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The Placebo Effect


Article by Dieter Luske

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The Placebo Effect ...

Have Practitioners lost their placebo effect...?  Do we still trust our Practitioners ?

One of the greatest underlying healing powers a doctor or a trusted Natural Therapist can have, is their own ...

... “personal Placebo effect”, their trust factor.

Talking to some of the ‘older generation’ about Doctors or Naturopath's has brought some interesting opinions out in the open.

Let’s have a deeper look into the practices of both, the orthodox and complementary medical practitioners.

Not very flattering for Doctors, but the term “Glorified Drug Pushers” came up all too often.

Here are some general complaints:

  • A general dissatisfaction, with the shortness of consultation, combined with a seemingly single minded approach to health problems.

  • To be able to address only one or maybe 2 problems at a time.

  • Not being able to get an appointment when needed.

  • Generally not being satisfied that something positive to their health has happened.

  • And most of all, a feeling that the real connection to a re-assuring Doctor has been lost.

Most interestingly, Natural Therapists like Naturopaths didn't get too many positive responses either.

If Doctors were sometimes referred to as glorified drug pushers, Naturopaths were sometimes referred to as “Supplement Pushers”, not much glory attached to that either.

Other commen complaints:

  • Information not good enough explained or too confusing.

  • Information and explanation seemed to be aimed at selling something.

  • Distrusting, esp when expensive programs were recommended.

Although it doesn’t seem that all comments were negative, there was a great emphasis on the importance of finding a trusted practitioner.

This loss of trust, if carried forward into the general community can have a prolonged damaging negative influence on health in general.

In the good old times, as some referred too, the patient, just by seeing the Doctor, felt already better, and was reassured, that whatever treatment he or she would receive, would be of great help to their health.

It has long been recognised that the placebo effect is much more, than simply believing in something.

A placebo effect, be it from a pill or the trusted presence of a practitioner will set a chemical reaction into motion.

It is this chemical reaction which makes the placebo effect real, and sadly this is undermined by a general distrust in practitioners as a whole.

This phenomenon is not isolated to the medical or natural therapy profession; politicians, big businesses and even teachers suffer from the same.

The underlying problem is the loss of trust.

Marketing has taken over, nothing seems to be real, everything is connected to the mighty dollar, which makes many people question; do I get a real service or is it just a marketing spin?

However, the real concern is the loss of the Placebo effect.

Placebo, as we know it from taking a “sugar pill”, can have the same or even better results than a real drug or supplement. The general consent, of rubbishing the placebo effect, as “this is just a placebo”, is misguided.

The most logical way of understanding the real effect of a placebo, is to compare it to an anxiety or panic attack.

A panic attack is real, it can be measured, and it sets off a whole chemical stress cycle. The trigger may not have been real, or as they say, it’s all in your mind, but the effect is totally real. Adrenalin in your system fired up is certainly real.

No need to get into the chemical compositions, which are freed up by getting a panic attack or its positive counterpart, getting a placebo pill, the main thing to know is that the chemical reactions are real.

If you are taking a placebo pill with the anticipation that it is going to help, the chemical cascade released from your brain is real and has a real effect, there is no doubt about it.

The trick however is to make this placebo effect happen.

It will not happen if the patient is mistrusting, it may even trigger the opposite chemical reaction, an anxiety or stress reaction, because of fear of not getting the right medication or advice.

Now we clearly can see that the actual pill is less important than the person who gives it to you.

That’s why I ask the question,

..... have Doctors or Natural Therapists lost their placebo effect?

... and .. . for th  individual, make sure you find a practitioners you can trust... Restore your Trust!

20 Aug 2012

Article/Information supplied by Dieter Luske

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.