As described in BBC’s Horizon program, ‘placebos’ can be very effective and can be mimicked through hypnosis. Are you wondering how much of NLP is Placebo, and how to maximise your effect?
BBC2 showed an hour long program in the popular science Horizon series on ‘The power of placebo‘. Placebos, or medicine without the medicine in them, often dummy sugar or flour pills, were shown through controlled medical studies to have as much impact as surgery on ruptured vertebrae and as dopamine on sufferers with Parkinson’s disease. And recent studies from Harvard Medical School have shown that, even when you are told that you are being given a placebo, they can still eliminate symptoms of illnesses like IBS. Studies using MRI imaging show that the impact is real, with measurable effects on brain chemistry.
Red pill blue pill?
Is it triggered by the ritual? Is this why otherwise intelligent people cling to ‘faith healing’, ‘psycho surgery’, acupuncture and homeopathy?
It is all about belief, expectation and suggestion. Hence hypnosis can be used to directly produce placebo effects, and resulting changes to brain chemistry, as demonstrated in removal of wisdom teeth without anaesthetic for those shy of the needle.
Like hypnosis and NLP, the impact of ‘medically induced’ placebo is dependent on the extent of rapport developed with the client. (Incidentally, Malcolm Gladwell highlighted that the best indicator of whether a medical professional would be sued for malpractice was not a function of their competence but on their (lack of) rapport with patients).
Can you help me Dr Parkes?
So, how will you improve your efficacy using NLP?