The Placebo Opportunity

by | Jun 21, 2020 | Basics | 1 comment

Subconscious expectation is known to control medical outcomes. Hypnotherapy can target that power for other benefits.


There’s a problem ahead for drug companies trying to market new pain killers. Given the opioid epidemic, you might expect tighter regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. But it is actually something ancient and mysterious: the placebo effect.

That may sound like a Latin dance craze or a weather pattern, but it is entirely in our heads.

To understand, what your mind does: moves your muscles, interprets sights and sounds, digests your food, decides whether you can do a sit-up, and on and on. All of this is done in your subconscious, day after day, until something changes. That may be something you choose, such as taking up yoga, or something unforeseen, such as breaking a leg. Now the mind must decide: what do we take resources away from to deal with this change? And is that really going to work?

As concerns the broken leg, we might wish it was a “no-brainer.” Who would say that the leg should not heal? But the part of us that organizes healing is also the part that decides a lizard should leave its tail lying on the ground. If the leg is too damaged, perhaps healing can wait until we get to the phone.

The placebo effect arises when an impressive person – perhaps a doctor – tells us that we will get better. Given that reassurance, the subconscious goes ALL IN, confident that the investment will return rewards.

Why is this a problem for drug companies? Because before selling a drug, the FDA requires that the company proves the medicine is better than taking something that only LOOKS like the medicine. Results show that just being given something by a doctor liberates the body’s natural healing powers that account for 30 to 70 percent of healing. That includes surgery. Patients given incisions around the knee have shown as much improvement as patients given full knee surgery.

In the case of pain, the effect is not actual healing, but the same principle applies. Pain is a signal from the subconscious asking us to do something to avoid injury – like take that hand off the hot stove. Once we do that, the signal has served its purpose, and so the subconscious blocks it so that we can devote energy to other things, such as cooking dinner.

Now as to pain killer development: the effect of look-alike, do-nothing pills is getting stronger.  One explanation for this is that drug companies have been doing more marketing, and so increased our confidence in pills. Whatever the reasons, it means that today, to release a pain killer under FDA guidelines, it must be stronger than pain killers developed in the past.

Does that seem like a bad thing? Hmm.

Now if subconscious expectation can relieve pain and improve medical outcomes, imagine what it can do for your other goals. Of all the treatments you can seek, hypnotherapy is the most potent method for creating a placebo effect – for convincing the subconscious to go ALL IN with your goals. Naturally, everything becomes easier.

Contact me if you are interested in “Bringing Your Whole Self to Life.”

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