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kayveeh 14th September 2004 05:19 AM

Homeopathy-How Placebo?
 
Hello all,

It is common/regular picturization/insistance of skeptics & CMS followers that homeopathy & other many alternative systems are just "a placebo effect".

http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...ics/homeo.html

No doubt, placebo produces effects or it may be alike 'Cephalic effects' or 'positive thoughts'.

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2000/100_heal.html
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/livin...ive010723.html
http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=37113

But, it may not be necessary/possible that all person/children/animals(may be plants) are knowing previously, that what for & how they are being treated? Still effects are observed/experianced/evident. How then it can just be said/anticipated as a "placebo effect"?

Can you mention here your experiances in brief/some referances, where childern/animals or previously unknown livings were treated & benefited with homeopathic or other alt. treatments?

Best wishes.

MRC_Hans 14th September 2004 08:37 AM

This is, of course, one for resident skeptic ;).

The placebo effect is one of the effects that skeptics point to in order to explain reports of treatments that are not known to have medical effect. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, homeopathy.

The term "placebo effect" has somewhat different meanings in different contexts, but the general meaning can be expressed as: Any positive effect from a treatment that is not related to physiological effects or other direct intervention.

This includes the positive effect of expectation, of feeling cared for, but also effects of reporting and observation.

Kayveeh mentions the classical objection for ascribing effect to the placebo effect: Why is improvement observed even in noncommunicating patients (animals, infants, unconscious)?

First of all, the placebo effect is only one of several possible explanations for apparant improvement, but even if the patient is not communicating, and presumably not aware of being treated, there is still someone who is assessing the well-feeling of the patient. In case of an animal, it is usually the owner, or keeper, or possibly the practitioner. You cannot ask the animal if it feels better, so apart from objective measurements, you need to rely on a person who interprets how the animal feels. This person is aware of the animal being treated, and may thus interpret accordingly. We could call it "placebo by proxy" ;).

Hans

kayveeh 14th September 2004 12:28 PM

Mr.Hans,

All you can't said are just applicable only on homeopathy/alt.systems. The same may be true in allopathy in which the measurable effects may be felt due to their harsh chemical side/adverse/toxic effect--but most of treatment may still be alike you indicated above.

However, Proving symptoms, children,animals, infants, non-comunicating persons some less educated in this field peoples...etc. may not be knowing at all about treatment. Moreover, every remedy do not show effects similarily(PE should show similar effects) & therefore remedies are usually needed to be changed during treatments.

MRC_Hans 14th September 2004 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayveeh
Mr.Hans,

All you can't said are just applicable only on homeopathy/alt.systems. The same may be true in allopathy in which the measurable effects may be felt due to their harsh chemical side/adverse/toxic effect--but most of treatment may still be alike you indicated above.

Certainly. The placebo effect is true of all systems. That is the exact reason modern drugs are tested with placebo-controlled tests. Because we know that whatever the placebo effect is, it is real.

After reading this again (since you posted exactly the same thing at the JREF), I think I understand what you are trying to say:

However, Proving symptoms, children,animals, infants, non-comunicating persons some less educated in this field peoples...etc. may not be knowing at all about treatment.

But SOMEBODY knows they are getting treatment. That somebody is interpreting their reaction. So I bring my dog to the vet. The vet examines him and says "give him one of these pills each morning". So how do I know if the dog is better? I can't ask him how he feels. I can only look at him and try to guess if he is better. So if I believe in the treatment, I may think he looks better, even if he isn't. That's "Placebo by proxy".

Moreover, every remedy do not show effects similarily(PE should show similar effects) & therefore remedies are usually needed to be changed during treatments.

Why should Placebo Effect be the same? After all, it is mainly imagined, so anything can be imagined. As for provings, have you ever actually read a proving report? They record all kinds of things. Afterwards, the master prover sits down and decides which things are right.

