[LINK] Re: Link Digest, Vol 170, Issue 19

Kim Holburn kim.holburn at gmail.com
Thu Jan 11 18:57:52 AEDT 2007

I guess the whole thing comes down to mind involvement.  The reason  
drug companies go to such lengths to rule out placebo, and are forced  
to use double blind studies, which are not simple, is that the  
patients' knowledge or perhaps feeling or belief about the treatment  
they are getting seems to affect the success of the treatment.  The  
reason for double blind studies is that even the doctor's knowledge  
about the treatment appears to be communicated subliminally to the  
patient enough to affect results.  There is clearly some affect of  
"mind" here.  You don't have to postulate anything non-physical for  

On 2007/Jan/11, at 2:19 AM, Stewart Fist wrote:

> In reply to my statement
>>> There's no evidence that the bones of a depressive take longer to
>>> mend than
>>> the bones of an eternal optimist.  If there were, hospitals would
>>> load their
>>> patients up with a good high dose of morphine or opium to enlist
>>> euphoria
>>> and hasten the healing process.
> Kim replies
>> Actually, it's called a medically induced coma and they do do it.
>> Most healing is effected by the immune system and takes place during
>> sleep so there are good reasons for doing it.
> I would have thought the coma is evidence of exactly the opposite  
> -- which
> is what I was saying.  Being in a coma or being asleep clearly  
> removes the
> mind, or the person's positive attitude, or will-power, or whatever  
> you want
> to call it, from contention as a curing mechanism.   The less the  
> conscious
> brain activity, the better.

I'm not sure that being asleep removes the mind.  Everything that  
makes up the mind doesn't evaporate during sleep, it's all still  
there.  None of this requires "conscious" control in fact most of it  
seems unconscious and body healing is mostly done during sleep which  
would seem to indicate that unconsciousness is a requirement for  
healing.  It still seems that attitude or belief has some place in  
the process, not sure why though.

>> Remember there is also the nocebo effect so to get placebo or nocebo
>> there must be some brain involvement.
> The promotion of the nocebo idea (that you can make yourself  
> actually ill by
> worrying about things) was promoted by (if not originated by) two very
> dubious scientists in Washington in the early 1980s (George Carlo  
> and Ernst
> Wynder), and by the neo-con lobby group they were both associated with
> called the Washington Legal Foundation (funded by tobacco, cellphone
> companies and some others).

Thanks for your stuff on nocebo.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3342707610
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
                           -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961

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