I have earlier written about these things. Screaming cells, are also about the same topic.
This is not only about love. It is about patterns of brain activation; specific patterns of brain activity may mediate reward or relief of pain. Increased activation of brain regions such as the caudate and nucleus accumbens was associated with pain relief. Some brain regions activated by the “love task” described are also associated with activation of brain areas responsible for memory, attention, and sexual arousal. In addition, the researchers had no way to determine how much attention a given participant was paying to the pictures during the experiment. Surprisingly, there was no specific brain region that increased in activity during viewing pictures of a romantic partner to a degree similar to the extent of the pain relief experienced.
Specific behavioral experiences can reduce pain without drugs, they suggest.
This from a blog,Proto.
The fact that placebos may work even when individuals are fully knowledgeable that they are not taking an active drug may bypass the ethical dilemma of deceiving patients. According to Ted Kaptchuk at Harvard Medical School and his colleagues at least one condition can be calmed by placebo, even when everyone knows it's just an inert pill. This raises a thorny question: should we start offering sugar pills for ailments without a treatment? The power of Nothing?
Every fibromyalgia patient know that two days are not equal, one day pain, the other not, and the main difference is in the self-reward. Feelings of pleasure. A warm hand.
Or take a re-organization at job. Never have so many been so sick.
Or, why are women more sick than men, on the general spoken. Is it the hormones or their social positions? Their ability to get rewardness for what they are doing?
Take the placebo-effect. "For most of us, the "placebo effect" is synonymous with the power of positive thinking; it works because you believe you're taking a real drug - used in clinical trials as controls for potential new medications. In fact, data on placebos is so compelling that many American physicians (one study estimates 50 percent) secretly give placebos to unsuspecting patients."
50% is a high number. And it can be strengthen actively to a lot more.
Ted Kaptchuk with colleagues explored whether or not the power of placebos can be harnessed honestly and respectfully. And got surprised.
Placebo worked better than medicine! Why?
To do this, 80 patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were divided into two groups: one group, the controls, received no treatment, while the other group received a regimen of placebos—honestly described as "like sugar pills"—which they were instructed to take twice daily.
"Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle," says Kaptchuk. "We told the patients that they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills."
For a three-week period, the patients were monitored. By the end of the trial, nearly twice as many patients treated with the placebo reported adequate symptom relief as compared to the control group (59 percent vs. 35 percent). Also, on other outcome measures, patients taking the placebo doubled their rates of improvement to a degree roughly equivalent to the effects of the most powerful IBS medications.
Kaptchuk: "these findings suggest that rather than mere positive thinking, there may be significant benefit to the very performance of medical ritual. I'm excited about studying this further. Placebo may work even if patients knows it is a placebo."
I also remember a report telling about a comparision between a very good doctor, with high degree of knowledge, but a rude manner, and a gentle doctor, not so good. Guess who got better results? The gentle one of course. Why?
Could it be about rewardness, dignity and respect? To be seen as humans?
What about homeopathy? It sometimes contain absolutely no effective molecule. Only sugar pills. Is it placebo?
Even animals and small children that don't know they eat it get better. Can it be placebo, or information as they say? What is information?
Jaques Benveniste (at former digibio) and others showed that homeopathy works, but he was a victim for a cruel game and died before his time. James Randi is a Magi and knew maybe very well what he was doing? Should we rather believe such a man?
Pitkänen has done much to explain the memory.
Everyone can see how love works its miracles, but the same remedy works also elsewhere, maybe less dramatically. And rejection from a loved one feels like pain, and is in reality nocebo, the precise opposite.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Take care of each other. Show love, dignity and compassion (about compassion - it can be done in bad ways, and in good ways).
This post was maybe inspired of self-pity, sitting alone sick at home at Christmas Eve. No Santa Claus showed up. I have not been so kind, I know. Sorry.
I thought to write about how he could do it, 'scientifically' :) - maybe next Christmas.