The Placebo Effect Is Real And Depends On Human Kindness And Dopamine

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    Many forum users have read Peat's writings that the rapport of a patient with their doctor predicts the outcome of their treatment much better than any "objectively" proven drug effectiveness. More importantly, establishing a sense of mutual respect, unconditional acceptance on behalf of the doctor, and above all participating in a creative discourse are perhaps the main factors determining whether patient will get cured or get worse. The doctor must care about his/her patient, otherwise practicing "medicine" is pointless. Unfortunately, the current situation in the medical system is almost the exact opposite of these requirements. I am sure most people here (@Blossom) have experienced the dreaded psychopathic, high-serotonin "specialist" doctors in action. They clock you in the moment you enter the room, give you on average no more than 7 minutes of their time, give orders that cannot be questioned, and if you don't get better then the disease is "in your genes" and cannot be treated. There is not much difference between this type of doctor, the "high-power" corporate executive, and a battlefield commander leading his subordinates to certain death.
    The study below not only confirms yet again everything Peat and Illich have been writing about - i.e. engaging in humane interactions is much more therapeutic than any drug - but also calls into question the correctness and reliability of the gold standard of modern medical objectivity - the double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Basically, the evidence shows that there is no such thing as "placebo" effect. The human mind is ALWAYS part of the disease AND the treatment, and as Peat described in his book "Mind and Tissue". And the quality of that treatment is largely determined by the goodness / kindness of the treating doctors as well as by the ability of the patient to respond to kindness. That ability to respond to kindness is well-known to be driven by dopamine. And as the evidence showed, it is the levels of dopamine that predict how powerful the "placebo" effect is. The people with low dopamine did not respond well to "placebo", as their mind is probably too rigidified by serotonin - i.e. a form of adult-onset autism, if I have to use medical terms.
    It is unfortunate that the "placebo" effect acquired such a bad connotation even though it simply refers to the human mind/consciousness. Btw, the origins of the word placebo are Latin and it means "to please". Coincidentally (or not at all), the ability to please and experience pleasure is apparently the key to true learning, progress and wisdom, as we discussed in another thread.
    Leisure And Desire Required For Intelligence, Knowledge And Progress
    Based on these findings, it is immediately clear that even if the intentions of the medical profession are good (at least on paper) the prevalence of serotonergic personalities and the widespread use of SSRI drugs effectively undermines the entire treatment process by lowering dopamine in the patient and preventing the kindness of behavior in the doctor.
    SSRI Drugs Impair Judgment, Wisdom, Understanding, Love And Empathy

    This likely explains the steadily worsening outcomes in treatment of most chronic diseases, as well as the steadily increasing incidence of chronic diseases (especially in the young). The current environment we live in is nothing short of a concerted attack on the human consciousness/mind, as the expansiveness and perceptive ability of that consciousness/mind has always been the only threat to the powers that be. As former President George H. W. Bush said in one interview - " ...if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us". The context was not medical, but it was still very much related to negating people's freedom and ability to perceive.
    The dark side of this article is that it suggests (and thus starting the conditioning process) certain entities will try to "formalize" the placebo effect in the form of a drug, and that humane care may be restricted only to the people who the system will judge are likely to benefit from it (based on their genes, of course). The very existence of the idea that only some people are genetically "gifted" to benefit from kindness shows how low the modern world has fallen. The fact that it is publicly discussed by the mouthpiece of the establishment (NYT) like something quite mundane and normal, suggests that work is likely already underway to implement this genetically-based segregation of humane-deserving and non-deserving patients.

    What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?
    "...They love that stuff.” As of now, there are no molecules for conditioning or expectancy — or, indeed, for Kaptchuk’s own pet theory, which holds that the placebo effect is a result of the complex conscious and nonconscious processes embedded in the practitioner-patient relationship — and without them, placebo researchers are hard-pressed to gain purchase in mainstream medicine."

    "...That didn’t imply that people were pretending to twitch or cry out, or lying when they said they felt better; only that their behavior wasn’t a result of this nonexistent force. Rather, the panel wrote, “the imagination singly produces all the effects attributed to the magnetism.”

