The placebo effect

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The placebo effect

I have a little business on the side, one that grew from a conversation about marketing – and specifically, the trade in intangibles or the ‘experience economy’. It’s called Universal Placebos, and it’s built around the extraordinary phenomenon of the Placebo Effect, which science at large accepts, though we have no idea (yet) just how it works.

Recently, a friend emailed this:

Ryan (on Universal Placebos): Love it. Let me know when you bring out a cream – I’ve been using cheap moisturiser on my kids for years….’Ohh no, you hurt your leg, let me get the magical cream’…100% success rate so far

I replied:

Funny you should mention that, Ryan. Our homeopath mates, Marg & Brian, have just produced a homeopathic cream. It’s really interesting how they’re engaging with the placebo-effect perspective directly in their practice, rather than skirting the issue – the proposition that ‘homeopathy is just a placebo’. One of the theories on the placebo effect is that it’s evoked by ‘story’, that is, something deep-seated in language and narrative and subjective relationship (e.g. a professional consultation) that relates to or activates our immune system, mainly unconsciously. I reckon this is what’s happening in some of the ‘moments’ I’ve experienced in coaching, a *story* in the context of a relationship creating a turn to wellness and wellbeing. Seems that in working with a coach – or a sugar pill – this way, we can access complex systems like bodies or social structures in simple, step-wise ways.

Posted in Coaching, Entrepreneurship, Feelings, Marketing, Perception, Placebo Effect, Transformation, Wellness

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