The placebo effect might be one of the single most powerful tools we can use… on ourselves. in other words how might one “placebo themselves?”

First let me define what the placebo effect is: a beneficial effect produced by a placebo drug or treatment, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient’s belief in that treatment.

In other words the “treatment” or “substance” has no effect… but “it works” ie leads to a beneficial effect!

Rather than think this is a “sham” which it very much might feel like, I think we can fully lean in to the power of placebos.

Here is my collection of everything related to the Placebo Effect I come across which hopefully provides examples of how powerful this effect is + ways we can “placebo ourselves.”


Cancer Trials

…in cancer trials placebos can prove to be effective as much as 20% of the time whereas leading clinical agents rate at 30%. By my math, that means the physical effectiveness of drugs might only be a marginal 10 percentage points over the mystery of self-healing



In the 1990s the world learned about minoxidil under the brand name Rogaine, and it was popularized in the “Hair Club For Men” commercials that played on endless loops on television. In the clinical literature, 63% of men regrew hair when treated with the drug while 35 percent of the placebo group reported similar results. This means that positive thinking, or whatever magic happens when you think you might get better, could account for more than half of the actual hair growing power of minoxidil



Doctors estimate that seventy to eighty percent of their business is non-health-related.

People aren’t sick, they’re self-dramatizing.

Sometimes the hardest part of a medical job is keeping a straight face.

As Jerry Seinfeld observed of his twenty years of dating: “That’s a lot of acting fascinated.”


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