    "...It wouldn’t be the last time science would turn its focus to the placebo effect only to quarantine it. At a 1955 meeting of the American Medical Association, the Harvard surgeon Henry Beecher pointed out to his colleagues that while they might have thought that placebos were fake medicine — even the name, which means “I shall please” in Latin, carries more than a hint of contempt — they couldn’t deny that the results were real. Beecher had been looking at the subject systematically, and he determined that placebos could relieve anxiety and postoperative pain, change the blood chemistry of patients in a way similar to drugs and even cause side effects. In general, he told them, more than one-third of patients would get better when given a treatment that was, pharmacologically speaking, inert."

    "...When he broached this provocation in conversation with me not long before the conference, it became clear that his point harked directly back to Franklin: that the topic he and his colleagues studied was created by the scientific establishment, and only in order to exclude it — which means that they are always playing on hostile terrain. Science is “designed to get rid of the husks and find the kernels,” he told me. Much can be lost in the threshing — in particular, Kaptchuk sometimes worries, the rituals embedded in the doctor-patient encounter that he thinks are fundamental to the placebo effect, and that he believes embody an aspect of medicine that has disappeared as scientists and doctors pursue the course laid by Franklin’s commission. “Medical care is a moral act,” he says, in which a suffering person puts his or her fate in the hands of a trusted healer."

    "...The findings of the I.B.S. study were in keeping with a hypothesis Kaptchuk had formed over the years: that the placebo effect is a biological response to an act of caring; that somehow the encounter itself calls forth healing and that the more intense and focused it is, the more healing it evokes. He elaborated on this idea in a comparative study of conventional medicine, acupuncture and Navajo “chantway rituals,” in which healers lead storytelling ceremonies for the sick. He argued that all three approaches unfold in a space set aside for the purpose and proceed as if according to a script, with prescribed roles for every participant. Each modality, in other words, is its own kind of ritual, and Kaptchuk suggested that the ritual itself is part of what makes the procedure effective, as if the combined experiences of the healer and the patient, reinforced by the special-but-familiar surroundings, evoke a healing response that operates independently of the treatment’s specifics. “Rituals trigger specific neurobiological pathways that specifically modulate bodily sensations, symptoms and emotions,” he wrote. “It seems that if the mind can be persuaded, the body can sometimes act accordingly.” He ended that paper with a call for further scientific study of the nexus between ritual and healing."

    "...The rs4680 gene snippet is one of a group that governs the production of COMT, and COMT is one of a number of enzymes that determine levels of catecholamines, a group of brain chemicals that includes dopamine and epinephrine. (Low COMT tends to mean higher levels of dopamine, and vice versa.)"

    "...This outcome contradicts the logic underlying clinical trials. It suggests that placebo and drug do not involve separate processes, one psychological and the other physical, that add up to the overall effectiveness of the treatment; rather, they may both operate on the same biochemical pathway — the one governed in part by the COMT gene."

    "...This pathway may be where the brain translates the act of caring into physical healing, turning on the biological processes that relieve pain, reduce inflammation and promote health, especially in chronic and stress-related illnesses — like irritable bowel syndrome and some heart diseases. If the brain employs this same pathway in response to drugs and placebos, then of course it is possible that they might work together, like convoys of drafting trucks, to traverse the territory. But it is also possible that they will encroach on one another, that there will be traffic jams in the pathway."

    "...Kaptchuk may wish “to help reconfigure biomedicine by rejecting the idea that healing is only the application of mechanical tools.” He may believe that healing is a moral act in which “caring in the context of hope qualitatively changes clinical outcomes.” He may be convinced that the relationship kindled by the encounter between a suffering person and a healer is a central, and almost entirely overlooked, component of medical treatment. And he may have dedicated the last 20 years of his life to persuading the medical establishment to listen to him. But he may also come to regret the outcome. After all, if Hall is right that clinician warmth is especially effective with a certain genotype, then, as she wrote in the paper presenting her findings from the I.B.S./sham-acupuncture study, it is also true that a different group will “derive minimum benefit” from “empathic attentions. Should medical rituals be doled out according to genotype, with warmth and caring withheld in order to clear the way for the drugs? And if she is correct that a certain ensemble of neurochemical events underlies the placebo effect, then what is to stop a drug company from manufacturing a drug — a real drug, that is — that activates the same process pharmacologically? Welcomed back into the medical fold, the placebo effect may raise enough mischief to make Kaptchuk rue its return, and bewilder patients when they discover that their doctor’s bedside manner is tailored to their genes."

