Although I would like to point out that homeopathy DOES work for many many people, whether it is through placebo or whatever there is no doubt it can do what it claims in some cases.
Even if it is just water and sugar pills
Is that why you asked where I found the link? Is Marsh from Merseyside Skeptics? Not quite sure I get the point of your post as it looks as if you are in some agreement that it works "through placebo or whatever" Unless it's sarcasm? Which would then make sense as you do own the Bad Homeopathy website. It's late so you'll have to forgive me if I've misinterpreted this
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” Christopher Hitchens
Yes, Amaris, he is from Merseyside Skeptics. I like Marsh, he puts a lot of time and effort into trying to make people see the futility and possible danger of using homeopathic remedies. He doesn't do it for self-promotion, he does it because he genuinely wants people to realise how useless homeopathy is and ultimately to get it off the shelves of Boots and other such places. He does promote MSS, however, purely so that more people can check them out and read up about homeopathy for themselves.
Homeopathy doesn't 'work' for many people through the placebo effect. The placebo effects works all by itself.
Post by Mr. Jon Donnis on Feb 6, 2011 14:20:48 GMT
The problem we have is that thousands of people are convinced that homeopathy has worked for them. I think the issue shouldn't be about just saying it doesn't work, but perhaps understanding when it seemingly does.
I think homeopathy for depression sufferers is great. If they believe in it, and it works, then surely that is better than giving them real more expensive medicine?
Its a difficult subject because homeopathy IS bulls*it, we know that 100%. The problem is that for some things surely it is better.
Perhaps homeopathy should be made illegal in this country and instead we sell products labelled "Placebo" With it you explain how it works, and educate people.
That way if people want to use a placebo then fine.
Placebos should be priced accordingly so a bottle full of sugar pills should cost the same as the equivelent weight of sugar!
Plcebos could be sold only for conditions or alements that will either heal themselves naturally.
How about a placebo hang over cure! Take 2 tablets every hour with a full glass of water, and you will feel better! This would work 100%
A bad ass who will beat you like he's using the fists of god.
People are convinced homeopathy has worked for them usually because they've had a minor ailment that has cleared up, ie a cold, cough etc. They fail to realise that these things have a fairly short lifespan in terms of symptoms from beginning to end and that the illness is actually going away of its own accord, but they convince themselves that the pills have worked and so attribute the 'cure' to the sugar pills. This isn't even the placebo effect, it's the illness running its natural course.
Depression is a serious condition that needs long-term care and treatment ranging from counselling to conventional anti-depressants, or both, depending on the person and the reasons for their depression. It's not the same as just feeling a bit low. So I would definitely not feel homeopathy was a good choice for anyone with true depression.
If anyone is still wondering what the harm is regarding homeopathy, then take a look at this:
The placebo effect requires the person to "think" it may be beneficial to them ...if as Jon suggested they stick labels saying placebo on sugar pills with instructions explaining how the placebo effect works then I fail to see how they would still "think" it might work for them.
As Jo points out the majority of people who experience a "benefit" experience nothing more than the end of something that is a reasonably minor short lived ailement that has run its course or the coincidental remission of an ailment that by its nature "comes and goes". They are getting no benefit from attributing that to a placebo and may even refrain from seeking other more beneficial conventional medical treatments.
As most people should be aware ...many will avoid a visiting a doctor at all costs and try anything before they get to sumbit to entering a surgery or hospital ,particularly for illnesses or conditions that they feel hold some social taboo. Would they benefit from this placebo labelled pill (well as already discussed obviously not as the placebo effect wouldnt work if they were aware it was a placebo)
As for homeopathy as it is (free from Jons placebo label suggestion) as a means for treating depression it's the worst kind of utter b***cks you could ever imagine. Placebo in the form of a pill doesn't work for depression particularly the chemically imbalanced kind because the action of taking a pill that does feck all for that imbalance even if the person believes it might is rapidly realised as useless by them when the person descends even further in the abyss that doesn't have the short life cycle other far less debilitating ailements like a runny bleedin nose or cough or cold have.
Interesting comment Jon, will you offer the same view on those with depression going to see psychics or going to church?
Firstly let me state that my knowledge on things like depression and mental illness is well not very good, so realistically I would never advise anyone with any kind of illness see or pay anyone other than a professional real qualified doctor etc.
I think for many people who have suffered problems things like church can help, but it is not the religion that helps them it is the social aspect.
To feel a part of something can help people. Doesnt have to be a church, could be a social club or group of something.
I would never advise anyone to visit a psychic for any reason however mundane.
A bad ass who will beat you like he's using the fists of god.
Kaptchuk and Kirsch demonstrated that placebo treatment can be highly effective for alleviating the symptoms of IBS. This time, however, instead of the trial being “blinded,” it was “open.” That is, the volunteers in the placebo group knew that they were getting only inert pills — which they were instructed to take religiously, twice a day. They were also informed that, just as Ivan Pavlov trained his dogs to drool at the sound of a bell, the body could be trained to activate its own built-in healing network by the act of swallowing a pill. In other words, in addition to the bogus medication, the volunteers were given a true story — the story of the placebo effect. They also received the care and attention of clinicians, which have been found in many other studies to be crucial for eliciting placebo effects. The combination of the story and a supportive clinical environment were enough to prevail over the knowledge that there was really nothing in the pills. People in the placebo arm of the trial got better — clinically, measurably, significantly better — on standard scales of symptom severity and overall quality of life. In fact, the volunteers in the placebo group experienced improvement comparable to patients taking a drug called alosetron, the standard of care for IBS.
They were still telling them that it would work , giving the mind the story it needed with the added ritual of taking the pill, the only difference is they were clear that the pill was made of inert substance that has no effect itself on the ailment. In effect they are selling the placebo effect rather than the pill to the patient.
It was just one study on IBS however there would need to be far more research done in other illnesses etc.
And it couldn't be applied to the selling of placebos in shops relying on a label only to provide the knowledge to the patient. In the trial " They also received the care and attention of clinicians, which have been found in many other studies to be crucial for eliciting placebo effects."