This November I have decided to focus these emails on Placebo studies and the effects that the mind has over the body.
For those of you who don't know what a Placebo study is, it is defined as the following:
"Placebo-controlled studies are a way of testing a medical therapy in which, in addition to a group of subjects that receives the treatment to be evaluated, a separate control group receives a sham "placebo" treatment which is specifically designed to have no real effect."
This can take the form of a pill that is given to the Placebo group in which they believe they are receiving the actual pharmaceutical or the form of a surgery in which the Placebo groups believe they have received a real surgery when in fact they did not receive a surgery at all and only received a series of strategically placed "incisions".
Prepare to have your mind blown when you begin to research Placebos and the power that they have to make a change in how the people in the studies feel and heal.
So in honor of expanding our minds to what is possible, this month we are going to focus on Placebos.
The first study that I would like to mention is a very interesting study that was done on patients complaining of "Knee Pain" due to arthritis.
The results were fascinating.
Out of 180 people who were studied, they were place into three groups of nearly 60 people each. One group received debridement of the knee, another group received a lavage procedure, and the final group received a sham Placebo intervention where only incisions were made on the skin in order to give the appearance of a real surgery. The patient in the Placebo group had no idea that they received a sham surgery.
At the two year follow up point, all three categories of interventions reported nearly identical results.
“At no point did either arthroscopic-intervention group have greater pain relief than the placebo group. For example, there was no difference in knee pain between the placebo group and either the lavage group or the debridement group at one year.”
“Similarly, there was no significant difference in arthritis pain between the placebo group and the lavage group or the debridement group at one or two years”
“Furthermore, at no time point did either arthroscopic-intervention group have significantly greater improvement in function than the placebo group.”
What’s EVEN MORE, the debridement group actually showed a worsening in abilities to walk and climb stairs!
“Indeed, objectively measured walking and stair climbing were poorer in the debridement group than in the placebo group at two weeks, and one year, and showed a trend toward worse functioning at two years”
In conclusion the authors went on to state…
“This study provides strong evidence that arthroscopic lavage with or without debridement is not better than and appears to be equivalent to a placebo procedure in improving knee pain and self-reported function. Indeed, at some points during follow-up, objective function was significantly worse in the debridement group than in the placebo group.”
This really goes to show that when you TELL someone that you have “fixed” the problem (even when they have received a sham surgery), it makes a lasting IMPRESSION on their subconscious mind, enough to mimic the results of an actual surgery.
It makes you wonder if simply telling people that Arthritis is “bad” is actually doing the same thing.
What if we began to view Arthritis for what it truly is?
A natural part of the aging process with no conclusive evidence that it causes pain.