----------------

Hans

kayveeh 14th September 2004 03:26 PM

[QUOTE=MRC_Hans]----------------
Certainly. The placebo effect is true of all systems. That is the exact reason modern drugs are tested with placebo-controlled tests. Because we know that whatever the placebo effect is, it is real.

Btw, what do you/CMS do with the ' cure/treatment possible by just placebo/self immunity'? What is the percentage of these ' cure/treatment possible by just placebo/self immunity' among all cases?

But SOMEBODY knows they are getting treatment. That somebody is interpreting their reaction. So I bring my dog to the vet. The vet examines him and says "give him one of these pills each morning". So how do I know if the dog is better? I can't ask him how he feels. I can only look at him and try to guess if he is better. So if I believe in the treatment, I may think he looks better, even if he isn't. That's "Placebo by proxy".

This is just a moulded/manipulated story. Although you can say it somewhat as 'telepathy or distant healing. Don't even think that modren public as as much fool as you are indicating. All are well educated & well informed.

Why should Placebo Effect be the same? After all, it is mainly imagined, so anything can be imagined. As for provings, have you ever actually read a proving report? They record all kinds of things. Afterwards, the master prover sits down and decides which things are right.

Do you mean to say that everything recorded as final proving symptoms that is just from one type/source of all/consolidated symptom essay? Do You mean that initial proving report is same againt all provings done & recorded?

MRC_Hans 14th September 2004 06:26 PM

[QUOTE=kayveeh]
Quote:

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans
----------------

Btw, what do you/CMS do with the ' cure/treatment possible by just placebo/self immunity'? What is the percentage of these ' cure/treatment possible by just placebo/self immunity' among all cases?

Double- blind tests to ensure efficacy. How many modern drugs work by placebo effect? Depends. If you talk OTC drugs, some estimate 80% is really placebo or natural healing. For more severe diseases, the percentage is lower. Insulin for diabetes, no placebo effect at all, that is hard drug effect. Others vary.

This is just a moulded/manipulated story. Although you can say it somewhat as 'telepathy or distant healing. Don't even think that modren public as as much fool as you are indicating. All are well educated & well informed.

It has nothing to do with being fools. And it is not something that I think. The placebo effect is well documented.


Do you mean to say that everything recorded as final proving symptoms that is just from one type/source of all/consolidated symptom essay? Do You mean that initial proving report is same againt all provings done & recorded?

I mean that proving symptoms are heavily collated and sorted. Most recorded provings in MM are not documented at all. We have no actual knowledge of how they were obtained. But look for yourself. You are so fond of google searches, take a look of "proving reports".

-------------------
Hans

kayveeh 15th September 2004 01:24 AM

[QUOTE=MRC_Hans]-------------------
Double- blind tests to ensure efficacy. How many modern drugs work by placebo effect? Depends. If you talk OTC drugs, some estimate 80% is really placebo or natural healing. For more severe diseases, the percentage is lower. Insulin for diabetes, no placebo effect at all, that is hard drug effect. Others vary.

Modern medicines ( with harash chemicals & side/adverse/toxic effects) are always prescribed in all type of cases. All or most of these medicines have some side/adverse or toxic effects. You say estimated 80% in some cases & lesser in other hard cases are just cured due to placebo or no effect. Does it not mean that this much people who takes modern medicines, unnecessary have to take harash chemicals in modern medicines with their & side/adverse/toxic effects? Does it also not mean that homeopathic/alt. systems remedies at least save this much people from taking harash chemicals with their side,adverse or toxic effects? Insulin is not a medicine but it is a replacement alike any food/supplement.




has nothing to do with being fools. And it is not something that I think. The placebo effect is well documented.

In consideration of above, placebo effects is not a bad effect. Has this percentage/ fact is also well documented that this much people have to take strong medicines with their adverse effects unnecessarily?

mean that proving symptoms are heavily collated and sorted. Most recorded provings in MM are not documented at all. We have no actual knowledge of how they were obtained. But look for yourself. You are so fond of google searches, take a look of "proving reports".