    "...For the most part, most days, Kaptchuk manages to keep his qualms to himself, to carry on as if he were fully confident that scientific inquiry can restore the moral dimension to medicine. But the precariousness of his endeavors is never far from his mind. “Will this work destroy the stuff that actually has to do with wisdom, preciousness, imagination, the things that are actually critical to who we are as human beings?” he asks. His answer: “I don’t know, but I have to believe there is an infinite reserve of wisdom and imagination that will resist being reduced to simple materialistic explanations.”"

    "...What if, Hall wonders, a treatment fails to work not because the drug and the individual are biochemically incompatible, but rather because in some people the drug interferes with the placebo response, which if properly used might reduce disease? Or conversely, what if the placebo response is, in people with a different variant, working against drug treatments, which would mean that a change in the psychosocial context could make the drug more effective? Everyone may respond to the clinical setting, but there is no reason to think that the response is always positive. According to Hall’s new way of thinking, the placebo effect is not just some constant to be subtracted from the drug effect but an intrinsic part of a complex interaction among genes, drugs and mind. And if she’s right, then one of the cornerstones of modern medicine — the placebo-controlled clinical trial — is deeply flawed."
     
  2. lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    Just wow. Overall, what a post @haidut; pulling all the pieces together! The more of these type of posts I read, the more I am convinced to stay FAR away from medical intervention including doctor visits and participating in doctor prescribed lab tests. It also makes me hesitant to even get blood labs taken independent of a doctor. I am not convinced of my privacy any longer.
     
  3. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    The problem is more fundamental, it's an ethical issue before anything: it's easier to push a treatment with kindness, or tell the patient during a comforting hug that there's nothing else to does..
    Cancer and Wisdom of the Body - Death Denial

    In this case, awareness of patients' needs will only serve to improve the ways of influencing them.

    Sometimes people seek a worse professional that seems to get them, than the more competent one. There are cases in which there's success out of dissatisfaction (the patient leaves feeling uncomprehended):

    Blocking Tissue Destruction

    "A very healthy 71 year-old man was under his house repairing the foundation, when a support slipped and let the house fall far enough to break some facial bones. During his recovery, he developed arthritis in his hands. It is fairly common for arthritis to appear shortly after an accident, a shock, or surgery, and Hans Selye's famous work with rats shows that when stress exhausts the adrenal glands (so they are unable to produce normal amounts of cortisone and related steroid hormones), arthritis and other "degenerative" diseases are likely to develop.

    But when this man went to his doctor to "get something for his arthritis," he was annoyed that the doctor insisted on giving him a complete physical exam, and wouldn't give him a shot of cortisone. The examination showed low thyroid function, and the doctor prescribed a supplement of thyroid extract, explaining that arthritis is one of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism. The patient agreed to take the thyroid, but for several days he grumbled about the doctor 'fixing something that wasn't wrong' with him, and ignoring his arthritis. But in less than two weeks, the arthritis had entirely disappeared. He lived to be 89, without a recurrence of arthritis. (He died iatrogenically, while in good health.)"​

    Distance is not all bad, it's useful for objectiveness. Various surgeons refuse to operate immediate relatives because they get too involved to the point of risking messing up.
     
  4. danielbb

    danielbb Member

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    I wonder about these things too.

    I think of two types of conditions that are outside of normal, healthy bodily functions - acute and chronic. I believe our doctors are excellent in many cases of treating acute symptoms like prescribing an antibiotic for an infection, stitching a serious wound, placing a stent in a blocked artery, setting a fractured bone, treating thyroid conditions, and so forth. Chronic disease however, has been blamed on genetics in many cases and I am not satisfied with that. Heart disease is rising and the #1 killer. Statins and blood pressure meds do not seem to be solving that problem. Cancer is close behind and #2 on the list. Lets destroy healthy tissue with chemotherapy so we "might" be able to kill cancerous tissue. An interesting feature of cancer treatment is that many die with pneumonia because their immune systems have been destroyed and well before the time the actual cancer has had a chance to kill them. How many out there know somebody with dementia? How many know somebody with depression? Something is making people chronically sick.

