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Articles on Placebo

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Clinical hypnotherapy can be defined as being a combination of both hypnosis and psychological intervention. Katy Silberger

Hypnotherapy: panacea or placebo?

The term hypnosis often leads to visions of willing participants engaging in outrageous and embarrassing stunts at the command of a hypnotist. But while this practice of humiliating participants on stage…
It’s unclear whether reflexology provides any therapeutic benefits beyond those of a generic foot massage. Paul Bence

Reflexology: panacea or placebo?

Reflexology is a form of manual therapy based on the principle that specific locations on the feet, hands and ears have connections to the rest of the body. By applying pressure to these locations using…
Calendula (marigold), lavendar and rosemary are used by practitioners of Western herbal medicine. Smoobs/Flickr

Western herbal medicine – panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Herbs have been used for therapeutic purposes in most cultures for hundreds and even thousands…
There is no convincing evidence that the therapy works. Cafemama

Aromatherapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Aromatherapy is based on the idea that aromatic substances, usually the essential oils of plants…
The idea of Chi (life force) flowing through meridians has an allegorical quality and the appeal of an ancient provenance. jacqueline/Flickr

Acupuncture research – the path least scientific?

A recent, rather flattering, article on acupuncture on this website holds a mirror to a broader problem in the world of acupuncture research. A problem that goes to the heart of the most fundamental scientific…
Most people see chiropractors for spine pain or other musculoskeletal conditions. Michael Dorausch

Chiropractic therapy: placebo or panacea?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Chiropractors use manual therapy to address musculoskeletal-related conditions (joints, ligaments…
The available evidence shows colonic therapy is neither safe nor effective. MoHotta18

Colonic therapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Colonic therapy – also known as colonic irrigation, colonic hydrotherapy or a high enema – is…
Modern research techniques are looking for evidence of efficacy for this 2,500-year-old practice. Peter Fasano

Modern acupuncture: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Acupuncture has been practiced in China for over 2,500 years. During the reign of Emperor Huang…
Some of the techniques that form the armamentarium of myotherapy are supported by some positive evidence. o5com

Myotherapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Myotherapy was developed by American Bonnie Prudden in the 1970s as a system of treating painful…
Placebo treatments can be effective in treating some conditions by the “self-healing” capabilities of the brain. melancolie en velours/Flickr

Mind over matter? The ethics of using the placebo effect

There’s good evidence showing expectations to get better have significant effects on how patients suffering a variety of ailments feel. This is called the placebo effect from the original meaning in Latin…
Despite placebos’ reputation as worthless therapy, many medical practitioners still use them. FML/Wikimedia Commons

Not just smoke and mirrors: placebo’s place in modern medicine

Belief is a powerful medicine but the term “placebo” has negative connotations. In modern evidence-based medicine, treatments considered worthless are described as no better than placebos. But this description…
It’s even possible to get relief from symptoms when knowingly taking a placebo. Flickr/JLA Kliche

Monday’s medical myth: the placebo effect only works on the gullible

If you took a pill that had been prescribed to treat your illness and it alleviated your symptoms, that means the medicine worked – right? What if you took a complementary medicine from a health food store…

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