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How You are Treated May Be Just as Important as the Type of Treatment

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A recent study of knee arthritis patients compared the results of traditional Chinese acupuncture to a placebo version of acupuncture and to no course of treatment at all and the findings, which will appear in the September issue of Arthritis Care and Research, were pretty surprising.

Patients who received both the traditional Chinese acupuncture treatment and the placebo version of acupuncture reported almost the same benefits in terms of pain relief, and while many people who don?t have much faith in alternative treatments wouldn?t be too surprised by this, it wasn?t the most surprising part of the findings.? In addition to being prescribed one of the two types of treatment (traditional and ?fake?), patients were also separated into seeing practitioners that had a very positive outlook and those who had a neutral outlook and the communication between the doctor and patient had a profound effect on the benefits that the patient received.

Patients who saw the practitioners with higher expectations had much better results from the treatment than those that saw practitioners who were neutral about the results that would come from the course of treatment.? While the success of a treatment certainly isn?t entirely dependent upon the outlook of the medical practitioner, this study does show that patients may respond better to doctors and home health aides who are confident in the treatments that they provide.

The relationship you have with your health care provider is a very important one, in order to get the most out of that relationship you need to be confident in the abilities of the medical professionals that you are seeing and they need to be confident in the courses of treatment that they are prescribing.

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