General Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not an advertisement for exosomes. Use of exosomes has not been FDA-approved for prevention nor treatment of any disease condition. Anecdotes provided do not constitute scientific proof and all patients were treated in the context of a fully informed consent and patient-physician relationship.
Exosomes 26: The Placebo Effect
Two weeks ago, I was skiing and snowboarding with my brother and sister and our children. I tried to help my sister break out of the “intermediate skiing rut” but she complained her knees were limiting her. She has been told to have knee replacement so I mentioned exosomes are helping most of my patients’ knees. My brother declared without any due diligence that it was a fraud and my sister said it had to be a placebo effect. So I thought I would address the placebo effect in this blog. Of note, there are three distinct meanings for placebo: historically psychotrophic, inert, and a sort of mind-body causation.
At this moment, I am in the San Francisco airport after administering exosomes for the third time to Deb (see blogs 11 and 17 below). On the way to the airport, we talked about the placebo effect. She doesn’t believe that the change from being unable to do one squat without pain to 100 a day for the last five months is a placebo effect. I tend to agree.
As I discussed in blog 21, we are all pretty poor at attribution and recall; this means we are biased. The placebo was initially from the Latin for “I will please” and were initially substances that produced a pleasant effect like cannabis or opiods (like Laudanum/opium) that were used over-the-counter widely in the 19th century. Activation of the endocannabinoid system is far from inert, by the way, and making a big comeback in the form of CBD products.
Over time, the more common definition of a placebo being a sham or intentionally inert treatment took over as the advent of the placebo-controlled trial assumed a prominent position in modern medical research.
In the third and final definition, the placebo effect is not a historically psychotropic balm nor a sham treatment. It is a phenomenon of conditioning. If I tell you something has an effect or if you secretly believe it does, your mind and body can do a lot to make that belief a reality. In the new age system of beliefs and manifestations, the aphorism of Henry Ford is apt:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t –you’re right.”
A patient just called me and asked if I had heard of Joe Dispenza. I replied that he wrote the book, You are the Placebo, which explores the power of belief and mind-body connection. While there is some profound wisdom in this belief and whereas science has shown that the placebo effect can account for measurable improvements; but it is also objectively true that as we travel through time we accumulate damage that is incompletely healed and this builds up inside, among, and throughout the cells and organs of our bodies.
Doug, the 80-yo runner in blog 12 told me his finger itched and he had forgotten even injuring years ago while skiing and also had pain and cramps in his latissimus dorsi muscles; he had no preconceived notion so the placebo effect is hard to evoke in that case. Like Doug, my recent 61-yo patient wrote “I had a pain when I crack my knuckle or rub is for a year and that pain is gone”. The recent patient says he is really not prone to placebo effect and that the changes in his case include a disappearance of neck pain from an old whiplash, better sleep, and a diminution in his plantar fasciitis, back pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain. He took 5 vials (25 Billion exosomes) injected into his IV, nasal area, shoulders, lumbar epidural space, both knees, both plantar fascia, and an ankle. Quantity and location matter.
As I acquire more clinical experience, I appreciate just how powerful and broad-ranging the effects of exosomes can be. Deb just texted me that her 88-yo father’s neuropathy is improved after 6B IV exosomes yesterday. Placebo effect? Perhaps in part…but it also seems plausible that the improvements that patients are reporting are the result of the simple biological messages created by newborn placental MSCs as they interact with our damaged cells and the phenomenon of inflammation.
I don’t know if you can evoke the placebo effect in matters like being able to voluntarily piloerect (blog 1), acquiring aversions to the taste of coffee (blog 5), or clearing chronic eczema from venous stasis (blog 23). Probably more likely is that there are profound changes occurring. People would like to believe that the placebo effect can repair many things but the truth is that faith healing comes from belief in real results and the will to be be young and healthy can only get us so far without the help of biochemistry. If my patients are feeling less pain and better function and 10-30% is the placebo effect then who really cares? The fact of having less pain and better function are the end points we care about and if current therapy cannot come close to delivering those results, then I welcome the opportunity to help as long as no untoward effects result from treatment.
