Leveraging the Placebo Effect
We’ve all heard about the power of the placebo – where you experience an improvement in symptoms after taking something with no pharmacological agents (like a sugar pill).
The placebo effect is so well known that the FDA requires drug companies to prove (in double blind clinical trials) that their medications are effective above and beyond what would be expected from a placebo.
In fact, 60 Minutes reported last week that the pharmacological benefit delivered by antidepressants is highly questionable (especially to those taking medication for only mild depression).
Along similar lines, there have been studies showing that patients benefit from fake knee surgery just as much as actual knee surgery. (In fact, sometimes the benefit is even greater.) And patients who have been hypnotized into believing they’ve had gastric lap band surgery experience the same effects as if they had the real surgery (nausea side effects and all).
So it’s obvious there is something very powerful happening in our minds to alter our physical being.
Deliberate creators won’t be surprised to hear this, since we already understand (and consciously work with) the power of our thoughts. We know getting what we want is all about developing the expectation of it.
Which is really what a placebo is: a doctor, or someone with some sort of credibility or authority, gives us a reason to believe things could, should or even just might get better. And regularly they do.
But you can’t exactly walk into your doctor’s office, ask for a sugar pill, and still expect any benefit, right? Because the reason placebos work is that you don’t know it’s a placebo.
Except that’s not the case.
A recent study showed that even when patients were told they were only taking a placebo, they still saw significant improvement.
Which seems like it should fly in the face of what we know as deliberate creators.
After all, how can you expect a benefit when you know you’re only taking a sugar pill?
It puzzled me greatly.
Since results are driven by expectation, when you remove the expectation (i.e. reason to believe), why would there still be results?! It became clear as I looked further …
It turns out that a sugar pill prescription wasn’t all these study patients got.
Along with a bottle of pills clearly marked “placebo,” they were also told that placebos have proven to be very effective.
So while at the same time they were told “these pills having nothing in them” they were also told “magic things can happen.” (Actually it was more like: “rigorous clinical testing has shown placebo pills produce significant mind-body self healing processes.”) So they did get a reason to believe in their healing.
Which is exactly what many experienced – a significant improvement in symptoms.
Why am I talking about this?
As a deliberate creator and LOA coach, I am always on the lookout for more “reasons to believe.” Because once we believe in something – once we fully expect it could happen – it is on its way. That simple.
So reasons to believe are the currency of my trade.
Can we create that reason to believe, i.e. expectation, ourselves with a placebo?
Maybe everything we do is already a placebo of some sort. Maybe every action we take is valuable primarily in that it gives us a reason to believe in upcoming results?
Taking an aspirin almost always gets rid of my headache, even though I know independent trials prove aspirin to be little more effective than placebos. When I stopped taking Juice Plus supplements, I got my first cold in years. (And thus got right back on them!)
And despite the fact that I’ve heard reports about scams and hoaxes with foot detoxes, after I received my first Aqua Chi foot treatment yesterday, I did indeed feel lighter and more clear-headed. (Also experienced an odd change in taste buds, as Leanne Facer said might happen. Sorry, Russ, that I accused you of swapping orange juice brands! I do wonder if I’d have experienced that if she hadn’t said anything?)
I’m curious to hear what you think. Where I’m at right now is appreciating an even deeper understanding of just how potent the suggestions are that those in authority give us.
And maybe once we truly understand the power of our own mind to create what we want, we won’t need to rely on another person in “authority” to give us reason to believe in our healing.
Looking forward to hearing from you all on this one …