Compression Clothing

Compression Clothing: Not The Magic Bullet For Performance
March 30, 2015
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/03/30/392378800/compression-clothing-not-the-magic-bullet-for-performance

… “we found nothing,” Stickford says. No difference.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Two men who did show improvements while wearing the compression sleeves were the ones who believed the garments aided in training, racing and recovery.

“The placebo effect is a real effect. It affects performance,” Stickford says. “So if you think these garments work, there’s not really any harm in trying them out.”

Mind (ghrelin) Over Milkshake

Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach  
April 14, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/14/299179468/mind-over-milkshake-how-your-thoughts-fool-your-stomach

“Labels are not just labels; they evoke a set of beliefs,” says Alia Crum, a clinical psychologist who does research at the Columbia Business School in New York.

A couple of years ago, Crum found herself considering what seems like a pretty strange question.
She wanted to know whether the information conveyed by a nutritional label could physically change what happens to you — “whether these labels get under the skin literally,” she says, “and actually affect the body’s physiological processing of the nutrients that are consumed.”

Both before and after the people in the study drank their shakes, nurses measured their levels of a hormone called ghrelin.

Ghrelin is a hormone secreted in the gut … the hunger hormone. When ghrelin levels in the stomach rise, that signals the brain that it’s time to seek out food.
“It also slows metabolism,” Crum says, “just in case you might not find that food.”
But after your ghrelin rises, and you have a big meal (say a cheeseburger and a side of fries), then your ghrelin levels drop. That signals the mind, Crum says, that “you’ve had enough here, and I’m going to start revving up the metabolism so we can burn the calories we’ve just ingested.”
On the other hand, if you only have a small salad, your ghrelin levels don’t drop that much, and metabolism doesn’t get triggered in the same way.

For a long time scientists thought ghrelin levels fluctuated in response to nutrients that the ghrelin met in the stomach. So put in a big meal, ghrelin responds one way; put in a small snack and it responds another way.

But that’s not what Crum found in her milkshake study.

Change your mindset, change the game
Dr. Alia Crum
TEDxTraverseCity

The placebo response in …

behavioral_conditioningThe placebo response in medicine: minimize, maximize or personalize?
Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Mar;12(3):191-204.
Enck P, et al.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23449306

Our understanding of the mechanisms mediating or moderating the placebo response to medicines has grown substantially over the past decade and offers the opportunity to capitalize on its benefits in future drug development as well as in clinical practice. In this article, we discuss three strategies that could be used to modulate the placebo response, depending on which stage of the drug development process they are applied. In clinical trials the placebo effect should be minimized to optimize drug-placebo differences, thus ensuring that the efficacy of the investigational drug can be truly evaluated. Once the drug is approved and in clinical use, placebo effects should be maximized by harnessing patients’ expectations and learning mechanisms to improve treatment outcomes. Finally, personalizing placebo responses – which involves considering an individual’s genetic predisposition, personality, past medical history and treatment experience – could also maximize therapeutic outcomes.

From the perspective of a patient and the physician, maximal drug efficacy is desirable irrespective of whether the improvements are based on specific pharmacological effects, placebo mechanisms or a combination of both.

the verbal induction of negative expectations can abolish the effect of potent drugs such as opioids.
Therefore optimizing patients’ expectations before and during medical interventions may contribute to improved clinical outcomes.

Brief psychological interventions are promising tools that could be used by medical personnel in daily routine scenarios to optimize patients’ expectations.

Patients with inadequate treatment expectations (that is, overly negative or over-optimistic cognitions) should undergo re‑attribution training to develop more positive and realistic expectations.

in the United States 50% of patients do not have an adequate understanding of what their physician has told them following a visit

in addition to merely providing information, manipulation of patients’ treatment expectations is considered to be most effective if patients develop a ‘mental map’ that clearly and adequately promotes an optimistic perspective regarding the treatment outcome.

Placebos Have Place In Everyday Treatments

Research Shows Placebos May Have Place In Everyday Treatments  
February 03, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/02/03/171006082/research-shows-placebos-may-have-place-in-everyday-treatments

if you give … morphine … to the patient surreptitiously, without them knowing, in an IV, it has a very strong analgesic effect.
It stops pain.
But if you give that same dosage in an injection that the patient sees going into their arm, it has double the effect.