About me

I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a child, and a love of reading was instilled in me from an early age. I am passionate about writing, and hope you enjoy the books I have written. Whilst most of you sleep soundly in your beds, like many Parkinson’s patients, insomnia dictates, so during those hours that sleep eludes me, the house is tranquil and quiet, an atmosphere perfect to immerse myself in writing. My life has been a series of strange events, which have without doubt contributed to my creativity. To publish anything is to bear one’s soul to the world. It is to stand naked and let everyone see who you really are. I have poured my heart and soul out on paper and I hope to share this journey, immersing you in a story, capturing your attention and firing the imagination. Through my writing and public speaking I hope to bring greater awareness to the general public about living with chronic disease.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Placebo Effect

Reading Jill Sadowsky's blog, I was immediately struck by her piece written by Dr. Pennie, a doctor talking about narrative medicine and the placebo effect. Hereunder is a short piece, with Jill's permission I am sharing with you:
‘It took me a long time to notice, but many of my patients told me "We are feeling much better now, doctor." And this was said at about the time that our first half-hour consultation was coming to an end. They had not yet taken the pills nor received the shots I was about to prescribe for them, but their faces were more relaxed, their voices less strained, their eyes brighter and their pain less severe. Clearly, they were starting to heal before I’d done anything remotely medical . I must have been launching my patients’ healing processes even before reaching for my prescription pad.
What I am talking about here is the placebo effect.  To most of us, a placebo is a fake sugar pill that commands no respect and deceives only the na├»ve or the ignorant. But, thanks to new rigorous studies, researchers are learning fascinating things about how the brain works to heal the body through the measurable power of the placebo effect. Given an appropriate milieu generated by a kindly, knowledgeable and self-confident health-care professional, placebos can cure a variety of real but subjective symptoms. These include pain, nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, abdominal cramps, sadness and despair. Sophisticated imaging techniques show that when a person trusts the therapy they are being given, the brain can reroute its signals and cause the body to heal itself – the placebo effect once again.
Added to this, the patient needs a kind word, empathy and reassurance as well as a firm but gentle touch. Add a touch of humor too. Physicians have been using these tools for a long time: since Hippocrates and his oath, in fact. One hundred years ago, it wasn't the leeches doctors put on your skin that healed you. It was the idea of being cared for that switched your brain into healing mode. Thanks to the placebo effect, many of the treatments and medicines we inflict on our patients seem to work, even though there is little or no physical reason for them to do so. The history of medicine -surgery, physiotherapy, chiropractice, and homeopathy are littered with discarded treatments that seemed a good idea at the time. Many therapies did not work as designed, but triggered surprisingly powerful placebo effects on the human mind.
According to his colleagues, Dr. Pennie had learned to optimize the placebo effect when caring for his patients. He harnesses the reassuring smile, the soothing voice, the gentle touch in ways that show he cares for his patient while in the process of diagnosing and treating.
I highly recommend you take a look at Jill Sadowsky's site.

No comments:

Post a Comment