Re: Fw: Will Florida Outlaw Naturopathy?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 18:52:30 MDT wrote:
> said:
> > Let me be quite clear--I never did, and never would, say that I could
> > prove that accupuncture was ineffective (i.e. no better than placebo)
> > for weight loss.
> You neglect the fact that the placebo effect *is* an effect. Quite useful
> as a medical approach. Acupuncture has survived this long because people
> who use it for pain relief and relief of other symptoms do bring into play
> various physiological and psychological effects that cause them to feel
> better.
> Why is it necessary to do better than a placebo? It *is* important to not
> do worse than a placebo. One of the important facts is that it's better
> than doing nothing.

Placebo is not a 'cure'. Placebo is roughly that in any study, around
17% of participants will report 'feeling better' or 'noticing a
difference' (subjective opinions all) when treated with sugar water. If
the study is on curing cancer, some cancer tumors go away for no
explicable reason. That they may go away at the same time someone is
undergoing a placebo treatment is purely coincidence. Similarly, the
recent claims about the 'power of prayer' all hinge on placebo effect.
It is self and mass delusion accompanied by coincidental occurences.

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