How To Harness The Power Of “The Placebo Effect” In Six Steps

You have the power to heal your life,
and you need to know that.
We think so often that we are helpless,
but we are not.

We always have the power of our minds…
Claim and consciously use your power.

– Louise Hay

Throughout history, events and happenings that could not be logically explained or threatened our sense of order, often created fear.  The knee-jerk reaction was to label the event as witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, voodoo, black magic or white magic, the benevolent counterpart of malicious black magic.

On the positive side, these occurrences might be called psychic surgery, faith healing or miracles.

Here is the key to understanding: these occurrences are based on the power of ritual, belief, expectation – and how the mind works.

Simply put: your subconscious mind

  1. does not think in the traditional sense,
  2. is highly suggestable,
  3. cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined experience and
  4. controls your physiology (body functions)

Most important: the subconscious, which is 90% of your “mind”, NEVER stops listening and taking suggestions!

While your conscious mind, the remaining 10%, is the thinking and reasoning part of the brain, it is, nevertheless, controlled by the subconscious.


The Placebo Effect

Use the power of “The Placebo Effect” to enhance your life on every level by setting up positive expectations for you and those around you.


Given this, let’s add the “placebo” to the mix.

Placebo comes from Latin, meaning “I will please.”  The word was first used in a medicinal context in the late 18th century to describe a “commonplace method or medicine.”  In 1811, it was defined as “any medicine adapted more to please than to benefit the patient.”

A placebo is anything that seems to be a “real” medical treatment — but isn’t.

It could be a pill, a shot, a serum, a manipulation, suggestion or a touch.

Researchers use placebos during blind studies to help understand what effect a new drug or some other treatment might have on a particular condition.

What all placebos have in common is that they do not contain an active substance meant to affect health.

So, here’s the modern-day miracle.

In what is called “The Placebo Effect, these non-chemical, non-active, inert substances can produce measurable, positive health outcomes.  The patients’ belief, at the deepest subconscious level, activates their own healing powers.  This goes well beyond just imagination.

Here’s is an even more remarkable miracle.

Patients who knew they were taking placebos reported real improvement and twice as much symptom relief.  Placebos can change heart rate and blood pressure.  They can alter chemical activity in the brain in cases involving depression, anxiety, pain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s.  The Placebo Effect has been measured and validated in thousands of medical experiments over the years.

However, there can be a dark side.

The power of the mind can heal the body- or- destroy it.  It can plunge emotions into darkness and inhibit healing.  By causing negative stress, placebos can trigger asthma, psoriasis, warts, acne, and eczema.

Imagine you are wearing a pair of glasses tinted red and you didn’t know it!  All your perceptions would be influenced by the crimson-colored lens.  The same thing happens when you view the world through the lens of your expectations or preconceived notions of how the world “should” be.

Your mind is always trying to predict the future. Through anticipation, the mind changes your physiology, so your experience becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy – of whatever you believe.

Here is a big take-away:  your expectations affect your brain, influence your perception and control your experience.  How you anticipate events shapes your reality.

What does all this mean to you?

You can use the power of “The Placebo Effect” to enhance your life on every level by setting up positive expectations for you and those around you. Here’s how:

  1. Do everything you can to eliminate being around people who are negative, destructive, jealous, vindictive or drain your energy.
  2. Purposefully surround yourself with friends and acquaintances who have a positive outlook on life.
  3. Limit your exposure to the news.  Seriously.  It’s almost always negative.
  4. Pay attention to your environment and choose to make it nurturing and pleasant.
  5. Listen to the way you communicate with others.  Stop complaining and criticizing. Restrain from giving advice and LISTEN instead.  Many people are in fear.  Show compassion, tolerance and hope.
  6. Notice when you are getting into negative self-talk, such as “I’m a failure.”  “My relationship will never be good.”  “I will never succeed at my real dreams.”  “I’m too old.”  “I’m not smart enough.”  “The world is not a safe place to live.”   Say to yourself: “STOP IT!!”

You have the power to harness “The Placebo Effect” and live an exceptional life.


James Mapes is a keynote speaker, best-selling author, coach and hypnotist.  His most recent book IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is the first web-supported book with access to 21 video-coaching clips.