POSTSCRIPT: Mom and I are headed back to Hawaii to give a new and improved lecture on Sunday February 9th at 2pm at the Univ of Hawaii. We will also be treating patients that week. Please email me at email@example.com if you know anyone that would like to attend or may want treatment. Mahalo!
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Archived exosome blogs….Please read them all.
N.B. On 2/29/2020 I changed my philosophy about keeping these blogs private. The archives up to blog 32 were appended to blogs that had yet to be created when the earlier ones were first written.
I still have voluntary ASMR. Mom’s arthritis is greatly improved.
I explain why I believe exosomes aren’t inert. An amazing case of an overnight in heart rate variability is presented.
A case of whiplash and traumatic brain injury improved after exosome use.
After exosome injection, two runners were able to return to running after limitations from tendinosis that plagued them for months (in the case of the 60-yo man, and years (in the case of the 53-yo woman)
In this blog, I discussed how complicated clinical medicine can be. Different treatment protocols, ambiguous results ethical dilemmas and strange phenomena like acquired coffee aversion are part of what make treating with exosomes so challenging.
Using my left foot as an example, I attempt to explain that while some exosome effects are immediate, others take time. Remodeling of damaged tissues is a complicated process. My foot is still scarred and probably will be for life.
A patient after dental exosome injection becomes pain free after 4 years of suffering.
I explain why lab testing of freshly thawed exosomes is SUPPOSED to come back as normal saline.
A nine-part comprehensive explanation of exosomes.
I interviewed the principal scientists of Kimera Labs and other experienced clinicians using exosomes
66-yo Deb B went from not being able to do one squat to 100 per day after exosome injection.
80-yo Doug describes in his video how much his knees have improved since getting exosome injections. He is reaching new athletic peaks with no signs of stopping.
My 82-yo mom underwent microneedling with exosomes with fantastic results. Most impressive was the absence of “downtime” from redness or bruising.
54-yo weightlifter with chronic pain from a rotator cuff tear shows remarkable improvement in just four days! He re-injured it at the gym so had to undergo a repeat shoulder injection
48-yo woman with severe face blindness experiences some improvement after nasal injections of exosomes. Her ability to remember new faces has improved permanently
I delivered two lectures in Hawaii. The first was about exosomes generally and the second is a password-protected video about clinical applications.
Three cases of middle-aged women reporting enhanced enjoyment and renewed capacity to read after nasal exosome therapy
Two cases of improved dental health presented. We discuss the hazards of EMF and the promising future of dental regenerative therapy
We discuss the notion of energy centers known as chakras and the fact that we are electrical beings
A case of improvement in Seborrheoic Dermatitis after microneedling with MSC exosomes is presented.
I explain how poor we are at assessing change and how attribution and recall bias play important roles
In the past year, there has been a lot of shifting loyalties in the exosome space resulting in a lot of rumor, innuendo, and bad press. With various parties trying to get each other in trouble with federal regulators, it is a treacherous business to be in.
I describe a case of an 86-yo woman whose chronic leg rash disappeared after improvement in her leg circulation
I use a car wash analogy to answer the question “how long do exosomes last?” The answer is it depends on how dirty and damaged the car is, how well you clean it, and how dirty you get it after washing.
I describe four cases of improvement of osteoartritic knees from my trip to Hawaii.
I explain the three definitions of placebo and why I believe most of the effects of exosomes cannot be attributed to the so-called placebo effect.
Some remarkable “soft signs” of exosome effects include itching (new nerves), twitching (new muscles), and heaviness (a healing FORCE).
Three amigos came to see me and all enjoyed benefits. The best was the 48-yo gentleman who had a dramatic improvements to his irritable bowel syndrome, varicose veins, and appearance.
I address the common observation from patients that exosomes seem “smart” or that they know where to go. In fact, I doubt this is true and that they are no smarter than player piano scrolls are good musicians.
I gave a lecture at the University of Hawaii with about 80 attendees. Around 10 of them were actual patients. Hear in their own words how exosomes helped them.
I describe two cases of improved leg swelling and explain what causes this common condition and how exosomes may be improving it.
We present an amazing case of overnight nerve regeneration after ultrasound-targeted exosome injections.