    I believe there is a "genetic" link and that link is that most of us "learned" how and what to eat from our parents along with societal queues like food advertising, television, and what not. I've experienced first hand that poor dietary choices are capable of destroying our minds and bodies. For some reason, I have been given a second chance and now have had my eyes opened to the wonderful possibility that we all have the power to heal ourselves - from the inside out - given enough time and proper nutrition. There is a caveat to that thought however. Most of us are aware of the story of Noah and how he built an Arc. I believe our bodies are like an arc. If you take care of it, build it, and maintain it properly, it will take you through the most fearsome storms. If you wait until it starts raining (like I did), it may be too late. For me, and most thankfully to God, the doves have returned to me and have let me know that land is safely near.
     
  5. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    Alone, the feelings of want and pain emerge

    Devoid of spirit, the human vessel crumbles

    Life too precious to waste, but how easy it is

    Inundated with noise, the truth cries for ears

    Where love is void, hell is found

    Where love is found, He is
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    I am in the same boat. As far as privacy, needless to say, we don't have any. Actually, this applies more to medical tests than any other service since the potential for control of people's lives is unparalleled. If you think about it, Quest and LabCorp have biomarkers and genetic data on most of the US population and probably a good portion of the world as well. What a gold mine for the IT gestapos like Google, Amazon, etc to data mine and extract meaningless correlations to further control over us and increase profits by making the drug ads on TV that much more targeted. There is nothing preventing Quest and Labcorp from selling "anonymized" data to whomever is willing to pay.
    As far as doctors - for the last 7 years or so I have been vising my only PCP and our meetings are basically small-talk about world affairs. Ever since his mom died of pancreatic cancer within 5 months of taking a diabetes II drug, he became real quiet and stopped pushing any drugs or "preventive" therapies.
    Johns Hopkins Scientists Say Risk of Pancreatitis Doubles for Those Taking New Class of Diabetes Drugs - 02/26/2013

    His mom had diabetes for 40 years before that and had no symptoms other than weight gain. He convinced her to see an endocrinologist who prescribed Januvia (see above link). Four months after starting on the drug she became jaundiced, went to the hospital and was gone within 2 months of cut/poison/burn regimen.
    Aside from emergency care medicine and trauma surgery, everything else is a giant, deadly scam.
     
  7. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Not any more, cancer is now the leading cause of death. See the links posted in the thread below.
    Medical Errors Are The Third-leading Causes Of Death In The US

    And yes, as I also mentioned to @lisaferraro above, aside from emergency medicine and maybe some surgery everything else is a death sentence or at best a waste of time and money.
     
  8. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Lovely. Is it your own poem?
     
  9. Fractality

    Fractality Member

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    One cannot separate personal health from societal health. Societal health isn't looking good either.
     
  10. lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    +1 I forgot to say this. I am not a fool, a car hits me and I need emergency care to fix a cut artery to remain alive, I will never refuse such fantastic life saving skills of our medical field.

    That said...

    I am now a firm believer in researching, educating myself on my body and any symptoms and step by step taking my wellness in my own hands.
     
  11. Pulstar

    Pulstar Member

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    @haidut, I think you've mentioned somewhere that majority of humans are basically good samaritans by default, if they are healthy, well fed, with high metabolism, full of energy, high dopamine, etc.

    I think, it is possible, to some extent, to be kind towards others or be optimistic with only will power. But having a good health and energy makes it easier. Knowledge about all these serotonin / dopamine interactions is a paramount, especially in today's throat cutting world.

    If you have tools, you are less helpless (less learned helplessness).
     
  12. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    Thank you. Yes I wrote it spurred on by sentiments from reading your post.

    The more I read, learn, and experience, the more toxicity I see in modern life.

    But in all this ugliness lies beauty and truth, and so i guess my prerogative is to stick to what I know and feel to be right, and trust that by sticking to what is right, I will be protected from degeneration and demise.

    I think there is a lot to gain behind traditional ways of living, blended with modern tools of expedition, which can create a life that is on the whole good.

    My homemade chicken stock soup brings me so much more nourishment and health compared to the grocery store broth.
     
