Placebo Effect Causes
Than It Cures
Regarding the issue of "religious healing". I am reading Thieves, Decievers and Killers: Tales of Chemistry in Nature by William Agosta.
On page 160, he describes, "One widely noted Japanese study reported monumental effects on the allergic reactions of thirteen volunteers who were highly susceptible to poison ivy. An investigator rubbed one arm of each volunteer with a harmless green leaf, which he identified as poison ivy. He touched the volunteer's other arm with an authentic leaf of poison ivy, which he said was harmless. Despite the subject's known susceptibility, only two of them showed an allergic reaction to the really poisonous leaf. All thirteen subjects, however, developed a rash where they had been rubbed with the misidentified leaf that was actually harmless."
"The placebo effect manifests itself in many ways, revealing that a host of bodily reactions can be influenced by mental attitude and by what an individual believes should happen."
[A Discovery Channel program on "Stigmata" gave evidence that stigmata can be produced by the faithful by natural, physical or psychological effects similar to the placebo effects.]
"It is normal for 15 to 20 percent of patients receiving dummy pills in a clinical trial to show varying degrees of improvement. The number can ge greater than 35 or 40 percent."
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