Notices
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: How exactly does the placebo effect work?

  1. #1 How exactly does the placebo effect work? 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    If I am in pain, and try to convince myself that pain is an illusion, the pain does not go away, regardless. Obviously, Red Bull did not give me wings when I still believed in magic, regardless of how 'convinced' and 'expecting' my brain was. Sources only cite 'expectation' when they fail to describe the actual mechanism every single time. There are also preposterous stories of a 'nocebo' effect. Well, I can't make blisters appear on my hand just by thinking it. I tried. Sounds like unproven, paranormal suspicion masquerading as legitimate science. If it is true, then why can't cancer sufferers just convince themselves they will heal? Cancer, or any other disease wouldn't be as deadly if it were possible to convince yourself to be cured and then be cured via an unknown form of mindpower alone.

    Here lies an article describing a similar phenomenon, known as the ''nocebo effect''.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/beware-the-nocebo-effect.html?_r=0
    How does a belief cause physical harm? So a man consumed 20+ sugar pills, thinking they were real pills, his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. I don't believe a brain causes symptoms it thinks will happen. ''Oh, I think my blood pressure will drop, better cause the blood pressure to drop dangerously low and put myself in dire danger!''

    Hence, this should be treated like spiritual healing, PK energy, and other psuedoscientific suspicions. There is no mechanism by which the brain can physically affect things that are unrelated to it,
    or why the brain would cause physical symptoms from expectation alone; you cannot cause blisters with your mind, you cannot lower your BP with your mind (otherwise bloodpressure drug companies would be out of buisness) this sounds like tripe. Just because scientists accept it exists does not mean it is real - in the 1950's scientists used to say smoking was good for you.


    Last edited by FrankBaker; July 28th, 2014 at 11:30 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    4,426
    Dftt


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,440
    Yet another "I don't believe it so it can't be real" argument. Science doesn't accept it because it wants to (for a long time, most scientists didn't think it was real), it accepts it because there is strong evidence for it. But even with such evidence, no one is sure how it actually works.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster View Post
    Yet another "I don't believe it so it can't be real" argument. Science doesn't accept it because it wants to (for a long time, most scientists didn't think it was real), it accepts it because there is strong evidence for it. But even with such evidence, no one is sure how it actually works.
    Well look buddy I tried to lower my BP by thought alone.

    It didn't work.
    Scientists can be biased, studies can be flawed, etc.

    The placebo effect is made up. The studies are also, equally made up.
    There are paranormal investigators who provide ''evidence'' for ghosts, but people are less able to accept that for some reason, but internal PK energy (AKA the placebo/nocebo effect) is accepted, despite the fact that it is not possible.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    4,426
    You see Magimaster, you fed the troll and got more anti-science BS. It ain't worth it, just ignore the window licker...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    PhDemon, before you call me anti-science, are you implying that you actually believe that an unknown form of mind energy can affect parts of the body unrelated to the brain or thoughts? Then I suppose you also believe in PK, or spiritual healing. There is ''evidence'' to support those, too!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    4,426
    I'm not feeding fuckwits trolls...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I'm not feeding trolls...
    So you do then. You are in no stance to call me anti-science when you support psuedoscience (placebo effect) yourself.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    Okay, here is a REALLY HARD challenge for y'all paranormal fans right here.

    So there is apparently evidence of a paranormal phenomenon that is now widely accepted by the scientific community where the mind possesses an unknown and unexplained form of mind energy, where the mind can PK heal the body in a way unrelated to the brain, so if these cancer sufferers just cheered up and commanded their brain to regenerate themselves, they'd be cured! No research needed, just mind=power! Perhaps we should just tell those pesky HIV sufferers to command their brains to regenerate themselves through this mysterious mind force nobody has ever sampled or explained.

    ...Except that doesn't happen.

    You'd think with all the pain, cancer/HIV sufferers would want to live.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,440
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankBaker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster View Post
    Yet another "I don't believe it so it can't be real" argument. Science doesn't accept it because it wants to (for a long time, most scientists didn't think it was real), it accepts it because there is strong evidence for it. But even with such evidence, no one is sure how it actually works.
    Well look buddy I tried to lower my BP by thought alone.

    ...

    You'd think with all the pain, cancer/HIV sufferers would want to live.
    I don't really feel up to a third "debate" right now, so I'm just going to say that the placebo effect is much more subtle than that and it's not something you can control "by thought alone." But if you're having problems with high blood pressure, learning how to relax certainly wouldn't hurt.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankBaker View Post
    If I am in pain, and try to convince myself that pain is an illusion, the pain does not go away, regardless. Obviously, Red Bull did not give me wings when I still believed in magic, regardless of how 'convinced' and 'expecting' my brain was. Sources only cite 'expectation' when they fail to describe the actual mechanism every single time. There are also preposterous stories of a 'nocebo' effect. Well, I can't make blisters appear on my hand just by thinking it. I tried. Sounds like unproven, paranormal suspicion masquerading as legitimate science. If it is true, then why can't cancer sufferers just convince themselves they will heal? Cancer, or any other disease wouldn't be as deadly if it were possible to convince yourself to be cured and then be cured via an unknown form of mindpower alone.

