing he tried out that had something to do with "energy". Immediately I thought it was silly and felt bad for him but I obviously let him finish. So as he was saying it did actually make him feel better for a few days he mentions that people explain it to him as some placebo effect ( took him a bit here to think of the word) and his response was just "cool".

So here I am thinking like oh that's silly with my good health and such while this guy's just trying to get by. He doesn't give a shit why something worked, all he wants is a few good days because the doctors can't help him anymore. I've been exposed to a lot of this stuff since it kind of just comes with being in Massage Therapy and at the start I always felt like it was silly so I would make a point to stay away from it. But after you meet all these people who have nothing else to give them relief but this weird treatment I don't believe in that starts to crumble. Hey maybe it is the placebo affect but who am I to say that's not good enough ? I've had a tricky time figuring out how to put this because in some cases it's really clear people are being played. Like when somebody could receive help and recover but gets sold on some bullshit instead. Then there's the people though who either don't have any answers for their problems, or solutions. Who are just stuck living with some BS. Yet I stick my nose up at the silly people who believe in this crap because I don't like how something helps. To me this treatment my neighbour recieved was BS and lasted a mere few days but to him a few good days are as good as it gets. I don't suppose many people in a place like Uganda can just go to a psychologist once a week.

The first MT I worked with when I was the receptionist was very into all sorts of different medicines. I thought it was silly then but when you see people with chronic pain leave an appointment with tears because they finally feel relief it starts to make you think. It's something I think about a lot but haven't actually been able really articulate. At the very least it's made me grateful for the health I have.

mosley_deaf  ·  1381 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Was at a festival and went to a crystal workshop out of curiosity. The instructor started of saying whether it's scientific or placebo If the desired effect is accomplished does it really matter. I don't buy into crystals but I can't argue with an end result however it's achieved. These things get taken out of hand with people quiting legitimate medical treatments to pursue homeopathic option that are under productive but in unhatmful ways I can support whatever.

Odder  ·  1382 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm glad you're skeptical! I was only a little worried, but based on other stuff you've posted I didn't think you bought into this.

    I've had a tricky time figuring out how to put this because in some cases it's really clear people are being played. Like when somebody could receive help and recover but gets sold on some bullshit instead.

This is where I think the real problem lies. If you endorse a bogus treatment, it discourages people from seeking or developing actual treatments. It's terrible for the people who are left with no treatment, but perhaps we should be looking toward why placebo treatments work, even temporarily, for some people. Perhaps some real therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, might replicate placebo effects from bogus treatment?

oyster  ·  1382 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm glad you're skeptical!

Ha, yes I could have explained myself better from the get go but it really does take me a long time to articulate my thoughts. I see how "this treatment is weird so this research is interesting" left a lot of guess work for the reader. Having said that I'm also happy it creates a conversation starter without to much effort on my part because that would have been a mess.

That is where a lot of the issue lies for me too. I hear people say things can be "cured" and I feel like that can be really dangerous. When I've met people I know a lot of them view these things as "complimentary treatment" and I do think that is a much more responsible way of phrasing things. Like for example my neighbor did everything the doctors had him do but just tried out some things on the side to help out. However, he also had all these medical expenses covered which is something many others don't have. So I don't necessarily think other patients will be so easy in that respect.

    perhaps we should be looking toward why placebo treatments work, even temporarily, for some people

I definitely agree with you here I always find the general sentiment is something like "pfft, that's just a placebo effect" and I get to thinking like, ya, just the brains magical ability to heal itself how lame. (a tad dramatic for effect but you get the idea) Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places but everywhere I look people really look down on the placebo effect. Maybe that's because we really don't understand it which is fair because we hardly understand the brain at all but I would definitely like to see some more research in that. I think the best case scenario is if we are able to figure out what's going on in those scenarios and apply it in a better way.

What I tend to tell people is that if they want to try something and it won't harm them then go for it but not to replace modern medicine with it. I think I'll stick to that through out my career because I don't feel good totally advocating for these treatments but I also get why people go that route. Even massage therapy is consider BS by some because although we have theories as to why it works we don't really know for sure. Typing this out was helpful.

user-inactivated  ·  1382 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Placebos are interesting. There's also the Nocebo Effect and while I can't find it, someone posted an article here on Hubski once about how a lot of "Placebo Effects" could be waved away by pure statistics. Though, I might be remembering that article wrong . . .

Still, placebos are interesting.