  13. tankasnowgod

    tankasnowgod Member

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    Amazing. Reminds me of what Abram Hoffer said- In order to get well, a patient needs four things-

    1. Shelter. (You can't treat the homeless)
    2. Good Food
    3. Respect. Every patient needs to be treated like a human being
    4. "Orthomolecular Medicine," which is vitamins, minerals, supplements, nutrition, and drugs if necessary. (he states this beginning at 5:40 in the video I posted below)

    I know he said somewhere that Quakers in the 1850s had a better record treating schizophrenia than modern medicine, as they provided the first three, and 50% of patients recovered.




    Bush Sr. was correct there. I know most of the elites don't care about the majority of us. They just see us as "eaters." I'm okay with that, however. I don't think much of the so-called "Elite." I see them as nothing but useless parasites. Humanity would be so much better in every way if we (somehow) can shake them off.

    I agree with this, and think it's been going on for even longer than "genes" were called genes. Bloodlines are really important to the elite, even to this day. All genes or "genetic" info really is a more modern and detailed view of traditional "bloodlines."

    100% agree, with only one other thing to add- blood donation. It may be the only thing in medicine that is truly amazing, a free service rendered to the donor, a "gift" from a stranger, (who often benefits from iron reduction), and another life saved or extended (especially in an emergency case of excessive blood loss).
     
  14. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    They also don't seem to be doing well health-wise themselves. The belief in genes is so entrenched even in their own circles that an "elite" diagnosed with cancer (Steve Jobs, Paul Allen) has not much higher chance of survival than a commoner.
     
  15. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Intuitive knowledge, based on observation/experiment, has always been the single true source of wisdom for mankind.
    Intuitive knowledge and its development

    Institutional science, which began simply as an analogy of the Industrial Revolution in science, has not achieved much in terms of improving mankind's health. In fact, it was purposefully designed for maximizing employment and keeping dissenters within the circle of elite's control, not pushing the boundary of knowledge.
     
  16. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    True, some knowledge is better than no knowledge. But the "will to help others" can only be taken so far. I have seen truly wonderful, kind, generous, altruistic human beings turn (temporarily) into savage freaks when exhausted to the point of collapse. Will depends on energy, just like every other aspect of human consciousness. Thus, there is only so much you can give away without replenishment (which depends on environmental quality) until you enter into "emergency mode" and the primitive form of consciousness takes over, turning you into a cannibalistic "locust".
    Genes Do NOT Matter (much)

    We can be equally beasts or angels, depending on the quality of the environment we live in. The vast majority of serial killers had traumatic childhood (or the mother was abused when pregnant) and as such severe serotonin excess, which matches quite well with the article on grasshoppers/locusts above.
     
  17. Motif

    Motif Member

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    I'm in many many fb health groups for all kinds of chronical diseases and I was reading 1000 times that someone claims to became ill after somebody the person was close to died or after an accident or after somebody broke up with them, cheated on them, etc etc etc

    From people with hashimoto, psoriasis and other skin diseases, diabetes etc etc


    My eczema started too after some really ****88 up times.



    This makes me kind of scared of the future and of sad incidents that are going to happen sooner or later.
     
  18. Lolinaa

    Lolinaa Member

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    In the country where I live, I attended a conference. Very serious one with people in charge of the system. And the Doctors future plan is to have patients doing the consultations via internet.

    We know in occidental countries how loneliness is becoming a disease by itself. And as human being we need contacts, as it is mentionning in Haidut's article the patient healer relationship will lack this human aspect.

    Somebody mentionned Doctors are good at curing thyroid. No they are not. I have visited at least 3 GP and 1 Endocrinologist before giving up and buying my stuff via internet. If it was for these people, I would have end up in a psychiatric hospital or worse.
     
  19. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Great post @haidut. Although I'm not a doctor I’ve thought for quite some time that the most valuable thing I can do in a day is just treat others with kindness, compassion and dignity.

    @Lolinaa I have an experience to share along the same lines of internet consultation. Last year the hospital (LTAC) I was working at started a new program so they didn't have to keep a doctor in house on night shift. No doubt it was to save money. Basically you'd wheel a specially designed computer with audio and video capabilities into the patient room and call the doctor at home so he or she could 'examine' the situation and give orders.
     
  20. akgrrrl

    akgrrrl Member

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    nice warm fuzzy thread, poignant post@haidut THANKS
     
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