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What is the "placebo effect," and how does it relate specifically to alternative medicine?
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The "placebo effect" refers to experiments involving medical patients who are divided into two or more groups, with some provided legitimate medicines and the others, unknown to the test subjects, are given fake medicines, or placebos, instead. The idea is to verify the effectiveness of certain treatment options by taking into account the propensity of some individuals to psychologically "heal" themselves by honestly believing that they are taking real medicine. The improvement in health, or, at least, the sensation of healing, on the part of those given placebos is the "placebo effect." The risk, of course, is for those genuinely ill individuals provided the placebos who do not demonstrate a marked improvement in their health and may become more ill by virtue of the delay in legitimate treatment.
Placebos can be comprised of any harmless substance, including sugar or variations of legitimate medications altered to ineffective by removal of a key chemical. The concept of alternative medicines is grounded in no small part by the large -- as much as 30 percent -- of a test group that shows improvement while taking the placebos. Alternative medicines, including homeopathic medications, may involve the use of ingredients from nature that have been demonstrated to positively interact with substances in the body, or they may prove useless by harmless. In any event, the interactions between pharmacological substances and homeopathic medications can prove harmful to some patients. Placebos made up of completely inert substances, however, are simply harmless without concerns regarding chemical interactions in the body.
Posted by kipling2448 on January 30, 2014 at 11:15 PM (Answer #1)
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Placebo effect is a fake treatment that seems to be a real treatment. It can be a pill, it has nothing in it to cure you. For example, if some were to have a back pain and was administered a placebo they would most likely report improvement. Placebo effect is an aspect of human physiology that is just a belief that a treatment or pill is curing them.
Posted by Yojana_Thapa on January 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM (Answer #2)
The Placebo effect is a phsychological term used to describe the effects of recieving a non-treatment. By that I mean that a patient or subject is given a treatment and told it is a cure for an ailment when actually it is not. It can be applied to alternative medicine because, while the treatment in question may not be clinically proven to resolve symptoms the patient feels a change anyway. In essence the patient heals themselves without realizing it.
Posted by CaitlynnReeves on February 4, 2014 at 9:17 PM (Answer #3)
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The Placebo effect is basically a simulated and medically ineffective for a disease or condition and is intended to deceive the patient. Patients might or might not see evidence of the Placebo effect, depending on how the placebo treatment is deployed upon the patient.
Firstly, it is interesting to note that the Placebo effect has the keyword "placebo", which in Latin means "I please". This literally means that the Placebo effect is a psychological treatment of convincing the patient that he is or will get better as a result of taking a medication in most cases, with the medication being inert most of the time, and the Placebo effect thus leads to a therapeutic effect on the patient, thus making the person feel better, "pleasing" the person in that sense.
However, it is not scientifically proven that the Placebo effect does actually cure a condition, but it has been shown that the effect does medically result in an improvement in the condition of the person, thus it is considered to be an "alternative medicine", which is sadly not taught at medical schools or used in conventional practices.
Posted by parama9000 on February 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM (Answer #4)
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