9 Ways You Can Use the Placebo Effect to Your Advantage

A few weeks ago, I stopped watching and reading the news. I’m also not paying any attention to the daily updates of reported numbers for the coronavirus. 

I’m proactively avoiding all of this for two important reasons:

1. I’m not willing to live in fear. (ain’t got no time for that)
2. I understand the true power of the placebo effect.

Check out this fascinating Ted Talk about the placebo effect:

Last year, I happened to read “Cure – A Journey Into The Science of Mind Over Body” by Jo Marchant and became fascinated by the power of the placebo effect.

The placebo effect is real, and it’s extremely powerful. Based on Marchant’s research, the placebo effect may actually be more helpful than most of the prescription medications we take.

If we believe a treatment we’re about to have will make us feel better, it usually will make us feel better regardless of the treatment’s actual effectiveness. This includes medications, acupuncture, injections and many different surgeries. The placebo effect can be found in most medical treatments.

From the book on the placebo effect: “The active ingredient is meaning – the meaning that is attached to and surrounds any medical treatment, fake or otherwise.”

The crazy part is that the placebo effect still works even when the patient knows they’re receiving a placebo treatment. “In a trial with 80 patients with long-term irritable bowel syndrome, of whom half received a course of placebo. The doctors told these patients that although the capsules contained no active ingredient, they might work through mind-body, self healing process.” The results indicated that those patients who knowingly took placebos did significantly better (30% reduction in symptoms) than those who received no treatment.

Think about that for a minute – it’s extremely important…

Even though the patients knew they were taking a placebo treatment, they still had a significant improvement from their pain and discomfort.

The placebo effect is so powerful that many new businesses have started offering placebo pills for sale, including Placebo World, Universal Placebos, and Aplacebo. You can even order placebo pills on Amazon.com. Yes, I’m serious!

Here’s why: “We experience placebo effects every time we receive a drug. Any benefits we ultimately feel are a combination of the active effect of the drug, plus its placebo effect.”

Why might I be sharing all of this, you might wonder? Here’s why:

If you’re living in fear over this pandemic and you get sick, what impact will this fear have on your recovery? Science has proven conclusively that what you think impacts how your body reacts. If you think you’ll end up in the ICU, what’s the likelihood that you’ll end up there?

When I was suffering during long training runs for last year’s marathon, I started repeating – MY MIND IS STRONG – MY BODY IS STRONG  – over and over again.  It always helped.

Yes, I looked like an idiot. Who cares?

The average person isn’t willing to suffer. They always take the easy path and have no need for a strong mind and a strong body. 

Why would I care what they think?

The placebo effect is so powerful that I’ve actually written about it my Cashflownaire Newsletter. Here are a few ideas from the February 2019 Issue:

1. If you’re currently experiencing any medical challenges, it may make sense to experiment with placebo pills for to see if they provide any relief. This may save you a great deal of time and money. It may also help you avoid any negative side effects from the actual medication your doctor might prescribe. I’m obviously not a doctor and am not recommending that you don’t get medical assistance. I’m simply suggesting that you consider using the placebo effect to your advantage.

2. If you’re taking any supplements or medications now, really think about how helpful each pill (or treatment) will be for you before you take it. Before you take the pill, take a few seconds and visualize how the pill will help you. Visualize the benefits you’re hoping to receive happening. Leverage the placebo effect to your benefit to improve the effectiveness of what you’re actually taking.

3. Use the placebo effect to help your loved ones. You may be able to improve the effectiveness of any medical treatment your family members receive by using the placebo effect to your advantage. For example, if your child is sick and you’re going to give them a medication, tell them how strong and effective the medication is before they take it. Tell them how helpful the medication has been for others. Make them believe it will be helpful for them, too.

4. If you’re going to exercise or start a new fat-loss nutrition plan, make sure you take time to think about how well it will work in helping you move toward your goals. “This 30-minute workout is going to burn massive amounts of fat.” In other words, use the power of the placebo effect to improve the effectiveness of your health and fitness activities.

5. Try not to read, see or think about any possible negative side effects of any medication you’re about to take. Thinking about (and believing) the negative side effects of something may actually create the negative side effects for you. Please understand I’m not suggesting you ignore any actual side effects you experience. I’m simply suggesting that you be very strategic with everything you do by enhancing postive placebo effects while minimizing any “negative” placebo effects.

6. Consider experimenting with the placebo effect in other areas of your life. The placebo effect comes from what we believe. Use this belief system to make other areas of your life better. An example might be meditation… “10- minutes of meditation always make me feel a lot better. It gives me an instant and long-lasting sense of calmness.”

7. Use the placebo effect for ALL business and investment decisions. You can do this in two ways:

Do not start any business or use any investment strategy that you don’t fully believe in 100%. The reason why is because it will NOT work for you. Your beliefs will actually sabotage your results. When someone tells me they’re thinking about investing in mobile homes, but they don’t think it will work for them, I tell them not to do it. The reason why is they’re always right: It won’t work for them simply because they don’t believe it will. Since I can’t change their beliefs, it’s best for them to pass on the opportunity. Allowing yourself to think “this ________ won’t work for me” is disastrous. You’re creating a negative placebo effect in your life.

When you start a new business or investment strategy, read and think about all of the positive benefits you’ll get. Think about how well the strategy will work for you. Get excited around every action you’ll be taking and how effective each step of the system will be for you. Create a positive placebo effect around everything you do.

8. If you lead or coach others, consider the placebo effect in every communication you have with them. If they trust you, they’ll believe what you say and will likely have better results.

Years ago, Dan Kennedy told me I could easily triple my real estate brokage’s income. I believed him. Within months, I had tripled the business’s income. Dan’s words had a very powerful impact on me.

Your words can have the same impact on those who trust you. This includes family members, friends, coworkers, clients, customers, employees, investors, and business partners. Use the placebo effect to make everything you DO and say more effective.