“A Placebo Conundrum” by Michael Brooks

beyond-imagination-marina-harrisIT SEEMED like a good idea until I saw the electrodes. Dr Luana Colloca’s white coat offered scant reassurance. “Do you mind receiving a series of electric shocks?” she asked.

I could hardly say no – after all, this was why I was here. Colloca’s colleague, Fabrizio Benedetti of the University of Turin in Italy, had invited me to come and experience their placebo research first hand. Colloca strapped an electrode to my forearm and sat me in a reclining chair in front of a computer screen. “Try to relax,” she said.

First, we established my pain scale by determining the mildest current I could feel, and the maximum amount I could bear. Then Colloca told me that, before I got another shock, a red or a green light would appear on the computer screen.

A green light meant I would receive a mild shock. A red light meant the shock would be more severe, like the jolt you get from an electric fence. All I had to do was rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10, mild to severe. Continue reading “A Placebo Conundrum” by Michael Brooks

Ergonomics Course


I have just completed a fascinating course on Ergonomics, Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment and Moving & Handling procedures.

This course is recognised by the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.

The course allows an Osteopath to assess a person’s working position. There are normally a number of improvements that can immediately be made to make a person more comfortable.

These improvements may include changing desk and chair heights, location of VDU, position of mouse, key board and screen, requirement of feet rests etc..

There are a number of conditions such as Low Back Pain, Headaches, Neck Pain, Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) that are the result of poor work station arrangements.

There are a number of Non-Expensive aids, such as Foot Rests, Monitor Stands, Ergonomic Key Boards & Mice, Adjustable Desks and Document Holders that can, along with finding the best possible working position, help solve the problems associated with a Bad Workstation Arrangement.

The Work Station Assessment is all carried out in accordance with Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.