I think it is sorted by deducting common/general symptoms, specific & peculier symptoms are recorded. It is not applicable to all remedies. Some remedies are composed of some similar chemicals & those have shown some common symptoms. Recent provings gives all symptoms as observed & these are much differanciated among one remedy to other.

MRC_Hans 15th September 2004 06:41 AM

[QUOTE=kayveeh]
Quote:

Originally Posted by MRC_Hans
Modern medicines ( with harash chemicals & side/adverse/toxic effects) are always prescribed in all type of cases. All or most of these medicines have some side/adverse or toxic effects. You say estimated 80% in some cases & lesser in other hard cases are just cured due to placebo or no effect. Does it not mean that this much people who takes modern medicines, unnecessary have to take harash chemicals in modern medicines with their & side/adverse/toxic effects?

The keyword is prescribed. The 80% estimate is for OTC drugs. One of the reasons for the low real effect is that OTC drugs are self-prescribed, and thus often taken for ailments where they are not supposed to have real effect.

So the considereation "harsh side/adverse/toxic effects" does not really apply, because OTC drugs are generally of low toxidity.

Prescription medicine, OTOH is stronger, and naturally with stronger side effects, but its efficacy is also much better.


Does it also not mean that homeopathic/alt. systems remedies at least save this much people from taking harash chemicals with their side,adverse or toxic effects?

Obviusly, if we are deliberately looking for the placebo effect, we might as well use placebo, and thus I would agree that homeopathic medicines are harmless, but ...... that is not a road you would like to follow, I trust ;)?

Insulin is not a medicine but it is a replacement alike any food/supplement.

That is wrong (and irrelevant, btw.). Insulin is a medical preparation used to treat a specific disease. It is within the generally accepted definition of medicine (and, I can assure you, it is considered a medicine by the authorities).

In consideration of above, placebo effects is not a bad effect.

Certainly not :).

Has this percentage/ fact is also well documented that this much people have to take strong medicines with their adverse effects unnecessarily?

Obviously, such figures are difficult to measure, so to my knowledge, it is only an estimate. And, as already explained above, the high percentage only applies to the relatively mild OTC drugs (of course, in some countries, you can buy practically anything OTC, so the problem might be bigger there).

I think it is sorted by deducting common/general symptoms, specific & peculier symptoms are recorded. It is not applicable to all remedies. Some remedies are composed of some similar chemicals & those have shown some common symptoms. Recent provings gives all symptoms as observed & these are much differanciated among one remedy to other.

Still, they are derived by a subjective process. Look, I have been down that road often enough: I have yet to meet a homeopath who would consistently claim that they could identify any given remedy in a blind test

----------------------

Hans

kayveeh 15th September 2004 08:21 AM

[QUOTE=MRC_Hans]----------------------
[b]The keyword is prescribed. The 80% estimate is for OTC drugs. One of the reasons for the low real effect is that OTC drugs are self-prescribed, and thus often taken for ailments where they are not supposed to have real effect....[b]

Can you give rough estimate in average percentage of people among all cases, who can be cured/treated by:-

1. Placebo/Self Immunity/Positive thoughts.

2. Home remedies/Herbal Remedies/self non-allopathic medications.

3. Exercises, Physiotherapy etc.

4. Food alterations, supplements, vitamin, minerals etc.

5. Replacements as hormones, enzymes etc.

6. Surgeries

MRC_Hans 15th September 2004 09:45 AM

No, I do not have that information. Also, it would not make sense to state overall percentages, you must address it as per disease or disease group. Obviously, for the common cold, which in nearly all cases resolves naturally without any intervention, placebo type drugs will benefit most patients by giving them reassurance and better feeling (even if it may not shorten the actual run of the disease).

Other diseases, e.g. diabetes must be treated with proper drugs. And a number of conditions are close to 100% lethal without surgical intervention.

Hans


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