    Here lies an article describing a similar phenomenon, known as the ''nocebo effect''.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/beware-the-nocebo-effect.html?_r=0
    How does a belief cause physical harm? So a man consumed 20+ sugar pills, thinking they were real pills, his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. I don't believe a brain causes symptoms it thinks will happen. ''Oh, I think my blood pressure will drop, better cause the blood pressure to drop dangerously low and put myself in dire danger!''

    Hence, this should be treated like spiritual healing, PK energy, and other psuedoscientific suspicions. There is no mechanism by which the brain can physically affect things that are unrelated to it,
    or why the brain would cause physical symptoms from expectation alone; you cannot cause blisters with your mind, you cannot lower your BP with your mind (otherwise bloodpressure drug companies would be out of buisness) this sounds like tripe. Just because scientists accept it exists does not mean it is real - in the 1950's scientists used to say smoking was good for you.
    There may be a good evolutionary reason why your body's physiology is altered by the brain given that your brain regulates the health of an organism. I wouldn't relegate it to the woo bin until we know more about how the brain works.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    97
    I just think the placebo/nocebo effect is very silly. It implies the brain goes ''I think I've been exposed to caffeine, therefore I must cause symptoms of caffeine consumption!''
    That is alike to a person setting himself/herself on fire because he/she believed his/her clothing had been tainted with white phosphorous.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankBaker View Post
    I just think the placebo/nocebo effect is very silly. It implies the brain goes ''I think I've been exposed to caffeine, therefore I must cause symptoms of caffeine consumption!''
    That is alike to a person setting himself/herself on fire because he/she believed his/her clothing had been tainted with white phosphorous.
    I see where you are coming from with respect to extreme overt cases such as your example. There however may be a subtlety which we are missing.

    The following is only my opinion..........

    The brain is a measuring instrument that deciphers the information it has received from its receptors and it issues instructions to the body to respond in particular ways. We see this for example work in subtle ways say on a dark night when the body's behaviour manifests as a physiological response associated with fear. The same could be said for responses such as stress which may elicit over the longer term certain biological responses associated with the brain's method of responding to that condition as a defence mechanism on behalf of the entire organism.

    I tend to think that for those responses that require a holistic response for the entire organism (eg. fright or flight) necessitates that the brain's processes forces the organism to 'think' in a particular way to elicit a holistic response (such as movement). In those instances however where the brain can regulate the organism internally without requiring 'holistic responses' then there is no 'thinking' required as the brain can regulate this process through established mechanisms such as the triggerring of responses through the release of hormones etc.

    ....so in subtle ways I see there may be an opening to examine conditions such as 'placebo' more scientifically. There appears to be a feedback mechanism between the way a brain regulates an organism and the process of thinking itself. I cannot say with any degree of certainty whether mental states such as 'blind faith' actually may be manifested physiologically but if evolution has played a role in the way the body responds to the brain's instructions, then I see no real 'woo' in the placebo effect........just food for thought. It would give a more plausible scientific case for phenomena such as 'Pointing the Bone' which appear to be more extreme cases where 'belief' causes such significant physiological responses for the host.
    Last edited by Implicate Order; July 28th, 2014 at 09:16 PM.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Freshman jjmckane's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankBaker View Post
    I just think the placebo/nocebo effect is very silly.
    Think of it this way, the human mind is so massively parallel that we really have options in all sorts of directions.

    At least once Henry Ford said that 'Whether you think you can -- or think you can't, you are right.' It means that we in a great degree make our own choices.

    The placebo theory would also make a strong argument why aphrodisiacs are said to work. We by some method or another find pathways to the preconceived goal too often, a condition constantly having to be on guard against in real science. To a point we have to find a happy medium. In medical science, the use of a pill is that much medicine is so powerful (e.g. antibiotics against a bacteria) that any pathway against the end result tends to get over ruled. So another pill, much more dubious, but in typical size and shape will connect with pathways to the brain of 'it works'.

    That the same method was used by quacks and witch doctors is irrelevant. In part, the method was started out by the idea of do anything and the mark will follow. Erroll Flynn used to do a flim flam before getting famous of going to a race track and talking up a horse. It ran best about average results when doing it at random, so he would simply disappear when the normal no show came up. If the horse won, he would claim all the credit and all too often got a monetary tip. I think shamans, witchdoctors and the like are more complicated than such a cynical approach, but elements seem very similar to me.
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. -- Winston Churchill

    Q: What’s the difference between a capitalist fairy tale and a Marxist fairy tale?
    A: A capitalist fairy tale begins, “Once upon a time, there was…” A Marxist fairy tale begins, “Some day, there will be…”
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. What if you know about the placebo effect?
    By EugeneT in forum Behavior and Psychology
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: March 13th, 2014, 04:38 AM
  2. The placebo effect (BBC2 Horizon programme)
    By mpaulj781 in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 22nd, 2014, 04:26 AM
  3. Whats wrong with the placebo effect.
    By Headdresser in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: January 26th, 2014, 10:34 PM
  4. Why Does the Placebo Effect Work/
    By jimmythesaint in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: January 17th, 2014, 08:36 AM
  5. the placebo effect on animals?
    By the man of science in forum Personal Theories & Alternative Ideas
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: March 13th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •